Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA) - Master of Public Administration (MPA) Graduate School Cornell University

Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA) - Master of Public Administration (MPA) Graduate School Cornell University

Ithaca, NY
student ratio
total students
Not Reported
average amount to complete degree
fall application deadline
acceptance rate
1 Degree Offered
degrees offered


CIPA and the MPA degree program

The Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA) is home to Cornell University's Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree program. CIPA's mission is to develop and support emerging leadership in public affairs across all workforce sectors -- whether government, nonprofit, or for-profit, and at all organizational levels -- from local to international.

CIPA is a 2-year interdisciplinary MPA degree program, offering unparalleled flexibility

Operating within and supported by Cornell's College of Human Ecology, CIPA's core faculty members are drawn from a variety of colleges around campus. This breadth of faculty leadership assures that the students benefit from the university's full array of intellectual expertise. During their two years of graduate study, students take courses not just within Human Ecology but across the Cornell campus. CIPA also offers students the option of studying off-campus for a semester and earning academic credit, while completing an internship in Washington, DC, or in one of three international locales--Kathmandu, Nepal; Rome, Italy; and Mysore, India.

Students may choose from among eight different concentration options

CIPA's curriculum is structured around foundational courses in three areas central to public affairs: "Administrative, Political, and Policy Processes;" "Economic Analysis and Public Finance;" and "Quantitative Analysis." Students build on these foundations by choosing a concentration from among eight broad areas of study: "Economic and Financial Policy;" "Environmental Policy;" "Government, Politics, and Policy Studies;" "Human Rights and Social Justice;" "International Development Studies;" "Public and Nonprofit Management;" "Science, Technology, and Infrastructure Policy;" and "Social Policy "(which may encompass education policy, health policy, etc.). In consultation with their advisers, students formulate programs of study based on their long-term professional and educational objectives.

Complementary and joint degree program options are available

Students who are interested in pursuing an MBA through Cornell's Johnson School or a JD through the Cornell Law School within the same timeframe that they are completing their MPA program, may work out a complementary degree course of study if they apply to and are accepted by both programs. Students may then apply up to twelve credits of a complementary professional degree program (MBA or JD) toward the MPA degree from CIPA. A dual MPA/MHA program is also available for students enrolled at CIPA and the Sloan Program in Health Administration. This option enables students to complete both degrees in three years while eliminating duplicate coursework. Students must apply and be accepted to both programs (admission to one program does not guarantee admission to the other).

Hands-on experiential opportunities

Historically, 75 to 80% of CIPA students find employment or go on to further graduate work within three months of graduation, and 90% within nine months. Because the MPA is a professional degree, it is imperative that students leave the program with both subject knowledge as well as practical analytic and managerial skills to tackle real-world job assignments. For that reason, experiential learning is a key component of the CIPA MPA degree program. Many courses include a practical component, challenging students to apply their knowledge and skills to real-world clients and situations. Internships, typically undertaken between the first and second year of study, are also encouraged and, because many of the most challenging and rewarding internships are unpaid, CIPA offers a competitive grant program to assist with expenses. Second-year students may also choose to participate in the Capstone Program and complete a rigorous, semester-long consulting project for either a domestic or international client.

Location & Contact

Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA) - Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Graduate School
Cornell University

Ithaca, NY 14853-0001
United States

Director of Graduate Studies

Phone: 607-255-8018
Fax: 607-255-5240

Graduate Field Assistant

Phone: 607-255-8018
Fax: 607-255-5240

Request More Info

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Public Affairs Master of Public Administration (MPA)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 118
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? No
    • Evening/weekend programs available? No
    • Distance learning programs available? Not reported
    • Terminal master's degree available? Not reported
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


38% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 605
    • Accepted 235
    • Acceptance Rate 38
    • Enrolled 117
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $95
    • Application Fee - International $95
    • Electronic applications accepted? Yes
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Yes
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesGRE General Test, 2 letters of recommendation
    • Doctoral's DegreesNot Reported
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesTOEFL required, 550 paper based, TOEFL iBT

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees *
    • Tuition & FeesNot Reported
    • *Average dollar amount (tuition & fees) required to complete the degree
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitFAFSA
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsNot Reported
    • Types of financial support availableFellowships, Teaching Assistantships, Tuition Waivers, Health Care Benefits, Institutionally-sponsored Loans, Scholarship and/or loans, Graduate Assistantships

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students233
    • Female Percentage62%
    • Male Percentage38%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students233
    • Part-time Percentage0%
    • Full-time Percentage100%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino15%
    • Black / African American7%
    • White / Caucasian53%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native0%
    • Asian15%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander0%
    • Two or more races4%
    • Unknown6%


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty108
    • Full-time Percentage100%
    • Part-time Percentage0%
    • Female Percentage26%
    • Male Percentage74%