The MPA program at Suffolk University's Institute for Public Service prepares students to be leaders in enhancing the responsiveness, efficiency, and effectiveness of public service organizations, while adhering to the democratic values of inclusion, egalitarianism, and respect for diversity. 

Strategic components of our mission statement are discussed separately below.

Quality Faculty

You’ll learn from some of the best in the field. Our full-time and adjunct faculty members bring years of public service experience, as well as academic expertise into the classroom. Many receive research grants to study and publish articles on topics, such as public safety, public budgeting, labor law, and education policy. We recruit a well-rounded team of faculty members who are academically and professionally qualified.


Our faculty manifests a variety of approaches in teaching, research, service, and practice, giving you a wide-range of role models, approaches, knowledge, and skills on which to draw.


Your courses focus on management, administration and policy, all under the central topic of leadership. You’ll graduate prepared to manage and lead in a variety of organizational settings.

Program Objective

We place students, just like you, in management and leadership positions in federal, state, and local government; nonprofit agencies; and private sector organizations, in addition to our long-standing success in placing students in the Presidential Management Fellowship program. Our students have also received Rappaport Public Policy awards, in competition with a variety of students from area universities, such as Harvard, Brandeis, Northeastern University, and the University of Massachusetts at Boston.

A Flexible and Accessible Program

Suffolk MPA students enter the program with a range of professional experiences and accomplishments. Whether you’re a working professional or a full-time student, your class schedule is flexible to fit your lifestyle. Many courses are held in the evenings, with the option to take some courses on Saturdays or in the summer. You can also enroll in travel seminars and hybrid courses. The length of the program varies, depending on your full- or part-time status, interest in concentrations, and program enrollment. You’ll work with a faculty adviser to plan your course schedule.


As a student, you’ll gain the core skills necessary to optimize the efficiency and effectiveness of public service delivery systems. You’ll become a catalyst for positive change.

You’re electives offer the knowledge and skills for specialized management settings.

With a focus on leadership skills, you’ll be able to mobilize, engage in, and facilitate a collaborative problem-solving process. You’ll graduate ready to inspire and empower people to address societal problems and manifest the value of public service and democratic principles.


If you want to be or already are in mid-level management and administrative positions, the MPA degree will help you assume leadership positions in public service. However, we also strive to meet the needs of pre-service students by providing them with the knowledge to secure entry-level positions, and instilling in them a commitment to continuous learning to enhance their leadership capacity. Some of our students enter our Program simply lacking confidence in their abilities. With a strong educational foundation, you’ll build the confidence to become an effective leader.


Our Program serves Eastern Massachusetts, although we draw some students from Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire, as well as other states and foreign countries.

Ethics & Effectiveness

Our Program not only educates students for management and leadership, but it also builds their capacity to behave ethically. One is unacceptable without the other. Our approach to ethics is grounded in a commitment to democratic values and respect for diversity.

Public Service Emphasis

Public service is a dynamic, changing field. As a Suffolk MPA student, you’ll learn to anticipate and respond to change, as well as to lead it. Your coursework emphasizes the value of public service. Leadership skills enable you to create shared leadership based on collectively determined values and norms in an organizational or community setting. You’ll examine ethical issues within the context of individual core courses to demonstrate the ubiquity and variety of ethical challenges that can arise in the public sector.