International Public Administration Degrees

Last Reviewed: March 12, 2021

Consider an online MPA program currently accepting applications.

American University Online MPAP
American University (Online)
Learn 100% online with the American University NASPAA-accredited Online Master of Public Administration and Policy. Graduate with your MPAP in 24 months. AU has a top-ranked school for public affairs based in Washington DC. AU has waived the GRE/GMAT requirement through Fall 2022.

Click for more information from the American University website.

NASPAA Accredited
American University Online MPAP

Click "Learn More" to visit the admissions website.

International and Global Public Administration Degree Programs

Higher education in public administration is not limited to just policy-making and economic development with the United States government and nonprofit organizations.

Many institutions provide programs on a global scale and will give professionals the skills needed to work with other countries. These programs will tackle complex issues with rules and regulations in other countries, challenges in the economy and international trade, and how to communicate effectively as a leader.


Consider an online MPA program currently accepting applications.

University / School Online Program Admissions
American University
Online MPAP Website
Norwich University
Online Master of Public Administration Website
University of Delaware
Master of Business Administration - International Business Website

Click for online MPA programs that are currently taking applications.

What is International and Global Public Administration and Why Consider this Degree?

Professionals looking to gain experience in policymaking on a global level should consider a graduate degree or certification within public administration that offers international courses or tracks. This will expose students to the history of policy in different countries and the differences at other locations compared to the United States. Topics frequently covered are macroeconomics, theory of economic development, ethical issues, quantitative and qualitative methods, and sustainability. Successful employment outcomes are frequent from these institutions - Georgetown University notes a 95 percent employment rate of graduates from the Master of International Development Policy.

Gaining graduate education in international or global topics within public administration can be done in many different ways. Many institutions will have electives or a full concentration within international development and global policy. This allows students to fully customize the program and pursue specific segments of global public administration, such as policy development or security. There are also separate Master's degrees that have disciplines in global policy and development. Students should check other offerings within an institution's school that also provides the Master of Public Administration or related degree.

Consider a Featured Online MPA Program

University / School Online Program Admissions
University of Delaware
Master of Science in International Business Website
Johns Hopkins University AAP
Master of Arts in Global Security Studies Website
Lindenwood University
MBA-International Business Website
The University of Scranton
MBA - International Business Website
Campbellsville University
MBA International Business Website

Learning Online: Different Methods and Reasons

While not a frequent opportunity when pursuing higher education in international policy, some institutions provide these courses online through their Master of Public Administration program. Students should determine if these specific courses are distributed virtually and what their availability is. Global policy education that is separated into its own discipline are less frequently available online, but there are still opportunities for established professionals to pursue a degree through night classes or weekly meetings. Schools provide information on acceptance times and course schedules to determine the best course of action for professionals.

Those able to pursue a program fully online should be prepared for the experience. Some universities will have optional or required on-campus residencies for students to meet faculty members and other students before fully diving into the curriculum. Typical requirements for pursuing an online degree includes having a modern computer system with a Windows or Mac operating system. These are often recommended due to the various plug-ins that may be needed to access the learning management system and course material, be it watching lectures on demand or working with others during group projects. Students should have reliable and fast broadband internet access.


Consider an online MPA program currently accepting applications.

University / School Online Program Admissions
American University
Online MPAP Website
Norwich University
Online Master of Public Administration Website
Seton Hall University
Master of Public Administration in Non-Profit Management Website
Johns Hopkins University AAP
Master of Arts in Government Website
Drake University
Master of Public Administration Website
Aurora University
Online MPA (one year) Website

NASPAA Accreditation

When looking at graduate degrees in global public administration and public policy, students should review those designated by the Network of schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). Holding this accreditation ensures to prospective students that the curriculum and faculty members will provide the best education and preparation into international topics in the field. This is a worldwide accreditation agency based in Washington DC and has accredited over 300 institutions on a global spectrum. They also work with other agencies in different countries to provide a worldwide standard for preparing policymaking and international development careers.

Examples of Graduate Programs

Johns Hopkins University

Through the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, the Master of Public Administration offers global and international electives for students to take. The degree requires five core courses with topics in quantitative methods, financial management, and public policy evaluation, and a culminating capstone project. Six elective courses are required to fulfill the rest of the curriculum, and courses can be selected from the Global Security Studies discipline, which is also its own Master’s degree in itself. Both of these programs are available online for flexible scheduling, but some courses are only available in certain semesters.

Examples of courses within global security include Military Strategy and National Policy, Energy and Environmental Security, and Global Political Economy. For the Master’s degree with a discipline in Global Security Studies, these courses are part of the core curriculum, and there is an additional section for research study involving qualitative and quantitative methods. There are concentrations of Strategic Studies or Energy and Environmental Security that can be pursued with this degree. Prospective students should hold a Bachelor’s degree with at least a 3.0 GPA.

University of Texas

At the Austin campus, a Master of Global Policy Studies is offered through the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. This is a separate degree from the Master of Public Affairs, which is also available, and emphasizes international governance and provides communication and analytical skills to prepare students for this type of career. Each student will need to take a specialization within the degree or customize their own subject, which generally consists of five elective courses.

  • Global Governance and International Law
  • International Development
  • International Energy, Environment, and Technology
  • International Trade and Finance
  • Regional International Policy
  • Security, Law, and Diplomacy

One unique option for pursuing the program is the accelerated 18-month path that is offered at the LBJ Washington Center. Students will work and gain experience at Washington DC during a six-month internship after spending a year of full-time study in Austin. This option is available for both Master’s degrees offered by the school, and additional courses are taken at night in addition to completing the internship at Washington DC during the final two semesters.

University of Southern California

The Sol Price School of Public Policy offers a Master of Public Administration, and students have the ability to complete the program in Los Angeles or Sacramento, or fully complete the degree online. There are a variety of specializations that students can choose from to customize the degree, including International Development Governance and Comparative Public Administration. Up to eight credit units are needed to fulfill this portion of the curriculum, and example courses are Comparative Public Policy and Administration in the European Union and United States, International Development Administration, and Social Finance and Development.

Some benefits when pursuing a program at USC include paid internship opportunities, working with a dedicated and experienced faculty, and being part of a large alumni network after completing the degree. To gain entry into the program, prospective students will need to submit an application with fee, send over official transcripts that show completion of an undergraduate degree, GRE or GMAT scores, updated resume, statement of purpose that details why the student is pursuing the MPA at USC, and three letters of recommendation.

University of Maryland

There are a few specialties that students can pursue with a focus on international public policy through the School of Public Policy. Concentrations include International Development Policy (IDEV), and International Security and Economic Policy (ISEP) – both of these are offered with the Master of Public Policy or Master of Public Management degrees. IDEV will emphasize the study of various economic situations around the world and troubling situations, such as poverty, population displacement, and conflicts between ethnic cultures and religious backgrounds. ISEP is the creation of policy surrounding enhancement in security measures and economic stability.

The difference between the two full Master’s degrees programs is Public Management is a more accelerated format that requires at least five years of professional experience. This requires 36 credit hours to complete instead of the Public Administration program that needs 48 credit hours. Core courses within Public Management are separated into subjects within governance and quantitative skills, the latter featuring courses in macroeconomics and budgeting. Both of these programs are only available on-campus at College Park.

Typical Courses

Foreign Aid

These courses will study the history and impact of foreign aid, or the transfer of money between governments for military assistance or economic sustainability. Many organizations and agencies are apart of foreign aid, such as the Congressional Research Service that reports on the distribution, and the United States Agency for International Development was formed in 1961 and gears their spending on civilian aid. Topics may also include the comparison of how other countries utilize foreign aid and the various acts and plans in the United States’ history that used this money.

Global Sustainability

Sometimes offered as a concentration or certification, environmental sustainability courses explore the history of climate change and how the industrial revolution and urbanization has impacted the planet. Students will discover sustainable developments that look to reduce global warming, such as creating zero waste facilities, renewable energy expansion, rainwater harvesting, and much more. Courses will typically look at sustainability on a corporate scale and provide a history of what these companies have done to limit waste, and what potential problems are on the horizon.

International Policy and Planning

Specifically focuses on the development of public policy that has an impact worldwide, where leaders from different countries and organizations bring varying perspectives. Policy topics consist of worldwide interest, such as internal development, global sustainability, and health care. Students will understand how this development is different at many parts of the world and how international agencies are able to function while managing rules and regulations in specific countries.

International Trade

Analyzes the exchange of goods and services between two countries, and courses can consist of theory and historical topics in this category. Various countries utilize this trading process in order to sell off excess properties to import material that is harder to find. Students also study the impact of tariffs and why they are implemented, such as keeping manufacturers or distributors from importing goods and materials from other countries that would otherwise be cheaper.


The study of many economic topics on a larger scale that involves the entire community, country, and world, such as the settling of price levels and inflation potential, how gross domestic product is created, and the impact of organizational mergers. Students will discover these various measures and what can be done to manipulate them from a variety of angles. This is different from microeconomics, which focuses more on the individual consumer.

Career Options

Foreign Affairs Officer

Analyzes specific issues, such as politics, from publications and news outlets in different countries and determines strategies and plans based on the information. For example, a foreign affairs officer that works with the United Nations in New York will provide advice to those working at other agencies or be part of solving policy disputes or various conflicts. Education within political science or international relations, in additional to global public administration, is recommended for a position like this, and to work as an officer in the United States, potential workers must be an established US citizen.

Global Risk Analyst

Develops and observes the rules and regulations based on risk management, which can include mitigating fraud and determining potential issues. Google has a position for threat analysts that have a goal to protect the corporation by looking into intelligence and determining the credibility of potential attacks or risks that the company makes. They create a plan to thwart these issues by working with others both internally at Google and with international groups when needed. Analytical skills on qualitative and quantitative data are very helpful in this position.

International Operations Manager

Oversees daily activity for an organization and holds various responsibilities to optimize processes. These management positions must make sure that goods and services are delivered in a timely fashion. For example, an organization that moves large shipments will need to track all incoming and outgoing supplies. All of these orders need to follow internal and international customs depending on where they are being exported. Any shipment that has been displaced or is not on schedule will need to be investigated and corrected by the manager.