Public Administration (Executive)

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Local:$ 30.3 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 30.3 k / Year(s) Deadline: Mar 15, 2025
StudyQA ranking:3142 Duration:12 months

Guided by good governance principles, mid-career professionals from all sectors need innovative ideas to lead people, shape decisions, or change the institutions for which they work. The international and practice-oriented Executive MPA programme tackles precisely these governance and management challenges and offers a unique forum for exchange, learning, and professional development. The flexible programme can be completed full-time in one year or over a period of two years while working.

Some of the best ideas are born from dialogue with peers. Executive MPA participants are united in the desire to think critically and originally, and in their wish to hone their behaviour and enhance their leadership performance. Coming from government, international organisations, business and NGOs from all across Europe and beyond, the highly qualified Executive MPA participants bring together a broad range of experiences from all sectors and disciplines. The programme's distinguished faculty is supported by experienced practitioners from the field and provides participants with hands-on training, analytical tools and transferable skills and competencies.

Flexible Programme for Professionals

Full-time or part time studies

The flexibility of both time frame and content enables professionals to adapt the programme to their individual needs. Participants can decide whether they wish to complete the programme full-time (in 1 year) or while working (over a period of 2 years). They may switch between full- and part-time, depending of the demands of their careers. Interested candidates also have the possibility to start with one seminar or certificate and later continue with the Executive MPA programme (after successful application).

Individual area of concentration

Executive MPA students design their studies according to individual needs and interests and choose their own Area of Concentration: "Leadership and Management", "Economics, Finances, and Methods", or "Intersectoral Management".

A programme for professionals

Many professionals hold full-time jobs, travel great distances, and support families at home. Being a "family-friendly university", the Executive MPA programme is tailored to these busy schedules. More than half of the student body commutes to the courses from outside of Germany. To make it easy for participants travelling from far away, the 2.5 day courses are offered in blocks, so participants can come for a week and take two courses at once. Forty-seven days of attendance and 16 block courses are required to graduate. The programme is concluded with a master thesis of high practical relevance. The flexible format enables part-time students to complete 7-9 courses in one year, while taking only 20 days off work and making 4-5 trips to Berlin.

Cooperations and exchange programmes

Strong academic and professional networks (LSE, Sciences-Po, etc.) and exchange programmes (ESCP Europe, Copenhagen Business School, Centre for Social Investment Heidelberg etc.) exist.

Curriculum: Tailored for Professionals

The quality of the programme is rooted in two principles: interdisciplinarity and practical application. The Executive MPA combines economics and social sciences to further students' understanding of complex governance challenges and management solutions. The participants work on international case studies and discuss phenomena against the background of their own work experience. Experts of all sectors regularly share current issues and discuss challenges and possible solutions with the students.

The flexibility of both time frame and content enables each student to adapt the programme to his or her individual needs. The programme offers professionals both sound theoretical knowledge and hands-on management skills, using modern teaching methods.

Participants choose their own Area of Concentration and can decide whether they wish to complete the programme full-time or part-time (i.e. in one year or in two years). In total, 47 days of presence are required and 60 ECTS are acquired (in the one-year as well as in the two year programme). Upon successful completion of the Executive MPA programme the academic degree "Master of Public Administration (MPA)" is awarded.

The Executive MPA curriculum consists of the following modules and courses:

1. Understanding Governance (12 days and 10 ECTS in total)

  • Introductory Course

Participants choose 3 of the following 4 courses:

  • Actors, Institutions, Policies

  • Governance and Decision Making in and between Public Institutions

  • Understanding Organisations

  • European Union Governance

2. Management: Concepts, Instruments and Finances (9 days and 9 ECTS in total)

Participants choose 3 of the following 4 courses:

  • Strategic and Performance Management

  • Human Resource Management

  • Fiscal Rules and Budgeting

  • Public Sector Budgeting and Accounting

3. Concentration (9 days and 9 ECTS in total)

Participants choose three electives from one of the following three "Areas of Concentration":

  • Leadership and Management

  • Economics, Finances, and Methods

  • Intersectoral Management

4. Complement (9 days and 9 ECTS in total)

Participants choose two more electives from any of the three "Areas of Concentration":

  • Leadership and Management

  • Economics, Finances, and Methods

  • Intersectoral Management

One of the three courses can also be an additional course of Module 1 or 2.

5. Professional Development (8 days and 7 ECTS in total)

Participants choose two Skills Courses as well as a 4-day Workshop in either Brussels or London.

6. Master Thesis (16 ECTS)

  • Master Thesis Colloquium (recommended)

  • Master Thesis

Applicants must have completed a higher education degree in any discipline - typically, Executive MPA students have a background in business/economics, law, social science or natural sciences. Professional backgroundThe Executive MPA is aimed at professionals with at least two years of professional experience (the average work experience of Executive MPA participants is 10 years). We welcome applications from all sectors (public administration, the private sector as well as the non-profit-sector) and also from professionals who are preparing a change of sector.Language skills and required verificationAs the language of instruction at the Hertie School of Governance is English, candidates must be fluent in English. If a candidate is a native Speaker or if he/she can provide proof of a substantial work or study experience abroad, he/she may not have to provide a language test. Short-term study abroad, au-pair home stays or language school certificates will not be accepted as test replacements.The Hertie School of Governance recognises the TOEFL and IELTS test as well as the Cambridge CPE C and CAE B test. The school code for the TOEFL test is 8874. Employees of the German Federal Government can also hand in an English test of the Federal Language Agency. The Executive MPA admission requirements may be met by one of the following scores: TOEFL (PBT 550, CBT 220, IBT 80), IELTS (overall score of 6,5), Cambridge CPE (C), CAE (B). Test results may not be more than two (2) years old. Candidates can submit their application to the Executive MPA programme, even if their language test is not yet available. However, please note that admission cannot be issued without proof of your language skills. We therefore advise all applicants to submit their results as early as possible. English Language Requirements IELTS band: 6.5 TOEFL paper-based test score : 550 TOEFL iBT® test: 80 Technological Requirements Applications by candidates with a Bachelor degree can also be accepted if a candidate has substantial work experience.

The Hertie School of Governance offers a limited number of highly competitive scholarships to exceptional applicants:

  • Professionals from the German Public Administration (Bund, Länder-, Kommunalebene) can apply for the Executive MPA Behörden Spiegel Scholarship.

  • German professionals from international organisations or European institutions who are registered with CommIO can apply for the Executive MPA CommIO Scholarship.

  • Candidates who wish to apply for the Executive MPA European Scholarship must currently work for an EU institutions, or on European or EU-related issues.

  • The Executive MPA Central and Eastern European Scholarship is directed at professionals from public administrations and institutions in Eastern and Central European countries.

  • Especially qualified candidates may apply for a Hertie School Scholarship.

The funds will be granted with a view to the quality of the application, the applicant's contribution to the diversity of the student body as well as his/her financial need.

In view of the limited number of scholarships, candidates should seek alternative sources (external scholarships or loans) early. Tax advisors should also be consulted for more information about tax-deduction of professional training expenses.


The Executive MPA is a fully accredited programme (ACQUIN). The Hertie School of Governance is an accredited and state-recognised institution of higher education in Germany.

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