Skip to main content

Executive Master of Public Management

Downtown DC

Enhance your skills as a policy entrepreneur and leader to successfully tackle evolving challenges in governance.

The Executive Master of Public Management (EMPM) is an accelerated degree designed for professionals with at least five years of policy or management related experience. Through your coursework, you'll gain a deeper understanding of the frameworks and tools that support effective decision-making, and explore the organizational and management issues that leaders face. Stepping well beyond traditional pre-career public policy programs, the Executive Master of Public Management empowers those already leading and managing in their organizations to be effective, responsible and impactful leaders of change.

Get Started

Program Highlights

  • Receive your masters degree in 15 months through an accelerated program, while continuing to contribute and grow within your organization with classes held on Friday afternoons and on Saturdays twice per month. This program is 100% online to minimize travel and maximize faculty/student connection time.
  • Establish professional connections within a diverse and motivated group of peers, as you move through the program as a cohort.
  • Learn from faculty who are both scholars and practitioners, bringing their real-world experiences and connections from federal, state and municipal government into the classroom.
  • We strongly encourage - but do not require - students to participate in all online and in-person Executive Master of Public Management supplemental events such as seminars, webinars and site visits.
  • Program fellowships to assist with funding are available. The public management experience of our participants greatly enriches the learning in the classroom.


The EMPM curriculum is a structured, 30-credit sequence of courses that focuses on decision making, management and leadership skills. Students move through the curriculum as a cohort, with classes held on Friday afternoons and on Saturdays twice per month to accommodate professional schedules. The specific curriculum is designed and courses scheduled per cohort, but includes such courses as:

  • Leading and Motivating People - explores the theories, models and research findings concerned with human motivation and behavior most relevant to the task of leading people to achieve positive and timely results. It includes an introduction to leadership theory, cognitive development and human motivation theories. The course then applies this knowledge to the development of self-mastery and interpersonal skills, the enhancement of employee morale, and the building of healthy and effective teams.
  • Financial Information for Managers - presents the principal concepts in public financial management - focusing on the national, state and local levels of government. The course examines how budgeting is a process whereby various competing interests and programs are reconciled through a series of analytic discussions, detailed program analyses, as well as political compromise.
  • Managing Public Organizations - begins with a discussion on the nature of public administration and moves to organization theory and the effect of structure on organizational behavior. The course is designed to go beyond a conceptual framework of public management by helping students develop the insights and skills necessary to manage daily and to lead government organizations. Case studies are examined to provide real life context for the course content.
  • Moral and Ethical Dimensions of Public Management and Leadership - explores the moral issues involved in public policy and management questions. These issues include: the limits and usefulness of decision-making tools; problems of choosing and using criteria to judge a program’s success; ethical issues involving income distribution; and possible obligations beyond one’s political community. Case studies emphasize the dilemmas that managers face in making and communicating decisions.
  • Managing Across Sectors: Public, Private and Nonprofit - reviews the concept of cross-sector governance and provides both theoretical understanding and practical grounding. The course focuses on the roles and relationships of institutions in each of these sectors in pursuing public purposes such as emergency management, economic development, environmental protection, transportation, education, and human investment.
  • Policy Analysis for Managers - develops skills in the use of data and data presentation that are valuable in the everyday work of public managers. The course emphasizes the underlying themes and trends behind information and how to persuasively present arguments using data.
  •  Performance Management -Provides frameworks, tools, and skills to improve program results in an environment where policy challenges span organizational boundaries and third parties implement programs. Several results-oriented frameworks and case illustrations will be examined in-depth, including the Government Performance and Results Act, federal, state, and local Performance-Stat systems and the use of performance dashboards, executive branch performance management initiatives, and international and US initiatives to foster civic engagement through open government and web-based performance reporting.
  • Leadership in Groups and Organizations - emphasizes how an understanding of group and organizational life is a critical leadership competency. Through interactive dialogue, this course offers a strategic understanding of group relations associated with the exercise of leadership and authority in group, inter-group, networked and organizational settings.
  • Tactics and Principles of Negotiations - introduces the concepts of interest based negotiations and equips students to conduct negotiations successfully. Domestic and foreign policy examples are used to demonstrate how to analyze the negotiating techniques of others. The course blends skill-building exercises, theory discussions and dialogue.
  • 21st Century Policy Challenges - provides an overview of the policy development process in the context of a number of key areas: defense policy, social policy, America’s role in the world and environmental policy. The course focuses on how managers must lead within a larger policy context and how knowledge of broader agency issues impacts management.

Questions? Contact Us

Tentative Course Sequence Beginning Summer 2024

  • Leadership in Groups and Organizations
  • Managing Differences: Tactics and principles of Negotiations
  • 21st Century Policy Challenges
  • Performance Management


  • Public Management and Leadership
  • Leadership Principles and Practices
  • Financial Information for Managers - Public Sector Finance
  • Policy Analysis: Microeconomics
  • Moral and Ethical Dimensions of Public Management and Leadership
  • Managing Across Sectors
Learn About our EMPM Online Program

Dates and Deadlines

January 2024 - May 2025

Friday Courses: 1:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Saturday Courses: 8:00 AM - 12:30 PM and 1:30PM - 6:00 PM 
January 2024 February March

January 5

January 6

January 19

January 20

February 2

February 3

February 16

February 17

March 1

March 2

March 15

March 16


April May June

April 5

April 6

April 19

April 20


May 3

May 4

June 1

June 15

June 22

July August September

July 13

July 27

August 23

August 24

September 6

September 7

September 27

September 28

                     October                      November                     December

October 11

October 12

October 25

October 26

November 8

November 9

November 22

November 23

December 6

December 7

December 13

December 14

                  January 2025                     February                        March

January 10

January 11


February 7

February 8

February 21

February 22

March 7

March 8

March 21

March 22

                       April                          May                          

April 4

April 5

April 25

April 26

May 9

May 10





This is the default tuition plan if you follow the advertised curriculum schedule. If you participate in coursework at a different pace, you will be billed $4,996 per course.

  • January 26, 2024 - $14,988
  • June 7, 2024 - $4,996
  • August 30, 2024 - $14,988
  • January 17, 2025 - $14,988

The entire program fee for the class starting in Spring of 2024 is $49,960

The School of Public Policy is eager to assist you with tuition and fees and financial aid questions. It is the responsibility of the participant, however, to ensure that employer-sponsored payment and reimbursement plans, financial aid forms, and fellowship requests have been activated and approved by the due dates listed above.

Visit the Office of Financial Aid for detailed financial aid information or call for an appointment at 301.314.9000.

Our Faculty

Tuition & Fees

We are committed to making higher education accessible and affordable. Learn more.

Aid & Scholarships

See the financial aid and scholarships that are available to help fund your education.

Connect with Us

Visit us on campus, on the road or online and find out more about the School.