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Executive Master of Public Management

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.

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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.
  • 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.


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 single cohort, with classes held on Friday afternoons and on Saturdays 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.
  • Information Policy and Technology - examines the policy challenges posed by the “Information Revolution,” focusing on the growth of the global Internet and the digital economy. The course explores the evolving public policies regarding information and information technology especially as they are used in the public sector. Emphasis is on US Federal policies although comparisons and contrasts to other nations as well as state and local government are discussed. In addition, contrasts and similarities are drawn between public and private sector strategic information management.
  • 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.

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