International, MPA

The University of Pennsylvania’s International Master of Public Administration (I-MPA) is an innovative graduate degree for high-achieving students who are fluent in English and proficient in Mandarin. Our one-year program is anchored in the social and behavioral sciences and provides a skills-based, career-enhancing curriculum that focuses on comparative public administration, global leadership and public-private problem-solving. Individually tailored educational experiences further enhance your ability to confront today’s global challenges and work collaboratively across borders and sectors—in government, public service, NGOs, commerce and more. The program provides case-based learning addressing international, national and local level governance and leadership, problems and solutions. 


The International Master of Public Administration is an interdisciplinary and experiential graduate program with a focus on social and behavioral sciences. Students take foundational and developmental courses in a cohort—which gives you the opportunity to create a strong bond with your peers and work closely with professors in smaller class settings. In order to complete the degree, you must complete 10 course units (CU)1.

Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterCourse Units
IMPA 6010 Critical Issues in Governance—Strategic Management 1.0
IMPA 6020 Economic Reasoning for Public Decision-Making 1.0
IMPA 6030 Quantitative Reasoning for Real-Time Problem-Solving 1.0
IMPA 6040 Collaboration Across Sectors: Boundary Spanning Leadership 1.0
IMPA 6050 Critical Issues in Leadership Theory and Practice 1.0
 Course Units5.00
Second Semester
IMPA 6060 Critical Issues in Global Leadership Ethics 1.0
IMPA 6070 Forecasting and Program Evaluation 1.0
IMPA 6080 Global Leadership and Global Health in Developing Countries—Capstone Course 1.0
IMPA 6090 Global Leadership and Problem-Solving - Eldercare in China, Class-Wide Capstone 1.0
IMPA 6100 Global Leadership and Biographical Analysis - Biographical Analysis, Individual Capstone 1.0
 Course Units5.00
 Total Course Units10.00

Additional learning opportunities and requirements

Academic advisor and I-MPA Faculty-Senior Staff Committee meetings (required)

Meetings each semester with an advisor are conducted in relation to your capstone project. The meetings with the I-MPA Faculty-Senior Staff Committee are for the purpose of having open-ended check-ins, advancing any special help or necessary trouble-shooting and keeping you connected to the widest range of I-MPA resources.

Participation in I-MPA faculty-student social (required)

The I-MPA faculty consider it essential that the social life of the class be acknowledged, enlivened and supported through such gatherings at the opening and closing of each semester.

Participation in Issues in US Politics and Policy Guest Speaker Series (required)

This non-curricular but critical part of the program affords you the opportunity to meet present and former US government, business and nonprofit leaders during evening sessions. Our guests are especially knowledgeable about US politics and policy and noted as both domestic and international problem-solvers.

Participation in Fox Leadership International’s China-US Partnerships for Educational Advancement and Cultural Exchange Student Committee (optional)

Fox Leadership International sponsors a 30-member Penn student group that represents the University’s 2,100 Chinese national students. Known as the China-US Partnerships for Educational and Cultural Exchange-Student and Alumni Society (CUP-SAS), it is led by an alumni executive committee consisting mainly of Chinese national graduates of Penn, with the Penn-Fox Assistant Director Cheng Yao among its permanent members. The CUP-SAS has hosted several major social events for Chinese National Day, the Chinese New Year and the recent Chinese Lantern Festival that came to Philadelphia’s Franklin Square. 



The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2023 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.