La Follette's two primary degree programs — the Master of Public Affairs (MPA) and the Master of International Public Affairs (MIPA) — attract students with a variety of backgrounds. While some students enter La Follette directly from college, others arrive with several years of experience in government or the private sector.
The small size and the diversity of the student body is an attractive feature of the La Follette School's public affairs education. The flexibility of the curriculum allows students to choose among the many courses offered by all departments at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Policy and management specialization areas include: environment, health, poverty and social welfare, education, energy, urban and regional planning, security, transportation, trade, economic development and nonprofit management.
University of Wisconsin–Madison seniors can begin taking core courses toward an MPA or an MIPA during their last undergraduate year and finish their graduate degrees with one additional year as full-time graduate students. Accelerated students must apply and be accepted into the program by March 15 before their final year of study.
Double Degree, Dual-Degree, and Certificate Programs
Students can choose to pursue one of the following dual-degree programs or add a master's degree from a different department.
A certificate in Energy Analysis and Policy is offered by the La Follette School and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. The Energy Analysis and Policy curriculum prepares students for professional work with governments, utilities, consulting firms, and other organizations concerned with energy issues.
A double degree in planning and public affairs is available from the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and La Follette School of Public Affairs. The three-year, 66-credit program culminates in an Master of Science degree in urban and regional planning and an MPA. Admission must be secured from both departments, although application for admission need not be simultaneous.
A four-year dual-degree program culminating in a J.D. degree in Law and an MPA or MIPA is available from the Law School and La Follette School of Public Affairs.
A dual-degree program culminating in a Ph.D. in neuroscience and an MPA is available from the La Follette School and the Neuroscience program. Simultaneous admission is required. An applicant should complete one online application that indicates it is for both programs and send one copy of a transcript, résumé, and personal statement to the La Follette School. The same personal statement must be used for both programs. For the neuroscience application instructions, please refer to the Neuroscience program website.
The MPA and Master of Public Health (MPH) dual-degree program prepares health policy professionals as policy analysts and public managers in the increasingly important area of health care. Dual-degree MPA/MPH students develop a firm foundation in policy analysis and public management offered by public affairs experts and a deep substantive knowledge in public health that can only be offered through a program in the School of Medicine and Public Health. The dual degree requires 55 credits and generally takes two years and a summer to complete.