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Robert M. La Follette
School of Public Affairs
1225 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706

Telephone:  608.262.3581
Fax: 608.265.3233

Last updated:
April 4, 2014


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Degree Programs: Master of International Public Affairs

Globalization presents challenges that demand a new perspective on governance. An increasingly global economy is shaping a new business-government relationship, blunting the regulatory capacity of governments and introducing greater complexity to the design of public policies to promote important social goals. At the same time, critical policy problems such as environmental degradation, spread of deadly viruses, and financial market instability increasingly require strategies of global governance that coordinate across nations the actions of governments, businesses, and non-governmental agencies. In short, globalization has stretched the boundaries of public affairs, analytically and managerially. More than ever, the major and the mundane issues of governance link governments with players outside the public sector and beyond domestic borders.

Through rigorous professional training across several disciplines, the Master of International Public Affairs (MIPA) degree program prepares students from the United States and around the world to engage in governance in ways that meet the challenges of globalization. MIPA graduates work in government at home and abroad, in businesses involved in the global economy, in non-governmental agencies with an international focus, in consulting firms analyzing implications of international policies, and in many other areas.

MIPA Curriculum

The MIPA degree program, completed in two years of study, is organized around a curriculum of 42 credits made up of six core courses, a one credit career development seminar and 22 elective credits. On the foundation of required courses and MIPA policy electives, taught by the La Follette School faculty, the program provides students with great flexibility to pursue their intellectual interests and career goals by selecting from a wide range of courses offered in the many strong departments, schools, and centers across the university.


Core Courses

Six required courses are the foundation of the MIPA degree program.

MIPA students are also strongly encouraged to build proficiency beyond the core analytical requirements by completing at least one of the following: Advanced Quantitative Methods for Policy Policy, Public Program Evaluation, and Cost-Benefit Analysis.


MIPA Policy Electives

MIPA policy electives, taught by the La Follette School faculty, exemplify and develop the theme of governance to meet the challenges of globalization. Recently offered MIPA courses include:

Students can choose to build on MIPA policy electives and select from other courses offered across the university.

Policy Focus Fields

MIPA students may choose from among policy focus fields that represent substantive areas of international public affairs. Possible policy areas include:

Regional Focus Fields

Regional focus fields develop broad expertise in a geographic region by clustering together courses, including language courses, across several disciplines, typically emphasizing courses in the social sciences. In building regional focus fields, MIPA students take advantage of the university's strong area studies centers, which include:


Students are encouraged to strengthen their career preparedness and broaden their placement opportunities by taking up suitable internships in government agencies, international organizations or offices of non-governmental organizations in Madison, elsewhere in Wisconsin, in Washington, D.C., Chicago, New York City and other major centers in the United States or in other countries. Upon approval by the associate director, students may earn up to three academic credits toward their degree requirements for the internship.