Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

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, trade, economic development and nonprofit management.

For admissions requirements, frequently asked questions, and information about tuition and financial assistance, see the Admissions page.

Accelerated Program

A qualified University of Wisconsin senior can begin taking core courses toward an MPA or an MIPA during their last undergraduate term and finish their degree with one year and a summer as a full time graduate student. Some accelerated students finish in one year and a half depending on their undergraduate course work. Accelerated students must apply by January 1 before their final year of study.

Accelerated Application

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.

Energy Analysis and Policy

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.

Urban Planning and Public Affairs

A double degree in planning and public affairs is available from the Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture and La Follette School of Public Affairs. The three-year, 72-credit program culminates in a 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.

Law and Public Policy

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.

Neuroscience and Public Policy

A combined 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.

Public Health and Public Policy

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 61 credits and generally takes two and a half years to complete.

Business and Public Policy

The Wisconsin School of Business offers three certificate programs that can be completed in conjunction with any graduate program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

High-Impact Teaching

Learn more about the La Follette School's dedication to high-impact teaching practices.