Components & Concentrations

Discover an area of study that’s truly your own—and get the best of both worlds

As an MPA-MSES dual-degree student, you’ll complete a 60-credit hour curriculum that includes the following components: core courses and competencies; tool skills; an experiential requirement; and a capstone project. These components are supplemented by an array of concentration options across both the MPA and MSES degree programs.

These MPA-MSES core competencies ensure both the rigor and breadth that employers seek:


  • V 506 Statistical Analysis for Effective Decision Making*
  • V 517 Public Management Economics
  • V 540 Law and Public Affairs
  • F 560 Public Finance and Budgeting


  • E 526 Applied Math for Environmental Science
  • E 538 Statistics for Environmental Science*
  • E 527 Applied Ecology
  • E 552 Environmental Engineering
  • E 536 Environmental Chemistry
  • E 543 Environmental Management

*Statistics competency may be fulfilled through either course.

You’ll be encouraged to acquire competency in analytical methods by focusing on tool skills appropriate to your concentration. These courses should be selected in consultation with a concentration advisor.

You will obtain professionally relevant experience through one of these options:

  • An approved internship, typically during the summer
  • Research project (available on a limited basis)
  • Thesis project
  • Credit for prior professional experience or volunteer service, such as the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, or Teach for America

During your capstone, you’ll work in student groups on a semester-long, detailed analysis of a complex problem—often for a real-world client. You’ll consult with a faculty advisor on an appropriate capstone selection.