Masters of Public Affairs

The Master's Program in Public Affairs and Practical Politics can be completed in four semesters, including the Public Affairs Internship. Students will be equipped for a future in one or more of the following areas:

  • Professional work in campaign strategy and management, governmental relations and advocacy, grassroots and community organizing, strategic communications, journalism and teaching.
  • Further graduate studies in Public Affairs in a Ph.D. program or a J.D. program at a law school.

 Program of Study

The program of study includes 36 credits and the completion of a Public Affairs Internship:

Core Courses

First Year

MOPA 601: Applied American Politics Proseminar

MOPA 602: Writing for Public affairs Professional

MOPA 603: Quantitative Methods in Public Affairs

MOPA 604: Public Affairs and Applied Democratic Theory


MOPA 641: Leadership for the Common Good

MOPA 642: Masters Capstone Project


MOPA 611: Campaign Organization and Management

MOPA 612: Non-Profits and Public Policy

MOPA 613: Identity Politics and Activism for Social Change

MOPA 614: Strategic Communications

MOPA 621: Public Opinion and Political Behavior

MOPA 622: Media and Politics

MOPA 623: Urban Politics: San Francisco

MOPA 624: Lobbying and Governmental Relations

MOPA 625: Grassroots Advocacy and Mobilization

MOPA 626: Issue Advocacy

MOPA 627: Urban Public Policy

MOPA 628: Theory and Practice of Campaigns

MOPA 699: Directed Study

Public Affairs Internship
This intensive internship is required for completion of the degree.  Students are expected to successfully complete 400 hours working with a public affairs organization including political campaigns, advocacy organizations, governmental agencies, community or neighborhood associations, or other similar entity.  This internship will be arranged, facilitated and directed by faculty along with an on-site supervisor..

Learning Outcomes

Students successfully completing the Masters in Public Affairs will:

  1. Demonstrate advanced skills in writing, research, statistics, analysis, and oral presentation suitable for political professionals
  2. Comprehend theoretical models and concepts of democratic participation and accountability and demonstrate the capacity to apply these theories in real-world settings
  3. Propose, design, and implement a weighty research project bridging theory and praxis
  4. Apply knowledge gained in the classroom to various political settings in the community
  5. Understand the nature of political power, mechanisms for aggregating interests, and realizing the common good
  6. Interact with well-placed political professionals from fields including campaigns, advocacy, community organizing, strategic communications, public policy, and public service
  7. Experience the fast-paced world of politics through an intensive internship
  8. Develop expertise in campaigns, political media, political organizing, advocacy, and/or urban public policy
  9. Build relationships and contacts with colleagues and political professionals in the region.