As a public service professional, making money may not be your main purpose, but understanding how to raise it, manage it, save it, use it, and track it is crucial. Money fuels programs, compensates staff, anchors accountability measures, and—sometimes—incentivizes desired behaviors. Government agencies, nonprofits, social purpose organizations: they may all be driven by the greater good, but it’s a strong business sense that will be one of your most powerful tools in delivering positive change.
MPA programs have always attracted people with passion, but have not traditionally provided them with the rigorous financial knowledge they need to succeed in the long-run. That’s why finance is one of the pillars of NYU Wagner’s graduate degrees. Where most other schools stop after teaching government revenue and the politics of budgeting, we keep going. We offer coursework in a full spectrum of public service scenarios—from government agencies to traditional nonprofits to for-profit social enterprises. Students can specialize in Finance or in Social Impact, Innovation, and Investing, and then get hands-on experience analyzing financial issues for real clients through our Capstone program.
Our graduates leave with a suite of tools to not only help them manage a public service organization’s finances, but to also help them demonstrate how their organization’s financial choices have efficiently supported positive outcomes in the lives of the people they are serving. Perhaps that’s why our alumni are presenting papers to the Federal Reserve, or implementing the first social impact bond in the nation. They’re working in government budget offices, managing nonprofit finances, and consulting with large for-profit companies—using their sound financial management skills to make a positive impact in their field.