Global Public Service Leaders


NYU Wagner’s Executive MPA (EMPA) for Global Public Service Leaders teaches seasoned professionals to lead organizations to address the world's most pressing challenges. The EMPA helps graduates craft careers in government, nonprofits, international organizations, and the private sector. Students are trained in rigorous methods of management and leadership to develop a comparative perspective, skills, and tools to affect positive change in a global context. They share the common vision of leaving the world a better place while working across sectors.

The program is designed for professionals who have a minimum of eight years of work experience, with progressively increasing  management and leadership responsibility, as well as a background or strong interest in international development management and policy. 


Below is an overview of the required coursework (30 total credits). For detailed information, please view the program checksheet

Core Courses (9 credits)

  • EXEC-GP 1194 Strategic Leadership for Public Service Organizations (3 credits)
  • EXEC-GP 2201 Institutions, Governance, and Public Sector Reform (3 credits)
  • EXEC-GP 3190 Leadership Confronted (3 credits)

Experiential Learning (3 credits)

Students will engage in a unique opportunity to enhance their knowledge and skills in a global context as part of the Global Public Service Leaders cohort. Students will choose between participating in either a Public Service Practicum with a client organization or a Wagner course abroad.

  • The Public Service Practicum is an executive course that provides valuable learning in a new setting and features conversations with experts in the field as well as site visits to organizations. Students examine trends, lessons learned, and opportunities for change in a practical setting.
  • Wagner courses abroad are typically offered in the January and Summer terms with focuses on health, urbanization and transportation, social impact, and food security. Students will be able to choose which course to participate in. 

Electives (18 credits)

Students choose electives from a wide array of courses at Wagner, and may also propose coursework in other divisions of NYU. Students interested in further developing their global focus may want to consider the following electives:



  • You begin with a four-day intensive course in late August prior to your first semester (Strategic Leadership). You take your second core course on alternating Saturday afternoons in your first semester (Institutions, Governance, and Public Sector Reform), and your third on a Saturday afternoon or weeknight schedule in your second term (Leadership Confronted).
  • Throughout your first year, you join a bi-weekly co-curricular series on Saturday afternoons, featuring skill-building workshops, lectures from public service leaders, and group sessions on executive coaching and academic planning.
  • Depending on the credit value of each course, EMPA students complete 10 to 17 courses for the degree. 
  • EMPA students may graduate in May, September, or January.