We’ve all heard the expression “money makes the world go round.” Money fuels our economies, drives innovation, and—sometimes—incentivizes desired behaviors. As a public service professional, understanding finance from both a management and policy lens is critical. You’ll need to know how to invest, budget, and forecast, while also grasping how financial policies can have major implications on different populations around the world.
MPA programs have always attracted people with passion, but have not traditionally provided them with the rigorous financial management and policy knowledge they need to succeed in the long-run. That’s why finance is one of our educational pillars. Where most other schools stop after teaching government revenue and the politics of budgeting, we keep going. We dive into economics, accounting, capital financing, investment management, debt management, and financial statement analysis. And our students learn how to apply these skills in any context—from government agencies to traditional nonprofits to for-profit social enterprises. Students can also specialize in Financial Management and Public Finance; Health Finance; or in Social Impact, Innovation, and Investing, and then get hands-on experience analyzing financial issues and policies for real clients through our Capstone program. And this isn’t just happening in the classroom: our Financial Access Initiative dives deep into exploring how financial services can better meet the needs of individuals, from New York City to Nicaragua to India.
Our graduates leave with a suite of tools that not only prepares them to manage a public service organization’s finances, but also prepares them to analyze and shape financial policies that will best serve those who need help the most. Perhaps that’s why our alumni are presenting papers to the Federal Reserve and collaborating with African communities on transformative economic and investment strategies. They’re managing nonprofit finances, working in government budget offices, and consulting with large for-profit companies—using their sound finance skills to make a positive impact.