International Public Affairs

Administrative Unit:La Follette School of Public Affairs
College/School: College of Letters and Science
Admitting Plans:M.I.P.A.
Degrees Offered:M.I.P.A.

Faculty: Heinrich (director) (Institute for Research on Poverty), Moynihan (associate director) (Public Affairs); Cancian (Social Work, Institute for Research on Poverty), Chinn (Economics), Copelovitch (Political Science), DeLeire (Population Health Sciences), Engel (Economics), Herd (Sociology), Kamata (Economics) Manion (Political Science), Nemet (Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies), Reschovsky (Public Affairs), Wallace (Economics), Weimer (Political Science), Witte (Political Science), Wolfe (Population Health Sciences, Economics), Yackee (Political Science), Zeitlin (History, Sociology)


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Through rigorous professional training across several disciplines, the master of international public affairs (MIPA) degree program prepares students from the United States and around the world to engage in governance in ways that meet the challenges of globalization. Graduates work in government at home and abroad, in businesses involved in the global economy, in non-governmental agencies with an international focus, in consulting firms analyzing implications of international policies, and in many other areas. Students can focus on environmental policy, trade and finance, development, on a specific region or a combination. Some students choose to pursue a dual degree with the Law School or a double degree with the Department of Urban and Regional Planning.

Dual Degree in Law and International Public Affairs (J.D./M.I.P.A.)

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Increasingly, careers in the federal, state and local governments as well as nonprofit organizations and private sector businesses require an understanding of international governance, policy analysis, and trade and finance, as well as law. Students have the option to pursue the dual degree in law and international public affairs (J.D. and master of international public affairs) because of their interest in employment in government agencies, government relations law practice, or other policy-oriented firms and world governing organizations.

A total of 75 credits at the Law School and 36 credits at the La Follette School of Public Affairs are required for the dual degree program. For most students the dual degree program will add about a year of study to the three years it takes to complete law school, but will save approximately one year of study compared to doing the two programs separately.

Double Degree in Public Affairs and Urban and Regional Planning (M.I.P.A. and M.S. in Urban and Regional Planning)

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A double degree in planning and public affairs is available from the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and La Follette School of Public Affairs. The three-year, 66-credit program culminates in an M.S. degree in urban and regional planning and a master of international public affairs degree. Admission must be secured from both departments, though application for admission need not be simultaneous.


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Successful applicants for the MIPA program should have transcripts showing strong undergraduate performance, strong GRE scores, a course in international relations or comparative politics, a course in statistics or calculus, a course in macroeconomics, and a course in microeconomics. Students with strong quantitative skills can request at the time of admission to waive the microeconomic course prerequisite by pointing to evidence of strong quantitative ability.

Applicants from non-English-speaking countries must have strong Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or IELTS scores. Applicants with scores of above 580 on the paper based TOEFL and an equivalent score on other tests will be considered. Applicants from English-speaking countries must have taken four semesters of an international language or demonstrate competence in a language other than English.

Financial Assistance

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La Follette School fellowships and scholarships are open on a competitive basis to all public affairs graduate school applicants. Applicants should indicate their interest in fellowship support by indicating so on the online application. Priority consideration is given to applications received by January 1.

For more information: Admissions, Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs, 1225 Observatory Drive, Madison, WI 53706; 608-262-9163;;;