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Public Leadership

College of Professional Studies

Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.)
Location(s): Alexandria Graduate Education Center, Online Learning

Program Overview

In today’s complex governing environment there are no longer distinct separations between “public administration” and “business management.” Effective public leaders must be well-versed in both. The GWMPS in Public Leadership with a Specialization in Multi-Sector Management is the perfect solution. By exploring theories, skills, and practices from a variety of disciplines, participants in this program will be able to create effective solutions for today’s organizational challenges, and build a knowledge base for tomorrow’s opportunities.

The program is structured in the three clusters of courses: Multi-Sector Leadership, Results-Based Management, and Organizational Performance Improvement. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will:

  • Know and understand the most recent theories and best practices in leading and managing public organizations, including the utilization of private and non-private profit sector capabilities on behalf of effective government.
  • Demonstrate the application of these theories and best practices in their own organization or sector.
  • Analyze and improve organizational processes to advance the mission and performance of their organizations.


Admission Requirements

Admission deadlines*:

Summer session – March 1

Standardized test scores:

GRE scores are required for applicants with less than five years of relevant work experience.

Recommendations required:

Three (3) recommendations (preferably at least one professional and one academic recommendation)

Prior academic records:

Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript. Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended should be uploaded to your online application. Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission.

Transcripts from institutions outside the United States must be accompanied by an official transcript evaluation from an accredited independent evaluating agency. Please be sure you request a detailed, course-by-course evaluation that includes all course titles, credit hours, grade-point average (GPA), United States degree equivalency, and date of degree conferral. For a list of acceptable foreign credential evaluation services, please click here.

Statement of purpose:

In an essay of 250-500 words, state your purpose in undertaking graduate study in this field and describe how you believe this degree will enhance your professional/career goals. Also, discuss your related qualifications, such as collegiate, professional, and community activities, and any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application form. You may also include a potential area of focus for the organizational performance improvement cluster of courses.

Additional requirements:

A resumé and a writing sample are required. Your writing sample should be an example of your best written work. It should reflect your ability to evaluate an issue critically, as well as your ability to communicate that issue effectively in writing, including the correct citation of the sources you have used to develop your argument. The sample should reflect clear, logical consideration of your subject matter with some conclusion or recommendation reflecting your viewpoint.

Previously completed 5-20 page research papers, white papers, articles, policy briefs, etc. are acceptable for submission. If you prefer, you may write a 1000 to 1200-word essay that addresses one of the following topics in lieu of submitting a previously written sample:

  1. What are the biggest problems facing the United States’ kindergarten - 12th grade educational system? What factors are driving those problems and what should we be doing at the national/state/local level to address them? What are the leadership implications for the recommended actions?
  2. Many government organizations are facing a significant threat from the potential mass exodus of baby boomers as they reach retirement age. Assuming this a legitimate concern, what are the implications for organizational effectiveness? What should organizational leaders be doing to address this concern?
  3. Detroit, Michigan is the latest example of a municipal government in the throes of economic crisis. Given the multiple and varied interests of the stakeholders involved (current citizens, government leaders, businesses, current and retired employees, employee unions, etc.), what would you recommend as an approach to dealing with this situation?

International applicants only:

Please review International Applicant Information carefully for details on required documents and English language requirements.   PLEASE NOTE that the minimum English language test scores required by this program are:

  • Academic IETLS: an overall band score of 7.0 with no individual band score below 6.0; or
  • TOEFL: 600 on paper-based, or 100 on Internet-based

* Please note that if a deadline falls on a weekend (Saturday or Sunday), or a GW holiday, applications will be accepted the next business day.

Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:
College of Professional Studies – Office of Admission
The George Washington University
1925 Ballenger Avenue, Suite 250
Alexandria, VA 22314

Contact for questions:
CPS Office of Admissions ~ 703.299.6782 (phone) ~ 703.299.4144 (fax)
8:30 am – 5:00 pm EST, Monday through Friday