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For proven leaders looking to do more

Make a greater impact

Does a deep commitment to public service define your professional life? Are you ready to tackle bolder challenges to make a greater impact? If so, join our Master of Public Administration Senior Leadership (MPA-SL) program and move your career to the next level. Our cohort-based model offers a flexible, asynchronous learning option and low-residency design to fit your busy schedule.

Connect with professional peers

The MPA-SL is an executive program for accomplished public service and non-profit leadership professionals with at least five years of experience.

  • Connect with a network of senior practitioners from all over New England who, like you, are working to implement innovative and relevant public policy
  • Learn and network with expert faculty who practice in their field
  • Accelerate your career advancement with the acquisition of new skills to maximize your leadership potential

Low Residency = In-person workshops + online courses

Residency sessions held throughout New England are an integral part of the program, allowing you to engage in person with fellow cohort members, faculty, and staff. After each course’s residency introduction, you complete classes and coursework online, with no on-campus participation required.

Earn a lifetime credential that sets you apart

  • Receive your degree from a program ranked among the top 50 Master’s in Public Administration Programs for 2020 by Intelligent
  • Engage in action-oriented coursework that will hone your skills at managing operational issues, crafting policy positions, communicating your vision, navigating organizational challenges, and mediating politically sensitive situations
  • Become part of a collaborative professional network of active leaders working to implement innovative and relevant public policy
  • Discover and share best practices and innovative solutions in online discussions with experienced faculty and a driven cohort of fellow public services leaders
  • Expand your professional network with connections that will serve you long after you have graduated
  • Pursue your master’s degree on your terms – online and on-site during select weekend sessions
Che Anderson

For anyone who is a government or nonprofit employee, you understand how balancing work plus school could be difficult. But this program did a great job of allowing me to balance those things.

Che Anderson, Clark MPA ’21

Assistant Vice Chancellor for City & Community Relations

University of Massachusetts Medical School

Effy Larkin

Being able to go to school with colleagues who are from different types of organizations was really beneficial to me. It helped me take my position to the next level and gave me a more well-rounded view of everything I’m working on.

Effy Larkin, Clark MPA ’21

Hiring Manager

City of Worcester

Nathan Boudreau, MPA for Senior Leadership ’22

My advice? Don’t wait. The relationships you build through the program are huge.

Nathan Boudreau, MPA for Senior Leadership ’22

Hubbardston Town Administrator

Gardner City Councilor

Dan Donahue, MPA for Senior Leadership ’23

I earned my master’s on my schedule.

Dan Donahue, MPA for Senior Leadership ’23

Massachusetts State Representative

Worcester’s District 16

Laura Paladino, MPA for Senior Leadership ’21

The idea of going back to school again was overwhelming, but the professors made sure we felt comfortable.

Laura Paladino, MPA for Senior Leadership ’21

Chief of Staff, Worcester City Manager

City of Worcester

Sue Sleigh, LPN, MPA for Senior Leadership ’22

As a senior leadership professional working during the pandemic, the flexibility of this program was key.

Sue Sleigh, LPN, MPA for Senior Leadership ’22

Chief Operating Officer

Family Health Center of Worcester, Inc.

Drew Russo

The connections I’ve made with colleagues from different political philosophies than mine have helped me become a better public servant.

Drew Russo MPA for Senior Leadership ’23

Personnel Director

City of Lynn

Che Anderson
Effy Larkin
Nathan Boudreau, MPA for Senior Leadership ’22
Dan Donahue, MPA for Senior Leadership ’23
Laura Paladino, MPA for Senior Leadership ’21
Sue Sleigh, LPN, MPA for Senior Leadership ’22
Drew Russo

Tuition Scholarships

Generous scholarships are available for experience public service and non-profit professionals

View Details

Program Outcomes

The job market for public administrators and civil servants in the United States is expanding, creating many opportunities for a new generation of skilled leaders. Through Clark’s MPA-SL program, you learn strategies to address the complex issues in public administration and successfully implement solutions at your current job and your future career plans. Public policy leadership is one of the largest job growth areas in the non-profit sector.  The MPA-SL will position you academically and professionally to tap into this dynamic and growing field.


  • Municipal Department Leadership Positions
  • City or Town Managers
  • Police/Fire Chiefs
  • State Government Departmental Leadership Positions
  • Planning Director
  • Finance Director
  • Public Works Director
  • Economic Development Director
  • Parks and Recreation Director
  • Disaster Response Coordinator
  • Nonprofit Program Director
  • Executive Director, Human Services
Professor Joe O'Brien teaching class

The Right Master’s Degree for the Right Time

Our field of public administration is constantly changing, presenting new challenges as well as opportunities to serve our communities.  Clark’s MPA Senior Leadership program will provide emerging and seasoned public leaders with new tools and skills to meet these challenges and advance in their careers.

Our classes are led by accomplished academic leaders and former public managers who will work collaboratively with you to solve real world problems. It is an exceptional opportunity for career development that is flexible and rewarding.

The Essentials

Program Overview

Clark’s Master of Public Administration Senior Leadership (MPA-SL) equips public sector professionals with expertise in policy and program formulation, implementation, and evaluation, decision-making and problem-solving techniques, human resources, and conflict resolution skills.

The MPA-SL is a cohort-based program that starts in August and takes two years to complete. Students will complete the six low-residency courses (online and in-person) together in a sequential order. Two Capstone units are completed by participants with guidance from their program adviser. Coursework will be completed online, with the exception of onsite two-day sessions held throughout New England. Students are required to attend all onsite sessions.

Program FAQ’s

We recognize the valuable experience and perspectives that working professionals bring to the classroom. The MPA-SL is a cohort-based program consisting of a select group of public sector professionals who learn and interact as a group throughout their course of study. Accepted students will have three to five years of supervisory/managerial experience in the public sector.

Prior learning credit will be applied for two courses upon completion and approval of Assessment of Prior Learning (APL) portfolio. (APL portfolios in Leadership and Change Management are completed prior to formal acceptance. Guidance will be provided for completing the portfolio).

  • Policy and program formulation, implementation, and evaluation
  • Human resources, diversity, and labor relations
  • Decision-making skills and problem-solving techniques
  • Conflict management and conflict resolution skills


  • Policy Analysis
  • Non-Profit Management
  • Labor Relations
  • Ethics and Governance
  • Organizational Behavior and Leadership
  • Public Budgeting

Residency workshops (subject to change)

  • Opioid Response Best Practices – Worcester, MA
  • Disaster Response – Portland, ME
  • Union Management Relations – Concord, NH
  • Cannabis: New Industry, New Challenges – New Haven, CT
  • Change, Challenges, and Complexities – Providence, RI
  • Public Budgeting – Burlington, VT

Program tuition is $36,360, based on 8 courses (with 2-course Prior Leaning Credit).

Please see more tuition and scholarship information here.


10 course units

  • 2 Assessment of Prior Learning credits (approved courses prior to formal acceptance – Project Management and Change Management; apply during the admissions application)
  • 6 courses (online and in-person residency workshops)
  • Capstone project (2 units)

Course Catalog

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