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Public Administration Senior Leadership students in class in discussions

Low Residency. High Impact.

For proven leaders ready to do more

The Clark MPA for Senior Leadership program is specifically designed for experienced public sector and non-profit professionals who want to advance their careers and grow their capacity to drive change.

Connect with professional peers

Students in the program are accomplished public service professionals with at least five years of experience. Network with senior practitioners from all over New England who share your professional goals and challenges.

Online / low-residency design

The 18 months, low-residency format includes eight online classes and six residency sessions focused on pressing policy challenges.

Course credit for work experience

Students receive two applied learning credits for prior work experience.

Keep your job while you earn your MPA

The program’s flexible, affordable format allows you to keep your career on track while you earn your degree quickly and expand your professional network. Learn from your fellow cohort students and expert faculty who are experienced practitioners in their field and apply what you learn to your daily challenges in real time.

Program Facts

  • Length: 18 months
  • Low Residency Format: Online study with in-person workshops
  • Two course credits for your professional experience
  • Generous Scholarships Available

Interested in learning more?

Reach out for more information about the MPA Senior Leadership program.


Mary M. Piecewicz, MBA, MSPC, PMP
Professor of Practice
Interim Director Senior Leadership

Che Anderson

This program did a great job of allowing me to balance work and school.

Che Anderson, Clark MPA ’21

Assistant Vice Chancellor for City & Community Relations,

University of Massachusetts Medical School

Effy Larkin

Going to school with colleagues from different types of organizations 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 this 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
  • Educational Administrators
  • Human Services Director
  • Advocacy Director
  • Support Services Director
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 18 months 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, low-residency program consisting of a select group of public sector professionals who learn and interact as a group throughout the program. Accepted students will have three to five years of experience in the public sector.

Prior learning credit will be applied for two courses (Foundations of Public Service and Administration and Change Management) upon completion and approval of Assessment of Prior Learning (APL) portfolio. We will provide guidance to help you with your APL portfolios.

  • 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
  • Leading Teams
  • Labor Relations
  • Crisis Management
  • Program Development Evaluation
  • Public Budgeting

Residency Workshop Examples

  • 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 $37,480, based on 8 courses (with 2-course Prior Learning Credit).

Generous scholarships available. Please see more tuition and scholarship information here.


10 course units

  • 2 Assessment of Prior Learning credits  – Foundations of Public Service and Administration and Change Management
  • 6 online courses (plus in-person residency workshops)
  • Capstone project (2 units)

Course Catalog

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