EMPA Info Sessions and Quick Facts

EMPA Cohort "Uplift"

Information Sessions

Due to Covid19 our information sessions are being rescheduled to a virtual format. Please contact Interim EMPA Program Manager, Liza Dadoly, at edadoly@pdx.edu for a link and passcode to join our next session!

EMPA Quick Facts

Major differences between the MPA and EMPA programs

  • Program Credit Hours: The EMPA program is a 45 credit program instead of 60 credits as in the MPA program. 
  • Admission: EMPA requires 10+ years of work experience and is 45 credits (no specializations). The MPA program has no significant work experience requirement and is 60 credits (allowing for 15 credit specializations.) 
  • Class Time: MPA courses are held during the week while EMPA courses are held only on Saturdays.
  • Cohort Model: Unlike students in the MPA program, EMPA students are in a cohort and will move through the core program requirements together. 
  • Support: The EMPA program offers a high level of faculty and staff support.

Typical Saturday Course Agenda

Classes begin at 9:00am. A light breakfast buffet is provided with coffee and tea which is refreshed throughout the day. Typically, classes have lectures, breakout sessions, and several breaks. An hour-long lunch break is given, and students are free to find lunch on their own.  Classes end by 5:00pm.

Working with Faculty Advisors

Students are assigned their Faculty Advisor mid-way through the first year of the program. Assignments will be based on research interests. Faculty Advisors will help students navigate their way through the EMPA program and assist in the development of their capstone project.

Applying Transfer Credits to My EMPA Degree

Per PSU policy, you may apply up to 15 credits (with a B- or higher) completed pre-admission to your degree in the EMPA program; however, we encourage students to take as many courses as possible with their cohort. We prefer that students transfer no more than 9 credits into the program. Your faculty advisor and the director of the EMPA program must approve your transfer courses.

Course Registration

Each term, students will be enrolled in their required courses by the EMPA Program Coordinator.

Online EMPA Courses

Online courses aren't currently being offered. Students must attend the Saturday classes in person. There is, however, a substantial online component through a system we call D2L (or Desire to Learn). Class assignments, resources, and materials are posted, and many class discussions and group work takes place through this online system.

Definition of "significant work experience"

To qualify for the Executive MPA Program, students must meet the threshold requirement of 10 years of significant work experience in a combination of the public, private, or nonprofit sectors. This requirement is intended to identify those individuals who have assumed increasingly important leadership roles over the course of their career and are poised to assume strategic leadership responsibility in public service. These experiences can come from professional experience as well as avocational work in civic associations, schools, religious, and volunteer work.

International Field Experience Requirement

The world is becoming smaller and more globalized. What happens in Asia now impacts Oregon and SW Washington local governments through governmental relations, business connections, people-to-people exchanges and increasing cultural diversity in our work places. Local government officials in Oregon need to become more cross-culturally intelligent to lead and manage our Oregon workforce. The international experience facilitates the nurturing of "cross-cultural understanding" in government organizations in Oregon and SW Washington.