In 2017, the Department of Public Administration and Policy established a dual Master of Public Administration program for graduate students at the Seoul National University Graduate School of Public Administration (SNU GSPA) and the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs (UGA SPIA). This partnership allows for an integrated program of study that lets students, mostly mid to senior level South Korean government officials, earn degrees from both programs/institutions in two years: one year completed at SNU GSPA and another year completed at UGA SPIA.

The proposal for the dual degree program (SNU 1+1) was initiated by SNU GSPA in response to demand by South Korean students interested in earning degrees in South Korea and the United States.  Although MPA programs at other U.S. universities offer a similar dual degree program with SNU, UGA is the first to offer such a program in the state of Georgia.

“Not only does this program prepare students to serve in government in a globalized world, but it also helps increase the international visibility of the University of Georgia and SPIA by promoting the exchange of information, personnel, students and faculty in the fields of public administration and public policy,” said Bradley E. Wright, head of department of public administration and policy at UGA. “I am excited for the opportunity to further our partnerships within South Korea.”

SNU 1+1 offers a select group of public administration and public policy students an opportunity to develop skills and expertise from a U.S. and Korean perspective. The dual-degree program helps provide students with a stronger understanding of increasingly global public policy and management issues by exposing them to international research, practices and culture. Graduates of this program will be uniquely qualified to work in international government and nongovernmental labor market sectors.

In addition to SNU 1+1, SPIA participates in a partnership with the Carl Vinson Institute of Government and the HR Development Bureau, Ministry of Personnel Management in the Republic of Korea Government. The Vinson Institute’s close relationship with the Department of Public Administration and Policy (DPAP) provided an opportunity to create a new pipeline of MPA students from the Masters of Public Management (MPM) in South Korea.  The Vinson Institute’s Korea Program, involving visiting training delegations and long term visiting researchers from both the national, municipal and provincial governments, showcased the Vinson Institute to the MPM which approached the Vinson Institute to help establish more formal degree opportunities for government officials in South Korea at UGA.  The International Center of the Vinson Institute facilitated discussions between DPAP and MPM to initiate a two year MPA program for Korean officials to take 3 semesters of MPA courses and a fourth semester doing directed readings and research projects with the Vinson Institute. Those students who successfully complete the standard degree requirements will be awarded a Master in Public Administration degree from UGA.

“The International Center of the Vinson Institute was excited to be able to leverage our relationships in South Korea with our 300 plus alumni of South Korean government officials who have affiliated with the Vinson Institute to foster a new pipeline of MPA students into DPAP in partnership with the MPM,”  says Rusty Brooks, Director of the Vinson Institute International Center.  “We see this as a win-win-win between MPM, SPIA and the Vinson Institute and another way for the IC to help bring value to our partners in South Korea and to UGA.”

Photo Credit: April Sorrow (MPA ’14)