European Master in Public Administration (EMPA)

European Master's in Public Administration (EMPA)

This is a one-year Master Certificate program provided by the Center for Public Affairs Studies (CPAS) of the Faculty of Economics at the Corvinus University of Budapest.                                                  

Students enrolled to the MA in Public Policy and Management offered by the Faculty of Economics can complete the EMPA-Budapest program taking equivalent courses in English during the four semesters of the MA program, since equivalency between EMPA and selected MA courses is given. It means that graduating students get an MA in Public Policy and Management from the Corvinus University and a Certificate jointly signed by these EMPA partners. The certificate is issued provided student writes and defends his/her thesis work also in English and studies one semester at one of the partner universities.

The EMPA program is offered by a network of twelve different universities. Besides CPAS the following institutions are involved:

  • Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium),
  • Deutsche Hochschule für Verwaltungswissenschaften, Speyer (Germany),
  • Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (France),
  • Institut d'Études Politiques Lyon (France)
  • Tallin University of Technology (Estonia),
  • University of Liverpool (the United Kingdom),
  • University of Vaasa (Finland),
  • Rijkuniversiteit Leiden (the Netherlands),
  • Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam (the Netherlands),
  • University of Geneva (Switzerland),
  • Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium)


This program is designed for students enrolling to the MSc in Public Policy and Management at Faculty of Economics or arriving from the universities of the EMPA network.

Exchange students are allowed to take courses offered within the EMPA program. Graduating students get a Certificate jointly signed by these EMPA partners.

For more information:


What is the aim of EMPA and who is the program designed for?

The public sector young practitioners who can cross cultural boundaries and manage effectively in multicultural situations in Europe. Accordingly, many public agencies have sought to employ graduates who demonstrate the managerial, cultural and linguistic skills necessary for national and international careers. The EMPA was created as a joint response to this demand.

The primary objective of the current program is to stimulate the development of European Master’s in Public Administration by internationalizing the existing programs of the participating institutions. For this purpose, the institutions have developed a common framework for scheduling and organizing a one-year study program on the basis of mutually agreed course requirements, curriculum elements, cross-national and common examination standards and well structured and closely supervised student exchanges.


The EMPA program is focused on the comparative analysis of questions of public administration, public policy and public management in different (EU and non-EU) European countries in the context of processes of internationalization, Europeanization and European integration.

The program is designed to provide a comparative understanding of public sector structures, policies and processes in different European countries, as well as a methodology for analyzing and dealing with different structures and processes of public sector management, guidance and control. A basic topic is the way in which the characteristics of different systems of government and administration within Europe relate to national and sub-national perspectives on issues, processes and institutions of European integration, both within and across the borders of the EU.

The main feature of the EMPA-Budapest program is that it offers a structure of core and elective courses which focuses on Hungarian and Central European characteristics. This strategy provides detailed information for different approaches and questions regarding our public policies.

The second semester of the program may be taken either at one of the other institutions in the network or at the Corvinus University. The language of instruction is generally English, but it is German in Speyer and French in Paris. For admission to the EMPA program non-native English students are requested to take a TOEFL test (minimum score 550) or an equivalent language test. Non-native German students wishing to spend a semester in Speyer are requested to obtain the 'Deutsch als Fremdsprache Zertifikat' (ZDF) from the Goethe Institute. Non-European students can also be subjected to a GRE-test.


Check out the leaflet of the program, click here.

Read more about the program from the perspective of a former student, click here.


Structure of the Program:





Total credits (ECTS)

Core courses








Thesis work










Available Courses:


  Fall Spring
Comparative Public Administration 2+2 (6 ECTS)  
Theories of Public Affairs 2+2 (6 ECTS)  
Multilevel Governance 2+2 (6 ECTS)  
Economics of the Public Sector   2+2 (6 ECTS)
Institutions of the Public Sector   2+2 (6 ECTS)
Comprehensive Public Policy Analysis   2+2 (6 ECTS)



  Fall Spring
Organizational Theories 2/2  exam  
Corporate Governance 2/2 exam  
Economics of Health at Work 2/2 exam  
Health Economic Modeling 2/2 exam  
Public Economics and Finance 2/2  exam  
Civil Society and Organizations of Transition 2/2 exam  
Empirical Research Methods 2+2  
Comparative Political Economy 2/2 exam  
Public Policy Decision-making   2/2 exam
Comparative Local Government Systems 2/2 exam 2/2 exam
EU Economic Policies 2+2 exam 2/2 exam
The Globalisation of World Politics 2/2 exam 2/2 exam
Decision Theory   2/0 exam
Autonomy, Control and Coordination in Public Administration   2/2 exam
Local Government Regulation and Finance   2/2 exam
Public Policy Process in Central and Eastern Europe 4/0 exam 4/0 exam
Quality Improvement Management in Health Care   2/2 exam
Public Financial Management   2+2
Globalization, Financial Crises and Development   2/2 exam

Courses are taught in English.


In addition to the courses, the program includes the execution of a directed research program on a Comparative Public Administration topic, which should result in a dissertation of not more than forty pages and at the level of a journal article. The dissertation should be written in English.

The advanced character of the EMPA program presupposes a basic knowledge as well as an understanding of European Public Administration of Public Economics and Finance, and of International Organization and Politics. This means that the program is directed in the first place towards graduated students of Business, Economics and Political and Social Sciences or to students holding an equivalent degree.


Please contact our International Office with any questions.

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