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European Master's in Public Administration - EMPA

This is a one-year Master Certificate programme provided by the Center for Public Affairs Studies. This programme is designed for students enrolled in the MA in Public Policy and Management at the Corvinus School of Economics or arriving from the partner universities of the EMPA network. Graduating students get an EMPA Certificate jointly signed by the partners.

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




What is the aim of EMPA and who is the programme 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 programme is to stimulate the development of European Master’s in Public Administration by internationalizing the existing programmes 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 programme 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 programme 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 programme 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 programme 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 programme, click here.

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

Structure of the Programme:

1st semester

2nd semester

Total credits (ECTS)

Core courses








Thesis work









Semester 1.

Semester 2.

Core courses

Public Policy Analysis – The Argumentative Approach

Comprehensive Public Policy Analysis

Alternative Public Service Delivery

Economic Governance

Public Policy Process in Central and Eastern Europe

Institutional Changes: Political and Administrative Answers to Challenges

Elective courses

three out of the courses advertised by the Corvinus School of Economics must be selected in each semester, courses below recommended by CPAS

Efficiency in Public Administration

Economics of the Public Sector

Comparative Political Economy

Public Management

Corporate Governance

Local Government Regulation and Finance

Quality Improvement and Management in Health Care

Cost-Benefit Analysis

The Economic History of Eastern Europe in the 20th Century

Autonomy, Control and Coordination in Public Administration

Health Policy and Finance

Health Economics

The Globalization of World Politics

Civil Society and Organization

History of Economic Thought

Comparative Economic Policy

In addition to the courses, the programme includes the execution of a directed research programme 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 programme 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 programme is directed in the first place towards graduated students of Business, Economics and Political and Social Sciences or to students holding an equivalent degree.

The courses are taught in English.


General admission requirements:

Students of the network who meet the above-mentioned requirements have to follow an application procedure. There is no entrance examination for the programme; nevertheless, the Admissions Board may call any applicant for a personal interview.

Individuals who hold bachelor or master degree can also apply for this one year certificate programme. This programme accepts applications only from students already in possession of their first diploma who are attracted towards the public sector and public administration.

Tuition fee (only for individual students): 1950 EUR per semester 

The programme is open to Hungarian and foreign students. The entrance requirements for the programme are the same for Hungarians as for foreign nationals.

Application package:

  • completed application form,
  • authorized copy of BA/BSc degree,
  • detailed transcript (translated into English)
  • CV
  • letter of interest
  • photocopy of passport to be sent to us.

Applicants will be notified about their results (accepted or declined). Successful candidates will receive immediately a notification of acceptance. The Faculty can assist in the visa application process if necessary. 

Successful applicants are expected to arrive to Hungary by 1st of September.

Contact us:

If interested in the programme, please contact our department at the following address:

Room 185
8, Fővám tér
Budapest, 1093

Phone: +36-1-482-5533
E-mail: info.economics(at)uni-corvinus(dot)hu

For more information, please visit  www.empa-network.info

Programme Management:

Program Director:

Prof. Gyorgy HAJNAL

E-mail: gyorgy.hajnal(at)uni-corvinus(dot)hu


Study in Hungary! The castle of Nagyvázsony

Last modified: 2017.04.26.

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