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MPA-MPP Exchange Program in Germany

Brandenburg Gate

MPA-MPP Exchange Program in Germany

Located in Berlin, the Hertie School of Governance has hosted world leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Exchange with the Hertie School of Governance

American University’s School of Public Affairs offers an international exchange program for MPA and MPP students with the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, Germany. Launched in 2012, the program gives AU students the opportunity to study public administration and policy at the Hertie School’s campus in Berlin for one semester. While studying abroad at one of Europe’s top schools of public affairs, students benefit from being exposed to alternative perspectives on policy-making, especially in the areas of global governance, environmental policy, social policy, and public management. As AU Professor Robert Durant puts it, “It’s hard to overestimate the educational value of an experience abroad and getting outside the echo-chamber of U.S. public policy and administration.”

About the Hertie School

Located in Berlin, the Hertie School of Governance is a member of the Global Public Policy network, a consortium of schools of public affairs and public administration that includes Columbia University, the London School of Economics, Sciences Po Paris, and the National University of Singapore, among others. 

Though the Hertie School has a small population of only about 200 students, its student body is very diverse, with over half of its students originating from outside of Germany.

AU students participating in the exchange program enroll directly in courses at the Hertie School’s campus in Berlin. All courses are taught in English. The Hertie School offers courses in the following fields: Global & European Governance; Political Economy; Welfare & Sustainability; Regulation & Innovation; Democracy & Ethics; and Tools of Public Management & Policy Analysis.

Student Experience


Lindsey (center, in pink) with classmates on a tour of the German Bundestag (the constitutional and legislative body in Germany).

Lindsey Holthaus, SPA/MPP ’15: "I am so glad SPA provided me the opportunity to study at Hertie. The tight-knit community allowed me to make close relationships with students from all over the world, gaining a better understanding of how policy works in their home countries. I was also fortunate enough to study at Hertie during the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, a celebration I'm grateful to have experienced first hand.”

Requirements and How to Apply

The exchange program is designed for students in the fall semester of their second year in either the MPA or MPP program. Students take nine credit hours, the same number they would earn from a full-time course load at AU. Interested students should save space for nine concentration/elective credit hours since Hertie School courses cannot be applied towards MPA or MPP core courses. Because this is a formally established exchange program, courses count as AU residency credit and do not require a separate credit approval process.

Students must apply for admission during the spring semester of the year they wish to participate, and only a maximum of three AU students will be selected by Hertie School administrators for the exchange program. Selected students pay AU tuition plus any fees required by the Hertie School. Application materials include a current resume, a letter of motivation, an unofficial copy of their AU transcript, and English test results, if applicable. Students interested in the program should contact Janet Nagler, Academic Advisor, at jnagler@american.edu for more information about the program and the application process. Deadline to apply for Fall Semester 2016 is April 1st.