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MSc in Business Administration – Major Public Management

"This consolidated program teaches specialist knowledge, coupled with a focus on trends and current issues."

Dr. Karin Brunner Schmid, Head of Program

Effective managers are in demand, not only in profit-oriented organizations. Public administrations, public enterprises, and state-affiliated nonprofit organizations depend on flexible, innovative, and well-qualified specialists to help reach their ideological and social aims, such as general welfare, solidarity, or a smooth-running society. The MSc program in Public Management deals with problems and issues at the intersection of business, society, and politics which, more often than not, require both a scientific and a practice-oriented interdisciplinary approach.

Potential employers include the federal administration, cantonal and communal administrations, national and international governmental organizations, and institutions such as associations and foundations. They represent a job market with some 650,000 positions in Switzerland.

At a Glance

Title: Master of Science (MSc) ZHAW in Business Administration with a Specialization in Public Management
Start of New Program: Summer School (compulsory module included in studies) in week 36 (before the start of the semester), the Summer School can also be booked by external students, start of semester Mid-September
Registration deadline: 30 June 2024 - apply now
Workload: 90 ECTS credits (corresponding to approx. 2,700 hours of study)
Duration: 4 semesters (allows balancing work and family responsibilities of 60 percent).
Location: Winterthur, Canton of Zurich (Switzerland)
Classes held on: Mondays and Tuesdays, one day on site, one day flexible
Semester Fee: CHF 720.-
Admission Requirements: Admission Procedure
Language of Instruction: German, partly English
Accreditation/Award: AACSB, EQUIS, Top European Business School (Financial Times Ranking)

Portrait Pascal Fritzenwallner

"The program has given me a deeper understanding of the complex interrelationships in the public sector. The study trip, in particular, provided me with an exciting, international perspective and showed me the possibilities of a digital and future-oriented administration."

Pascal Fritzenwallner, Alumnus, MSc in Business Administration – Major in Public and Nonprofit Management

Content and Program Structure

The modules of the Public Management specialization will provide you with in-depth knowledge of the special framework conditions of administration, public companies, and non-profit organizations. In addition to applying tools for planning resources, quality, project, and stakeholder management, you will analyze and design complex operational structures and develop an understanding of interdisciplinary relationships. As you complete applied research projects on behalf of partners from the public sector, you will improve your ability to do scientific work.

By choosing a specialization, you will gain in-depth knowledge of issues in your chosen area of interest. The following focus areas are available:

As Flexible as You

This study program will allow you to meet work or family obligations of approx. 50% in addition to pursuing a higher education degree.

Your standard course of study lasts four semesters. Most of the modules take place on Mondays or Tuesdays during the semester and are taught as face-to-face, online, or flex classes. In addition, there are two one-week summer schools outside the semester, which are also taught in the classroom (before the 1st and 3rd semesters).

In the third semester, you will be able to immerse in the focus area you have chosen. Alternatively, you can spend this semester abroad at one of our numerous partner universities.

At the end of the program, you will write an academic Master's thesis on a practically relevant issue of your choice.

Portrait Rico Roffler

"The interdisciplinary view of the interaction between social, economic, and political aspects taught in the Master's program helped me advance my career in the public sector."

Rico Roffler, Alumnus, MSc in Business Administration – Major in Public and Nonprofit Management

Your Career Prospects




Applicants are admitted to the program subject to an application procedure. Applicants must meet the following criteria:

If needed, please feel free to contact the Head of Program without obligation to confirm whether you meet the admission requirements outlined above.

Brochure, in German


This program has been awarded the quality seal by the Foundation for International Business Administration Accreditation (FIBAA) for its quality in study and teaching.

The detailed assessment and further information about the accreditations of the ZHAW School of Management and Law can be found here.