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Deadlines: The application procedure for the Master is always open. However, the program has two intakes per year: one in April (on the 12th of April 2021) and one in October (on the 11th of October 2021). In order to be considered for the Spring intake, candidates must apply no later than the 22nd of March 2021. To be considered for the Autumn intake, candidates must apply before the 21st of September 2021.

Duration: The Master is designed to last one year, however, students have up to two years to complete the program. Internships are encouraged but are not compulsory in order to complete the Master. Individual modules require 20 to 50 hours to be completed.

Location:  The master and the individual modules will be offered entirely online.  At the end of the program, an optional residential phase in Pisa, of up to 3 weeks, will be organized in Spring or in Autumn (provided that at least 10 students of the Master will attend it).

Italian University credits: Min. 62, Max. 67

Individual modules: 2 to 5 CFU

Number of participants: Unlimited

Tuition fees for the Master: 10.000 EUR

Tuition fees for individual modules: it is possible to select up to 6 individual modules. The fees for one module are 850,00 EUR. A 10% discount is offered on the fees of the 2nd and 3rd individual modules. A 15% discount is offered on the fees of the 4th, 5th, and 6th modules.

The Master in Electoral Policy and Administration (MEPA) aims to provide advanced learning on electoral processes for current and aspiring election professionals by drawing on the expertise of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) through a network of field practitioners and world-leading academics and electoral experts. The Master aims at providing election practitioners with a comprehensive overview of the electoral world and with the knowledge and skills necessary to serve as election administrators, members of Election Management Bodies, electoral observers etc.

If you wish to apply for the entire Master programme, follow the instruction contained in the document “tutorial for application” and register online by clicking on “Application online” below.

Then, download the file called “MEPA Master Application”, fill it electronically and upload it during the online application procedure. Under penalty of exclusion, do not forget to also upload:

-       Your passport

-       A copy of ALL the degrees mentioned in your application (e.g. BA, MA, PhD etc.)

-       OFFICIAL transcripts of your bachelor degree (it must be an official document from your university and it must include the marks of all the exams and your final grade. Screenshots of webpages will not be accepted)

-       Your last pay slip (only if you are applying for a scholarship and if you are currently working)

Please note that incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration.

If you wish to attend only some individual modules (max. 6) please DO NOT apply online. Simply download the file called “MEPA Individual modules application”, fill it electronically and send it via email to together with a copy of your passport.

Application deadline for the Master: The application procedure for the Master is always open. However, the program has two intakes per year: one in April (on the 12th of April 2021) and one in October (on the 11th of October 2021). In order to be considered for the Spring intake, candidates must apply no later than the 22nd of March 2021. To be considered for the Autumn intake, candidates must apply before the 21st of September 2021. Late applications will be considered for the next round. The list of admitted candidates will be published online shortly after the expiration of the relevant deadline.

Application deadline for the Individual Modules The application procedure for individual modules is always open. Students can apply anytime and will be able to start attending the modules shortly after the payment of the tuition fees.


Scuola and UNITAR fee reductions

To foster diversity within the programme, the Scuola and its partners may award partial fee reductions to talented students in need of financial aid, based on merit, distinctive competences and academic excellence.

In particular, every selection round the Scuola and its partners may offer up to three 30% fee-reductions to Master candidates coming from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) that reach at least 85 points out of 100 and that are in need of financial aid. Fee reductions are subjected to availability of funds.

Creative Associate International's Charito Kruvant Scholarship

Every year, Creative Associates International awards to two female students of the Master, a 5.000,00 euros scholarship each, to cover one-half of their tuition fees. Students may also be eligible for other support directly from the program. The current award calendar is for three years, starting from April 2019.

Eligible applicants must be:

1. Female;

2. Accepted into the MEPA program;

3. Resident in a Least Developed Country (LDC)

The selection procedure for this scholarship is managed directly by Creative Associates International. Candidates who have already been admitted to the Master, who are interested in obtaining this scholarship, will be put in contact with Creative’s focal point, who will instruct them on how to apply for the scholarship.

Other reductions

Fee reductions can be accorded if an institute or organisation enrols a certain number of employees/participants at the same time.

Pursuant to art. 9, paragraph 2 of Legislative Decree No. 68/2012 the Institution grants total exemption regarding payment of the enrolment fee in the case of students with disabilities, acknowledged to be equal to or greater than sixty-six percent, in accordance with art. 3, paragraph 1 of Law No. 104/1992, and applies a 1.5% reduction for every percentage point of disability in the case of students who have been acknowledged a disability of less than sixty-six percent. A student that asks for said exemption or reduction is required to attach an appropriate certificate to the online application.

Additional information on the Master Programme

The main educational goals of the Master in Electoral Policy and Administration are as follows:

1) To offer advanced preparation to those individuals interested in pursuing a career as professional in the field of Electoral Policy and Administration and those already working in this field;

2) To respond to a global, structural demand for qualified electoral administrators;

3) To contribute to reduce the gender gap in electoral administration by contributing to strengthen women’s role in this sector, including in senior positions.

The online lectures will adopt an intercultural perspective and a cross-disciplinary approach. Teaching methodologies will rely on the analysis of real situations and concrete examples, and will include a high number of drills, simulations and/or role-plays.

After the successful completion of all the compulsory modules, students will be required to write a 15,000-words dissertation on a relevant topic of interest, or a 7,000-words dissertation if they choose to undertake an optional internship. The final thesis can be discussed via online, video conferencing software, such as Skype.

Attendance certificate

At the end of the Master Programme, those students who have regularly settled the tuition costs, passed all the required examinations and successfully presented the Master Thesis will receive a First Level Master’s Diploma, from Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, in accordance with art. 3 of the Italian DM no. 270/2004. The degree is awarded according to the rules and regulations set by the Italian and EU education system. Due to its specificity it does not give general access to Doctoral studies (Phd and similar). Validation of credits for access to such programmes can be requested from competent institutions.

For individual modules, those students that have regularly settled the tuition costs and have passed all the required examinations will receive a Certificate of Completion and the respective academic credits.

Additional materials

Below you can find an interesting article on the role of election observers.

I'm an 'election observer' - but what do we actually do?”