The Master of Public Administration (MPA)
educates ethical leaders to work in local, state and federal government. Through
our cross-sectorial approach to learning, research and service, we help
government leaders to:
- Connect domestic and global issues
- Alleviate poverty
- Build responsive government
We promote compassion for marginalized communities and
service to all people with accountability, justice, professionalism,
sensitivity and transparency.
Substantial professional experience in a
government setting is required. If you have such experience before entering the
MPA program, you may request a waiver by submitting a letter describing the
extent of your work in a government organization. Otherwise, you'll be required
to complete an internship as part of your studies.
Students in the MPA program are required to choose a specialization
from the following:
Public Management. For those who aspire to become
city managers, chief administrative officers, department directors and senior
project managers, this specialization focuses on the roles, requirements,
challenges and processes of running a public organization. Students gain the
knowledge and skills needed to work successfully with professional staff, an
elected governing board, consultants and the public in the implementation of
broad policy decisions.
Planning and Urban Affairs.
This specialization is for students wanting to work in land use,
transportation, economic development, zoning, housing and other areas of
community development. Coursework emphasizes the technical skills of public
administration and the tools of analyses and development as applied in a broad
public setting. Students study best practices to illustrate the effectiveness
of alternative designs and models.
Students intending to work in international organizations require a special
understanding of how public and non-profit institutional structures and
managerial processes vary around the world. This concentration emphasizes the
interdependence of government and non-government organizations (NGOs), while
addressing a variety of management, ethics and policy issues.
Locations and Times
Both the public management and
international public management specializations are offered online as well as
You must successfully complete a minimum
of 52 credit hours of graduate credit to complete the program. Each course
carries four credit hours. Required core courses account for 40 credit hours
and electives account for 12 credit hours.
Pre-service students (those without at
least 12 months of continuous paid work experience in government or
government-related activities) are required to take an additional four credit
hour internship as part of their program.
Some students pursuing the degree
full-time (2 courses per quarter) finish in two years; others take one course a
quarter and complete their program requirements in three to four years.
The program is designed for:
- Government professionals
looking to transition into government careers
The MPA program may also be
expanded to include select graduate certificates. The combined programs require
either the competition of additional coursework or careful elective selection
to fulfill all requirements. Certificates are available in:
Planning and Development
interested in a certificate combination with MPA, a separate application
process is required. Contact the program office for additional information.