DePaul University College of LAS > Academics > School of Public Service > Graduate Programs > Public Administration (MPA)

Public Administration

Public Administration Graduate Program

Designed to educate students for leadership roles at all levels of government, across multiple sectors.

You see yourself as a problem solver—an agent of change. Whether it is managing an effective government organization at the local level or getting things done on a larger, national scale, you want to have a positive impact on your community and solve today's societal challenges.

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) is designed for individuals interested in pursuing leadership positions within the public sector including local, state and federal government. DePaul's curriculum is designed to help you develop the critical management skills you'll need to pursue a career within government, its agencies and public service institutions, including:

  • Ethical organizational leadership
  • Public finance and budgeting
  • Human resource management
  • Public policy design and analysis
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This degree has been recognized by for its online program. Learn more about DePaul's online MPA program.

Romuald Lenou, School of Public Service Student

Meet Romuald

"[The faculty] are also eager to connect students with alumni and bring in guest speakers for experiences like the Global Cafes or Authentic Conversations. These opportunities give us a chance to meet with the policy experts and really explore our areas of interest."
Learn more about our Alumni Network.

2016 MPA Graduate Placement

Program Length

  • DePaul SPS degree programs are tailored for the working professional with classes offered primarily in the evenings.
  • Programs are also designed to be completed in two years and one additional quarter assuming students take two classes per quarter. (Two classes per quarter is considered full-time status.)
  • 52 credit hours are required to complete the program.
  • Students can alternate between full and part-time status as needed to accommodate scheduling needs
  • In 2016, the most recent year in which graduation rates were reported to NASPAA, for the cohort of students that began their MPA degree five years earlier, 35 percent graduated in 2 years, 57 percent graduated in 3 years and 72 percent graduated in 4 years.
  • Both the public management and international public management specializations are offered online as well as on-site at the Loop campus.

All MPA students choose a specialization from the following:

  • Emergency Management
  • For students seeking both theoretical and practical knowledge that will prepare them for private or public sector employment in the area of emergency preparedness for both security and non-security related incidents. This concentration tackles a critical concern for the public, private and non-profit sectors. Both the conceptual and practical implementation sides of homeland security and emergency preparedness rest at the intersection of national defense, law enforcement, and emergency preparedness.

  • 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.

  • Metropolitan 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.

  • International Public Management
  • 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.


Certificate Options

The MPA program may also be expanded to include select graduate certificates. The combined programs require either the completition of additional coursework or careful elective selection to fulfill all requirements. Certificates are available in:

If you're interested in a certificate combination with MPA, a separate application process is required. Contact the program office for additional information.​


NASPAA Accreditation

Program Mission: The Master in Public Administration (MPA) degree educates ethical leaders to work in local, state, and federal government. Through our cross-sector approach to learning, research, and service we help government leaders to connect domestic and global issues, alleviate poverty, and build responsive government. We promote compassion for marginalized communities and service to all people with accountability, justice, professionalism, sensitivity, and transparency.

Degree Chair: Robert Stokes, PhD

Faculty Committee:

Steven Abbey
Krista Johnson
Nicholas Kachiroubas
Ric Kolenda
Raphael Ogom
Joseph Schwieterman
Robert Stokes