Master of Public Administration

Master of Public Administration

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) online degree program is designed as a professional development program for adult learners with a focus on the administration of public, not-for-profit, and other organizations which serve a public purpose. The mission of the MPA to instill in learners a commitment to ethical public service for the protection of the public interest and public trust, and generate solutions to human, social, economic and environmental problems.

The MPA is considered to be the terminal professional degree for practitioners in public service. Its philosophical background and explicit content are grounded in an assessment of how the modern public sector workplace has evolved and the factors responsible for this evolution. The curriculum is designed to address the critical administrative competencies in the public and nonprofit sectors through skills development and enhancement in the context of a theoretical foundation. Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Apply graduate research methods and techniques and to evaluate the effectiveness of public programs and the outcomes of policy alternatives.
  • Synthesize the concepts associated with ethical behavior and social responsibility that will engage students in a meaningful effort to affect social change and promote social justice.
  • Evaluate leadership qualities and analyze the rule of law in administrative procedures, as well as diverse roles in effective administrative decision making.
  • Evaluate the process for planning for change and the various means of production in the public sector, leading to ways to maximize efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Synthesize, analyze, and apply theories and principles of public administration.


The Master of Public Administration online program consists of 36 credit hours, including the following courses:

Required Courses (30 Credits)

  • PUB 503 Theories, Principles and Practice of Public Administration
  • PUB 535 Applied Research Methodologies
  • PUB 545 Values and Ethics in Public Administration
  • PUB 605 Public Program Analysis and Evaluation
  • PUB 609 Seminar in Public Financial Administration
  • PUB 611 Seminar in Public Human Resources Administration
  • PUB 647 Public Law and Administration
  • PUB 670 Public Planning and Change Management
  • PUB 699 Capstone: Applied Project

Note: PUB 503 & PUB 535 must be taken in the first term after full acceptance in program, to the extent the schedule permits; PUB 699 must be taken in the last term of the program.

Elective Courses (6 Credits/Select any 2)

  • PUB 622 Non-Profit Administration
  • PUB 623 Productivity Improvement in the Public Sector

Minimum 36 Credits to Complete Degree

Additional Courses (Does not apply to 36 credit minimum)

  • PUB 511W Graduate Writing & Research (non-credit)
  • PUB 501 Introduction to Public Administration (3 credit)

View course descriptions

Admissions Requirements

In order to receive full admission, all of the below items should be submitted before applicants register for their first courses. If any item is missing or incomplete, applicants may be granted provisional acceptance and may be allowed to register for a limited number of credit hours while stipulated admission or academic requirements are being satisfied. In this situation, full admissions to the program is neither implied nor guaranteed.

  • A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited or internationally recognized college or university. Official transcripts of all previous college or university studies must be submitted.
  • Submission of a completed application form.
  • A current professional resume, to include work history/experience.
  • Two original and verifiable letters of recommendation from professional and/or academic sources.
  • A “statement of purpose” essay of at least 750 words, which explains why the applicant wishes to pursue their chosen degree and how it will help to fulfill their personal and professional goals. Applicants should also describe in detail their accomplishments, experiences, values, potential for professional excellence, and commitment to completing their chosen degree program.
  • International applicants whose previous college or university studies were not in English must earn a minimum score of 550 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or 80 on the internet-based versions of this test. Applicants must also satisfy all of criteria which are outlined in the section of the University Graduate Catalog on International Applicants.

All MPA applicants will be considered within two major categories, those who possess a Bachelor of Public Administration (BPA) or similar degree and those who do not. A BPA or similar degree will enable the applicant to begin with the PUB 500 series courses. Those who do not have a BPA or similar degree will be provisionally accepted and must take PUB 501/Introduction to Public Administration before full acceptance in the program.

Examples of similar degrees may include Public Affairs, Political Science, Public Policy, Public Safety Administration, Criminal Justice, Fire & Emergency Services, Emergency Management, and Public Budgeting. Depending on the course curriculum, degrees such as Urban & Regional Planning, Social Work, Human Resources Management, Supervision & Management, Public Health, Health Services Administration, Military Science (ROTC), Government & International Affairs, etc., will be evaluated on an individual basis. Degrees such as History, English, Liberal Arts, etc., will require the Introduction course.

If the applicant has a GPA less than 3.0, the applicant will be provisionally accepted and must take the two hour PUB 511W Graduate Workshop to enhance their skills in the program. There is no cost for the Workshop .

Admitted to Class (Class Enrollment for Students Not Yet Admitted)
Applicants to the Masters of Public Administration program are not permitted to enroll in classes before the application process is complete and a decision is rendered for admission.

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