Master of Public Administration Program


The goals of the M.P.A. program are:

  • To prepare people for careers in public administration and policy analysis.
  • To complement managerial skills of persons presently in public service through the advanced study of administrative processes and problems, and through an increased understanding of policy issues and research skills.
  • To provide students who are interested in advanced course work and academic research preparation to pursue a Ph.D. in political science and public administration.

The courses in public administration are designed to increase the student’s understanding of organizations and their environment, and to help the student develop effective managerial skills. Complementary courses in public policy give the student an understanding of the social, political, and economic environment in which public programs develop and operate. Courses in research methods provide the skills necessary to navigate complex government agencies and activities. Students may take electives that enhance their area of specialization or career goals.


The M.P.A. program requires the student to fulfill the following course requirements. Students are required to complete a 36-credit program of study.

General Core

18 Credits

Specialization Elective Courses

9 Credits

General Electives

6 Credits

Examinations 3 Credits

Total Course Requirements

36 Credits

As most students in the M.P.A. program are working professionals, virtually all required and elective courses are offered in the evenings or on weekends.

The following courses comprise the general core required for all students in the M.P.A. program:

  • PSC 604b Public Personnel Administration
  • PSC 741 Seminar in Public Administration        
  • PSC 744 Governmental Budgeting
  • PSC 750 Seminar in Public Policy
  • PSC 751 Public Policy Analysis
  • PSC 780 Research in Political Science

The core courses should be among the first taken by students entering the program.

The program offers three defined specialization tracks:  Public Management; Policy Analysis and Evaluation; or Environmental Policy and Management. Students may also devise more specifically defined specialization tracks (e.g., Comparative Administration, Urban Management and Planning) upon consultation with and approval by their advisory committee and the Director of Graduate Studies.

Application deadlines

A departmental selection committee makes the admission decisions in three cycles.

  • Fall admission with funding consideration: The application deadline is February 15 for admission with funding consideration in the following fall semester.
  • Regular fall admission deadline (with no request for funding): April 15
  • Spring admission: The application deadline is November 1 for admission the following spring semester. (Assistantship offers generally are not made for the spring admission cycle.)

Minimum Requirements

  • Undergraduate degree (B.A./B.S.)
  • Minimum 2.75 overall GPA (B.A./B.S.) or a 3.0 GPA for last two years of B.A./B.S.
  • GRE Scores: Verbal and Quantitative scores should be a minimum of 154, though some exceptions are made for students based on upon their skill set and other qualifications (or GMAT, LSAT equivalent)
  • 18 credit hours (6 courses) of coursework in the social sciences.

Please note that these are minimum requirements; meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the program. Students are admitted on an increasingly competitive basis. We take into consideration a student’s overall record, as well as the department’s ability to accommodate a student’s research/teaching interest.

Application materials need to be mailed to the Graduate School – please check the Graduate School website for additional information and deadlines:

To Apply

  • Undergraduate and graduate transcripts
  • GRE/GMAT/LSAT scores
  • Three letters of recommendation of which a minimum of two are from professors with whom you have taken and completed coursework.
  • Statement of Purpose
    This one-to-two page statement should be 500 words, double-spaced and printed in a standard font. In this statement you should discuss your career and educational goals and how those goals fit into the research specializations of the department. Please make sure your name at the top of the each page.

Graduate Special Status

Students may apply for Graduate Special status and register for classes. Up to nine graduate credit hours taken as a graduate special can apply toward the M.A. degree.

The graduate special classification is for students who have earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and who wish to take graduate courses but do not plan to pursue a program leading to an advanced degree, or for applicants who do not meet the requirements for admission to regular graduate standing.

Admission to Graduate Special status does not constitute admission to graduate standing in the Graduate School. With Graduate Special classification, a student may enroll for undergraduate or graduate credit and may satisfy the teacher certificate requirements. Although there is no limit to the number of credits that may be earned as a graduate special student, a maximum of nine semester credits may be applied toward a program of study. Graduate Special students are not eligible for financial aid, including student loans.


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