Master of Public Administration

MPA program contact

Program Director:
Associate Professor Jeremy Gelman, Ph.D.

Application deadlines

Fall: March 1
Spring: November 1

Please note: the department does not offer application fee waivers.

Questions? Jump to the Frequently Asked Questions below.

The GRE requirement is suspended for MPAs applying to start in the Spring 2024 and Fall 2024 semesters.

Program overview

The Master of Public Administration program has the following general goals:

  • To prepare people for careers in public administration and policy analysis
  • To improve managerial competence 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 support additional University-based research in public administration and policy analysis

The courses in public administration are designed to increase the student's understanding of the internal organizational environment and to help the student develop needed managerial skills. 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 in today's complex government agencies and activities. A track of specialization provides the student with additional competence in an area linked to individual interests and/or career goals.

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.
  • 18 previously-completed credit hours (six courses) in social science courses (broadly defined)
  • GRE Scores (Please note: GRE /GMAT requirement waived for those applying to Spring 2024 and Fall 2024): GRE scores are normally required by the department and the Graduate School; however, the requirement is currently suspended for to Spring 2024 and Fall 2024 applicants. GRE scores must be from an examination taken in the previous five years. The department is willing to accept GMAT scores in substitution.

Please note that these are minimum requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the program. Students are admitted on an increasingly competitive basis. The admission committees 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.


The MPA program does not require a thesis.

All MPA students are required to complete 30 credits of course work, including general core courses (21 credits) and elective courses (nine credits). For most updated course offerings, please check the University General Catalog. You might also discuss with your advisor and/or director of graduate studies.

To apply

The following documents must be submitted to the Graduate School, University of Nevada, Reno:

  • Undergraduate and graduate transcripts
  • GRE/GMAT scores (Please note: GRE /GMAT requirement waived for those applying to Spring 2024 and Fall 2024.)
  • TOEFL scores (if applicable)
  • Three letters of recommendation of which at least one is from a professor with whom you have taken and completed coursework.
    Statement of purpose: this one-to-two page statement should be 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 is at the top of the each page.

Apply to the program