Public Administration - Master of Public Administration

The MPA program is accredited by NASPAA. The MPA is designed to provide students with the managerial and analytical skills, in addition to ethical and professional values, necessary to meet the increased demand for skilled public administrators. Candidates who follow this professional program must complete a minimum of 42 credits, consisting of core courses, electives and either an internship or a thesis.


Because students have divergent career goals, a thesis or internship option is offered. The thesis option requires an additional 18 credits of course work, 6 credits of thesis (POLS 599 Master's Thesis), and a written examination covering the thesis and course work. The internship option also requires an additional 18 credits of course work, 3 credits of internship (POLS 510 Internship), and a written examination covering the internship and course work. Students who fail their written examination must take an oral exam. As part of the course work, students selecting the internship option must take POLS 519 Proseminar in Public Administration (3 credits that count toward the 42 total) during the latter part of their studies, and are required to earn a B- grade or higher in that course.

With approval, students may include up to 12 credits of relevant course work from other departments to be counted toward the total credits required for the MPA. These credits may be selected to form a graduate minor in another academic discipline.

Prefix Title Credits
Core Courses
POLS 502Research Methods in Government3
POLS 541Public Budgeting3
POLS 542Public Sector Human Resources Management3
POLS 544Public Policy Analysis3
POLS 547Government Organizations3
POLS 549Ethics in Government3
Thesis Option
Select one from the following:24
Master's Thesis6
Select 18 credits of additional course work
Internship and Capstone Option 2
Select 18 credits of additional course work
Proseminar in Public Administration3
Total Credits42

Candidates with inadequate preparation for graduate study in public administration may be required to take appropriate undergraduate and graduate courses as part of, or in addition to, a regular program of study. Applicants to the MPA program will be advised of any such requirements at the time of admission.