Public Administration (MPA, CERT)

Program Overview

Accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA), Binghamton University's Master of Public Administration (MPA) program works in collaboration with community-based organizations to prepare students to be tomorrow's leaders, innovators, and public and non-profit service managers. Graduates are equipped with practical, real-world experiences and the theoretical framework needed to tackle today's toughest societal issues.

An MPA is a marketable professional degree that prepares students for management careers in public and nonprofit organizations. It is ideal for students who are committed to public service, would like to be leaders in public and nonprofit organizations, and want to make a positive difference in the world.

As organizations reshape, restructure, and respond to shifts in economic, demographic, and social realities, public servants must be trained as problem solvers. Opportunities abound for those able to think critically, creatively, and ethically. With a variety of roles to fill in every city and state, MPA students are attractive hires for positions that allow them to make positive change. Graduates can also compete for business and other private-sector openings that require management and financial analysis experience.

Degrees Offered

  • MPA in Public Administration
  • CERT in Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention
  • CERT in Local Government Management
  • CERT in Non-Profit Administration

Dual Degrees Offered

  • MPA in Public Administration (Dual Degree with MSW in Social Work)
  • MPA in Public Administration (Dual Degree with MS in Student Affairs Administration)
  • MPA in Public Administration (Dual Degree with MS in Sustainable Communities)
  • MPA in Public Administration (Dual Degree with MS in Systems Science)

Internships, Research Opportunities and More

This program affords students the chance to get involved in community and public affairs as soon as they begin the program. The faculty serve in a range of community organizations in advisory and management roles and lend their connections to students as they develop their own individualized courses of study.

Students are afforded more than 300 hours of professional experiences through internships with public or non-profit organizations in the greater Binghamton area, across the country, and around the world. The Department of Public Administration hosts several study abroad experiences and the Philanthropy Incubator, a unique program that gives students the chance to work through community issues and distribute grant money to local non-profit organizations.

These opportunities -- as well as certificates in local government management and non-profit administration and a specialization in sustainable communities -- allow students to personalize the MPA program to fit their academic and professional interests.

After You Graduate

Internships provide networking opportunities and often precipitate long-term employment. Alumni of the MPA program have gone onto various civic activities, working at the community, city, county, state, and national levels, with 40% pursuing careers in government, 30% in non-profit organizations, and 10% in the private sector. Another 10% of alumni work outside the U.S. Those completing dual-degree programs are qualified to pursue many careers in social work, at educational institutions, and in nursing. Read more about the paths of MPA graduates on the Department of Public Administration website.

Admissions Requirements

To be eligible for graduate study, you must:

  • Provide a complete set of your undergraduate (and, if applicable, graduate) transcripts showing one of the following:
    • You have earned a bachelor's degree (or its equivalent) from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university
    • You are within one academic year of earning a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent) from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university
    • You are eligible to apply as part of a memorandum of understanding between your current institution and Binghamton University
  • Have earned, at minimum, one of the following:
    • A 3.0 GPA over your entire undergraduate career
    • A 3.0 GPA during your last 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits of your undergraduate degree, with most courses graded regularly (not as "pass/fail)
    • A 3.0 GPA in a graduate degree, with most courses graded regularly (not as "pass/fail")
    • In consideration of the different grading scales used around the world, each academic department evaluates international transcripts to determine on a case-by-case basis whether they demonstrate one of the above requirements.

To apply, you must submit the following materials. For general guidelines for these materials, see the Public Administration Department website.

  • Online graduate degree application with graduate degree application fee
  • Transcripts from each college or university that you have attended
  • Personal statement
    • The personal statement should be no more than 500 words or 2 double-spaced pages and should answer the question,"Why do you want an MPA?" You may wish to describe your reasons for pursuing graduate studies in public administration, your career aspirations, your special interests within your field, and any unusual features of your background that might need explanation or be of interest to your program's admissions committee. When evaluating the personal statement, the graduate admissions committee assesses commitment to public and/or nonprofit administration as well as ability to communicate in writing.
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae
  • Two letters of recommendation
    • The letters should be from individuals who know you in a professional capacity, such as professors, work supervisors, and professionals from organizations where you have serviced as a volunteer or in another capacity. When evaluating the letters of recommendation, the graduate admissions committee looks for evidence of academic achievement, community involvement, and personal characteristics that suggests the capacity to foster an institutional culture that advances democratic administration and governance.
  • GRE scores are not required

International students must also submit the following materials. For more information about these materials, see the International Students section of the Admission Requirements website.

  • International Student Financial Statement (ISFS) form
  • Supporting financial documentation (such as bank statements, scholarship or sponsor letters, etc.)
  • Proof of English proficiency (such as official TOEFL/IELTS/PTE Academic/Duolingo* scores)
    • *In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Graduate School at Binghamton University has temporarily approved the use of the Duolingo English Test as proof of English proficiency through the 2023 application cycle.

This information is subject to change. While we make every effort to update these program pages, we recommend you contact the department with questions about program-specific requirements.

Guaranteed Admission for Eligible SUNY Graduates:

The Department of Public Administration offers guaranteed admission for students who hold a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.5 or higher from seven of the most competitive SUNY schools: Binghamton University, University at Albany, University at Buffalo, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, SUNY Geneseo, SUNY New Paltz and Stony Brook University. Students who wish to apply to the MPA program through the guaranteed admissions process must e-mail

Class Profile

Total Enrollment: 152

International / Non-Citizen Enrollment: 12%


Degree Fall Spring
Public Administration (MPA)Rolling (February 1 Funding)Rolling (October 15 Funding)
Local Government Management (CERT)RollingRolling
Non-Profit Administration (CERT)RollingRolling

Accelerated/4+1 Degrees

You may also be interested in our accelerated/4+1 degree programs which allow students to complete their bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in just 5 years!

For more information, visit the Public Administration website.