MPA Curriculum

The MPA Program is a 42-credit hour program, comprised of:

  • a core of seven courses (25 credits) where students are introduced to the knowledge and skills they need for professional public service
  • 12 credits of electives
  • 2 credit internship to practice application of learning
  • 3 credit culminating experience course to demonstrate competencies.

It typically takes full-time students 2 years to complete our MPA Program.

Core Courses

Evidence-based Decision Making, choose one:

Managing People, choose one:

Specialization or Electives

(12 credits)

Two certificates/specialization are available within the Department of Public Administration and Policy:

  • Nonprofit Management & Leadership
  • Local Government Management & Leadership

The Department also has relations with the Social Work, Higher Education and Student Affairs, Education, Sustainable Communities, the School of Nursing (for students interested in Health Policy Administration), and with the Department of Geography for students interested in Environmental Policy.  Additionally, students are offered the opportunity to choose elective courses suited to their specialized academic interests from various other graduate academic departments.

Recommended coursework for students interested in sustainable communities:

  • SUST 500
  • SUST 510
  • any SUST elective
  • any other elective as needed to fulfill 12 credits. (Note that SUST 500 and 510 are four-credit classes.)

Contact George Homsy ( for more info about sustainable communities

Application of Learning

Culminating Experiences/Demonstrating of Competencies

Basic Skills Courses

Students may complete one or more of the basic skills courses (PAFF 502: Basic Computer Skills; PAFF 503: Introduction to Administrative Systems) while matriculated in the MPA program. Additionally, the MPA faculty strongly encourages all students who receive feedback that their background or skills need development to request admission into these courses. These courses do not count towards the MPA degree and they can only be taken one time each.

Non-Matriculated Study

Would you like to take a class before applying as a matriculated student in the MPA program? Non-matriculated students may take up to 12 credits total, though some academic departments and schools limit that number further. Academic departments and schools may also restrict enrollment in their courses to degree- and certificate-seeking matriculated students. Degrees, certificates and graduate assistantships are not granted to non-matriculated students.