The Master of Public Administration (MPA)

The MPA is a 39-credit hour professional program with a cohort typically consisting of 20-25 students. Through engaging instruction, students gain and practice the skills needed to become successful leaders in public service. Courses address many complex issues facing public service professionals and teach specific skills needed for public and private sector work.


In addition to the requirements listed below, students must understand and meet all Graduate Division requirements. Students are encouraged to review the MPA timelines and learning outcomes.

Core (24 credits)

The required courses are highly interdisciplinary and integrate perspectives and skills important to effective work in public service.

  • PUBA 601: Program Evaluation for Public and Nonprofit Organizations (3)
  • PUBA 602: Introduction to Public Administration (3)
  • PUBA 603: Organizations: Theory and Change (3)
  • PUBA 604: Leadership and Ethics (3)
  • PUBA 606: Public Administration Personnel Management (3)
  • PUBA 607: Public Administration Research Methods (3)
  • PUBA 608: Public Budgeting (3)
  • PUBA 609: Policy Analysis and Implementation (3)

Electives (9 credits)

Electives allow each student to design a program of study built around a theme of their personal and professional interests. Elective courses are selected by the student in consultation with their faculty advisor.

Practicum (3 credits)

Most MPA candidates must complete a 120-hour, advisor-approved practicum with a public sector agency or nonprofit organization. A culminating practicum analysis paper is required.

  • PUBA 690: Practicum (3)
  • Prerequisites: 602, 603, 604 with a minimum grade of B in each course

Capstone (3 credits)

The capstone serves as the culminating experience and must be taken as the final degree requirement. All coursework must be completed or taken concurrently with the final capstone class.

  • PUBA 696: Capstone Seminar (3)
  • Prerequisites: 602, 603, 607, 690, and a GPA of 3.0 or better


At the beginning of the first semester in the program, students are assigned a temporary advisor. Students can choose to continue with their temporary advisor or choose a new permanent advisor for any reason at any time during that first semester. Advisor change requests are typically granted but are dependent on faculty workload policies. Faculty advisors assist in many aspects of the program, including:

  • Selecting elective courses
  • Setting up the practicum
  • Guiding program progress and success
  • Providing professional and career advice