The Master of Public Administration program provides students the knowledge, skills, and values for functioning with distinction throughout their careers at different levels of responsibility within the U.S. constitutional context and abroad.
Admission to the Program
Applicants must meet the minimum university requirements for graduate study. Admission decisions are based on each applicant’s academic record, two letters of recommendation, test scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), and an essay written by the applicant on his or her background and career interests. Applicants may substitute test scores from similar tests, such as the GMAT or LSAT, for the GRE where appropriate. Applicants who received their undergraduate degree more than eight years prior to their date of application may waive the requirement for test scores by submitting a statement describing their professional experience. The department values applicants who have acquired practical experience before beginning their professional degree program. Admission decisions are based on each applicant’s total record and not on any single strength or deficiency.
• 42 credit hours of approved graduate work
A student who has performed successfully for over 3 years as a manger in a supervisory role in a government agency or a nonprofit organization before admission to the M.P.A. program may apply to have the total program reduced by up to 6 credit hours. A request, addressed to the MPA Program Director, should be emailed to the MPA Academic Advisor, who will forward it to the MPA Program Director. It must be submitted so as to permit evaluation prior to the commencement of the 13th credit of course work. The request must include a resume and a cover letter specifying relevant responsibilities. Waiver of the full 6 credit hours is reserved for students at the GS-13 level or its equivalent who exercised significant responsibilities for supervision and program management, including personnel management, financial management, performance evaluation and other responsibilities (at least 5 years). A 3-credit waiver may be granted to students with significant responsibilities for supervision or program management (at least 3 years). The MPA Program Director has the discretion to grant the waiver after consideration of the applicant’s request, based on this policy and judgment of the applicant’s experience. If a waiver of 3 credits is granted, it will take the place of the internship/elective requirement. If a waiver of 6 credits is granted, it will take the place of the internship/elective requirement plus one concentration course. Tier 1 and Tier II courses will not be waived based on work experience. Credit earned as part of an internship may not count toward the total degree requirement of any student receiving such a reduction.
Due to a special arrangement, students admitted to the M.P.A. program may utilize qualifying courses offered by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Executive Management Training Centers toward the credit hours required to earn the degree. Qualifying courses from these two institutions have been certified for college credit by the American Council on Education (ACE).
Students who successfully complete the SPA Key Executive Leadership Development Program may apply to reduce the overall degree requirement for the 42-credit hour M.P.A. by up to an additional 6 credit hours. Students who avail themselves of this provision remain eligible to request the 3 or 6 credit hour waiver for prior professional experience as noted above. At least 30 credit hours must be earned in this residence for the M.P.A.
Up to 6 credit hours may be waived for qualifying courses and/or transfer credit from another academic institution, and up to 6 credit hours may be waived for significant management experience, for a total not to exceed 12 credit hours. Students who avail themselves of this provision will be encouraged to take advanced level work in designated areas as a consequence.
• One course in public finance, financial management, or government budgeting from the following:
PUAD-631 Financing Government Services download sample syllabus
PUAD-633 Budgeting and Financial Management (3) download sample syllabus
• PUAD-691 Internship (3) Pre-service students about to begin their career participate in a supervised internship)