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Department of Public Administration and Policy

Public Administration Wonk

The Master of Public Administration

The management degree for the public sector

Master of Public Administration (MPA)

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 five 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.

Meet MPA Alumni

Lisa Shuman
MPA ’12

Lisa Shuman, MPA/12

Hometown: Marblehead, MA

Current position: Regulatory Analyst, Strategic Management Services

Favorite internship: National Committee for Quality Assurance

Read more »

Take the next step

Apply to SPA Graduate Programs

Click below to start or continue your School of Public Affairs application.


Degree Requirements

• 42 credit hours of approved graduate work

• Comprehensive examination including an exercise in management analysis and a reflective essay

Course Requirements:

(Unless stated otherwise, all courses are worth 3 credits)

  • one course in public finance, financial management, or government budgeting from the following:

  • PUAD-685 Topics in Policy Analysis and Management: Public Finance in Developing Countries

  • PUAD-691 Internship (Preservice students about to begin their career participate in a supervised internship).

Area of Concentration (12 credit hours)

(Click to download Concentration information)

Students may create special areas of concentration by consulting program faculty and their academic counselor.



MPA Sample Course Plan

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Exchange Program in Germany

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MPA Booklet

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MPA on Twitter