Degree Overview

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree is a professional degree. It is designed to prepare preservice students for position in the public sector, nonprofit organizations, and to improve the managerial capabilities of those individuals already employed in the public service and in nonprofit organizations. The MPA degree prepares individuals for employment in all levels of government. The curriculum is designed to accomplish three objectives:

  1. It is designed to enhance the student’s values, knowledge, and skills to act ethically and effectively in the management of public and nonprofit organizations. It includes the knowledge of human resources, budgeting and financial processes, and the acquisition of information, including computer literacy and applications;
  2. It is designed to develop skills in the application if quantitative and qualitative techniques of analysis in policy and program formulation, implementation, and evaluation; and
  3. The curriculum helps students to develop an understanding of the public policy and organizational environment including the political and legal institutions and processes, economic and social institution processes, and organization and management concepts.


The minimum requirements for the Master of Public Administration degree are as follows:

  • Completion of thirty-six (36) semester hours of coursework in Public Administration and other special areas as approved by the department.
  • Completion and oral defense of a Capstone Project (Exit Paper) approved by the Faculty.

Program Snapshot (36 Credit Hours)

  • 8 core courses (24 credit hours)
  • 2 specialization courses (6 credit hours)
  • 1 elective or internship course (3 credit hours)
  • 1 Capstone Project Seminar (3 credit hours)
  • Completion/successful defense of the Exit Paper/Capstone Project

Capstone Project (Exit Paper)

All students are required to complete a Capstone Project related to their specialization. Students conduct research and present their findings in an Exit Paper, which focuses on a problem area or issue identified either during the internship or mentorship. Students with substantive prior experience related to their specialization may select topics within their specialization in consultation with their advisors. The Guide for the Preparation of the Exit Paper is available in the Public Administration Department.

Time Limit for Completion of the Degree

Those students who have not completed all requirements for the degree within the five (5) year period as designated by University Policy for all Master degree programs, may petition the Graduate Programs Office for readmission. Readmission forms may be obtained from the Public Administration Department.

Readmission to the Program

The Public Administration faculty will review all petitions for readmission and will advise the petitioner of the action taken on the petition. Those individuals who are readmitted must comply with the following:

  • Enrollment and completion of the requirements in the six (6) courses
  • Preparation and defense of the Exit Paper
  • Completion of all the above requirements within three (3) continuous semesters, not including the summer session that comes in between the regular semesters.

Pi Alpha Alpha Honor Society


 Pi Alpha Alpha is the Global Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration. The purpose of Pi Alpha Alpha is to encourage and recognize outstanding scholarship and accomplishment in public affairs and administration. Its objectives, such as fostering integrity, professionalism, and effective performance, promote the advancement of quality in the education and practice of the art and science of public affairs and administration. PAA membership identifies those with the highest performance levels in educational programs preparing them for public service careers. To eligible graduate students must achieve and maintain a 3.7/4.0 GPA and have completed 50% of their public administration, public policy or sub-degree coursework. Pi Alpha Alpha inductions occur during the PASA banquet in April.