You may have heard of a Master of Public Administration before, but what exactly is it?
A master’s in public administration is a graduate level degree with a curriculum designed to give public service administrators the management and leadership skills necessary to advance into leadership positions.. The MPA is similar to an MBA, with a focus on public service..
This degree prepares you to serve in executive positions in-
- Municipal government
- State government
- Federal government
- Non-governmental organizations
This means you may have a career as a…
- Director of Business Strategies
- Fund developer
- Grants administrator
- Hospital department manager
What is the Focus of the Program?
Public administration master’s degrees focus on learning how to effectively create social change and address emerging challenges that are affecting communities every day.
More specifically, the focus points of the program are:
- principles of public administration
- policy development
- policy management
- implementation of policies
What Do I Do In the Program?
While you are in the program, you will participate in research and on-the-ground work with community partners and government partners, while taking your classes.
While in the program, you will gain skills in-
- core leadership
What Are the Course Requirements?
Throughout its history, the MPA degree has become more interdisciplinary by drawing from several different fields. MPA students are required to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
Once accepted into the program, you will take classes in fields such as-
- Economics (classes such as Statistical Analysis, or economic Analysis for Policy and Planning)
- Sociology (classes such as Principles of Public Administration, or Public Policy and Urban Affairs)
- Anthropology (classes such as Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies)
- Law (classes such as Ethics and Law)
- political science (classes such as Techniques of Policy Analysis, and Public Budgeting and Financial Management)
Many universities require on-the-job training through co-op, capstones, and internships as well as classes.
In research, students often collaborate with faculty in on-campus research centers.
In capstone projects, teams partner up with local, federal or state agencies or nonprofit organizations to assess problems, produce policy analysis, and recommend solutions.
In internships, students gain practical hands-on experience through part-time work in nonprofit and public organizations.
What Are the Admission Requirements for a Master of Public Administration?
This largely depends on what university you’re applying to, as each university has its requirements.
With a few exceptions, most universities will require-
- A completed online application
- An application fee ranging from $50-$100
- A personal statement
- Unofficial transcripts from all of your prior institutions that you have attended
- Several letters of recommendation
- Your resumé
In addition to this, you may find that occasionally a university will ask for your GRE scores, though GRE scores are not usually required for admission.
This versatility of an MPA degree prepares graduates for a variety of roles in both the public or nonprofit sectors. There are many different ways to earn a master’s in public administration, whether online, on-campus, or a combination of both. Explore colleges in your area to see what your options are; starting an application or speaking to an admissions advisor could be the first step toward career advancement!