Master of Public Administration

Admission Requirements

Applicants are considered on an individual basis. In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, applicants must meet the following program requirements:

  • Baccalaureate Field No restrictions.
  • Grade Point Average At least 3.00/4.00 for the final 60 semester (90 quarter) hours of undergraduate study.
  • Tests Required GRE or GMAT scores are required from applicants who are requesting program-administered financial assistance.
  • Minimum English Competency Test Score
    • TOEFL 80, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Speaking 20, and Writing 21 (iBT Internet-based); 60, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Writing 21 (New Paper-Based—after August 2018); 550 (Institutional Testing Paper-Based—prior to August 2018), OR,
    • IELTS 6.5, with subscores of 6.0 for all four subscores, OR,
    • PTE-Academic 54, with subscores of Reading 51, Listening 47, Speaking 53, and Writing 56.
  • Letters of Recommendation Three required from instructors familiar with the applicant’s academic training or supervisors familiar with the applicant’s professional experiences.
  • Personal Statement Required. Applicants must submit a brief statement of their professional goals and academic interests.
  • Additional Materials Applicants must submit a resume and a 5–10 page writing sample.
  • Nondegree Applicants Nondegree applicants must submit an official transcript from their baccalaureate institution, resume, writing sample, three letters of recommendation, and a letter stating which courses they would like to take and why they feel nondegree admission would be beneficial.

Degree Requirements

In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, students must meet the following program requirements:

  • Minimum Semester Hours Required 54.
  • Course Work
Course Title
Required Core Courses (30 credit hours) a
Public Administration Theory
Principles of Data Analysis
Economics for Management and Policy
Principles of Financial Management and Budgeting
Public Management Practices
Public Policy Development and Process
Public Administration Capstone
Managing Your Career
Public Administration Portfolio
Elective Courses (8 credit hours)
Two elective courses or equivalent that support the student's educational, career, and professional objectives, selected with approval of the advisor.

In addition to the core and elective courses, students must select one of five areas of concentration:

  1. Public Management
  2. Nonprofit Management
  3. Financial Management
  4. Urban Governance and Management
  5. Public Policy

Each concentration requires the equivalent of four courses (16 credit hours). Students have the option to create their own specialized (self-directed) concentration with faculty approval.

Public Management Concentration

Students must select one of the following tracks:

  • General Track
  • Information and Performance Management Track
  • Emergency Management and Continuity Planning Track
  • Survey Methods Track
Course Title
Concentration Courses
At least 16 credit hours must be taken in the area of the concentration. PA 521 is required for all tracks.
General Track
Strategic Management: Planning and Measurement (required)
Project Management
Civic Technology
Ethics and Accountability
Leadership in Public Organizations
The Legal Context of Public Administration
Public Policy Analysis
Change and Reform in Public Organizations
Human Resource Management in the Public and Nonprofit Sectors
Labor Management Relations in the Public Sector
Managing Workplace Diversity
Conflict Management
Public Procurement and Contracting
Intergovernmental Management
Information and Performance Management Track
Civic Technology (required)
Strategic Management: Planning and Measurement (required)
Project Management
Management of Information Technology
Data Management
Data Analytics
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Public Managers
Topics in Political Communication
Emergency Management and Continuity Planning Track a
Foundations of Emergency Management and Continuity Programs (required)
Strategic Management: Planning and Measurement (required)
Environmental Risk Assessment and Management
Strategic Emergency Management and Continuity Planning
Disaster Response and Recovery Operations
Integrative Project in Emergency Management
Survey Methods Track b
Strategic Management: Planning and Measurement (required)
Civic Technology
Survey Questionnaire Design
Surveys, Public Opinion, and Public Policy
Practicum in Survey Methodology
Survey Data Collection Methods: Theory and Practice
Seminar on Special Topics in Survey Methodology
Applied Survey Sampling and Analysis

Nonprofit Management Concentration

Course Title
Concentration Courses
At least 16 credit hours must be taken in the area of concentration.
Nonprofit Management (required)
Project Management
Civic Technology
Strategic Management: Planning and Measurement
Human Resource Management in the Public and Nonprofit Sectors
Nonprofit History and Theory of the Nonprofit Sector
Development and Fundraising in Nonprofit Organizations
Advanced Topics in Financial Analysis and Management

Financial Management Concentration

Course Title
Concentration Courses
At least 16 credit hours must be taken in the area of concentration.
Strategic Management: Planning and Measurement
Public Policy Analysis
Advanced Topics in Financial Analysis and Management
Accounting for Public and Nonprofit Organizations
Capital Budgeting and Finance
State and Local Public Finance
Advanced Topics in Public Budgeting

Urban Governance and Management Concentration

Students must select either the General Track or the Local Government Track.

Course Title
Concentration Courses
At least 16 credit hours must be taken in the area of concentration. PA 561 is required for all tracks.
General Track
Topics in Management and Leadership of Public Organizations (required)
Intergovernmental Management (required)
Public Policy Analysis
State and Local Public Finance
Local Government Management
PA 564
Economic Development I: Analysis
Seminar in Urban Politics
Urban Public Policy
Local Government Management Track
Intergovernmental Management (required)
Local Government Management (required)
Topics in Management and Leadership of Public Organizations
Strategic Management: Planning and Measurement
Conflict Management
Public Procurement and Contracting
Advanced Topics in Financial Analysis and Management
Accounting for Public and Nonprofit Organizations
Capital Budgeting and Finance
State and Local Public Finance
Advanced Topics in Public Budgeting
PA 564

Public Policy Concentration

Course Title
Concentration Courses
At least 16 credit hours must be taken in the area of concentration.
Public Policy Analysis (required)
Advanced Data Analysis I (required)
Students must also take two courses (8 credit hours) in one substantive policy area such as public health, education, criminal justice, environmental policy, science and technology policy, economic development, housing, transportation, community development, and social policy. These courses must be selected with the approval of the student's advisor and may be in the department or other departments and schools within the university.
  • Students with a unique specialized interest can create an individualized concentration consisting of 16 credit hours of course work. The course work must be coordinated and focused on a specific area of interest. The concentration courses must be approved by the director of graduate studies and may be in the Department of Public Administration as well other departments and schools within the university.
  • Comprehensive Examination: None
  • Thesis, Project, or Course-Work-Only Options: Course work only. No other options available.

Interdepartmental Concentration in Gender and Women’s Studies

Students earning a master’s degree in this department may complement their courses by enrolling in a concentration in Gender and Women’s Studies after consulting with their graduate advisor. See Gender and Women’s Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences section for more information.

Interdepartmental Graduate Concentration in Survey Research Methodology

Students earning a graduate degree in this department may complement their courses by enrolling in a concentration in Survey Research Methodology. See Interdepartmental Graduate Concentration in Survey Research Methodology in the Graduate College section for more information.