Skip to Main Content
Graduating students of 2017 Spring

MPA Curriculum

The program consists of 36-42 credit hours (depending on experience) of approved course work, not counting the required program prerequisites. The program is arranged in a common core of 21 credits (7 courses) that all students are required to take, combined with an additional 15-21 credits (5-7 courses) of electives or concentration courses. Electives for the program consist of all MPA courses offered that are not designated as core courses. Other graduate courses in the University may be considered for meeting MPA elective requirements with the consent of the MPA director… 


Students who wish to specialize to a greater degree in the MPA program have the option of completing up to 12 credits of courses in any one of the following additional concentrations:

Students may also choose the Generalist Option, in which six electives (18 credits) are taken, without focusing on a single concentration. Students interested in pursuing these concentrations should notify the MPA Director of their intentions early in their program.  See the Advising page of this website for further information on these concentrations.

Certificate in Nonprofit Management

The MPA program also offers a 12-hour graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management. Requirements for this certificate consist of a three-course core curriculum and an elective drawn from a variety of courses offered by the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, as well as other graduate programs across the University. Students pursuing the certificate are admitted to the University as non-degree seeking students.

Internship requirement

An internship may be required for pre-service students entering the program, and is certainly strongly recommended.  If an internship is required, it will take the place of one of the required electives.  All students, except those who have met Fast Track or second Master's degree requirements, must take 42 hours to complete the program.  The need for an internship for any individual student is determined in consultation with the MPA Director.


As necessary to reach the required number of credits.  Elective courses may include any PSPA graduate course not part of the program Core, as well as courses from other departments, if approved by the MPA Director.

Graduation requirements

In order to graduate from the program: grades of C or above are required in all MPA courses; grades of B or above are required in at least 6 of the 7 required core courses; and MPA students must meet the minimum graduation requirements (especially an overall 3.0 graduate GPA) for master's degree students at the university. All students must apply for graduation during registration for the last semester of courses in the program. Deadlines are published online.