Master of Public Administration

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) provides public service leaders with present-day management tools that use real time data to enhance decision making, performance and accountability.  The MPA program of study focuses on meeting the high priority needs and expectations of leaders in organizations with the mission of serving communities.  The design of this program incorporates future oriented practices for leaders in many facets of public service, including; law enforcement, fire services, nonprofit administration, local, state and federal government, emergency management, community development and healthcare administration. Students will learn to apply results-driven strategies to enhance the common good in their respective public service endeavors.


The Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree equips students with the resources and strategies necessary to make meaningful contributions in today's world of public service.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Administration: Create strategies to increase the effectiveness of public service provision and delivery.
  • Public Policy: Interpret data to draw conclusions about public policy development and application.
  • Strategic Governance: Apply data-driven methods to public decision-making and stewardship of public resources.
  • Relationships: Create strategies to promote collaboration among public service organizations.
  • Finance: Use data to drive financial decision-making.
  • Ethics: Apply an ethical reasoning strategy to a public service related case study.

Requirements for Admission

The prospective graduate student in the MPA program must demonstrate his or her readiness to succeed in graduate-level academic coursework by satisfactorily fulfilling one of the following admission options. All graduate admissions options listed below require an earned baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution.

Option One

A 3.0 grade point average (GPA) calculated over the most recent 30 graded semester (45 quarter) credits completed in either a baccalaureate or post baccalaureate program, including credits earned toward a credential. All credits used for GPA calculation must be from a regionally accredited institution.

Option Two

A GPA between 2.5 and 2.99 calculated over the most recent graded 30 semester (45 quarter) credits completed in either a baccalaureate or post baccalaureate program, including credits earned toward a credential. All credits used for GPA calculation must be from a regionally accredited institution. A satisfactory score on an accepted graduate admissions exam is required.

  1. Graduate Record Exam (GRE): achieve the required minimum scores on two out of three of the subsections of the GRE.  (Minimum score for Quantitative: 141, minimum score for Verbal: 150, minimum score for Analytic Writing: 4.5)
  2. Miller Analogies Test (MAT): achieve a minimum scaled score of 400.
  3. Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT): fulfill the formula GMAT + (GPA X 200) > 1000.

Option Three

An earned master's degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution.

Option Four

Submission of a portfolio of evidence that shows adequate preparation for graduate studies. The portfolio will contain: writing samples that show graduate level communications and analytical skills; a detailed resume showing professional development and achievements; awards; professional recognition; letters of reference from persons who can attest to the applicant’s ability to do graduate level work; and a letter of explanation detailing the reasons the student believes he or she is a good candidate for graduate study in the field of Public Administration.

Transfer of Coursework

A maximum of 9 semester credits may be accepted in transfer toward electives in the MPA degree program.  (See Academic Policies and Procedure section.)

In addition to university policies concerning transfer of coursework, the MPA program will accept transfer of military coursework which meet the following requirements:

  1. Course requested for transfer must include an official transcript or copy of an ACE evaluation which verifies graduate-level work;
  2. Coursework must be letter graded or provide verification of completion with a grade of "B" or higher;
  3. Coursework must be comparable to program requirements (if marginal comparability, a written statement of rationale must be provided); and
  4. Military coursework will be accepted in transfer as fulfilling prerequisite and elective requirements only.
  5. Transfer of nine elective credits to the MPA Degree to eligible Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard, retired and prior military service members for completion of military coursework comparable to OLCU 614 Leadership & Team Development, HRCU 618 Career Management, and HRCU 605 Talent Management Qualifications and provisions of this nine credit transfer opportunity follow: 

a. The service member must qualify for admission to the MPA degree program. (See Graduate Admission section of this catalog).

b. Active Duty, active reserve, retired and prior service military members in the following ranks are eligible: Commissioned Officer (any rank), Senior NCO (E7 or above) or CW2 or above.

c. Commissioned Officers must be graduates of a commissioning program (OCS or equivalent, ROTC, Military Academy) and an officer basic career course. Senior NCOs must be E7 or above and graduates of a career NCO Advanced Course. Warrant Officers must be CW2 or above and graduates of a Warrant Officer Candidate School and a Warrant Officer career course.

d. The seven-year rule for completion of all coursework toward the MPA degree applies, including transfer credit for military schooling. (See Seven-Year Limitation in Graduate Academic Policies and Procedures section of this catalog.)

e. Recipients of the nine credit transfer must complete all remaining coursework for the MPA degree at University of Massachusetts Global in accordance with academic policy.

f. This is not an online only program. Service members who qualify may enroll in the MPA program, if available, at a nearby campus or as an online student.


The MPA program consists of two segments. The first segment is the 24 credits for the specific core requirements, and the second segment consists of 12 elective or emphasis area credits.

MPA Core
OLCU 501Organizational Research3
PADU 600Foundations of Public Administration3
PADU 607Public Policy Analysis3
PADU 608Governance in the Public Sector3
FINU 610Public Sector Finance3
HRCU 612Human Resources Management in Public Administration3
OLCU 613Seminar in Organizational Dynamics3
PADU 682Public Administration Professional Practice3
MPA Core Subtotal24
Electives or Designated Emphasis Area
Electives or Emphasis Area12
Elective or Emphasis Area Subtotal12
Total Credits36

MPA Electives/Emphasis

Individualized Electives

MPA students may select an individualized set of electives (12 credit limit) from the graduate courses listed in the following areas (in consultation with an academic advisor): Business Administration, Business Intelligence and Data Analytics, Computer Science, Geographic Information Systems, Human Resources, Organizational Leadership and Public Administration.

MPA Emphases (Instead of individualized electives, MPA students may specialize in one of the following designated emphasis areas (12 credits):

Business Intelligence and Data Analytics Emphasis

BUSU 670Data Foundations3
BUSU 671Data Visualization and Presentation3
BUSU 672Project Planning and Data Modeling3
BUSU 673Project Implementation and Analysis3
Total Credits12

Healthcare Administration Emphasis

HAUU 640Foundations of Healthcare Administration3
HAUU 641Healthcare Law and Ethics3
HAUU 642Health Information Systems and Technology3
Plus one of the following courses:
HAUU 645Healthcare Economics3
HAUU 651Healthcare Quality and Safety3
Total Credits12

Organizational Leadership Emphasis

This leadership focus is best suited for students interested in careers in the non-profit sector.

OLCU 621Frontiers of Public and Nonprofit Leadership3
OLCU 626Dynamics of Public and Nonprofit Leadership3
Select two of the following:
OLCU 600Foundations of Organizational Leadership3
OLCU 602Self, Systems, and Leadership3
OLCU 615Leading Organizational Change3
OLCU 650Introduction to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Leaders3
Total Credits12