Public Administration (MPA)
Metropolitan State University's Master of Public Administration (MPA) program is designed to prepare graduates to lead and manage public organizations and programs ethically, strategically, and efficiently for the public good. The program is available in three formats: regular classroom classes, a totally online format, and Web-enhanced classes which alternate meeting in the classroom and online . You can choose the format you prefer, depending on your individual preferences or circumstances, including a mix of all three formats.
There are four sets of courses that are required to complete the MPA degree.
- Program Fundamentals: Fundamental concepts and skills that undergird the entire MPA program.
- Strategic Skills and Knowledge: Core competencies for all public and nonprofit professionals.
- Focus Areas: Public Administration courses, plus electives in specific areas of practice.
- Capstone: Final project and MPA program integration.
All MPA students must complete 40 graduate credits.
Graduates of the MPA program should be able to:
- Conduct critical analysis of complex issues faced by public administration leaders and professionals.
- Provide leadership in developing and implementing organizational and professional codes of conduct, establishing ethical organizational culture and facilitating the pursuit of justice in the public arena.
- Lead and manage employees, volunteers and teams ethically, strategically, effectively and efficiently.
- Manage information, organizational learning and technology to support high quality decisions and evaluation.
- Work effectively across sector, jurisdictional, organizational and professional boundaries.
- Communicate effectively as appropriate to the audience in written and oral communication.
- Manage financial and business resources, expenditures and accountabilities effectively.
- Engage effectively, respectfully and competently with diverse cultures and stakeholders in community and workplace environments.
- Advocate knowledgeably and effectively in the public arena to advance organizational and agency mission for the public good.
Applicants who have completed the GMAT or GRE may submit an official copy of these scores and by-pass the quantitative admissions assessment. Applicants who have not completed the GMAT or GRE must complete our free online quantitative tutorial/assessment in math and statistics, i.e. ALEKS . All applicants are required to submit an admissions essay, which also serves as a writing assessment. The quantitative tutorial/assessment and admissions essay must be completed before a final admission decision is made and before any graduate-level classes can be taken.
English and Quantitative Competence Assessment
All graduate students are expected to demonstrate English and quantitative competence at a level that ensures success in graduate studies. Applicants whose abilities are assessed to be inadequate for graduate study may be required to enroll in appropriate undergraduate courses until their skills have been brought to a satisfactory level. These undergraduate courses must be successfully completed prior to taking any graduate level courses.
The Graduate Admissions Committee evaluates applications for evidence of undergraduate scholarship, professional experience and demonstrated aptitude for successful graduate study. Applicants who meet all application requirements are given full admission to the MPA program. Applicants who meet some, but not all admissions requirements, may be granted conditional admission to the program. Conditionally-admitted students must complete selected prerequisite courses prior to registering for any graduate course work. Applicants denied admission may not take graduate level courses.
Reapplication for Denied Applicants
If an application for admission to the program is denied, the applicant may reapply for admission after a minimum of six months has passed since the denial. The applicant will need to demonstrate substantive improvements in the reapplication to be considered for admission.
Applicants who are denied admission may apply for another graduate program. A new application form must be accompanied by the application fee, a new goals essay, updated resume, two new references and test scores and/or assessment scores appropriate to the degree for which the applicant is applying.
Applicants should allow 7-10 business days for review once all required application materials are received and sent to the Graduate Admissions Committee.
To be considered for admission, applicants must submit:
- Graduate Application
- Non-refundable application fee (waived for graduates and veterans of Metropolitan State University)
- Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
- Quantitative assessment score
- Current resume
- Goals essay
- Two reference letters from professional or academic sources
See Applying to the Program for application packets, details on the requirements, deadlines and International Student application requirements.
Newly admitted students to the MPA program will be invited to a new student orientation with all newly admitted students in the public and nonprofit administration programs (MPNA, MPA, and MNLM) at the beginning of their first semester of course work. This orientation will introduce them to other students, alumni, and faculty as well as provide important information to navigate University systems and succeed in their graduate studies. Students who are unable to attend the orientation will be provided with orientation information via the Internet and/or telephone.
Once admitted, students may transfer up to 16 graduate level credits into the MPA program. A course may be considered for transfer only if it is an appropriate substitution for a required course or elective as outlined in the program curriculum, was not included in a previously granted degree, and was awarded a letter grade of B or better. Courses are accepted in transfer upon the approval of the Graduate Program Director.
Students must remain in satisfactory academic standing to continue in the MPA program. A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 is required for graduation, and only courses for which a letter grade of C (2.0) or better is received count toward degree requirements. The option of a competence/no competence with a narrative transcript is not available to MPA students. A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 and passing grades (i.e., C or better) for all required courses are required for graduation. Academic standing is calculated at the end of each semester.
Students receiving a letter grade of C+ or below in any graduate course, or who have a cumulative GPA that drops below 3.0, will be notified by a letter of concern from the College of Community Studies and Public Affairs Dean and will be required to meet with their Faculty Advisor to address obstacles to completing high-quality coursework. Required courses for which a student receives an F must be repeated and passed in order to graduate. MPA students may repeat courses if they receive a grade of C or C+, upon approval of the Graduate Program Director. No course may be taken more than three times.
Only the higher grade (if the course is repeated once) or highest grade (if the course is repeated twice) is used in computing the grade point average.
Dismissal Due to Unsatisfactory Academic Standing
Students who receive a grade of F in a required course must re-take the course at their earliest opportunity and pass it with a grade of C or better in order to complete their program and graduate. This is normally expected within one calendar year, provided the course is offered during that year, or the next time the course is offered from the time an F was received, to re-take the course. Failure to do so may result in dismissal from the program. Students who received an F but cannot complete the course with a passing grade of C or better within the two allowable re-take opportunities will be dismissed from the program.
Appeal of Dismissal Due to Unsatisfactory Academic Standing
Students who are removed from the program may appeal their removal to the College of Community Studies and Public Affairs Dean. The appeal must be made in writing and provide specific grounds for the appeal. The appeal is due to the Dean within 30 days of the date of the letter notifying them of the decision to remove them from the program. The Dean has 30 days to respond in writing to the appeal. Appeals received after 30 days will not be considered.
Readmission after Dismissal
Students who have been dismissed from the MPA program may apply for readmission no sooner than one calendar year after the last semester of study. To reapply, they have to complete the same process that was required for their initial admission and they must meet all the requirements of the program as of their time of readmission. Readmission decisions are made by the Graduate Admissions Committee and are not automatic.
Time to Completion
Students have five years from the first semester of graduate study to complete their degree program requirements. An extension of the time limit may be requested by writing to the Graduate Program Director. Such requests must be received prior to the expiration of the time limit. Requests for extensions should include the reason(s) for requesting the extension, a summary of the student's plan to finish graduation requirements, and a specific date for the extension to expire. Extension decisions are made by the Graduate Admissions Committee, are not automatic, and cannot be appealed.
Metropolitan State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Higher Learning Commission
30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400
Chicago, IL 60602-2504
The MPA program curriculum is consistent with the guidelines of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).
Resident faculty members are primarily:
- Holders of doctoral degrees in their fields
- Authors of applied and refereed publications
- Experienced in their academic fields.
Additionally, the MPA program has a strong community faculty fully committed to educational excellence in applied scholarship. All community faculty have either a master's or a doctorate in their area of instruction as well as professional expertise in their fields. Metropolitan State ensures the quality of its community faculty through a careful selection process, extensive training through our Center for Faculty Development, and regular student evaluations.