Master of Public and Nonprofit Administration (MPNA)
[Program Overview] [Program Outcomes] [Curriculum] [Admission Criteria] [Application Requirements] [Transfer Credits] [Academic Standing] [Time to Completion] [Accreditation] [Faculty] [Contact Information]
The Master of Public and Nonprofit Administration (MPNA) is designed to prepare graduates to lead and manage organizations and programs ethically, strategically, effectively and efficiently for the public good.
The MPNA program is available in three formats: regular classroom-based courses, a totally online format, and Web-enhanced courses which alternate meeting in the classroom and online. You can choose the format you prefer, including a mix of all three formats.
There are four sets of courses required to complete the MPNA degree.
- Five core courses (20 credits) provide a solid grounding in the essential theories, processes and skills needed by managers in today's rapidly-changing environment. These courses are required for all students in the program.
- Three track courses (12 credits) provide focused study in either public administration or nonprofit management, or a mix of both tracks, if students prefer.
- Elective courses (4 credits) allow students to pursue their particular interests. Students may take advantage of 2-credit elective courses that are offered regularly in the MPNA program or take track courses from outside their selected track; they can also select graduate level courses from any program in the College of Management.
- The MPNA capstone course (4 credits) which provides an opportunity for students to complete a significant study or project that integrates learning from their MPNA coursework, professional or career direction and life experience.
Graduates of the MPNA program should be able to:
- Conduct critical analysis of complex issues faced by public and nonprofit 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.
All MPNA students must complete the following:
Core Courses (20 credits)
Courses are listed in suggested order.
- MGMT 600 Practical Research Methods for Managers (2 credits)
This course must be taken the first semester of graduate work.
- MGMT 620 Organizational Behavior (4 credits)
- ECON 635 Economics of Social Issues (4 credits)
- MPNA 660 Strategic Human Resource Management: Public and Nonprofit (4 credits)
- MPNA 680 Information Management, Evaluation and Public Accountability (4 credits)
- MPNA 690 Public Ethics and the Common Good (2 credits)
Tracks (12 credits)
Choose one of the following tracks. Courses are listed in suggested order.
Public Administration Track
- PADM 600 Public Administration Foundations (4 credits)
- PADM 650 Public Policy Analysis (4 credits)
- PADM 675 Public Finance (4 credits)
- NPM 600 Nonprofit Governance and Management (4 credits)
- NPM 650 Resource Development and Strategic Communications (4 credits)
- NPM 675 Nonprofit Financial Management (4 credits)
Students may take courses in both tracks, as long as they take at least one course from each of the following pairs of courses:
Electives (4 credits)
The MPNA program offers a different two-credit elective every term, under the following designator:
The particular topics to be addressed are announced one year in advance. Recently offered topics include:
- Community Economic Development
- International Issues in Public and Nonprofit Administration
- Advanced Leadership Seminar
- Public-Private Partnerships: Collaborations in Community Safety and Beyond
- Managing Organizational Change
Students may also choose an additional MPNA track course or an appropriate graduate course from the MBA or MMIS programs in College of Management, in consultation with their advisor.
Capstone (4 credits)
This course should be taken after completion of at least 32 credits, or earlier with permission from your academic advisor.
Because this program does not require a GMAT, GRE or equivalent test, a special assessment process has been developed for evaluating applications. If you have completed the GMAT or GRE, these scores can be used in lieu of the special assessment process. This assessment process or GMAT/GRE scores may generate requirements for admission that include preparatory work in writing, math or a required discipline that does not count toward graduation. The preparatory work assures that you are ready for high-quality, master's level instruction. Assessments must be completed before an admission decision is made and before any graduate-level classes can be taken. The assessment is offered free of charge and can be taken on-site at the College of Management or, for distance learners, proctored at a remote location. Because of the applied nature of this graduate program, a minimum of one year of professional work experience is recommended for admission to the program.
The College of Management Graduate Admissions Committee in public and nonprofit administration evaluates your application for evidence of undergraduate scholarship, professional experience and demonstrated aptitude for successful graduate study. If you meet all application requirements, you are given full admission to the MPNA program. If your application meets some, but not all admissions requirements, you may be granted conditional admission to the program. As a conditionally-admitted student, you must complete selected prerequisite courses prior to completing any graduate course work. Applicants denied admission may not take graduate level courses in the College of Management.
Reapplication for Denied Applicants
If your application for admission to the program is denied, you may reapply for admission only after a minimum of six months has passed after the denial. You will need to demonstrate a substantive difference in the reapplication to be considered for admission.
If your application to the program is denied, you may apply for another College of Management graduate program. A new application form must be accompanied by a $20 application fee, a new goals essay, updated resume, two new references and test scores and/or assessment scores appropriate to the degree for which you are applying.
English and Quantitative Competence Assessment
All College of Management students, except those in special international cohort programs, are expected to demonstrate English and quantitative competence at a level to ensure success in graduate studies. If your abilities are assessed to be inadequate for graduate study, you may be required to enroll in appropriate undergraduate courses until your skills have been brought to a satisfactory level. These undergraduate courses must be successfully completed prior to taking any graduate level courses.
Applicants should allow 7-10 business days for review once all required application materials are received and sent to the College of Management Graduate Admissions Committee.
To be considered for admission you must submit:
- Graduate Application
- Non-refundable application fee (waived for graduates of Metropolitan State University)
- Official transcripts
- Assessment scores
- Current resume
- Goals essay
See Applying to the Program for application packets, details on the requirements, deadlines and International Student application requirements.
Once you are admitted to a College of Management graduate program you will be expected to attend a graduate student orientation session before or during your first semester of course work. If you are unable to attend orientation because you are located outside the Twin Cities area, arrangements will be made to provide you with orientation information via the Internet and/or telephone.
Once fully admitted, you may transfer up to 16 graduate level credits into the program. A course is accepted in transfer only if it is an appropriate substitution for MPNA courses, has been completed within the last five years from an accredited institution, no degree was granted, and a letter grade of B or better was earned in the course. Courses are accepted in transfer upon the approval of the MPNA Curriculum Coordinator.
You must maintain satisfactory academic progress to remain in a College of Management graduate or certificate program.
Only courses for which you receive a letter grade of C (2.0) or better count toward degree requirements; and a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 is required for graduation.
If you receive a letter grade of C+ or below in any graduate course, you will be placed on academic probation. If you receive a letter grade of C+ or below in two courses, you will be dismissed from the graduate program.
If you have been dismissed from the program for unsatisfactory academic progress, you may apply for readmission after one calendar year has passed. To reapply, submit an updated resume and a letter to the College of Management Graduate Admissions Committee indicating what circumstances have changed and how you plan to successfully complete the program. The admissions committee reviews your request and responds in writing. Readmission decisions are not automatic.
Only courses in which you receive a letter grade are applied toward your degree. The option of a competence/no competence with a narrative transcript is not available to College of Management graduate students.
Appeal of Unsatisfactory Academic Progress Removals from the Program
If you are removed from the program for unsatisfactory academic progress, you may appeal the removal to the College of Management dean. The appeal must be in writing, and it must provide specific grounds for the appeal. The appeal is due to the dean within 30 days of the date of the letter notifying you of the decision to remove you from the program. The dean has 30 days to respond, in writing, to the appeal. Appeals received after 30 days will not be considered.
You have five years from your first semester of graduate study to complete your degree program requirements. You may request an extension of the time limit by writing to the College of Management Graduate Programs Office. Such requests must be received prior to the expiration of the time limit. Requests for extensions should include your reason(s) for requesting the extension, a summary of your plan to finish graduation requirements, and a specific date for the extension to expire. Extension decisions are made by the College of Management Graduate Admissions Committee and are not automatic and cannot be appealed.
College of Management Outstanding Student Award
During your final semester of coursework, you may be nominated by the faculty for the College of Management Outstanding Student Award. Nominees are evaluated on the basis of their academic performance in their graduate degree program as well as achievements in their community and professional contributions. All finalists are recognized in the commencement program, and the outstanding student receives special recognition at commencement. The student's name will also be placed on a plaque that is permanently displayed in the College of Management.
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 MPNA program curriculum is consistent with the guidelines of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) and the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council (NACC).
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 College of Management has a strong community faculty who are fully committed to educational excellence. All community faculty have graduate degrees, either a master's or a doctorate, as well as business expertise in their fields. Metropolitan State assures the quality of its community faculty through a careful selection process, extensive training through our own Teaching Academy, and regular student evaluations.
1300 Harmon Place
Minneapolis, MN 55403
|Mailing Address |
College of Management
Graduate Programs Office
Metropolitan State University
1501 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55403