About this program
The MPA program curriculum is consistent with the guidelines of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).
A completely online option is available. You can complete your master’s degree in public administration without ever setting foot on our campuses by taking online classes.
Metropolitan State University's Master of Public Administration (MPA) program prepares you for a wide range of career and leadership opportunities in the field of public administration. The state-of-the-art curriculum addresses the most critical challenges that public administrators and their respective councils or boards face at all levels of government.
The MPA program offers:
- a broadly based professional degree that demonstrates your ability to lead and manage a broad range of public organizations and programs;
- a practical education that equips you to design and manage new ways to address pressing social problems;
- preparation to provide ethical leadership within your organization and in the public arena;
- a learning environment that is enriched by a highly diverse student body and outstanding practitioner scholars;
- preparation for work and careers that increasingly cross organizational and sector boundaries; and
- the choice to complete your degree completely on campus, completely online, or in a combination of online and on-campus courses.
In a world where professionals are increasingly expected to make multiple job changes during their careers and work across the sectors, this degree is a very practical choice that integrates study of public administration and issues with non-profit and for-profit perspectives. Students begin by studying program fundamentals, then take courses in public policy analysis and public budgeting and finance, supported by a set of strategic skills courses, electives, and a capstone seminar that all students complete.
- 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 Policy Analysis and Public Budgeting and Finance courses, plus electives in specific areas of practice.
- Capstone seminar: Final project and MPA program integration.
All MPA students must complete 40 graduate credits.
Our resident and community faculty in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management and Leadership are recognized experts in their respective fields and teaching areas.
- They have earned master’s or doctorate degrees in public administration, nonprofit management, public policy, business administration, and related fields.
- They have valuable leadership experience in the public sector, e.g., City Manager, County Administrator, Director of Community Planning and Development, Director of Finance and Policy Research, Chief Budget Officer, and Head Start Director.
- They have served as President, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Executive Director, Chief Operating Officer (COO), Administrator, Development and Communications Director, Associate Director, Board Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer of the Board of Directors of nonprofit organizations, e.g., St. Croix Valley Foundation, House of Charity, Micah House, Ventura County Civic Alliance, Aspen Institute in Washington DC, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, A Place for You, Total Health Africa, and Minnesota Waste Wise Foundation.
- They have national and international consulting experience and are authors of applied and refereed publications.
Our MPA graduate students are required to take a rigorous set of courses that will strengthen their skill set in three learning areas – organization and management, analytics, and ethical and accountable leadership.
- They will learn organization and management, e.g., strategic management of human resources, revenue generation, and budgeting and financial management;
- They will master techniques and methods of analyses, e.g., public policy analysis, program evaluation, economic and statistical reasoning, that support public management and policy decisions; and
- Finally, they will be able to apply theories and best practices of ethical, responsible, and accountable leadership for the public good.
Graduates of the MPA program should be able to:
- Understand the historic, current, and evolving role of the public sector in shaping public policy, promoting civic negotiation, and advocating for the public good.
- Apply practical research methods and techniques in information management, economic analysis, policy analysis, and organizational and institutional analysis to support the decisions of public sector professionals.
- Understand the theories and best practices related to public service, including strategic management, ethical leadership, and respectful engagement with diverse cultures.
- Interpret and apply methods of budgeting and control, revenue diversification, financial management, and performance evaluation to achieve financially sustainable and accountable public agencies.
A sampling of jobs currently held by alumni of the graduate programs in Public Administration and Nonprofit Leadership and Management
City of Oakdale
State of Minnesota
|Deputy Permanent Secretary
Ministry of Lands and Regional Government, Gambia
MN Department of Human Services
|Crime Prevention Analyst
Minneapolis Police Department
|Grants Management Generalist Specialist
Greater Twin Cities United Way
|Strategic Implementation Manager
|Parks and Recreation Director
City of Apple Valley
|Senior Development Officer
CentraCare Health Foundation
Association of Minnesota Counties
|Colonel – Chief of State Patrol
MN State Patrol
|Manager of Accounting
City of Minneapolis
|Director of Clinical Services
Hazelden Betty Ford
|Business Continuity and Emergency Manager
MN Department of Administration
City of Shakopee
Midtown Global Market
City of Cottage Grove
|Community Development Specialist
City of New Hope
City of Minneapolis
|United States Diplomat
U.S. Department of State
Minneapolis Public Housing
Amherst H. Wilder Foundation
Doing Good Together
Twin Cities Pride
|Gold Star Family/Women Veterans Coordinator
MN Department of Veterans Affairs
|Community Engagement Specialist
St. Paul Police Department
Metropolitan State University
|Director of Development & Communication
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
|Court Operations Supervisor
State of Minnesota