Frequently Asked Questions about the MPA

Do I have to choose an area of specialization?

No. Many students decide to enroll in elective courses that provide specialized education in a specific area of study, and our program offers specialized study in the following: nonprofit leadership; hazard policy; and transportation administration. As an alternative, students interested in arts administration or urban planning may decide to use electives in these areas to fulfill MPA requirements. Other students take an array of elective courses to broaden the scope of their knowledge and skills in a variety of public administration areas upon graduation.

How are MPA classes delivered?

The MPA Program offers most courses in a traditional classroom setting. Students have the ability to take a limited number of classes in an online or hybrid format.

How many students are enrolled in the program?

The program has about 25 students. Roughly 75 percent of our students are pre-service and have not worked in public or nonprofit organizations; 25 percent are currently working, or have worked, in public or nonprofit settings for at least two years. Generally, about three quarters of our students elect to enroll full-time.

How many enrolled students complete the program?

Students who enroll full-time will obviously complete the program faster than those who are part-time. Full-time students can complete the program in five semesters with continuous full-time enrollment, while part-time students can complete the program in three to four years, depending on how many courses are taken each semester. The data below show the completion rate for the 48 students who entered the program during the 2015-2016 academic year.

Program Completion Numbers and Percentages:
Summer 2014-Spring 2015 MPA Students

  • Initially Enrolled: 48 (100%)
  • Graduated in 2.5 years: 31 (64%)
  • Graduated within 3 years: 2 (69%)
  • Graduated within 4 years: 36 (75%)

Of the 48 students who were newly enrolled in summer 2012, fall 20142 and spring 2013, 75% graduated within four years. Of these students, 64% graduated in two and a half years, 69% graduated in three years, and by the fourth year, 75% had graduated.

Where do your students go on to work?

Our graduates go on to serve in the public sector in a variety of different capacities, securing positions in national, state, and local government sectors and the nonprofit sector. Several of our graduates have also gone on to serve in the private sector, often providing research and consulting services to for-profit entities.