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School of Public ServiceMPA Concentrations

Students have a choice of three MPA degree paths (click on each to open):

The Traditional MPA

The Traditional MPA requires 39 credit hours, with 21 credit hours of core classes and 18 credit hours of elective courses.

The 18 elective credit hours are the student's choice with the Traditional MPA. Those courses can be classes where the student has a broad interest in public administration OR can be among available courses within a narrower interest area.

Students may also take elective courses in other academic areas, pending approval of the Graduate Program Director and subsequently noted in DegreeWorks.

Note: No action is required if the student chooses the Traditional MPA. This is the default option.

The MPA with a Concentration in Non-Profit Management & Governance (effective Fall 2019)

The MPA Concentration in Nonprofit Management and Governance is designed for students who want to enhance their skills and knowledge in nonprofit management, leadership, and governance. The courses will prepare students to support and influence the direction of a nonprofit organization across a wide range of service areas such as human services, environmental management, arts, and education.

Courses (all are required):

Total hours required: The MPA degree requires 39 credit hours; 12 elective hours are required for the concentration (all concentration hours are part of the 39 credit hour total). After either concentration (NP or MSPS), the student still has 6 elective credit hours (i.e., two 3-credit courses) to complete.

Note: an MPA student may take any of the above courses, even though the student is not in a concentration. Students may opt out of a concentration once they begin it, by contacting the MPA GPD.

The MPA with a Concentration in Multi-Sector Public Service

Students in the MPA with the Multi-Sector Public Service concentration will analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems, and make decisions from a multi-sectoral perspective. They will examine the impact of different social, economic, and political forces/phenomena on multi-sectoral management/policy issues. Students will understand how the changing public service landscape affects policy decision making, management, and governance.

Required course:

  • PADM 725: Government, Business, & Society

Elective courses (pick any three):

  • PADM 653: Wicked Problems in Public Administration
  • PADM 708: Urban and Regional Economic Development
  • PADM 714: Public-Private Partnerships
  • PADM 716: Introduction to Nonprofit Sector
  • PADM 721: Transportation Policy
  • PADM 726: Introduction to Public Procurement
  • PADM 734: Negotiation and Dispute Resolution
  • PADM 740: Community Participation and Civic Engagement
  • PADM 760: Collaboration


Note: please be aware that concentrations will show up on transcripts, but not on diplomas (university policy).


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