Report an accessibility problem

Public Administration, MPA

Public Administration, MPA

Academic programs / Graduate degrees / Public Administration, MPA

Analytics, Business, Global, International, Management, Policy, Social Policy, analysis, economics, environmental policy, finance, government, leadership, politics

Turn your desire for public service into a rewarding career. This highly ranked MPA program (No. 5 Public Management and Leadership, No. 10 Public Affairs programs by U.S. News & World Report, 2023) prepares you to be a results-driven leader who serves the public good.

Program description
Degree awarded: MPA  Public Administration

The MPA is a professional degree program designed to prepare students for public service at all levels of government as well as the nonprofit and private sectors.

The program consists of a core curriculum emphasizing managerial and analytic skills needed in a large range of careers that serve the public good. Students may also elect to specialize in one of four approved concentrations:

  • emergency management
  • nonprofit administration
  • public finance
  • urban management

This program can be completed full time or part time.

At a glance
Concurrent program options

Students can choose to create their own concurrent degree combination to match their interests by working with their academic advisor during or after their first semester of study. Some concurrent combinations are not possible due to high levels of overlap in curriculum; students should speak with their academic advisor for more details.

This degree is also offered as a concurrent program with the following:

Accelerated program options
Degree requirements

42 credit hours including the required capstone course (PAF 509)

Required Core (27 credit hours)
PAF 501 Public Service Research I (3)
PAF 502 Public Service Research II (3)
PAF 503 Public Affairs (3)
PAF 504 Microeconomics of Public Policy I (3)
PAF 505 Public Policy Analysis (3)
PAF 506 Public Budgeting and Finance (3)
PAF 507 Public Human Resource Management (3)
PAF 508 Organization Behavior (3)
PAF 574 Diversity, Ethics and Leading Public Change (3)

Electives or Research (12 credit hours)

Culminating Experience (3 credit hours)
PAF 509 Public Affairs Capstone (3)

Additional Curriculum Information
Students should see the academic unit for a complete list of approved electives. Approved elective credit hours may include courses offered by the school or other academic units in the university.

Admission requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree from a regionally accredited institution in a related field. Related fields include social science degrees, although the department may accept applicants with degrees from all educational backgrounds provided the minimum requirements for the degree program are met.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program or a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. two letters of recommendation
  4. written statement
  5. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of their current residency. Additional requirements for international students are available on the ASU Admission Services website.

The letters of recommendation should be from faculty members or other academic staff who can evaluate the applicant's academic performance.

The written statement should be one to two pages in length and describe the applicant's educational and career goals. This statement is also used as a sample of the applicant's writing abilities.

Applicants also may submit a resume or other documents.

Fees increase after the deadline.

Students enrolling in Master of Public Administration core courses must demonstrate minimum competency in statistics and American government, typically through the completion of an undergraduate social statistics course, such as PAF 301 Applied Statistics and undergraduate coursework in American national government, such as POS 310 American National Government. Completion of prerequisite courses is not a requirement for admission but must be completed within one semester after starting the program. Students also may satisfy the American national government competency by successfully completing a noncredit online course offered by the School of Public Affairs to incoming students.

Applicants should email if they have questions about the application process.

Tuition information
When it comes to paying for higher education, everyone’s situation is different. Students can learn about ASU tuition and financial aid options to find out which will work best for them.
Attend online
ASU Online

ASU offers this program in an online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year. Applicants may view the program’s ASU Online page for program descriptions and to request more information.

Career opportunities

Graduates are prepared to pursue a career in a field related to public administration or public policy. This may include opportunities as a manager or policy analyst in local, state or federal agencies; nonprofit organizations; and private organizations that interface with the public sector.

Contact information

School of Public Affairs | UCENT 400

What are accelerated programs?
Accelerated programs allow students the opportunity to expedite the completion of their degree.

3 year programs

These programs allow students to fast-track their studies after admission and earn a bachelor's degree in three years or fewer while participating in the same high-quality educational experience of a 4-year option. Students should talk to their academic advisor to get started.

Accelerated master's

These programs allow students to accelerate their studies to earn a bachelor's plus a master's degree in as few as five years (for some programs).

Each program has requirements students must meet to be eligible for consideration. Acceptance to the graduate program requires a separate application. Students typically receive approval to pursue the accelerated master’s during the junior year of their bachelor's degree program. Interested students can learn about eligibility requirements and how to apply.
What are concurrent programs?
Concurrent degrees allow students to pursue their own personal or professional interests, earn two distinct degrees and receive two diplomas. To add a concurrent degree to your existing degree, work with your academic advisor.
What are joint programs?
Joint programs, or jointly conferred degrees, are offered by more than one college and provide opportunities for students to take advantage of the academic strengths of two academic units. Upon graduation, students are awarded one degree and one diploma conferred by two colleges.

What constitutes a new program?
ASU adds new programs to Degree Search frequently. Come back often and look for the “New Programs” option.
What are online programs?
ASU Online offers programs in an entirely online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year. See for more information.
What is WRGP (Western Regional Graduate Program)?
The Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) provides a reduced tuition rate to non-resident graduate students who qualify. Visit the WRGP/WICHE webpage for more information:

click back to top