Public Administration (MPA)
Degree Program Overview
The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program at the University of Georgia is designed to develop professionals who can use their educational experiences to work productively at all levels of public sector management, as well as in research endeavors.
The central purpose of the program is to educate students for professional careers in public service including management and policy analysis in government and nonprofit organizations. The program is open to students without previous public service experience as well as students employed in the public sector who are seeking to advance their careers. While normally a terminal professional degree, some graduates of the MPA program have entered PhD or other programs and have assumed academic careers.
Curriculum and Courses
A total of 41 semester hours are needed for the completion of the MPA program. A mandatory socialization sequence and five core courses introduce the student to the various fields of public administration and the economic foundations of public policy. In addition, two required courses in research methods assist students in developing a familiarity with quantitative techniques in public decision making. Students must also select six courses from a number of available elective specializations to complete their degree. Students attending full-time can expect to complete the program in two years (four semesters).
The following provides an outline of the MPA Curriculum:
1. MPA Socialization Sequence (1 semester hour)
- PADP 6980 Socialization Seminar
2. Public Management Core (15 semester hours)
- PADP 6910 Public Administration and Democracy
- PADP 6920 Public Personnel Administration
- PADP 6930 Public Financial Administration
- PADP 6950 Economic Foundations of Policy Analysis
- PADP 6960 Public Management
3. Research Methods Sequence (6 semester hours)
- PADP 7110 Research Methods in Public Administration
- PADP 7120 Data Applications in Public Administration
4. Elective Courses (18 semester hours)
6. Capstone Paper and Portfolio (1 semester hour)
- PADP 6990 Capstone Paper and Portfolio
Click here for tuition rates per program.
To be considered for admission to the MPA program, students must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university and must demonstrate potential for excellence in the study of public administration. MPA students come from diverse backgrounds and fields of study. Each year, 65-70 students begin their path to earning their MPA.
Fall Semester to be considered for Assistantship—January 15
Fall Semester—July 1
Summer Semester – May 1
Spring Semester – November 15
Fall Semester to be considered for Assistantship—January 15
Fall Semester—April 15
Spring Semester – October 15
Step 1: Complete the Online Application
Complete the online application located at the UGA Graduate School website and pay the required application fee, which is $75 for domestic applicants and $100 for international applicants.
- You will be prompted to upload a resumé and statement of purpose. The statement of purpose is your opportunity to communicate to us how this program fits with your future plans. You should use this document to convey why this area of study and specifically this program are a good fit with your career and educational goals. You should also highlight your relevant experience and preparation for this program.
- You will be asked to enter the email addresses of three recommenders. If you would rather submit paper letters to the department, you will need to list your name and e-mail three times in the boxes on the online application that ask for your recommenders. That way, only you will receive the electronic letter of recommendation requests, which you may delete.
Step 2: Order Official Documents to be sent to the UGA Graduate School
Transcripts and and score reports are accepted electronically and by mail. Allow 10-14 days for receipt and processing of these materials by the Graduate School Admissions Office.
- Transcripts – Send one unofficial transcript from all institutions attended, even if no degree was conferred and/or credits are listed on other transcripts. If accepted to the program, you will have to submit an official transcript from all institutions from which you have earned a degree.
- Official Test Scores (GRE / TOEFL / IELTS)
- The GREis optional for any applicant, domestic or international, whose GPA as calculated
by the UGA Graduate School falls at or above a 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.
Domestic applicants with five years of work experience in the public or non-profit sector and an undergraduate GPA over 3.0 on a 4.0 scale may request a waiver for the GRE during the application process. If you fall within the second category and would like more information about a GRE waiver, contact Brandon Solie (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- All other applicants are required to submit official GRE scores along with their application. The average GRE score for incoming MPA students for 2021 was approximately 309; however, the GRE score is only one of several factors considered for admissions. Equally important are an applicant’s personal statement and other application materials.
- The departmental policy is to require TOEFLor IELTS scores from any applicant whose primary language is not English, unless that student has received a degree within the past two years from an accredited institution where the language of instruction is English. The TOEFL scores can be no older than two years.
- The GREis optional for any applicant, domestic or international, whose GPA as calculated by the UGA Graduate School falls at or above a 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.
*Applicants with five years of work experience in the public or non-profit sector and an undergraduate GPA over 3.0 may request a waiver for the GRE during the application process. To discuss a GRE waiver, contact Kristin Lawrence.
Mail materials to:
University of Georgia Graduate School Admissions
310 Herty Drive
Athens, GA 30602
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