School of Public Affairs

Master of Public Administration

Master of Public Administation program at UCCS School of Public Affairs

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree prepares students to take leadership roles in the public and nonprofit sectors. The MPA degree is multidisciplinary and designed to provide graduate professional education for individuals who wish to prepare themselves for administrative and/or policy careers in public, nonprofit, national security and criminal justice systems. In addition to a solid core curriculum covering essential problem-solving and decision-making skills and diverse elective choices, students with less professional experience participate in internships with public and nonprofit agencies. Many School of Public Affairs students, already established in the public sector in mid-level management, bring a stimulating real-world perspective to the classroom.

"The MPA program helps students develop the knowledge, skills, and values to apply evidence-based solutions to a range of social conditions. Our graduates transform lives and change the world through public service leadership in fields as diverse as public management, nonprofit administration, local government, homeland defense, emergency management, national security, grant writing, program evaluation, and community resilience."
-- Catherine Simmons, MPA Program Director

Catherine Simmons

Our traditional MPA degree is distinctive in that it can be acquired entirely online, entirely in the classroom, or in combination. The online availability means the degree is accessible to any student with internet access. Curriculum, degree expectations, and competencies, are all identical for the online and classroom programs. Students in the MPA program should expect to complete the degree in no less than one and a half and no more than six years; the average is about three years. Approximately 120 MPA students were enrolled in the program during the 2012-2013 academic year.

Mission

The Master of Public Administration program provides high quality graduate education for current and prospective practitioners in public and nonprofit organizations, here and abroad, to prepare them for excellence in public service.

To accomplish this mission, we strive to:

  • Advance public service through improving the quality of public, nonprofit, national security, and criminal justice systems.
  • Teach students from diverse backgrounds to work collaboratively to meet societal challenges ethically, with compassion, vision, analytic rigor, and practicality.
  • Foster strategic leadership skills: critical thinking and decision-making, effective communication, creative problem-solving, knowledge management, multi-sector understanding, and global citizenship.
  • Support and model civil public discourse, citizenship, responsibility, and respect.
  • Facilitate a process of lifelong learning that evolves and adapts to the changing nature of the field and continuous development of the knowledge, skills, and abilities required.

Competencies

Graduates of the MPA program will have the following competencies, as enumerated by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), our accrediting body:

  • The ability to lead and manage in public governance
  • The ability to participate in and contribute to the public policy process
  • The ability to analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems, and make decisions
  • The ability to articulate and apply a public service perspective
  • The ability to communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry

Are you wondering if the MPA is the right degree for you? Find how NASPAA defines a Master of Public Administration degree, information on schools, statistics on salaries and careers, and more at MPAMPP.

Find out more about quality in public affairs education.


MPA Alumna Profile: Gail Nehls, Executive Director, Amblicab

 
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