Why you should get a Master’s in Public Administration

Posted: June 29, 2020 | Author: Madelyn Bushman | Read Time: 5 minutes

What is a master's degree in public administration?In today’s dynamic professional landscape, the demand for skilled public administrators is higher than ever before. Whether it's in municipal government, criminal justice, or education, the public sector is known for its highly structured compensation plans, great benefits, and job security. Employees drawn to this field learn quickly that obtaining a relevant graduate degree is required to advance their careers.

For these ambitious individuals, Southern Utah University’s Masters of Public Administration (MPA) program offers the right kind of degree that also offers customizable options, so the degree can be tailored to the individual interests and career aspirations.

SUU’s MPA program provides an intellectual, collaborative and engaging learning environment where practical and theoretical concepts of public administration are presented within the historical, political, social, cultural and economic contexts.
“The SUU MPA program is designed to be an online community that is affordable and flexible for our students,” said MPA Program Director Donna Handley. “Our desire is to help you build your leadership skills in the public and nonprofit sectors, with the help of our excellent faculty, the practical emphasis of our courses, and our TBird MPA alumni network.”

Tuition for the MPA is already 33% lower than the national average for public institutions. Graduate scholarships can make the degree an even better value. A 90% employment rate in the field means that graduates are job-ready and sought after.

With a focus on “work while you learn” and backed by Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) accreditation, this program – available both on-campus and online – stands out as the ideal choice for public sector employees looking to advance their careers and make a meaningful impact in their communities.

How the MPA is structured ?

The MPA program is structured around 14-week courses and can be completed online or on-campus. The online MPA option provides working adults the flexibility to study around their schedule and allows them to efficiently balance work, education and personal commitments. Students typically finish the MPA program in 2 years or less.

The Customizable MPA  

Students may customize the 36-credit hour program to suit their personal interests and career objectives. There are a variety of electives for students to choose from, as well as the opportunity to emphasize in one of the three tracks offered at SUU.

The MPA program at SUU offers three emphasis tracks which are:

  • State and Local Government
  • High Education Administration
  • Criminal Justice

Some MPA Electives students can choose from:

  • Higher Education Law and Policy
  • Global Higher Education
  • Leadership and Management in the Public Sector
  • Managing America’s Cities
  • Student Affairs in Higher Education
  • Organization and Administration in Higher Education
  • Organization and Administration at the Criminal Justice Agency
  • Comparative Public Policy
  • Intergovernmental Relations

Work while you learn  

For those already working in the public sector, career progression often hinges on increasing responsibilities. Salary increments are typically highly structured and defined, making it essential to seek opportunities to be eligible for advancement.

Pursuing higher education is a proven pathway to qualify for higher-level positions. The MPA program at SUU is designed to empower individuals to excel in their current roles while preparing them for more influential leadership positions in the future.

Your SUU learning experience  

While most students are gaining experience from their jobs while in school, their academic learning is enriched by attentive faculty who encourage real-life experiences.

Karen Peterson (MPA, 2016) described how supportive and accommodating her professors were. Peterson completed her MPA project requirement with the Utah Governor’s Office, which led to a full-time position there. Her professors opened up access to assignments early so she could work ahead in anticipation of her schedule during the ensuing legislative session.

Peterson worked with another instructor to use a relevant professional project at work as a substitute for a class assignment. She also took advantage of a two-week study abroad program, which enhanced the value of her education and has inspired the work she is doing now as a Utah House District 13 Representative.

Other graduate students report the incredible learning and networking value of actively engaging in online discussion tasks.

Like many endeavors, you get out of your education what you put into it. These examples demonstrate some of those ways and the commitment of SUU faculty to provide students with the most relevant and meaningful learning experience.

Endless Opportunities  

The field of Public Administration offers a wide variety of opportunities for dedicated professionals. Its structured career paths and defined salary scales offer a clear trajectory for advancement. This field encompasses a diverse range of career paths, placing significant emphasis on leadership skills. As well as offering opportunities to have access to high-quality employee benefits.

Public Administration is a dynamic field, as it is constantly evolving and subject to rapid fluctuations. It opens doors to opportunities at local, state, and federal government levels. The MPA program at SUU prepares students for the workforce by requiring hands-on experiences through internships. While students are welcome to seek out their own internships, they may also apply for internships with the National Academy of Public Administration, providing a unique opportunity to engage with PA on a global scale.

Graduates with an MPA degree can anticipate an increase in both their salary and level of responsibilities. Moreover, SUU boasts outstanding job placement rates, with over 90% of students finding employment in their chosen field on average.

NASPAA Accreditation  

The MPA program is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). This prestigious accreditation ensures that the program adheres to rigorous academic standards and is committed to providing top-tier education in public administration. Students can be confident that they are receiving a high-quality education that meets the highest industry benchmarks and is valued by employers when enrolling in the MPA program at SUU.

The Masters of Public Administration program at SUU is a beacon for those passionate about making a positive impact through public service. With tailored concentrations, financial support options and a wealth of career prospects, this program provides a solid foundation for a fulfilling career in public administration.

Apply now and join a community of passionate professionals committed to shaping a better future for our communities and beyond.

To receive more information about graduate programs at SUU contact onlineadmissions@suu.edu

Produced by SUU Graduate Studies
SUU's Graduate School draws from a prestigious heritage and allows students to pursue a quality education. The master's degree programs offer students the chance to further their professional and educational careers on campus or online.
To receive more information about Graduate Programs at SUU contact onlineadmissions@suu.edu.

Tags: College of Humanities and Social Sciences Public Administration Graduate Programs SUU Graduate School Online

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