Master of Public Administration Program

Frequently Asked Questions in the MPA Program

Is the program accredited?

YES! Southern Utah University is accredited through Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). The MPA program was just recently granted full accreditation through National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).

Should I apply if I don't meet and/or exceed all of the published criteria?

Absolutely YES! The MPA Admissions Committee is meticulous when reviewing full application packages. Each applicant is considered based on the combination of all the material submitted rather than on bits and pieces.

What is the most important part of the application?

Applicants are considered based on the picture painted by all the parts of the application process, so each component is equally important.

How long does it take to complete the program?

The 36-credit-hour program is designed to be completed in two years (four semesters). Nine (9) credit hours/semester is considered full-time at the graduate level. The program does offer courses in the summer allowing a student to finish in less than two years. 

Can I complete the program faster?

Yes. Although 9 credits is considered full-time, students may take more than 9 credits per semester, enabling completion of the program in three semesters instead of four.

How long can I take to complete the MPA?

As long as you like!  You need to meet the degree requirements of a catalog which will be no more than six years old at the time of the student's graduation.

I work full-time. Are classes offered on-line?

YES! You have the option to complete your MPA entirely online, on-campus, or a combination of both. 

What technology do I need to take and online MPA course from SUU?

  • a high-speed Internet connection
  • the current version of Firefox, Chrome, or Safari web browser
  • Microsoft Word, Open Office or Adobe Reader (Version 9 or higher)
  • a web cam
  • microphone and headphones (preferably a combined headset)

In what order should I take the classes required to complete the MPA?

There is no hard and fast rule to answer this question. Typically, students will take PADM 6000 Program Overview and Theory of Public Administration at the beginning of the program, PADM 6440 Research Methods half way through, and will take PADM 6990 Capstone in Public Administration at the end. Students are encouraged to shape their degree path to suit their ambitions and needs. Be advised that a student must complete at least 9 credit hours before registering for PADM 6440 Research Methods and 18 credit hours for PADM 6990 Capstone in the Public Sector. 

Do I have to complete an Internship?

If a student is pre-service, less than one year experience in the public sector, they must complete an internship as well as a professional project or thesis. If a student is in-service, currently employed within the public sector for at least a year or more, they have the option to waive the internship and just complete a professional project or thesis. 

Is there an MPA Student Handbook?

Yes! Access it.

Where do I go for further information?

MPA Administrative Assistant or Graduate Assistants will be happy to answer any/all questions. The administrative assistant, Deena Marchal can be contacted at 435-865-8150, by e-mail at, or in person in GC 406Q (General Classroom Building) on the SUU Campus.