Master of Public Administration Degree Requirements

The 36 credit hour MPA program is a professional degree suitable to all students interested in pursuing a career in management within the public and nonprofit sectors.

The core MPA requirements are shown below. See all of the emphases requirements in the General Catalog.

Some courses require instructor approval. In such cases, you will need to complete an add course request to register for these courses.

Core Requirements - Complete All Seven Courses

Course Number Course Title Credit Hours
PADM 6000 Program Overview and Theory of Public Administration 3
PADM 6200 Public Sector Economics 3
PADM 6300 Administrative Law 3
PADM 6440 Research Methods for Public Administration 3
PADM 6500 Public Human Resource Mgmt 3
PADM 6620 Critical Thinking and Ethics in the Public Sector 3
PADM 6990 Capstone in Public Administration 3

Experiential Learning

All MPA Students must complete either a Professional Project or Thesis. Additionally, pre-service MPA students must complete an MPA internship.

As a terminal degree, the MPA develops practical skills in an applied setting, as well as in the classroom. The experiential learning courses offer students the opportunity to further develop their competencies in a professional setting. The content of these courses is unique to each student and specially designed around the student's needs and interests.

All students must complete PADM 6950 - Professional Project to earn the MPA degree.

MPA Internship

PADM 6890 - MPA Internship is a required course for all students who have less than one year of full-time experience in a public or nonprofit organization (pre-service). Responsibility for seeking an internship falls upon the student. However, we regularly post opportunities available for current MPA students in Canvas. Students with more than one year of relevant experience can request a waiver of the internship and substitute the 3 credit hours with another elective. Students may submit a Substitution & Waiver Form to request an internship waiver. Provide a brief explanation of your work history in the comments section of the waiver request. 

Sample internship placements in which our MPA students have participated include:
  • Lt. Governor’s Staff Office
  • Campus & Community Outreach
  • Honors Aid and Advising
  • Budget and Finance in International Affairs
  • Zion National Park
  • American Language and Culture Center (ALCC)
  • Office of Enrollment Management
  • Iron County Water District
  • Non-traditional Students Office
  • Washington City
  • SUU Title IX Office
  • Student Affairs, Completion and Student Success

Professional Project

The professional project offers students a unique opportunity to create a specialized learning environment in which to develop and apply competencies in a realistic setting. Under the supervision of an MPA faculty member, students partner with a host organization to develop and complete a project. Projects help students develop specific competencies in a safe, practical setting.


Elective Courses

In addition to the required core and experiential learning courses, students have a variety of electives from which to choose each semester, including summer. Students will take 3-4 electives to complete the MPA degree, depending on the student's internship requirement. Read more about our Concentration Options to see how you can tailor your electives in a particular area of emphasis. Explore the catalog for more information about specific classes.