University News

Southern Utah University Adds a Master’s Degree – MPA

Published: May 01, 2007 | Category: Academics

A new era began on Friday, April 20th, when the Utah State Board of Regents approved a new master’s degree for Southern Utah University—the Master’s in Public Administration (MPA). This new degree program will begin immediately, with classes starting this Fall semester.

“Getting a new master’s degree is huge,” says President Michael Benson. Provost Abe Harraf, the school’s top academic officer, was so excited that he stepped out of the meeting and starting calling people back on campus to share the news with them. “We had to work for this one,” Harraf states, “but it was worth it.”

The MPA is a professional degree program that combines work from several related disciplines: Public Administration, Communication, Management and others. The conceptual and analytical skills developed through the MPA curriculum are critical to the effective management of public agencies and programs. Contemporary public officials are required to make complex choices and implement programs and policies within difficult financial, legal, political, and organizational constraints.

In addition to the academic coursework, students may gain important experience in supervised field work and applied research, while a choice of emphases within the curriculum makes it possible to pursue intensive training in a specific subfield of public administration. MPA graduates will be uniquely prepared to understand the responsibility and accept the challenge of managing in the public sector.

Interested students may begin reviewing information about application to the degree immediately. There is information online by clicking on the link at the Criminal Justice and Political Science web page at:

The MPA is considered a terminal degree, frequently sought by professionals entering or pursuing a career in the public or nonprofit sectors. SUU will require students to complete 36 graduate credit hours while maintaining a minimum 3.2 GPA to earn the degree. Students can complete the degree by enrolling full-time for two years.

More than ever, it is important that administrators be able to work with a variety of people, both within and outside the public sector. Professional education in public administration thus encompasses fiscal control, quantitative analysis, organization management, decision analysis, and a working understanding of government institutions and legal procedures.

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