Public Policy Administration MPPA, Individualized Emphasis

Admissions Requirements

Applicants must meet the following program admission requirements in addition to the general requirements of the Graduate School.

The MPPA admissions committee carefully evaluates each applicant record using the five following criteria: 

  • Bachelor’s Degree by the time of enrollment, prospective students must have obtained a baccalaureate degree or the equivalent from an accredited college or university. Applicants must submit official transcripts documenting the baccalaureate degree and all other prior college and graduate-level coursework completed. 
  • Grade Point Average: A minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is required to be considered for regular admission. This GPA is higher than the minimum for the Graduate School. An undergraduate GPA below 3.0 will be considered on an individual basis for restricted admission. 
  • Demonstrated proficiency in college algebra or the equivalent. Applicants must demonstrate proficiency in college algebra or the equivalent. Graduate coursework also will be taken into consideration. Applicants who do not meet these criteria may be admitted on a restricted basis and asked to satisfactorily complete a math proficiency test.
  • Letters of Recommendation. Applicants must obtain three letters of recommendation. The letters should be from those who are familiar with your professional and/or academic skills. At least one of the letters must be from a current or former college-level instructor. 
  • Personal Statement. Applicants are required to submit a 2-3 page personal statement to demonstrate competence in writing. The statement should explain how the MPPA program fits in with the applicant's educational and professional goals. This personal statement may be sent directly to the MPPA program; a short statement of purpose in the web-based admission application is not sufficient. 

Degree Requirements

The MPPA degree consists of 40 credit hours, 25 of which are taken as part of the core curriculum and 15 that are electives. Students who complete the degree must demonstrate the following:

  • Design, research, write, and defend analyses of substantive public policy problems and/or potential solutions
  • Use data and sophisticated analytic tools (qualitative and quantitative) to conduct research in public policy and administration
  • Understand the policy and internal/external environments of public and nonprofit organizations
  • Develop expertise in a substantive area of public policy administration


All candidates for the MPPA degree must complete 25 hours in the core curriculum sequence composed of the following public policy administration courses:

Policy Analysis and Economics
P P ADM 6000Introduction to Policy Analysis3
ECON 5550Economics for Public Policy Analysis3
P P ADM 6900Cases in Public Policy Administration3
Public Administration and Budgeting
P P ADM 6400Public Administration: Theory & Practice3
P P ADM 6490Human Resources in the Public Sector3
P P ADM 6180Governmental Budgeting and Financial Control3
Statistics, Research Methods, and Information Technology
P P ADM 6010Introduction to Policy Research3
P P ADM 6750Applied Research Design3
P P ADM 6850E-Governance in the Public Sector1
Total Hours25

A thesis is not required to complete the program. However, writing is an important component of the degree, and students will complete written analyses as part of their coursework and/or internship.

P P ADM 6000 should be taken at the beginning of the program. It is strongly recommended that P P ADM 6010 and ECON 5550 be taken early in a student’s course plan. P P ADM 6900 is a capstone course and must be taken toward the end of the program.

Students may select one of three emphasis areas in which to concentrate their advanced studies:

  • Policy Research and Analysis,
  • Local Government Management,
  • Nonprofit Organization Management.

Students may also select an individualized emphasis area in consultation with their advisor and with approval of the Director.

Prior to the completion of 15 hours in the MPPA program, students should identify an emphasis area. In each of the emphasis areas students may be able to substitute another course for a specified elective, with the MPPA Director’s approval. Specific requirements for each emphasis area are as follows:


An internship is required for students without substantial experience in the public or nonprofit sectors. Interns may be placed in planning agencies, city managers' offices, administrative departments, or nonprofit agencies. Credit is granted after successful completion of the internship and a written paper at the end of the semester.

MPPA students currently employed in public agencies or nonprofit organizations can receive 3 hours of credit for internships with their employer. To do so, students must develop, in consultation with the internship coordinator, special research projects outside the scope of their regular employment duties.

Students who have significant relevant experience in the public or nonprofit sector may request the internship requirement be waived. To request a waiver, students must submit a written request outlining the student’s professional or managerial field experience with appropriate documentation. Any request for a waiver from the internship requirement must be approved by the program director. Students who receive a waiver must take an additional 3 hours of electives in lieu of the internship. 

Emphasis Area Requirements

Prior to the completion of 15 hours in the MPPA program, the student must present a proposal for 15 hours of specific coursework for approval by the student's advisor and the MPPA program director. The 15 hours must include P P ADM 6950, Internship (in an assignment relevant to the emphasis area).  Students with significant public or nonprofit sector experience may request permission to waive the internship and replace it with an additional three-credit hour elective.