Master of Public Administration

Master of Public Administration

Whether you are a student just graduating with your bachelors, a public servant looking to continue to progress in your current career track, or an employee in a different career looking to change your professional direction, a Master of Public Administration can help you further your capacity to serve your community.

Program Mission Statement

The mission of our program is to prepare a diverse group of graduate students, including public and nonprofit professionals and pre-service students, to effectively manage, govern and lead as dedicated public servants working in local, state, and federal government and non-profit organizations. We equip our students with essential skills in analysis, communication, and management. Our faculty and curriculum model public service values such as civility, ethics, and accountability, and emphasizes leadership skills that include a commitment to diversity and social justice. We accomplish our program mission by advancing the knowledge of public policy and management through dedicated teaching, research, and public service.

Why MPA?

Public servants with skills that can only be learned by earning a graduate degree in public administration are growing more and more necessary in Tucson, Arizona, the United States, and the world. Non-profits, government agencies, and public institutions are looking for employees that are equipped with the necessary leadership skills to help their organizations thrive.

The Modern Professional Administrator faces increasingly complex social problems, which places ever more formidable demands on leadership in the public and nonprofit sectors; they must learn the managerial imperatives of pursuing efficiency and effectiveness in an equitable, democratic way. 

The traditional boundaries between public, private, and non-profit sectors are becoming increasingly indistinct; public policy and private enterprise have assumed promising but sometimes troublesome new relationships. Despite this increased cooperation, public administration remains a separate entity requiring particular knowledge and skills: managers in the public and non-profit sectors require managerial expertise equal to their private sector counterparts, but they must also fully understand the public policy and decision-making framework for proponents of the public interest. 

The Master of Public Administration degree program at the University of Arizona is designed to combine these two spheres of knowledge and skills in preparing students for challenging and rewarding careers in changing public and non-profit arenas. The program combines curricular structure, physical facilities, and real-world fieldwork opportunities to foster the managerial skills needed to meet today's greater demands for accountability and effectiveness from public and non-profit organizations.

We offer all of our MPA core courses between the hours of 5:30-8 PM to accommodate students who work full time while they earn their degree. A student attending classes full time can earn an MPA in as little as 2 years.

Not sure if an MPA is right for you?  Find out the differences between our MPA and MPP programs here.

See our FAQ page as well for more information.

Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) Accredited

The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) is recognized as the global standard in public service education. NASPAA accreditation "recognizes that a master's degree program in public policy, affairs or administration has gone through a rigorous process of peer review conducted by the Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA), and has successfully met the NASPAA Accreditation Standards. 

The MPA program is also listed as one of the Best-Priced NASPAA-Accredited MPA Programs!

Student Spotlights