Why MPA?

The Modern Professional Administrator

The increasing complexity of social problems places ever more formidable demands on leadership in the public and nonprofit sectors. The managerial imperative of pursuing efficiency and effectiveness in an equitable, democratic way forms the primary challenge of the modern professional administrator.

Blurring Boundaries

The traditional boundaries between public, private and nonprofit 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 nonprofit 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

The Master of Public Administration degree program at the The University of Arizona is designed to combine these two spheres of knowledge and skills in preparing men and women for challenging and rewarding careers in the changing public and nonprofit arenas.

The MPA 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 nonprofit organizations.

Program Mission Statement

The mission of the Masters of Public Administration Program is to prepare students to effectively manage, govern and lead in a dynamic, increasingly interconnected world.

The School of Government and Public Policy strives to achieve this mission by promoting a commitment to public service values, developing students’ professional competencies through excellent instruction and exposure to rigorous faculty scholarship, and by providing opportunities for practice through practicums and internships.

The Program emphasizes a commitment to public service by integrating the following values into the curriculum and the overall student experience:

  • Civility and respect in all public discourse
  • Fair, transparent and inclusive service to an increasingly diverse public
  • Constant adherence to professional ethics and public accountability

The Program serves a diverse group of graduate students who include public and nonprofit professionals and pre-service students with varied backgrounds, interests and expertise.   In keeping with the expectations and standards of a “Research One” university, our students benefit from exposure to an interdisciplinary faculty and distinguished scholarship that informs public policy and management theory and practice. Grounded with applied research and professional experience, students hone their analytical skills, tools and techniques to perform in public and nonprofit organizations as well as in inter-organizational networks and cross-sector collaboration.

Consistent with the University of Arizona’s mission as a land grant university, the Program serves the state of Arizona, the southwestern United States, and the U.S. – Mexico border region and aspires to serve the national and international demand for committed and highly trained public servants.

Peace Corps Fellows Program

The MPA program provides an opportunity for four returned Peace Corps Volunteers to serve as Peace Corps Fellows and integrate their Peace Corps experience with the academic program.
Peace Corps Fellows receive non-resident tuition waivers. Community-based placements (or internships), such as with the City of South Tucson or the Sonoran Institute, may provide a small stipend to PC Fellows.
We welcome applications from currently serving or former Peace Corps volunteers. For more information, contact Georgia Ehlers in the Graduate College, or see the Peace Corps website.

MPA Resources

Use the links in the subnavigation to the right to learn more about the Master of Public Administration.