Master of Public Administration (MPA)

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) is the professional management practitioner degree for students seeking a career in public service, nonprofit management, or international development to serve the Public Interest. Required coursework covers all five substantive areas of public administration: 1) Public Administration Theory, 2) Management, 3) Organization Theory, 4) Public Policy, and 5) Ethics. The program prepares you as a leader and manager in the public, nonprofit, and international sectors.

You will develop knowledge, skills, and abilities used by public and non-profit managers to formulate, implement, and evaluate policies, projects, and programs that effectively address important challenges within your organization or community. You will study a common set of eight core courses and choose four elective courses in your concentration of interest. We offer four concentrations: 1) City and County Leadership and Management, 2) Nonprofit Leadership and Management, 3) International Development Leadership and Management, and 4) a concentration allowing a specialization not covered by the three existing concentrations: Leadership and Management.

The MPA program is designed for both pre-service and in-service students. It will serve your needs whether you are a traditional student coming straight from an undergraduate degree or if you are currently working in the field seeking to advance your career with greater responsibilities as a leader or manager. The mix of foundational and advanced topics taught using research-based pedagogy in the five aforementioned areas maximize your learning opportunities.

Program Highlights

  • Most classes offered in the evenings to accommodate working students. Courses are offered on the St. Cloud State main campus and online
  • Full-time students can complete the program in two years and part-time students can complete the program in three years. 
  • The cost of completing is about $16,200 or $450 per credit for students enrolled in on-ground courses.  The cost for online courses is higher.
  • Concentrations are offered in leadership and management of city and county governments, nonprofit organizations, international development, and an opportunity to allow a high level of specialization in leadership and management not covered by our existing concentrations.
  • We offer SCSU undergraduate students accelerated 5-year programs with Political Science, International Relations, and Planning and Community Development programs.
  • The 5-year programs are comprised of 24 common or core curriculum credit hours consisting of eight three-credit courses. Students also take four courses or 12 credits in their chosen undergraduate program at the 500-level. Pre-service students may also take a one credit internship.

Program Distinctions

  • Curriculum created with consultation with city and county managers and of nonprofit organization leaders from Central Minnesota and the Twin Cities. 
  • All faculty have doctorates, public administration experience, and their research interests include Appreciative Democracy (AD), ethics, organizational development and behavior, human resource management, budgeting and financial management, public policy, as well as state and local government, Minnesota government and politics, nonprofit leadership and management, and international development leadership and management. 
  • Faculty maintain excellent relationships with public and nonprofit administrators in the Greater St. Cloud and Twin Cities areas.
  • Three MPA faculty are co-editors of, and contributors to, the Minnesota Government 1st Edition textbook.

Graduate Director

Dr. Gilvert Angervil

Popular Careers

  • City/county manager
  • Management/administrative analyst
  • Human resources manager
  • Financial manager
  • Budget analyst
  • Grant writer
  • President/CEO nonprofit organization

Application Deadlines

U.S. Citizens International
Outside U.S.
Inside U.S.
Fall August 15 June 15 August 15
Spring December 15 October 15 December 15
Summer May 1 February 15 May 1

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