Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Master of Public Administration (MPA)

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The Master of Public Administration (MPA) is the professional degree for students seeking a career in public service or non-profit management and will prepare you as a leader or manager in the public or non-profit sector.

You will develop skills and techniques used by public and non-profit managers to implement policies, projects and programs that resolve important problems within your organization or community. You will study a common set of core courses and choose elective courses in your concentration of interest. 

The program will serve your needs, whether you are a pre-service student or already working in the field and seeking to advance your career with greater responsibilities as a leader or manager. 

Program Highlights

  • Most classes offered in the evenings to accommodate working students. Courses are offered on the St. Cloud State main campus, Plymouth 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 $15,000 or $400 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, non-profit organizations, international development and health care administration.
  • The curriculum is comprised of 25 common or core curriculum credit hours consisting of eight three-credit courses and a one-credit capstone course. Students also take four courses in their chosen concentration and, if a pre-service student, an internship. 

Program Distinctions

  • Curriculum created with consultation of non-profit organization leaders, city and county managers from Central Minnesota and the Twin Cities. 
  • All faculty have doctorates, public administration experience, and their research interests include non-profit leadership, government, budgeting and international development. 

Application Deadlines

U.S. Citizens International
Outside U.S.
Inside U.S.
Fall July 15 May 15 July 15
Spring November 15 September 15 November 15
Summer NA NA NA

Degree Levels

Licensure Graduate Certificate Master Post-Master Doctorate

Delivery Options

St. CLoud (on campus) Online Synchronous online St. Cloud State at Plymouth Evenings/Weekends

Graduate Director

Dr. Shawn Schooley

Popular Careers

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

University Facts & Stats

  • 60 graduate programs leading to graduate certificates, master’s and doctoral degrees
  • More than 200 graduate assistantships awarded per year
  • Graduate assistants receive up to a $9,250 stipend per year and tuition reimbursement for up to eight graduate credits per semester.

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