Master of Public Administration (MPA)


What to Expect

You will complete 37-40 course credit hours to earn your degree. Twenty-four of the credits come from core management courses. Students can choose from among four concentrations and range from 12-13 credits. All students take a one-credit capstone course. 

If you don't have professional experience, you will be required to complete an additional one- or two-credit internship.

Time commitment

A typical full-time, pre-services student can usually complete the program in two years. This includes:

  • 3 courses (9-10 credits) per semester the first year, along with a 1-2 credit internship in the first or second year
  • 1 course (3 credits) during a summer session
  • 3 courses (9-10 credits) during fall semester of the second year
  • 2 courses (6-7 credits) during spring semester of the second year and the 1 credit capstone course

A typical part-time, in-career student can usually complete the program in three years. This includes:

  • 2 courses (6 credits) each semester for three years
  • Spring semester of the third year would include a 1 credit capstone course
  • Summer course enrollment would decrease the time for degree completion


Normally, all core courses are offered each year. All electives are offered at least once over a two-year period and some are offered every year.

Courses are generally held between the hours of 6-9 p.m. during the academic year. Occasionally, a six hour block from 3- 9:00 p.m. is used to offer two, back-to-back courses.

Summer courses are held online or from 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Courses are held:

  • At the St. Cloud State campus in St. Cloud State University
  • At the St. Cloud State at Plymouth campus
  • Online

Depending on interest, alternative course delivery formats can be made available.


Each new student is assigned an adviser from their concentration.