Master of Public Administration (MPA)

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Program Purpose

Mission Statement

The St. Cloud State University Master of Public Administration degree prepares pre-service students for leadership and managerial careers. For the in-service student, the program strengthens professional skills and prepares him/her for greater responsibilities as a leader or manager in the public and non-profit sectors through global and local exceptional education, research, and service. St. Cloud State University MPA faculty offer students Concentrations in City and County Leadership and Management, Nonprofit Leadership and Management, International Development Leadership and Management, and Health Care Leadership and Management, which are the primary areas of faculty education, research, and practice.

Purpose, Goals and Objectives

Consistent with the goals and objectives of the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA), the goal of the St. Cloud State MPA program is professional education for public service. As such, its mission, governance, and curriculum all emphasize public service values. Public service values include pursuing the public interest with collaborative structures, coalitions of interests, accountability and transparency; serving professionally with competence, efficiency, and objectivity; acting ethically so as to uphold the public trust necessary to have dialogue about shared values; and demonstrating respect, equity, and fairness in dealings with citizens and fellow public servants.

The St. Cloud State MPA program meets the Mission, Goals and Objectives by delivering exceptional skill education and practice through exceptional global and local education, research, and service. Faculty at St. Cloud State, along with faculty assistance from educational, government and nonprofit partners, offer students concentrations in: leadership and management of city and county governments, nonprofit organizations, international development and health care, the primary areas of faculty education, research and practice. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, careers in these areas of public service are expected to see above average job growth in Minnesota. The program is committed to continuous improvement and will create new concentrations as the need emerges.  

The Profession

Public administration is an academic discipline and an occupation. As an academic discipline, the theoretical foundation of public administration is the broad-based study and practice of government and political processes.  Scholarship examines such fundamental topics as: the meaning and purpose of government, constitutionality and public service, policymaking, the role of the citizenry in decision making, and narrower topics such as leadership styles, decision making processes, accountability, ethics, and motivations of public servants.

As an occupation, the field is multidisciplinary as public administrators implement federal, state, and local government policies, projects, and programs. Successful public administrators use their knowledge of law, budgeting and financial management, human resources, community values, professional standards and ethics, citizen interests, program planning, strategic management, and leadership to solve societal problems. 

The St. Cloud State MPA program faculty members embrace multiple approaches to solving problems in the public interest. They acknowledge the importance of shared citizen dialogue as a method to discover the public interest. They recognize that building collaborative coalitions of government, not for profit and for profit agencies, are necessary to achieve public goals and objectives. They believe public servants must be responsive to the citizenry, community values, professional standards, norms and laws. 

Professional Associations and job websites in the field: