Degree Information


Course Planning Guide

Public Administration students should meet with their assigned Advisors regularly, but can look at our Course Planning Guide to see what we plan to offer in the next two years.

Degree Requirements / Course of Study Guides

Master of Public Administration

Master of Public Administration: Health Administration

Master of Nonprofit Leadership

  • Degree Requirements_Coming Soon!
  • Completion Worksheet_Coming Soon!

Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit and Public Management

Graduate Certificate in Collaborative Governance

Executive Master of Public Administration Requirements

Previous Catalog Year Requirements (for MPA, MPA:HA, and MPH:HMP)

Diversity Requirement

At some point within their program of study MPA and MPA:HA students must satisfactorily complete one course the primary focus of which is diversity. This does not require additional credit hours or coursework beyond the 60 credit requirement and can include courses taken as skill development or specialization classes. Course options include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • PA 549 Cross-cultural Communications in the Public Sector
  • PA 593 Civil Rights for Public Managers
  • PA 594 Enhancing Diversity in the Workplace
  • PA 529 Nonprofit Field Study in Oaxaca, Mexico
  • PA 547 Culture, Values and Leadership
  • PA 523 Nongovernmental Organizations: Nonprofits on the World Stage
  • PA 514 Global Leadership and Management.

Other courses can be approved by your advisor.

MPA / MPA: HA Student Handbook

Common Forms

PA 504 Cooperative Education/Internship

PA 504 is strongly recommended for students with little or no work experience in the public or nonprofit sectors.  Students seeking to make a career change may also benefit from an internship. Internships require an average of 8 hours per week for 10 weeks. In addition to the time spent in a public or nonprofit organization, the student will keep a weekly journal. In addition to the weekly journal, a reflective paper will be due at the end of the term (due Monday of finals week). The student’s grade will be Pass or No Pass.

The process of electing the PA 504 option starts with approval by the student’s academic adviser to include the internship as a part of the student’s degree courses and approval of the placement. The course is for three credits and may only be used once toward the credits for the MPA, MPA:HA or MPH:HMP degree. One of the three courses must be completed before the internship:

  • PA 511 Public Administration
  • PAH 570 Health Administration
  • PAH 574 Health Systems Organization

The student will make the arrangements with a public or nonprofit organization in consultation with his/her academic advisor. This internship can be found from an email announcement on the Public Administration listserv asking for interested interns, suggestion by the student’s academic advisor, from an announcement on a public or nonprofit's human resources website or it can be a placement that the student seeks out because of an interest in what that public or nonprofit organization does.

The student, the academic advisor and a representative (who is supervising you) from the public or nonprofit organization will sign an internship agreement. The PA 504 faculty will review the proposed agreement and approve. Registration for the course is handled by the Public Administration staff after the agreement is signed by you, your academic advisor, your field supervisor and the PA 504 faculty. 

The field supervisor will complete respond to two emails confirming the student has completed what was expected; one at mid-term and the other at the end of the term. An email will be sent to the student at mid-term to make sure the internship is going well.

Integrative Experience

The integrative experience consists of the successful completion of 200 hours of field experience including development of a comprehensive field-based project and written report. Approximately 150 hours will be spent in the field, and the remaining 50 hours may be allotted for writing the culminating assessment paper. Typically, a student’s customized project focuses on administrative or management issues confronting a government agency or nonprofit organization as an opportunity to relate his/her academic experience in the program to a practice setting and build skills for future practice. The culmination of the experience is a report the student prepares which documents the experience and its product, comments on the utility of the experience for the student, and offers personal reflection on a) achievement of the student’s learning objectives articulated at the beginning of the organizational experience, b) opportunities for integration of curricular content into practice, and c) future career directions based on the experience and related learning. The report includes documentation prepared for the organizational setting, as well as for the academic instructor of record, and is submitted to the instructor as the evidence of completion of the experience. The report is graded.
There are two options for the integrative experience, each are worth 6 credits and are available to students only after they have completed at least 42 credits in the program:

Applying for Graduation

Students must apply for graduation by the first Friday of the anticipated term of graduation; see the Graduate Candidates Deadlines for specific dates. The application for graduation is now submitted through Banweb. For more information, please refer to the Office of Graduate Studies website

You may want to run a DARS report to confirm that you have completed all requirements toward graduation. If the report notes that you haven't yet met a requirement that doesn't apply to you (such as taking PA 585 if you are an MPA Nonprofit Management student), don't panic. The PA Department will have a chance to verify that you have, in fact, completed all requirements toward your degree. If you have any questions, please contact your advisor. 

After all of your graduation paperwork has been processed, you will receive a confirmation email from the registration office notifying you that your degree has been awarded. This is typically several weeks after the term in which you have graduated. All diplomas will be mailed to the address provided on the degree application unless you have an outstanding student account balance or have not completed the Perkins Loan exit interview (if applicable). For additional questions, please contact the Office of the Registrar at 503.725.3511.