The mission of the Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree program is to prepare students to be successful public and nonprofit administrators and leaders in our diverse and multicultural regional environment and beyond. To achieve this mission, the program emphasizes critical thinking, professional writing, and analytical skills; balancing theory and practice; exemplifying public service values through teaching, research, and community engagement; and by promoting core public service values, including accountability, democratic participation, ethical behavior, fairness, equity, and transparency.
The program is designed to meet the needs of students seeking to begin professional public service careers (pre-service) and current public service practitioners seeking career advancement (in-service). Students may complete the MPA degree through part-time or full-time enrollment. To best serve our MPA students we offer:
- a blend of theory and practice in all MPA courses;
- curriculum designed to develop and enhance core competencies; and
- accommodating course schedules.
The MPA program additionally offers a certificate in nonprofit administration sponsored by the National Leadership Alliance and a certificate in Geographic Information Science. A dual degree option, offered in concert with the Master of International and Comparative Politics, is also available to all MPA students.
Applicants must have earned a Bachelor degree prior to matriculation in the MPA program. Students who earned an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 may be granted Regular admission status. Those with an undergraduate GPA lower than 3.0 but at least 2.7 may be granted Conditional admission status. Prospective applicants who do not meet these criteria for admission should review the policies of the WSU Graduate School for additional options.
The preferred application deadline for the MPA program is March 31. Prospective students submitting completed applications by this date will receive first consideration. Applications received after March 31 will receive consideration on a space-available basis.
Completed applications for the MPA program include: a) the WSU Application for Admission to Graduate Status; b) official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended (except WSU); c) three letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the applicant’s academic achievements and/or ability to meet the rigorous requirements of graduate studies; and d) a 400-word essay that explains how the MPA degree serves the applicant’s personal and professional goals.
Students begin the MPA program in the Fall term each year. Exceptions to this policy are rare, but may be considered on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the MPA program.