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Estimated Completion

36 credit hours (18+ months)

Application Process

  1. Admission to Tarleton State University – Graduate Studies


Locations Available


Master of Public Administration (M.P.A)

Educating Public Servants, Strengthening Communities, Igniting Change


The Master of Public Administration (M.P.A) degree provides professional education for students interested in public service careers in public and nonprofit management. The program equips students with the knowledge, skills, values, and behaviors essential to the effective and ethical public servant. The M.P.A curriculum components are designed to develop leadership capacity and produce professionals capable of critical thinking and ethical decision making.

View Public Administration Faculty.

View Frequently Asked Questions about this program.

M.P.A Fact Sheet

Become a Public Servant

The M.P.A program is designed for students who are passionate about serving their communities. The program emphasizes hands-on learning that is grounded in real-world experiences. We deliver high quality education through an innovative curriculum and dedicated teaching by professors who have practical experience in public and nonprofit organizations. In addition, since many of our students are full-time professionals, our students also have the opportunity to interact and network with other professionals in the field and be part of our vibrant alumni network.

Experience That Matters to You

Pre-service and in-career students can choose a course of study that best fits their interests and schedule:

  • Select between non-thesis and thesis options
  • Attend the program part-time or full-time
  • Complete the degree face-to-face, hybrid or fully online

What You Will Learn

Example core courses include:

  • Intergovernmental Relations
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Human Resource Management
  • Budgeting and Finance
  • Public Policy
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Advanced ethics in public administration


Related Programs

Not what you were looking for? Tarleton State University offers over 100 different degrees and certifications that may be of interest to you, including:

Who can I contact for more information?

Request More Info

Chief Kimberly Sylvester
The M.P.A Program at Tarleton State University has enabled me to pursue my goal of a master's degree in Public Administration by their convenient online course options that are appealing to full-time, working professionals with strenuous schedules. The faculty at TSU also understands the challenges of their students in these positions and works hard to help the student balance these commitments in order to be successful. Obtaining an M.P.A degree with TSU will not only aid me in my current position within local government but will also broaden the knowledge base to further my career.

Chief Kimberly Sylvester, Chief of Police-Richland Hills Police Department

Austin Williams
Tarleton's Public Administration program was flexible and convenient for me as a working professional. I learned to research and develop policies to implement positive change, and to add public value to the projects and programs I manage. The M.P.A helped enhance my leadership abilities, and have become a more effective manager. The professors leveraged their extensive field experience to provide relevant, hands-on lessons to better equip students for their next steps. The program allowed me to tailor my capstone research project to the defense industry. As a result, I deepened my understanding of the Department of Defense, its acquisition processes, and its public policies affecting the defense industrial base.

Austin Williams, Associate Manager in Defense and Aerospace Industry

Shaiquiar Smith
I first learned of the M.P.A. program during my junior year at Tarleton. It was at a job fair where I learned about the benefits of obtaining an M.P.A., and how this degree can and will prepare me for my future career in the public sector. Through this program, I was able to obtain an internship that will prepare me for the challenges and learning experiences that are to come in the Public Administration field. I love the staff that is present in this program; they are supportive and want to see each of us succeed in our future endeavors.

Shaiquiar Smith, Student

Program Features

Dr. Galia Cohen

Director of the Division of Public Administration

Dr. Galia Cohen the Director of the Division of Public Administration and an Assistant Professor. She specializes in organizational development and human resource management and has more than 10 years of experience in teaching, training and consulting in the public sector. Dr. Cohen is the nationally elected District V representative for the National Council of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) and the Book Review Editor for the premier journal in public administration, Public Administration Review (PAR).

Professor giving lecture.

Degree Tracks

Students who wish to pursue a doctoral degree after receiving their master's degree should follow the Thesis Track, where they will conduct an original research for their thesis.  Students who choose the Non-Thesis Track will complete the M.P.A. by taking two electives instead of thesis hours and complete a capstone project. For more information, students should contact their graduate program advisor. 

professor speaking to students

Exceptional Faculty

In addition to providing students with a rigorous curriculum, our program is operated by top notch faculty members and highly qualified personnel who have years of experience in a variety of fields within the public and nonprofit sectors. Our teaching personnel include budget managers, police chiefs, organizational development experts, public health administrators, and urban planners that provide students with a wealth of personal experiences and the opportunity to gain outstanding networking connections.

Plan Your Future

Career Opportunities for M.P.A. graduates

Career Opportunities

A degree in public administration opens the door to careers at all public and nonprofit agencies in areas related to the following interests or departments:

  • Human Resource Management
  • Community and economic development
  • Public health/social services
  • Education/higher education
  • Parks and recreation
  • Law enforcement and public safety
  • Emergency management
  • Disaster response
  • Public works
  • Urban Planning
  • Finance and budgeting

Our Program Graduates

Some of the jobs held by our M.P.A graduates include:

  • City manager/Assistant city manager
  • Chief of Police
  • Human Resource Director
  • Strategic planning director
  • Community engagement coordinator
  • Grant writer
  • Budget analyst
  • Policy analyst
  • Director of a Non-profit Agency
Professional Development Opportunities

Career Services

Career Services offers students a wide variety of professional development opportunities that can translate into careers. A few of these programs include:

  • Career counseling and My Plan
  • Handshake
  • Mock interviews
  • Resume assistance

And many more!