Frequently Asked Questions
What is an MPA and what does MPA mean?
MPA means Master of Public Administration. The “public” in MPA pertains to public sector agencies at all levels of government (local, state, federal) as well as nonprofit organizations. The “Administration” in MPA pertains to management. Hence, MPA is a managerial degree for professionals who aspire to serve the public.
What is Public Administration and what do Public Administrators do?
Public administration is a broad field that covers the administrative services needed to build and strengthen communities. The public administration field focuses on democratic governance, policy-making, and implementation, transparency, and commitment to the public interest. Public administrators serve their communities and contribute to their overall improvement. Public administrators are usually referred to as ‘public servants’ because they have a desire to serve the public, advance the common good, and create positive change.
Who should get an MPA?
- Traditional students who have just graduated and who are looking to develop a career in the public or nonprofit sector.
- Professionals who are looking for a new career in the public or nonprofit sector.
- Professionals who are currently working in the public administration field and who are looking to advance their already established public service career and obtain leadership positions within their agencies.
What can I do with an MPA?
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
What are some jobs that MPA graduates hold?
Some of the jobs held by MPA graduates include:
- City manager/Assistant city manger
- Chief of Police
- Human Resource Director
- Strategic planning director
- Community engagement coordinator
- Grant writer
- Director of operations
- Government relations specialist
- Budget analyst
- Policy analyst
- Chief operating officer
- Fire chief
- Public relations official for a major department of state govt.
- Director of a Non-profit Agency
- Director of Planning
Can I complete the program online?
Yes, students in Texas and from across the U.S. may complete the program online. Students also have the option of enrolling in face to face classes if they choose.
Will this degree help me enter the nonprofit sector?
Yes. A significant portion of professionals with public administration degrees enter careers with nonprofit organizations.
Do I need to take the GRE?
No. GRE is not required for admission to the MPA program.
What kind of undergraduate degree should I have to get an MPA? Does the MPA program have any prerequisites?
The MPA program does not require any specific courses. You may have an undergraduate degree in any major as long as it comes from an accredited institution.
I have been out of school for more than 10 years. How difficult would it be to be a student again?
Many of our students are working professionals who have been out of school for a long time (sometimes even twenty plus years). Keep in mind that our curriculum and courses are designed with the working professional in mind. Our students take core classes that are aimed to introduce them to the subject of public administration as well as reacquaint them with the practices and rigors of academic work. Students who have been out of school for many years typically love coming back to the class environment and find it challenging and yet manageable.
Is the MPA expensive? What will it cost me?
The MPA at Tarleton State University is less expensive than most of its peer institutions in the metroplex. For specific tuition information, please visit here.
Can I transfer in courses from another university?
Yes. The maximum amount of credits that can be transferred from another accredited institution is 12 credits. All transfers MUST be approved by the MPA Director.
How long will it take to complete the MPA?
The program requires 36 semester credits. Students proceed at their own pace, but usually students take two courses each semester and one during the summer. At this pace, they can complete the MPA in about 2 years.
Will I have to complete a thesis to graduate with an MPA?
No. You will not have to write a master’s thesis unless you choose a thesis track. Students can choose a non-thesis track and complete the Capstone Project as their culminating activity.
I would like to meet with someone to learn more about the MPA. Who do I contact?
We are happy to meet with you! Please email the PA Department Head, Dr. Galia Cohen, [email protected]