Advance your public sector career

Ready to move up in your career in the public sector? Get your Master of Public Administration degree.

Since the program is available completely online, many of our students work full-time as they earn their degree.

Traditional Master's

Overview of program

To earn your MPA, you’ll complete a minimum of 36 credit hours. This includes 21 hours of core requirements, where you’ll expand your understanding of fiscal management, public policy and leadership principles.

You’ll also complete:

  • An internship
  • A comprehensive exam
  • A research component

For the final 12 hours of your degree requirements, you will select one primary area of concentration. You’ll earn a graduate certificate when you complete these courses.

Concentration areas

You will select from one of these areas as your primary focus for your MPA.

Skyline view of downtown Springfield, Missouri

Economic development

Strategize on how to grow a healthy community.

Three local leaders reviewing and discussing local development plans.

Local government management

Gain tools to make you an effective local leader.


Public management

Grow your budgetary, policy and critical thinking skills.

MSU students sitting at tables in Strong Hall where international flags are displayed.

Public policy

Think big picture and help shape the greater good.

A classroom of MSU students discussing a model of a city.

Public safety

Prepare to be a part of protecting your community.

If you’re unsure whether an MPA is right for you, these certificates are also available independent of the program.

Entrance requirements

  1. 3.00 GPA (on a 4.00 scale) in undergraduate degree from an accredited institution.
  2. Three strong letters of recommendation from undergraduate professors and/or persons well acquainted with the applicant's education and abilities.  
  3. Applicants with a GPA between 2.75 and 2.99 may be admitted to the program on a provisional status at the discretion of the MPA director.  A personal interview may be required.
  4. Foreign students applying for admission to the MPA program who do not have an undergraduate degree from an American university must have completed the equivalent of an undergraduate degree at an accredited university. They must also demonstrate graduate-level proficiency in English by either having achieved a score of 550 on the paper-based, or a comparable score of 79 on the IBT or internet- based TOEFL, or by other equivalent means.