College of Social and Behavioral Sciences2014-2015

Department of Politics and International Affairs

Public Administration, Master of Public Administration

The objective of our M.P.A. program is to improve the knowledge and skills of individuals already employed in public and nonprofit organizations and to prepare less-experienced students for careers in public service. We offer courses leading to the M.P.A. degree during the day, in the evening, and on weekends. Selected courses are offered in a web-based format. Consult your program advisor about details about these courses and applicability to your program of study.


What Can I Do with a Master of Public Administration in Public Administration?

Whether you are a working professional or a full-time student, the MPA in Public Administration from Northern Arizona University can help prepare you for leadership opportunities in government work, nonprofit organizations, or nongovernmental organizations. You'll take the theories you learn in the classroom and put them to work through activities in your community.

You'll tackle skills like budget or fiscal proposal preparation, human resource management issues, conflict resolution, executive management development, and program evaluation. If you're hoping to advance your career and broaden your expertise, our program can help.

With further education, one of these paths is possible:
  • Nonprofit administrator
  • Nongovernmental organization leader
  • Human resource professional
  • Program evaluator

University Requirements

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.
    The full policy can be viewed here.



In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 39
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Optional
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study


Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy 

    Individual program admission requirements include:

    • A bachelor’s degree in a closely related discipline
    • Cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above or  6 units of subsequent coursework at the graduate level with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better
    • 3 letters of recommendation
    • Writing sample
    • Personal statement or essay
    • Resume or curriculum vitae
Master's Requirements
  • Take the following 39 units:

    Core Coursework in Public Administration (24 units):

    Seminar or Independent Study plus field work experience after you have completed the Public Administration coursework (6 units):
    • Seminar: POS 681, with a grade of "B" or better (6 units) OR
    • A combination of field work experience, POS 608 (3 units), and Independent Study, POS 697 (3 units)
    Select 15 units of electives which may include the POS courses listed below or other NAU courses chosen in consultation with your advisor. Note that POS 428 or POS 581 can be taken twice with different topics. Concentration Area
    You may choose a concentration from a particular field or take several interdisciplinary courses that comprise a coherent area of study.

    Areas from which you may select a concentration or area of study include, but aren't restricted to, Criminal Justice Administration, Educational Administration, Environmental Management, Applied Sociology, and Tribal Government. 

    Choose all courses in consultation with your academic advisor. You may count up to two 400-level courses toward this degree if they haven't previously been counted toward a bachelor's degree.
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

Campus Availability

Go to mobile site