Master of Public Administration M.P.A.

Master of Public Administration M.P.A.

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Knowledge for Public Service.

Why get a master’s degree in public administration?

A Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) will provide you with a practical skillset combined with the theoretical foundation needed to be a successful, publicly minded professional. You will take a suite of courses that bring together concepts from public policy, management, politics and law, providing you with a well-rounded understanding of what it means to run an organization in the public or nonprofit sector. Public administration is where we see public policy affecting citizens on a personal level, and where public officials fulfill the promise of democracy. 

Why choose UNH’s public administration degree program? 

Ideal for new graduates and working professionals, our M.P.A. program will enable you to achieve your full potential, effect change within your organization, and prepare for the next step in your career. Highlights include flexible scheduling with evening courses offered year-round, opportunities to network with public service professionals, faculty with extensive public management experience bringing best practices to the classroom, and hands-on opportunities to apply knowledge and skills developed in the program to real issues in your community. Earn your M.P.A. degree in just 16 months! Courses are offered in the evenings on the UNH-Manchester campus, with additional electives in Durham and online. 

Potential careers 

  • City or county manager 
  • Community leader 
  • Fundraising 
  • Human resources 
  • Law enforcement 
  • Nonprofit management 
  • Public affairs/communications 
  • Research analyst

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Curriculum & Requirements

The Master of Public Administration degree (MPA) offers you the opportunity to learn the skills you need in all aspects of government and nonprofit management including the tools of leadership, program evaluation, budgets, planning, personnel, collective bargaining, and policy analysis. The program provides an accessible and responsive curriculum so you can address issues that are important to your region which values democratic involvement, accountability, and administrative competency in the provision and delivery of public services through its towns, cities, state agencies, and a wide range of non-governmental organizations.

  • The program’s flexible schedule accommodates full-time working professionals with courses offered year-round, typically meeting one evening per week or online
  • Study with public service professionals and professors who bring strong analysis and best practices to your learning
  • Graduate in as little as 16 months (full time) or 21 months (part time)

Program Delivery & Location:  Academic courses are offered in the evenings in person on the UNH Manchester campus and online, with additional elective courses offered in person on the UNH Durham campus.

NEBHE Tuition Break for New England Residents of These States: None

Accelerated Masters Eligible: Yes

16-Month MPA Sample Degree Plan

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallCredits
PA 800 Foundations and Theories of Public Administration 3
PA 802 Grant-writing for Public and Non-profit Sectors 3
PA 817 Legal and Policy-Making Environment on Public and Non-Profit Sectors 3
 Credits9
January Term
PA 816
Public Management Techniques
or Performance Management in Public and Non-Profit Organizations
3
 Credits3
Spring
PA 805 Introduction to Statistical Analysis 3
PA 809 Organization and Management in Public and Non-profit Sectors 3
PA 818 Non-Profit Management 3
 Credits9
Summer
PA 807 Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations 3
PA 815 Art of Negotiation 3
 Credits6
Second Year
Fall
PA 804 Policy and Program Evaluation 3
PA 813 Human Resource Management in Public and Non-profit Sectors 3
PA 908A
Capstone in Public Administration 1
or Capstone in Public Administration
3
 Credits9
 Total Credits36

21-Month MPA Sample Degree Plan

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallCredits
PA 800 Foundations and Theories of Public Administration 3
PA 817 Legal and Policy-Making Environment on Public and Non-Profit Sectors 3
 Credits6
January Term
PA 816
Public Management Techniques
or Performance Management in Public and Non-Profit Organizations
3
 Credits3
Spring
PA 805 Introduction to Statistical Analysis 3
PA 809 Organization and Management in Public and Non-profit Sectors 3
 Credits6
Summer
PA 807 Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations 3
PA 815 Art of Negotiation 3
 Credits6
Second Year
Fall
PA 804 Policy and Program Evaluation 3
PA 813 Human Resource Management in Public and Non-profit Sectors 3
 Credits6
January Term
PA 803
Performance Management in Public and Non-Profit Organizations
or Public Management Techniques
3
 Credits3
Spring
PA 814 Financial Management and Budgeting in Public and Non-profit Sectors 3
PA 908A
Capstone in Public Administration 1
or Capstone in Public Administration
3
 Credits6
 Total Credits36

36-Month MPA Sample Degree Plan

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallCredits
PA 800 Foundations and Theories of Public Administration 3
 Credits3
January Term
PA 816
Public Management Techniques
or Performance Management in Public and Non-Profit Organizations
3
 Credits3
Spring
PA 805 Introduction to Statistical Analysis 3
 Credits3
Summer
PA 807 Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations 3
 Credits3
Second Year
Fall
PA 804 Policy and Program Evaluation 3
PA 813 Human Resource Management in Public and Non-profit Sectors 3
 Credits6
January Term
PA 803
Performance Management in Public and Non-Profit Organizations
or Public Management Techniques
3
 Credits3
Spring
PA 809 Organization and Management in Public and Non-profit Sectors 3
 Credits3
Summer
PA 815 Art of Negotiation 3
 Credits3
Third Year
Fall
PA 817 Legal and Policy-Making Environment on Public and Non-Profit Sectors 3
 Credits3
Spring
PA 814 Financial Management and Budgeting in Public and Non-profit Sectors 3
PA 908A
Capstone in Public Administration 1
or Capstone in Public Administration
3
 Credits6
 Total Credits36

Notes:

Students enrolled in the Carsey School's Master of Public Administration program are required to complete a thirty-six (36) credit program, consisting of:

  • Four (4) BASIC Core Curriculum Courses
  • Three (3) ADVANCED Core Curriculum Courses
  • Five (5) ELECTIVE Courses

These provide students with a strong foundation in theory and the applied skills necessary to foster democratic involvement, accountability and administrative competency in the provision and delivery of public services in towns, cities, state agencies, and a wide range of nonprofit and non-governmental organizations. Further opportunities for depth and specialization are provided through a wide range of elective courses which vary by semester.

MPA BASIC Core Curriculum Courses (4 Courses):
PA 800Foundations and Theories of Public Administration3
PA 805Introduction to Statistical Analysis3
PA 809Organization and Management in Public and Non-profit Sectors3
PA 908ACapstone in Public Administration 13
or PA 908B Capstone in Public Administration
MPA ADVANCED Core Curriculum Courses: Choose Three (3)9
Performance Management in Public and Non-Profit Organizations
Policy and Program Evaluation
Administrative Law
Leadership Theory and Practice
Human Resource Management in Public and Non-profit Sectors
Financial Management and Budgeting in Public and Non-profit Sectors
Art of Negotiation
Public Management Techniques
Legal and Policy-Making Environment on Public and Non-Profit Sectors
Non-Profit Management
MPA ELECTIVE Courses: Choose Five (5) 3-Credit Public Admin 800/900 level Elective Courses (or related discipline with MPA Academic Advisor's approval) 215
Total Credits36

 For more details on the MPA program, visit the MPA website.

Notes:

Deadlines

Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall: March 15 (for Carsey School Scholarship); July 1 (preferred); Aug. 15 (final)
  • Spring: Dec. 15
  • Summer: April 15
  • Special: N/A

Application fee: $65

Campus: Durham

New England Regional: No

Accelerated Masters: Yes

Transcripts

If you attended UNH after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester and UNH Non-Degree work. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must request one official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. International transcripts must be translated into English. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to grad.school@unh.edu. Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions

Prepare a brief but careful statement regarding: 1) reasons you wish to do graduate work in this field, including your immediate and long-range objectives, and 2) your specific research or professional interest and experiences in this field. In addition, applicants seeking a graduate assistantship or tuition assistance also must note this request in their personal statement.

Statements must be included with your submitted application.

Resume

Resume is optional but recommended.

Additional Department Requirements

If you are requesting a graduate assistantship or tuition assistance from the department then they require that you also submit GRE test scores. Please send a photo-copy of your test scores directly to the department (they do not require an official copy). For further details please contact the department.

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program specific application questions.

International Applicants

Prospective international students are strongly encouraged to complete our international pre-application process and are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. Please note that English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

International students currently living outside of the U.S. must correspond with the MPA program director regarding feasibility of the program.

Program Details

Electives are available in many substantive areas. Topics and courses are added on a continuing basis. In addition, independent studies with leading experts can be arranged to match specialized student interests. 

Students may propose additional electives if those electives make sense in terms of the student’s interests and academic plan. Discussion with an academic advisor should inform this choice.


Elective Courses are offered in many Substantive Areas, including:

  • Administrative Law
  • Art of Negotiation
  • Courts and Public Policy
  • Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations
  • Financial Management and Budgeting in Public and Non-Profit Sectors
  • Grant-writing for Public and Non-Profit Sectors
  • Human Resource Management in Public and Non-Profit Sectors
  • International Environmental Politics, Policy, and Law
  • International Organization
  • Leadership Theory and Practice­­
  • Legal and Policy-Making Environment on Public and Non-Profit Sectors
  • Non-Profit Management
  • Performance Management in Public and Non-Profit Organizations
  • Policy and Program Evaluation
  • Public Management Techniques
  • Public Opinion and Survey Research
  • Security Intelligence Study
  • State and Local Government

Departments throughout UNH offer Elective Courses, including:

  • Analytics
  • Business Administration
  • Education
  • Health Policy and Management
  • History
  • Human Development and Family Studies
  • Natural Resources
  • Political Science
  • Sociology
  • UNH School of Law

Credit Waivers

The MPA program offers credit waivers for students who have successfully completed specific trainings hosted by Roger Williams University Justice System Training & Research Institute, UNH Cooperative Extension, U.S. Fire Administration National Fire Academy, and the State of New Hampshire Bureau of Education and Training. 

Learn more

Partnership Programs

The Carsey School is proud to partner with like-minded organizations with similar missions and visions to offer education awards to individuals who have served their communities, allowing them to further their education and expand their impact, both domestically and overseas. 

Learn More. 

APPLICATION FEE & GRE ARE NOT REQUIRED FOR UNH UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS APPLYING FOR ACCELERATED MASTER’S ADMISSION!
 

For current University of New Hampshire undergraduates, there is an exciting opportunity to accelerate the MPA program. Students can take up to 4 courses during their senior year and double count these credits for both undergraduate and graduate education. Students will then follow the standard MPA curriculum beginning the semester following completion of their undergraduate degrees. This enables students to complete their MPA degree with just one additional year of studies. For details, visit the Accelerated Master’s Programs webpage.  

Application

When can I start the program and what are the application deadlines?

Applicants can apply to start in the fall, spring, or summer terms, by the following deadlines:

Fall Term Start:              March 15th (for Carsey School Scholarship);  July 1st (preferred); August 15th (final)
Spring Term Start:         December 15th

Summer Term Start:     April 15th

International students are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible to ensure visa’s and other necessary paperwork are obtained in a timely manner. Please contact Sanjeev Sharma, Admissions and Academic Advising, with any admissions questions.

How do I apply?

All applications are submitted online through the University of New Hampshire Graduate School. Instructions, link to the online application, and list of required documents can be found on the Graduate School’s Application site. If you are unable to apply online, contact Sanjeev.Sharma@unh.edu or 603-862-1871.

Does the MPA program have prerequisites?

Applicants with professional or academic experience in government, nonprofits, political science, or public administration are encouraged to apply. Applicants without such background are also welcome to apply but will be required to demonstrate ability to succeed in MPA graduate studies.

Can I get an MPA on a part-time basis? 

Our MPA program is designed so the full-time working professional can take classes on a part-time basis. Classes are held in the early evenings, meet one evening per week, and are conveniently located at our Manchester campus. We offer several electives online and at our Durham campus as well. With classes offered year round, you can move through the program at a pace that is comfortable for you.

Is the GRE required?

The GRE is not required but can be submitted, if desired.

Can I take a "test drive" before applying?

Yes. At both campuses, students are welcome to sit in on a class or take a course prior to matriculating into the program, to see if the program fits their individual needs.

Financial Aid

Does this program offer any Scholarships? 

The Carsey School of Public Policy offers a limited number of needs-based partial tuition scholarships to students who have submitted their online application and been accepted into the program. In order to be considered for a Carsey School Scholarship, please complete and submit your Online Scholarship Application Form by April 20. Applicants will be notified if they qualify for an award within two to three weeks after submitting a completed application. We also encourage students who are awarded a scholarship to leverage their award by seeking additional funding opportunities from other sources.

What happens to my Carsey Scholarship award if I need to defer? 

Carsey Scholarships based on financial need are considered and awarded to individuals for the program year of application. If an admitted student who has been awarded a Carsey Scholarship needs to defer his/her start date due to financial reasons, their scholarship application will also be deferred and given priority reconsideration for the new program start date.

What alternative funding opportunities are available? 

We strongly encourage you to look into other outside scholarship opportunities. Domestic students are eligible for both private and federal loans. More detailed information can be found on the UNH Grad School’s Financial Aid webpage or at Tuition Management System.

Other

What is the Capstone Project? 

The Capstone project is the culmination of the student’s graduate work, applying academic insight to practical experience. It is designed to provide students with an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills developed in the program to real-world situations. Students are paired with an organization in their field of interest and work with community partners to complete a substantial project with the goal of adding value to both the student and the partner organization. 

I’ve completed a professional training program for my job. Would it count towards credit in this program? 

The MPA program offers credit waivers for students who have successfully completed a number of notable training programs. For details, visit the Master of Public Administration Credit Waivers webpage

What kind of professional positions could I pursue with an MPA?

Managerial positions in areas such as the government (federal, state, and local); non-profit and non-governmental organizations; research institutes; foundations; and professional and trade associations;.etc.

Image of Dan Bromberg teaching a Master in Public Administration course.

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