Transform your passion for public service into a rewarding career in national, state, and local government, nonprofit, or health care organizations, with a Master's degree in public administration!
Master of Public Administration Program Overview
At the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program provides advanced knowledge and training in managing public, nonprofit and health care organizations. The program offers a career-oriented, 36-credit curriculum that builds critical leadership skills, administrative capabilities, and management practices. The program combines a commitment to academic excellence with concern for the applied aspects of public administration. The UW Oshkosh MPA program is unique in two ways.
First, it seeks to synthesize course work with employment experiences. Because professional experience is required, courses are designed to apply the theories and concepts of administration to real-world settings.
Second, the MPA program is strong in its commitment to the principle that professional education should be accessible to qualified people enrolled as part-time students. Most people who benefit from a degree in public administration work full time and have family obligations. Many live in communities or rural areas several hours away from the Oshkosh campus.
MPA Program Goals
- Students will demonstrate broad-based knowledge of theory, research, and practice in public administration, leadership, and policy directly applicable at professional levels in public, non-profit, and health care organizations.
- Students will demonstrate well-developed critical thinking, problem-solving, and research skills in addressing contemporary problems or issues in the public interest.
- Students will demonstrate strong, positive interpersonal skills and ability to communicate effectively with a diverse constituency both individually and in group settings.
The MPA degree is designed for mid-career professionals and college graduates who want to learn about the theories and practices of managing governmental nonprofit, and health care organizations. The program incorporates a strong commitment to the principle that professional education should be accessible to qualified people enrolled as part-time students.
Most program participants work full-time and have family obligations. Many live in urban communities or rural areas of Wisconsin, several hours away from the UWO campus. The majority of MPA students take one or two classes at a time while continuing to work full-time. Such schedule allows MPA students to complete the master's degree in three years.
Our graduate students exemplify dedication to professionalism in public service and are committed to leadership and lifelong learning. Read more about MPA students and MPA alumni experiences in the MPA program.
Small Class Sizes Allow for Teamwork, Personalized Attention & Strong Networking
Classes are small (usually fewer than 20 students), and core MPA courses are taught by regular faculty members who teach only in the MPA program. The small class size encourages students to get to know their classmates and begin to form the professional networks that will help them advance in their careers. Over the course of their studies, students have the opportunity to work closely with their professors, drawing on their special skills and areas of expertise and becoming stronger leaders.
Flexible Weekend Courses in State-of-the-Art Classrooms
The majority of MPA core and elective courses are conducted face-to-face during a 14-week session. Students meet on five Saturdays during the semester for each course. The schedule provides considerable flexibility and convenience to students in terms of both school work and busy professional schedules.
Since Fall 2011, all courses are scheduled in the newly constructed Sage Building. The four-story building contains state-of-the-art classrooms with beautiful furniture and technology, lecture halls, dozens of breakout, study, and project rooms, courtyard, Einstein Bros. Bagels, trading rooms to track global stocks and markets, and green roof with raised garden beds.
Innovative Instruction with Technology
With the expanded demand for relevant and accessible professional education, the PA Department responded by offering several professional emphasis courses in a hybrid format. In general, hybrid courses include content and activities that are at least 25% in-person (on campus) for graduate courses. Remaining course work occurs in an online threaded discussion board sessions on D2L. A limited number of professional emphasis courses are also offered in a 100% online format.
Faculty also incorporate technology into all their core MPA courses in a myriad of ways, creating a lively, modern approach to learning. Students are able to access course materials online in D2L anywhere, anytime. Because of this, students are deeply engaged in a dialogue with faculty and with each other about ideas.
For program requirements, please see MPA Curriculum.
For admission requirements, please see MPA Program Admission.