Personal tools
You are here: Home > MPA Program

MPA Program

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!

Capitol Madison

UW Oshkosh MPA Program's Highlights

  • Created in 1972, the UW Oshkosh MPA program has a 43-year history of preparing students for leadership and management positions in public, nonprofit, and healthcare organizations in Wisconsin and beyond.
  • The MPA program at UW Oshkosh ranks high on affordability among similar private and public institutions in Wisconsin while delivering quality, marketability, and convenience.
  • Since 1976 more than 500 students have received a Master of Public Administration degree from the UW Oshkosh. Our graduates hold administrative/managerial positions in a great variety of organizations, including UW Oshkosh.
  • The 36-credit MPA program is one of the largest graduate programs on UW Oshkosh campus.
  • The MPA program is the only graduate program in the state that is geared mostly toward mid-career working professionals. In recent years, more students with undergraduate degrees have joined the MPA program as well.
  • Many of our students come mostly from the Northeastern, Northern, Southern, and Southeastern part of Wisconsin. We have also had students from out-of-state (e.g., Michigan, Missouri) and international students from Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and Canada.
  • The MPA program welcomes military and veteran students. 
  • The MPA program is the only program in Wisconsin that has an International City/County Management Association student chapter.

MPA Program's Purpose

  • The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program combines a commitment to academic excellence with a concern for the applied aspects of public administration. It integrates theory, research, and practice in public administration in a manner that develops and enhances leadership skills, administrative capabilities, and management practices.
  • UW Oshkosh students gain advanced knowledge and top-notch training in managing governmental agencies, non-profit organizations, healthcare organizations, and other public service organizations. The program content will strengthen analytic skills, ethics, accountability, responsiveness, and public service leadership capacity.

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.

MPA Students

  • The MPA program is designed for both mid-career professionals as well as recent college graduates with relevant work experience. Diversity best describes our students' backgrounds. Students range in age from 22-60, have a variety of undergraduate majors, and work in a variety of different settings in Wisconsin and beyond. Most students work full-time and take one or two courses per semester. Many also balance family and community commitments in addition to work and school. All are committed to leadership, lifelong learning and professionalism in public service.
  • Read about MPA students and MPA alumni experiences in the      MPA program.
  • Read about a first-year student's first impressions.

Career-Oriented Curriculum

The MPA curriculum is composed of three parts for a total of 36 credits: Core Program, Professional Emphasis, and Capstone Experience.

Core Program (24 Credits)

  • The Core Program includes coursework in public administration, leadership and ethics, organization theory and practice, analytic methods, human resources management, public policy analysis, public budgeting and financial management, and applied economics.

Professional Emphasis (9 Credits)

  • Students will select one of three professional emphases to complete the program of study: General Public Administration, Health Agency Administration, or Law Enforcement. Each consists of three courses selected from a list of courses approved by the faculty adviser.

Capstone Experience (3 Credits)

  • At the end of the program, students will conduct a research project. This can be in the form of a capstone seminar, a field project, or a thesis.

For complete curriculum requirements, please see MPA Curriculum.

Quality Faculty

  • All MPA core courses are taught by full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty members. Some have served as managers of public service organizations and leaders in non-profits. All hold doctoral degrees in their fields and have strong publication and service records.
  • During their time at UW Oshkosh, students will have the opportunity to work closely with faculty, drawing on their special skills, practical experience, and areas of expertise.


Small Class Sizes

  • Classes are small (about 20 students). Small class sizes allow students to get to know their colleagues as well as to get personalized attention from faculty.
  • Students also develop professional networks throughout the program that will help them in their career.   



Diverse Delivery Formats

  • Courses are offered on a rotating basis with all core courses offered once per year, allowing MPA students to complete their degree in about two to a maximum of seven years.
  • Courses are offered in a mixture of formats depending upon the course, including face-to-face (5 Saturdays per semester), hybrid (two to three Saturdays per semester and online), and fully online. 

State-of-the-Art Classrooms


  • 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.

       Sage Techno

Innovative Instruction with Technology

  • MPA faculty integrate technology-based and innovative pedagogies in a myriad of ways, creating a lively, modern approach to teaching, learning, and assessment.
  • As a graduate student, opportunities exist to share knowledge and ideas with others, using technology, poster boards, and other creative means.

     Students HC

Admission Requirements

MPA Program Coordinator

For more information, please contact:

Karen King Image

Karen King, Ph.D.
Clow Faculty 411
(920) 424-7306
Fax: (920) 424-2319
Document Actions
by Filipova, Anna A last modified Feb 22, 2015 11:25 AM
What Alumni Say

Manny P. Vasquez                                 


"The MPA Program at UW Oshkosh helped me to better understand the big picture - all the players and scenarios involved in leading a public organization...