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!
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, management, 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.
- Students will have positive impressions of the MPA program and experience.
- The MPA program is the only graduate program in the state that is geared toward mid-career working professionals who are seeking graduate degrees or raise, or who are seeking cross-training to advance in the current fields, or who are seeking graduate degree to move into new fields.
- The MPA program is also open for pre-career students (recent graduates seeking professional degree before entering the workforce).
- 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.
- The MPA program is proud with its veteran students who have served in the military, or are currently in, or transitioning out of, military service.
- 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.
- Read about a first-year student's first impressions.
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 two professional emphases to complete the program of study: General Public Administration or Health Agency Administration. 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.
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 as few as two years.
- A course can be offered in a mixture of formats depending upon the course, including face-to-face (5 Saturdays), hybrid ( three Saturdays plus 2 online), and fully online.
Since Spring 2016 all courses are scheduled in the newly renovated Clow Building.
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.
University Employment Opportunities
- The UW Oshkosh is dedicated to helping students find employment. More than 250 graduate students and alumni are employed at UW Oshkosh year year. See University employment opportunities and career services.
- Whether as graduate assistants, University staff, Academic Staff, Alumni Association Board of Directors members or even Faculty, MPA students and alumni are well-represented employees or volunteers on the UW Oshkosh campus. Meet some of our UW Oshkosh MPA alumni below.
Shawna Kuether, Deputy Director of Human Resources
Kate McQuillan, Organizational Development Program Manager
Shawn Monroe, Veterans Resource Center Coordinator
Michael Parks, College of Nursing, Simulation Center Instructor