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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
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.
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
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.