Master of Public Administration

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!

Program 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 MPA 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 strengthens analytic skills, ethics, accountability, responsiveness, and public service leadership capacity.

Strategic Plan

The mission of the Department of Public Administration is to provide a high-quality education in the field of public administration to graduate students, conducts research relevant to theory and practice, and engages in service to improve the diverse communities in which we live and work.


The MPA program strategic plan is guided by the department’s directional strategies and values, and outlines specific objectives for the MPA program for the 2019-2020 academic year. These objectives are aligned with the College of Letters and Science goals.


Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee provides advice and support for the Online and Continuing Education Division’s Fire and Emergency Response Management program and the Master of Public Administration program with Fire and Emergency Administration and Management emphasis at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, with the goal of providing high quality, cost effective, customized education and training, along with personalized assistance, in order to provide access to higher education for lifelong learners.


MPA with FEAM Emphasis Receives Initial Accreditation from IFSAC

The UW Oshkosh Master of Public Administration (MPA) program with a Fire and Emergency Administration and Management (FEAM) emphasis received accreditation from the Degree Assembly Board of Governors of the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) for the first time. The accreditation is in place for five years.

FERM Bachelor’s Degree Renews Accreditation with IFSAC

The UW Oshkosh Bachelor of Applied Studies in Fire and Emergency Response Management (FERM) recently renewed its accreditation from the Degree Assembly Board of Governors of the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC). The duration of this accreditation is five years.

Distinguishing Features

  • Manageable Credits: 36 (27 Required Credits | 9 Elective Credits)
  • Fast Time to Degree Completion: As Few As Two Years (see Sample Plans for Completing the MPA)
  • Diverse Modes of Delivery:  100% Online
  • Rigorous Admission: Application Requirements
  • Affordability: Tuition and Fees
  • Transfer of Credits Possibilities: Department Policies 
  • Quality Teaching & Community Engagement: Tenured or Tenure-Track Experienced Faculty
  • Comprehensive and Career-Oriented Curriculum: The Curriculum Features Four Emphases
  • Diverse Semester Offerings: Fall | Spring | Summer
  • Solid Planning of Offerings: Courses Offered according to Long-Term Plans
  • Strong Partnership in Delivery: COLS PA Department and Division of OCE (for the Online MPA)
  • Diverse Student Population: In-career | Pre-Career| Age Group 23-56; Average age 35.1 (Fall 2019) | Veterans | Other
  • Diverse Student Geography: State of Wisconsin |Out-of-State (Michigan, Illinois, Colorado, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Missouri, Minnesota, Texas, Connecticut, California, other) | International (Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and Canada)
  • Small Class Sizes for Personalized Education and Networking: 20

Program Goals and Outcomes

MPA Program Learning Goals

The MPA program at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is guided by the core values of academic rigor, collaboration and community engagement, collegial work environment, democratic principles, integrity, productivity, professional success, and student-centered and inclusive environment. It has three major learning goals and outcomes:

  • 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.


These outcomes reflect the National Associations of Schools of Public Affairs and Administrations universal competencies (p. 5). The required competencies include five domains: the ability

“(1) to lead and manage in the public interest

(2) to participate in, and contribute to, the policy process;

(3) to analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems and make evidence-informed decisions in a complex and dynamic environment;

(4) to articulate, apply, and advance a public service perspective;

(5) to communicate and interact productively and in culturally responsive ways with a diverse and changing workforce and society at large”.

MPA Program Outcomes

The following are some key data on the MPA program outcomes in the Department of Public Administration at the UW Oshkosh.

Learning Outcomes


Graduation Rates


Employment and Career Outcome Data of MPA Graduates


Public Administration

Sage Hall 3003 and 3464
Oshkosh, WI 54901



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Contact Us

Phone: (920) 424-2030
Program Coordinator:
Dr. Michael Ford |
Hours: 7:30am - 3:30pm