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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

Wisconsin State Capitol, Madison, Photo Courtsey of Dr. Filipova

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.

MPA Students

MPA Students


  • 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 mostly through the online MPA program (e.g., Michigan, Colorado, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Missouri, Minnesota) and international students from Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and Canada. 
  • 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 Courses (27 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, applied economics, and a capstone experience.

Professional Emphasis Electives (9 Credits)

  • Students will select one of four professional emphases to complete the program of study: General Public Administration, Health Agency Administration, Nonprofit Management and Leadership, or Fire and Emergency Administration and Management. Each consists of three courses selected from a list of courses approved by the faculty adviser.
For complete curriculum requirements, please see MPA Curriculum.

Experienced 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 (capped at 20 students each). 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 & Fast Completion

On-Campus MPA

  • The traditional, face-to-face MPA program can be completed in as few as two years.
  • It is offered on campus on weekends (5 Saturdays per course). 
  • Some core and elective courses may be offered in a hybrid format (3 Saturdays + 2 online sessions) or 100% online.
  • Students who prefer face-to-face education and lots of personal interactions should select this option when applying to the MPA program. 
  •  The tuition amount per credit is different for in-state, out-of-state, and international students. Please check the graduate Tuition and Fees. When on-campus students take courses in 100% format they pay an additional $150 technology fee.


Online MPA 

  • The UW Oshkosh Public Administration Department, in collaboration with the Division of Online and Continuing Education, offers an online version of the MPA program. 
  • The online MPA program option can be completed in as few as two years.
  • All courses in the MPA curriculum are offered 100% online (see more information about this option).
  • Students who prefer online education should select this option when applying to the MPA program. 
  • The expected tuition for the MPA Online option for 2018-2019 is about $536.80 per credit. This tuition amount is the same for in-state, out-of-state, and international students. The Minnesota Reciprocity and Midwest Student Exchange programs do not apply. 

State-of-the-Art Classrooms

      Clow Faculty Building

  • Beginning in Spring 2016, all courses are scheduled in the newly renovated Clow Social Science Building.
Clow Cl3

Innovative Instruction with Technology

Active Learning 2                        
  • MPA faculty integrate technology-based and innovative pedagogies in a myriad of ways, creating a lively, modern approach to teaching, learning, and assessment. Many classes are scheduled in active learning classrooms.
Active Learning1
  • As a graduate student, opportunities exist to share knowledge and ideas with others, using technology, poster boards, and other creative means.
Active Learning 3

Students HC
Document Actions
by Filipova, Anna A last modified Sep 23, 2018 06:14 PM
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...

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