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Master of Public Administration (MPA)

In the same way an MBA prepares you for leadership positions in business, the Master of Public Administration degree gives you the background to pick up the reins of leadership in public and nonprofit administration.

Are you called to public service? Can you see yourself working to become a strategic leader for the greater good? Is there a cause you want to advance? The MPA degree offers you a pathway to help make the world a better place by running the agencies and organizations that provide for the planet and people in need.

Designed for both new college graduates and mid-careerists looking to move up or change fields, UW's online MPA program gives students higher autonomy and almost no geographical limitations.

What is a Master of Public Administration?

Learn to plan, deliver and promote the policies and programs that make arts organizations thrive, provide critical governmental services or help people out of homelessness. Emphasizing the development of effective and ethical administrative skills, the UW program gives you a rigorous background in how to lead complex organizations and become a forward-thinking, well-equipped leader.

Quick Facts

Degree Type: Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Optional Concentrations:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Environmental and Natural Resources
  • Non-Profit Administration

Resident Tuition

Non-resident Tuition

School of Politics, Public Affairs and International Studies

The MPA program is the largest graduate program in the College of Arts & Sciences

Master of Public Administration Degree Program Highlights

Targeted specifically to train ethical, skilled administrators to lead government and nonprofit organizations, the UW Master of Public Administration program makes it possible for you to earn this degree on your terms. Our online MPA program provides the theoretical and practical foundation necessary for you to become a principled, effective leader.

Here are some reasons to consider the UW graduate program in public administration:

Flexibility. Keep your current job and personal commitments through the convenience of our primarily synchronous online program. Full-time students normally complete their degree in 2 years while part-time students take approximately 3-4 years.

No pre-requisites. Apply no matter what you studied as an undergrad. Whether you majored in English or engineering, you are welcome to apply to the UW MPA program as long as you graduated from an accredited institution.

Scholarships. Become a graduate assistant. The School of Politics, Public Affairs and International Studies offers graduate research and teaching assistantships. There are also scholarships available for MPA students.

Connections. As an MPA student, you'll get the convenience of learning wherever you want while still meeting your professors and other students during your synchronous Zoom classes. You won't miss out on that person-to-person interaction even if you're states away!

Experiential education. Complete a required internship. Get on-the-job experience working for a government agency or nonprofit organization. (UW will waive this requirement if you already have a robust résumé.) You can also take advantage of study abroad opportunities (with the possibility of scholarship assistance) and get involved in faculty research.

Network. Search LinkedIn. The state of Wyoming is filled with UW MPA graduates who serve as a built-in public administration network.

What Can You Do With a Public Administration Master’s Degree?

An MPA degree prepares you for careers in management, particularly in government and non-profit organizations. Become a chief of police, an executive director of an NGO, a city manager or a corrections commissioner.

UW MPA grads have gone on to run social service agencies, counties and corporate divisions, taking the applied, integrity-based education they received at UW into leadership positions locally, regionally and nationally.

Public Administration Careers

UW MPA graduates have job titles such as:

  • Director of Community Engagement and Human Capital
  • Director of Annual Giving and Grants
  • Homeland Security Grant Program Manager/Public Assistance Officer
  • Foster Care Program Manager
  • City Manager
  • Chief of Police
  • Police Lieutenant
  • Director of Habitat for Humanity
  • County Manager
  • U.S. Airforce Major
  • Chief County Planner
  • College Professor
  • Legislative Services Analyst
  • Human Resource Specialist

Here are some places where UW MPA alumni are working:

  • Colorado College
  • University of Wyoming
  • Cheyenne Regional Medical Center Foundation
  • North Range Behavioral Health
  • State of Alaska
  • Wyoming Business Council
  • American Trucking Association
  • Cowboys Inc.
  • Wyoming Department of Workforce Services
  • State of Tennessee
  • American Red Cross
  • City and County of Denver
  • Casper College

Amazing Stories from MPA Majors

Jon Peacock is county manager of Pitkin County, Colorado in Aspen. He was named “County Administrator of the Year" by the Association of Colorado County Administrators.

Examples of MPA Degree Program Courses

These are just some of the classes you might take as a public administration graduate student at the University of Wyoming:

  • Environmental Politics and Administration
  • Administrative Behavior and Theory of Organizations
  • Principles and Processes of Government Budgeting
  • Ethics in Government
  • Public Administration and Law
  • Governing Utopia

View the full Master of Public Administration degree program curriculum.

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