Master of Public Administration MPA

Gannon University

Program Description

Master of Public Administration MPA

Gannon University

Master of Public Administration

Public administration as a learned field of study focuses on the delivery of public goods and services, the implementation of public policy, and the execution of laws and degrees.  Its studies, however, are much broader to include the functioning and leading of large and complex organizations.  By definition and necessity, public administration is both science and art:  science in that it is a study of how bureaucracies function and art in that it is a study of how to steer and manage organizations.

Political appointees of the past are rapidly being replaced by a new breed of public sector managers, more similar to executives, engineers, and accountants of the private sector.  Governments, agencies, foundations, and authorities are seeking highly motivated individuals with communication, critical analysis, marketing, finance, strategic planning abilities, grant writing experience, program development capabilities, organizational skills, and the ability to solve problems creatively.

To meet this demand, the Gannon Master of Public Administration and Master of Business Administration programs share resources.  This encourages public administration students to pursue management skills training with the rigor and dedication frequently associated only with business school training.  It also provides opportunities to specialize in selected concentrations.

Our experience as the region’s first and largest graduate school of management and administration has taught us some important lessons.  Simply having a master’s degree is no assurance of success or happiness.  To succeed, you need real skills; an understanding of the worlds of the public, private, and nonprofit sectors; practical experience, and a moral compass.  Our mission is to provide you with the vision, values, and leadership skills required for successful professional and rewarding personal lives.

Our central location to city, county, state, and federal government offices makes Gannon a virtual public administration laboratory.  Our close proximity allows for continuous interaction with government and agency leaders who visit classes on a regular basis and often serve as instructors themselves.  This is a program in which real world case studies are often the focus of seminar deliberations and class projects.  In addition, internship opportunities abound.  This practical experience adds balance to academic life.


Gannon offers a Master of Public Administration Degree (MPA), a Specialized Five Year Master’s Degree MPA program, and a number of related Graduate Certificates.

Within the MPA, you are able to take one of four directions:

      ·    The Administrative Track

      ·    The Organizational Leadership Track

      ·    A combination of electives to best meet your needs (to be developed in consultation the director)

      ·    A program with a Concentration or Graduate Certificate          

In addition, we also offer customized packages of graduate courses in management, leadership, administration, and related topics for professionals who wish to upgrade skills or retrain.  Our programs of study may be pursued on either a full or part-time basis.


  •     To impart a sophisticated and lasting paradigm for understanding bureaucracy and the administrative process in large, complex organizations;
  •     To develop requisite skills necessary to participate effectively in and practice the business of management and leadership roles in public administration; and
  •     To enhance leadership potential in the public sector, not-for-profits, and for profit sectors.

Admission Requirements

1.        Have a bachelor's degree in any discipline from an accredited college or university

2.        A completed application for admission

3.        Transcripts from all prior institutions attended

4.        TOEFL scores if English is not a first language

5.        GRE scores (if you are seeking a degree or a certificate and if your undergraduate GPA is less than 3.2)

6.        Three letters of recommendation

Five Year Bachelor's Degree/MPA

This program is designed to allow outstanding undergraduate students the opportunity to earn both an undergraduate degree and an MPA within a five-year period. All majors are eligible. If interested, students should apply before their junior year. Working with both the undergraduate advisor and the MPA Director, a schedule will be customized for students using undergraduate electives and/or cognates to take MPA courses.

Graduate Certificates

Gannon offers graduate certificates in a number of disciplines, including accounting, environmental sciences, financial management, human resources management, investments and marketing. If students are unable to commit to a degree program but wish to develop a particular specialization or if they have a master's degree but wish to upgrade skills or retrain, a certificate may be just what they are seeking. Most of the certificate programs include 12 to 15 hours of graduate work.

Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Oct. 2016
Part time
Full time
Start date Oct. 2016
USA Erie, Pennsylvania
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