Master of Public Administration - Downtown Phoenix

General

Program Description

Ranked No.14 by U.S. News and World Report, this MPA curriculum prepares you to be an agile results-driven leader across the public sector. More than 70% of our students don't choose a concentration, to allow more flexibility in choosing electives. 

Program Description

Degree Awarded: MPA  Public Administration

The MPA is a transdisciplinary, professional degree program designed to prepare students for public service, public management, and policy analysis at the local, state, and national levels of government.

Students may elect to specialize in one of the four approved Master of Public Administration concentrations: urban management, nonprofit administration, emergency management, or public finance.

The urban management concentration provides knowledge and skills for students seeking careers in local urban government management and enables students to develop the skills and techniques used by city and urban leaders and managers.

The concentration in nonprofit administration is intended for professionals who work in or desire to work in the nonprofit sector and who wish to explore research, theory, and the practice of management and leadership in the nonprofit sector.

The concentration in emergency management prepares graduates for a challenging career as a professional emergency manager. This program allows students to focus on concerns related to emergency management within the larger field of public administration.

The concentration in public finance provides knowledge and skills for students seeking or advancing careers in areas in which financial management plays an integral role in governance. This concentration emphasizes theories and research concerning urban economics and public finance, managing money in the public sector, public budgeting and finance, and capital budgeting and financing.

In addition, the school offers concurrent programs in planning, sustainability, criminology and criminal justice, and social work. 

Concurrent Program Options

Students can choose to create their own concurrent degree combinations to match their interests by working with their academic advisor during or after their first semester of study. Some concurrent combinations are not possible due to high levels of overlap in the curriculum; students should speak with their academic advisor for more details.

This degree is also offered as a concurrent program with an integrated major map with the following:

  • American Indian Studies (Tribal Leadership and Governance), MS
  • Criminology and Criminal Justice, MS
  • Social Work - Standard Program, MSW
  • Sustainability Solutions, MSUS
  • Urban and Environmental Planning, MUEP

Accelerated Program Options

This program allows students to obtain both a bachelor's and a master's degree in as little as five years. It is offered as an accelerated bachelor's and master's degree with:

  • Construction Management and Technology, BS
  • Public Service and Public Policy, BS
  • Public Service and Public Policy (American Indian Studies), BS
  • Public Service and Public Policy (Business), BS
  • Public Service and Public Policy (Criminology), BS
  • Public Service and Public Policy (Emergency Management and Homeland Security), BS
  • Public Service and Public Policy (Health Policy), BS
  • Public Service and Public Policy (Law and Policy), BS
  • Public Service and Public Policy (Nonprofit Leadership and Management), BS
  • Public Service and Public Policy (Parks and Recreation Management), BS
  • Public Service and Public Policy (Science and Technology Policy), BS
  • Public Service and Public Policy (Social Services Delivery), BS
  • Public Service and Public Policy (Sustainability), BS

Acceptance to the graduate program requires a separate application. During their junior year, eligible students will be advised by their academic departments to apply.

Degree Requirements

  • 42 credit hours including the required capstone course PAF 509

Required Core (24 credit hours)

  • PAF 501 Public Service Research I (3)
  • PAF 502 Public Service Research II (3)
  • PAF 503 Public Affairs (3)
  • PAF 504 Microeconomics of Public Policy I (3)
  • PAF 505 Public Policy Analysis (3)
  • PAF 506 Public Budgeting and Finance (3)
  • PAF 507 Public Human Resource Management (3)
  • PAF 508 Organization Behavior (3)

Electives or Research (15 credit hours)

Culminating Experience (3 credit hours)

  • PAF 509 Public Affairs Capstone (3)

Additional Curriculum Information

Students should see the academic unit for a complete list of approved electives. Approved elective credit hours may include courses offered by the school or other academic units in the university.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree from a regionally accredited institution in a related field. Related fields include social science degrees, although the department may accept applicants with degrees from all educational backgrounds provided the minimum requirements for the degree program are met.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. verbal, quantitative, and analytical scores on the GRE (institution code: 4007) or GMAT scores
  4. three letters of recommendation
  5. written statement
  6. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information

An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency. 

At least two of the three letters of recommendation should be from faculty members or other academic staff who can evaluate the applicant's academic performance.

The written statement should be one to two pages in length and describe the applicant's educational and career goals. This statement is also used as a sample of the applicant's writing abilities.

Applicants also may submit a resume or other documents.

Fees increase after the deadline.

Last updated Oct 2020

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About the School

The Watts College of Public Service & Community Solutions is made up of four schools and more than 20 research centers—all with a shared goal of advancing research and discovery of public value, a ... Read More

The Watts College of Public Service & Community Solutions is made up of four schools and more than 20 research centers—all with a shared goal of advancing research and discovery of public value, and furthering the economic, social, cultural, and overall health of the communities that we serve. Read less
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