Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Master of Public Administration

Earn Your MPA at UCCS

The Master of Public Administration program at UCCS prepares students to take leadership roles in the public and nonprofit sectors. The UCCS MPA program is the only program in the Pikes Peak Region accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA).

Program Delivery Total Credit Hours In-State Tuition Out-of-State Tuition
Online, In-Person, or Hybrid 36 - 39 Credit Hours $21,300 - $23,075 $43,100 - $46,692

MPA Program Curriculum

In addition to a solid core curriculum focused on essential problem-solving and decision-making skills and diverse elective choices, students with less professional experience have opportunities to participate in internships with public and nonprofit agencies. 

The MPA program equips students with the skills needed to: 

  • Manage organizations 
  • Formulate, implement, and analyze policies 
  • Guide policy improvements 

Career Outcomes

The MPA program provides graduate-level instruction for individuals who wish to prepare themselves for administrative or policy careers in industries such as:
●    Public Management
●    Nonprofit Management
●    National Security Intelligence
●    Homeland Security and Emergency Management
●    Criminal Justice Systems

Admission Requirements


Applicants to the MPA program should have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university, with grades sufficiently high to indicate the ability to pursue graduate work, typically a cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or better. MPA applicants may have an undergraduate degree in any field.

Required Application Materials

To apply to the MPA program, please use the Online Graduate School Application.

Additional required materials include:

  • A written statement that includes 500-word responses to the following three prompts:
    • What are your career aspirations, and how can your academic experience contribute to your career goals?
    • What is relevant in your professional or academic background that contributes to your anticipated success in your graduate experience?
    • Provide an example of how your characteristics helped you overcome a specific challenge.
  • $60 non-refundable application fee
  • Official transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended
  • Current resume

The MPA program does not require a GRE test score for admissions.

Please note that current UCCS undergraduate students applying for the program or current UCCS graduate students in other certificate or degree programs may have different requirements. 

For more information regarding admissions to the MPA program, contact the School of Public Affairs graduate student services specialist for information.

Customize Your Degree

MPA students are required to complete either the Capstone Seminar or Master’s Thesis as their culminating experience.

Capstone Seminar students work with a client in a public or nonprofit agency to identify a problem and then, using the knowledge and skills they have gained in the program, carry out a project and write a paper to address the identified problem. Master’s Thesis students conduct a comprehensive review of the theoretical and research literature in the subject area of their thesis and collect original data or analyze existing data in new ways.

The MPA program includes professional experience among the requirements for degree completion. Students who do not have at least one year of professional experience in public administration or nonprofit management, or the equivalent, are classified as pre-service Students and are required to participate in an internship as part of their academic path.

Requirements for Internship Path

Pre-service Students must complete an internship. Students must have completed at least 9 hours of coursework to enroll in PAD 6910. Graded pass/fail but is added as 3 credit hours. Pre-service students must complete 39 credit hours for the MPA. 

The internship is required for students lacking significant experience in the public or nonprofit fields. PAD 6910 is not available for in-service students. Eligibility is determined at the time of admission. In-service students who are interested in professional development opportunities can take an Independent Study (PAD 9500). 

Requirements for Internship Path 

Core Studies 

18 Credit Hours 


15 Credit Hours 


3 Credit Hours 


3 Credit Hours 

Total Credit Hours 

39 Credit Hours 

Requirements for Non-Internship Path

Requirements for Non-Internship Path
Core Studies 18 Credit Hours
Electives 15 Credit Hours
Capstone 3 Credit Hours
Total Credit Hours 36 Credit Hours

Program Delivery and Duration

The MPA program offers courses in-person, online, or a combination of both. Within the program, there are around 200 active students. Class sizes are capped at 20, except for capstone courses, where you may have up to 36 students.

Students in the MPA program should expect to complete the degree in no less than one and a half and no more than six years; the average is about three years.