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 

Specialization Certifications

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

Prerequisites

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 

Electives 

15 Credit Hours 

Internship 

3 Credit Hours 

Capstone 

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. 
 

MPA Student Outcomes

The following information documents the number of completed applications, the number of students admitted, and the number of students enrolled during the academic years listed.

Applicants to Enrolled Students

  Applicants Admitted Students Enrolled Students
2012-2013 70 61 53
2013-2014 43 41 33
2014-2015 66 63 45
2015-2016 59 54 46
2016-2017 88 82 63
2017-2018 112 93 74
2018-2019 105 78 74
2019-2020 102 102 67
2020-2021 68 53 42
2021-2022 43 30 25

Time to Graduate

The School of Public Affairs attracts students at various points in their professional development, including students actively seeking their first public service appointment to mid-career public servants seeking career advancements. Program flexibility allows the MPA program to meet the scheduling challenges of students.

UCCS has established that a graduate student is full-time if s/he takes at least five credit hours per semester (three credit hours in summer).

If a full-time student takes two courses, or six credit hours, per semester and does not attend summer sessions, a typical occurrence, it will take that student three years to complete the MPA program (internships notwithstanding). Those part-time students who complete only one course per semester, or those unable to attend every semester, will require longer to complete degree requirements.

Where are Alumni Working?

 

2010-2011

2011-2012

2012-2013

2013-2014

2014-2015

2015-2016

2016-2017

2017- 2018

2018-2019

2019-2020

2020-2021

US Government

3

2

1

2

1

1

3

0

3

2

1

State, provincial or regional government

4

6

4

4

0

0

1

7

11

7

7

City, County, or other local government

6

3

6

3

4

3

4

8

2

9

11

Government (all levels) outside the US or international quasi-governmental

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

1

Nonprofit domestic-oriented

2

2

8

5

3

6

8

7

3

7

6

Nonprofit/NGOs internationally-oriented

0

1

0

2

2

1

0

1

0

0

0

Private Sector - Research/Consulting

2

1

2

2

1

3

2

1

0

1

2

Private Sector but not research/ consulting

2

1

3

2

1

4

2

3

1

3

4

Obtaining further education

2

0

0

1

1

1

3

1

0

0

2

Military Service

included in US Government category

3

3

1

2

1

3

2

1

3

Unemployed not seeking employment

1

5

0

0

3

0

0

0

0

1

1

Unemployed seeking employment

1

0

1

1

0

1

2

0

0

Status Unknown

5

4

1

7

3

2

7

3

3

0

3

Total Number of Graduates

27

25

29

31

22

25

31

35

27

31

41

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