Master of Public Administration

The UConn Master of Public Administration (MPA) program provides students with the skills to excel in the field of public affairs. Our graduates are leaders in nonprofit organizations and in government at the national, state, and local levels. Their successes contribute to our Department’s national reputation and our ability to attract high-caliber students from around the world.

Not only do UConn MPA students earn an exceptional education from the only NASPAA-accredited program in Connecticut. They’re also eligible for our Internship in Professional Practice, which provides a paid internship and full-year tuition scholarship with a top Connecticut state agency, municipality, or nonprofit organization.

 

Apply to the MPA Program

Cost and Financial Aid

Jobs and Outcomes

US News and World Report badge for Best Grad Schools in Public Affairs, Public Finance & Budgeting, for 2021

9th
National ranking of public finance and budget programs, U.S. News & World Report

US News and World Report badge for Best Grad Schools in Public Affairs for 2021

38th
National ranking of public affairs programs, U.S. News & World Report

Program Details

The UConn MPA program is organized around (1) core courses, (2) electives, (3) a supervised field internship, and (4) a capstone project. Learn more about our curriculum and special opportunities below.

Curriculum and Courses

Core Courses

PP 5325: Labor-Management Relations, Negotiations, and Contract Management
PP 5331: Quantitative Methods for Public Policy
PP 5340: Introduction to Public Policy and Management
PP 5345: Project Management in the Public Sector
PP 5361: Theory and Management of Public Organizations
PP 5364: Public Finance and Budgeting
PP 5365: Human Resource Management
PP 5370: Applied Research Design
PP 5375: Economic Analysis for Public Policy and Management

Focus Areas

A focus area allows you to develop additional expertise in a specific area. The MPA program requires nine credits (three courses) to complete a focus area. You can choose from the list of possible focus areas below, develop your own with the help of your advisor, or choose to remain a generalist. Examples of focus areas and possible courses include:

Nonprofit Management

PP 5319: Program Development
PP 5328: Business Functions of Nonprofit Organizations
PP 5324: Grant Writing
PP 5323: Leading and Governing Nonprofits
PP 5329: Nonprofit Advocacy, Government Relations, and Law
PP 5336: Fund Development and Nonprofit Sustainability
PP 5366: Executive Leadership

State and Local Management

PP 5363: Administrative Functions of Local Government (required)
PP 5317: Capital Finance and Budgeting
PP 5349: Public Procurement and Contracting
PP 5368: Performance Management and Accountability
PP 5350: Urban and Regional Policy

Survey Research

PP 5379: Principles and Methods I (required)
Other courses as approved

Public Financial Management

PP 5373: Budgeting in Public Service Organizations
PP 5318: Financial Management for Public Organizations
PP 5317: Capital Finance and Budgeting
PP 5364: Public Finance and Budgeting (MPP only)
PP 5326: Public Investment Management

Public Policy

PP 5347: Applied Policy Issues
PP 5314: Casual Program Evaluation
PP 5342: Policy Analysis
PP 5331: Quantitative Methods for Public Policy

Public Policy, Diversity, and Inclusion

PP 5304: Public Policy, Diversity, and Inclusion (required)
PP 5346: Child and Family Policy
PP 5303: Race and Policy
Other courses as approved from POLS, SOCI, WGSS

Urban Planning

PP 5348: Urban Planning Principles and Methods (required)
PP 5363: Administrative Functions of Local Government
PP 5317: Capital Finance and Budgeting
PP 5350: Urban and Regional Policy
Other courses as approved from GEOG and LAW

Supervised Field Internship

Students test classroom theory during their internship and develop contacts that might lead to a position after graduation. Internships are an integral part of the MPA program. A student who has not had significant career experience must complete six internship credits. Learn more about our paid internships.

Capstone Portfolio

The Capstone Portfolio class is a one-credit course that provides a synthesis of the skills and competencies important to completing the MPA programs and for professionals in the public service.

Model of Course Sequences

Full-Time Study

Below is a model course of study (courses may not always appear in this order). Students can complete the requirements in two years of full-time study. View more details about our courses on our course descriptions page.


Year 1 Fall

PP 5340: Introduction to Public Policy and Management

PP 5375: Economic Analysis for Public Policy and Management

PP 5361: Theory and Management of Public Organizations

PP 5370: Applied Research Design

Total Credits = 12

Year 1 Spring

PP 5331: Quantitative Methods for Public Policy

PP 5364: Public Finance and Budgeting

PP 5365: Human Resource Management

Focus Area/Elective

Total Credits = 12


Year 2 Fall

PP 5325: Labor-Management Relations, Negotiation, and Contract Management

Elective/Focus Area or PP 5345: Project Management in the Public Sector

Elective/Focus Area (or could be in Spring)

Internship (begins in Fall)

Total Credits = 9

Year 2 Spring

Elective/Focus Area or PP 5345: Project Management in the Public Sector

PP 5372: Capstone Portfolio class (1 credit)

PP 5390: Supervised Internship (6 credits)

Total Credits = 10


Total Program Credits = 43

Part-Time Study

Some students pursue their MPA degree through part-time study. If you are eligible to waive our internship requirement, our MPA program can be completed in three calendar years of part-time study (2 courses per semester; 1 course during the intervening summers). After consulting with your advisor, you may enroll in summer courses in the Department of Public Policy or in other departments and schools, or take an independent reading course (with the agreement of a faculty member).

Below is a model of a part-time program over three calendar years for working students. Of course, depending upon the specific circumstances, part-time students can move through the MPA program at a slower or faster pace than is outlined below.


Year 1 Fall

PP 5340: Introduction to Public Policy & Management

PP 5375: Economic Analysis for Public Policy and Management

Total Credits = 6

Year 1 Spring

PP 5365: Human Resource Management

PP 5364: Public Finance and Budgeting

Total Credits = 6


Year 2 Fall

PP 5325: Labor-Management Relations, Negotiation, and Contract Management

PP 5370: Applied Research Design

Total Credits = 6

Year 2 Spring

PP 5331: Quantitative Methods for Public Policy

PP 5345: Project Management in the Public Sector

Total Credits = 6


Year 3 Fall

Elective/Focus area

PP 5361: Theory and Management of Public Organizations

Total Credits = 6

Year 3 Spring

Elective/Focus area

Elective/Focus area

PP 5372: Capstone Portfolio ( 1 credit)

Total Credits = 7


Total Credits = 37

Note: The above model program assumes waiver of internship requirement. See our internship page for waiver guidelines.

Joint Degree Program Options

Students can choose to pursue a joint master’s degree program in public administration.

Joint Masters Degree Program in Public Administration and Latino & Latin American Studies

Offered in conjunction with El Instituto: Institute of Latina/o, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies, this joint degree program prepares students with the functional skills and knowledge in public administration and at the same time engage them in interdisciplinary study and research related to the Latina/o, Caribbean, and Latin American world.

Students in this program will have nine credits counting toward their MPA waived, with a Master of Arts in International Studies concentration in Latina/o and Latin American Studies (LLAS) providing in-depth specialization in lieu of the MPA focus area. Students can waive another three credits toward the MPA if they take PP 5370: Applied Research Design or another appropriate public policy methodology course to satisfy the methods course requirement of the MA in LLAS.

Applicants must apply to and be accepted by both the MPA and the MA in International Studies programs. Funding opportunities may be available through El Instituto or the Department of Public Policy. To be considered for a graduate assistantship (GA), please submit your applications by February 15 and select “YES” in the online application to the question: “Applying for a GA/Fellowship?”

Joint Masters Degree Program in Public Administration and Survey Research

The Department of Public Policy offers joint degree programs in public administration and survey research, which prepares students with the functional skills and knowledge in public administration and at the same time engage them in interdisciplinary study and research related to survey design, data collection, and data analysis techniques.

Students in this program will have three credits counting toward their MPA waived upon successful completion of PP 5376: Applied Quantitative Methods. An additional nine credits of public policy coursework toward the MPA will be waived, with courses within the MA in survey research providing in-depth specialization in lieu of the MPA “focus area.”

Applicants must apply to and be accepted by both the MPA and MA in survey research programs. Support through the Department of Public Policy is competitively available through a limited number of graduate assistantships (GAs). To be considered for a GA, please submit your application by February 15 and select “YES” in the online application to the question: “Applying for a GA/Fellowship?”

Joint Masters Degree Program in Public Administration and Juris Doctor

Offered in conjunction with the School of Law, the joint MPA and Juris Doctor (JD) degree program prepares students with the functional skills and knowledge in public administration and at the same time engages them in interdisciplinary study and research related to law.

Applicants must apply to and be accepted by both the MPA and the UConn JD programs.

Joint Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Social Work

Offered in conjunction with the School of Social Work, the joint MPA and Master's of Social Work (MSW) prepares students with the functional skills and knowledge in public administration and at the same time engages them in interdisciplinary study and research related to social work.

The MSW degree has three concentrations: Policy Practice, Community Organizing, and Individuals, Groups, and Families. In applying to the MSW program, a student selects one of them to pursue. All MSW concentrations give students a holistic understanding of the systems of oppression that stifle the ability of some members of society to thrive, which pairs well with either the MPA or MPP.

Applicants must apply to and be accepted by both the MPA and UConn MSW programs.


Frequently Asked Questions

General

What is a Master of Public Administration degree?
A Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree will prepare you for leadership roles in government and nonprofit organizations by teaching you how to diagnose problems, collect and analyze information, choose among policy options, communicate findings, implement programs, and manage change. These skills are developed through an intensive quantitative, analytical, and managerial framework.

What can I do with a MPA degree?
Alumni of UConn’s MPA program work in governments at the local, state, and federal levels in a variety of policy areas, hold elected office, lead and manage nonprofit organizations, and conduct market research, among many other positions. Learn more about UConn’s MPA alumni by visiting our DPP Alumni page.

Where are your graduates employed?
Our graduates work in local, state, and federal government, as well as in non-profit and private organizations. Alumni hold a wide variety of positions at all organizational levels such as budget analysts, bond ratings analysts, human resource managers, program administrators, policy analysts, program evaluators, and survey researchers. The table below presents job placements for MPA graduates in 2017-2019 based on the employment categories from our accrediting body, the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). Employment Statistics for MPA Graduates in 2017, 2018, and 2019:

Employment Sectors 2017 2018 2019
National or Central government in the same country as the program 0% 8% 0%
State, provincial or regional government in the same country as the program 14% 27% 9%
City, County, or other local government in the same country as the program 21% 4% 18%
Government (all levels) or international quasi-governmental 0% 0% 0%
Nonprofit domestic-oriented 33% 35% 18%
Nonprofit/NGOs internationally-oriented 2% 0% 0%
Private sector-Research/consulting 0% 0% 0%
Private sector but not research/consulting 23% 23% 9%
Obtaining further education 0% 4% 9%
Military Service 0% 0% 3%
Unemployed (not seeking employment) 0% 0% 0%
Unemployed (seeing employment) 0% 0% 0%
Status Unknown 7% 0% 33%

How long does it take to complete the MPA program?
The MPA curriculum can be completed in two years on a full-time basis. The program can be completed in three years on a part-time basis if the student is able to waive the internship requirement.

Where are classes held?
The Department of Public Policy office is on UConn’s Hartford campus. Classes are held on the University of Connecticut’s Hartford and Storrs campuses.

Can I work full time while completing my MPA degree?
Yes. The program does not encourage students to work full-time and take a full-time course load. The number of MPA courses you take will depend on your individual needs to balance courses, work and life.

Academics

What is the MPA curriculum?
The program is built around core courses, electives, an internship and a Capstone portfolio. Detailed curriculum information can be found above.

Is there an internship requirement?
Yes. The MPA and MPP program requires six internship credits. Internships can be completed at any time during enrollment, however students are encouraged to apply for the Internship Professional Practice (IPP) Program, which normally takes place in the second year of full-time study. These credits can be waived with permission from the department if relevant and significant past work experience satisfactorily meets learning objectives.

Can I earn two degrees at the same time?
Yes, students can pursue four joint degree programs with the MPA. See above for more information. Other programs that students have pursued simultaneously with an MPA include the following:

  • Business (MPA/MBA)
  • International Studies (MPA/MA)
  • Law (MPA/JD)
  • Public Health (MPA/MPH)
  • Social Work (MPA/MSW)

How many graduate credits can I transfer from another institution?
Students may transfer up to 6 credits from another institution with the department's approval.

Will I have an advisor?
Yes. Upon entering the program, the Graduate School will alert you to your faculty advisor, however, the Administrative Program Director should be considered your first point of contact. Advisors and the program directors help students prepare course schedules and plan for careers after graduation. You can change your advisor at any time by contacting the Administrative Program Director.

Admissions

What is required to apply to the MPA program?
Applicants are expected to submit the following to the Graduate School's online Apply Yourself system:

  • Completed online application
  • Personal Statement
  • Unofficial transcripts (for review, once accepted official transcripts must be sent)
  • GRE scores (GRE waiver options are available)
  • Current Resume
  • Three letters of recommendation, and
  • $75 application fee
  • For non-native English speakers, TOEFL, IELTS, or the PTE exam scores are also required.

Can I waive the GREs?

All applicants are required to submit GRE scores. In certain circumstances, the GRE can be waived. The following waiver options are available:

  • I am a current UConn undergraduate, or I graduated in the last three years from UConn with a GPA of 3.3 or higher.
  • I graduated from UConn in the last five years with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.
  • I am a current non-UConn undergraduate, or I graduated from a four-year college or university in the last five years with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Please email a GRE Waiver Request Statement that reflects one of the above statements to dpp@uconn.edu to request a GRE waiver. Please note the lack of quantitative evidence on undergraduate transcripts will be viewed negatively by the admissions committee without GRE scores.

Can work experience or other graduate exams substitute for the GRE?
The Admissions Committee requires the GRE test for an application to be considered complete.

What are the GRE codes?
The GRE codes are: Institutional Code = 3915, Program Code = 1903
PLEASE NOTE: GRE scores are not required for MPA Fellow applications

How can I submit my GREs?
The GRE’s can be submitted in the following manners:

  • Using the GRE codes to have the scores sent directly to the Public Policy Department at the University of Connecticut is the best method to send your scores to us. After you take the test, it will be approximately 4 weeks for your scores to arrive to us.
  • Calling the Administrative Program Director to report directly what your GRE scores are. As a test taker, you will receive the results of your verbal and quantitative GRE sections immediately following your test. All scores are verified upon acceptance of admission. This option may be particularly useful for test takers who can only schedule their exam close to the February 15th deadline.
  • Sending a PDF or JPG of your scores. All scores are verified upon acceptance of admission.

Can I substitute the GREs with another test?
The Admission Committee requires the GRE test for your application to be considered complete.

What is the deadline?
For fall admission the Graduate Assistantship deadline is February 15. The final deadline for fall is July 15. For spring admission the deadline is November 1.

Is work experience a requirement for the MPA program?
Prior work experience is not required. A strength of our programs is the diversity of experience that students bring to the program. Students range from recent college graduates with some internship or volunteer experience to senior-level professionals.

Can I begin the MPA as an undergraduate student?
Yes, if you are a University of Connecticut undergraduate student and have a least a 3.3 cumulative GPA. You can apply to the Fast-Track program and being taking MPA and MPP courses while an undergraduate student. If accepted into the Fast-Track program you will still need to apply to the MPA or MPP program.

What are your admission statistics?
Undergraduate GPA (Middle 50%): 3.40-3.71
Average Class Size: 27
Average Verbal GRE Scores: 153
Average Quantitative GRE Scores: 152
Average Age of Students: 25
% Women: 50
% Full Time: 81

Is there a minimum GPA or GRE score required for admission?
Please see the Graduate School’s Admission Requirements regarding GPAs on your official transcript. The program accepts a range of GRE test scores. The Admissions Committee holistically reviews all components of an applicant’s application.

Who should write my letters of recommendation?
Your letters of recommendation should be written by people who know you and your work very well. Your writers may be current or past supervisors, college professors, or professional colleagues. For current and recent undergraduates we recommend that at least two letters are from recent professors.

How do I submit letters of recommendation and transcripts?
Letters can be uploaded to the application by the recommending individual when prompted via email from the application system. Or they can email dpp@uconn.edu directly to submit their letter. Letters can not be received directly from the applicant.

Can I defer my admission?
Yes. Admission can be deferred for up to one year. You must communicate your intention in writing to the Program prior to the start of classes.

Should I plan to visit campus?
We encourage you to visit the campus, meet with faculty and students, and attend one or more classes. Visit our Information Sessions page for more information or email dpp@uconn.edu.

Cost and Financial Aid

How much does the MPA cost?
Tuition and fee schedules for the MPA and MPP programs can be found on the Office of the Bursar's page for graduate students. Please note that students pay an adjusted General University Fee because the Department of Public Policy is based at the UConn Hartford campus. Students also do not pay the Student Health & Wellness Fee or the Student Rec Center Fee.

Can I take a course as a non-degree student first? If, so, how much does that cost?
Yes. You can take up to 6-credits with our Department before applying to the MPA program. If it is within 5 years, the 6-credits can later be transferred into your program to count toward your degree. You should consult with the Administrative Program Director or the MPA Program Director on what courses are best for your non-degree study. The cost of any non-degree course work in the Department is $2,475 (for a 3-credit course during the 2020-2021 academic year).

What type of tuition, financial or graduate assistantship opportunities do you offer?
Need-based financial aid is administered through the University of Connecticut Office of Student Financial Aid Services. Please visit their website for further financial aid information. For information about financial support from the Department of Public Policy, please visit our Cost and Financial Aid page.

Student Life

What extracurricular activities are available?
There are many opportunities for students to get involved in the UConn community outside the classroom. The Department of Public Policy, the Graduate Association of Public Policy Students, Pi Pi Alpha, and the Connecticut Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration offers social, professional development, and public service events throughout the year.

What are my housing options?
Enrolled students live in and around Hartford or commute from further distances around the state. There is no on-campus housing available. UConn's Off-Campus Housing page provides a variety of resources and information.

What are my transportation options?
Most students at UConn’s Hartford campus travel by car or public bus transportation. The student parking lot is located in the Connecticut Convention Center Parking Garage. Please visit the Hartford Campus’ Parking Services site for more information. The Connecticut Department of Transportation also offers bus service in and around the Hartford area. In-person students have the opportunity to obtain a U-Pass which allows students to ride buses and trains in Connecticut for free.

Will I have the opportunity to meet alumni?
Yes. Alumni of the MPA program are engaged with current students. They routinely organize and attend events for current students. All students are also assigned to an alumni mentor.