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Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.)

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Program Overview

To successfully lead a public or non-profit organization in today’s environment, administrators must develop superior executive, public policy, and resource management expertise. The Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) program strives to meet these challenges. Students customize this program by selecting an area of specialization to develop skills best suited to their academic and career goals. The MPA is backed by Drake University’s full resources and reputation.

Program Requirements

  • Number of credit hours required: Thirty-six hours of credit are required for completion.
  • Required courses
Course Credit Hours
M.P.A. Core Curriculum 21
MPA 215 - Changing Environment & Management of Public & Nonprofit Organizations 3

MPA 216 - Managing Human Resources as Assets, or

MGMT 282 - Human Resources Management

MPA 217 - Applying Information, Research & Analysis in Nonprofit and Public Environments 3
MPA 225 - Financial Aspects of Public & Nonprofit Organizations 3
MPA 226 - Public Policy Decision-Making Analysis 3
MPA 240 - Values & Ethics in Decision-Making* 3
MPA 260 - Applying Innovative Solutions to Current Problems (after completion of 18 credit hours) 3

* Two options are available for students seeking an alternative core course based on their emphasis area:

  • MPA 252 - Information Technology & Electronic Commerce Strategy (for Financial Resources, Health Care Management, or Public Policy emphases)
  • MPA 254 - Leadership & Human Capital Development (for Human Resources, Nonprofit Management, or Executive Development emphases)

M.P.A. Emphasis Area - Each student must choose four courses from a group of elective courses designed to focus on an area of specialization.  Each student also must complete one advisor-approved elective, which can be an approved course from any of the emphasis areas.  The emphasis areas include

  • Executive Development
  • Financial Resources
  • Health Care Management
  • Human Resources
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Public Policy
  • Other requirements
    • BUS 205 - Leadership Essentials
      • Non-credit workshop
      • Each student must complete this elite training experience during the first semester of enrollment. This workshop focuses on communication and leadership skills. The workshop offers a competitive edge by providing you with the skills to consistently lead, influence and inform others. A handful of workshops are offered each term. Students meet over two days, Friday 1:00-8:00 p.m. and Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
    • Any limitations and special policies (eg., G.P.A. requirement or requirements that students take certain courses at Drake):
      • G.P.A.: Maintain a 3.0 or higher.
      • Courses must be completed with a “C” or better; no more than two “C” grades may be received; the cumulative grade point must be a 3.0 or better.
      • 12 hours of graduate work may be transferred in from an AACSB-accredited university.
      • Transfer courses must be advisor-approved.
      • Courses transferred in are transferred as TR (no grade) and do not affect the Drake G.P.A.
      • Transferred coursework must be at a B level or better.
      • Transfer credits earned before admission are counted on the following scale:
        • Courses taken 0-5 years before degree completion may be transferred in as full credit.
        • Courses taken 6-10 years before degree completion may be transferred in as ½ credit.
        • Courses over 10 years old are not accepted.
        • Courses that are accepted must relate to the program of study.


  • Students may complete the M.P.A. program on either a part-time or full-time basis. Courses, however, are offered only in evening and weekend formats. There are no graduate-level daytime courses.
  • Students must be admitted to the M.P.A. program to enroll in graduate courses.


Master of Public Administration applicants must meet the following admission requirements.

  • Application Fee of $50. Applicants who have previously paid the fee are not required to do so again.
  • Official transcripts for ALL undergraduate and graduate coursework from EVERY institution attended (even if a degree was not earned).
  • Current professional resume.
  • Submission of two (2) letters of recommendation.
  • Grade Point Average Criteria: Successful candidates for admission typically have the following minimum graduate point average. Students who do not meet these G.P.A. minimums may contact the Graduate Programs Office of the College of Business and Public Administration for additional information.
    • Undergraduate G.P.A. = 3.00 (upper division and cumulative), and
    • Graduate G.P.A. = 3.00 (cumulative)
  • TOEFL exam: International candidates must submit TOEFL results. Minimum acceptable TOEFL score is 213 on the computer-based examination, 550 on the paper-based examination, or 79-80 on the internet-based test.
  • Application deadlines: To be eligible for consideration, applications must be received by the following deadlines.
    • Fall admission - July 15
    • Spring admission - December 1
    • Summer admission - April 1
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