Master of Public Administration
Strengthen Your Ability to Lead and Serve
Civil servants working in the public sector have faced numerous challenges over the past decade, whether it’s financial constraints, digital transformation, social change, or personal shifts. The Master of Public Administration (MPA) is designed to broaden your perspective and prepare you with the modern skills needed to initiate and influence change in your community. Students will begin the program seeking knowledge. They will graduate ready to lead.
The program prepares graduates to be prolific servant leaders of the public sector by integrating technical, analytical, communications and administrative skills. You will be challenged to learn about policy, procedures, leadership, service, intergovernmental operations, wellness and collaboration. Throughout the program, you will build efficacy, camaraderie, empowerment, and a deeper commitment to service.
The Master of Public Administration is an innovative and practitioner-oriented degree offering. The program complements and expands the institution’s historic commitment to addressing the educational need of individuals engaged in law enforcement, not-for-profit, municipality and other public sector fields. Structured as an accelerated adult-learning initiative, the MPA program removes the time and space barriers that often prevent working professionals from completing graduate-level education.
- No GMAT required
- One night a week, 22-month accelerated program
- Exceptional student support services
- Qualified faculty with experience in their fields
- Multiple financial aid options
We’re pleased to offer credit for prior learning and training to the law enforcement community within these areas:
- Earn up to 9 credit hours with Northwestern Police Staff & Command, FBI National Academy and Chicago PD Lieutenant School.
- Up to 6 credit hours for Chicago PD Sergeant School
- Other executive and/or administrative training may also qualify
Conveniently Designed With You in Mind
Our accelerated programs and unique mirrored format empower you to complete your degree while attending to your demanding schedule.
We’re committed to supporting you and meeting your needs so you can successfully apply, enroll, graduate and thrive.
- A fully online format
- One night per week
- Daytime classes: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Evening classes: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- Receive credit for prior learning including basic academy, training and college coursework
Career Options with this degree include, but are not limited to, work as:
- Executive Directors
- Operations Managers
- Program Managers
- Budget Analysts
- Project Managers
Objectives and requirements
The MPA program is designed to prepare the student to:
- Articulate an understanding of the far reaching impact of public administration issues on societal systems, public policy, institutions and the ethos of the country.
- Explain the historical, economic, Psychological, legal, social, and political forces that influence human behavior and its effect on society.
- Communicate a comprehensive knowledge base of the concepts, theories, principles, and policy in public administration.
- Articulate a distinct insight into the multi-dimensional nature of terrorism from an urban perspective with a global vision.
- Explain the dimensions of public administration policy and how it is shaped, analyzed, evaluated, and influenced by various stakeholders.
- Evolve a personal and professional philosophy that reflects an ethical obligation to social justice and contributes to self-growth, respect for others, and professional commitment.
- Evaluate the reliability, validity, and applicability of the body of research relevant to public administration.
- Demonstrate mastery of critical thinking skills, written and oral communication skills, and technological competence.
In addition to submitting the standard graduate application, applicants for the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program must:
- Have graduated from an accredited post-secondary institution with a baccalaureate degree.
To begin the application process:
- Secure an application packet from the Coordinator of Graduate Student Services at (219) 473-4215.
- Complete the application form and submit it with the $25.00 application fee and appropriate accompanying documents at least two months prior to the cohort start date.
- Accompanying documents include a written statement of purpose indicating interest in the program and official transcripts reflecting all undergraduate and/or graduate coursework completed.
Classes meet once a week via Zoom. Zoom is an online meeting platform that gives you a face to face experience, while maintaining the luxury of attending class from anywhere you are. Classes are delivered live via Zoom from 9AM-1PM. If you are unable to watch the live session, courses are recorded and saved so that you can watch them and complete your work within a week’s time.
Purpose and Rationale
The rationale of a Graduate Assistantship is to further the professional academic development of the graduate student. The assistantship is expected to serve as a meaningful learning experience and a way for the graduate student to work for an institution in his or her chosen field. It is expected that the student will contribute on a professional level to enhance the learning environment of undergraduate and other graduate students.
The responsibility of a Graduate Assistant
The Graduate Assistant (GA) is responsible for working with various Faculty members across different Graduate Programs. Activities may include the following:
- Support of teaching, which can include work as a Teaching Assistant (TA). This task may involve grading assignments and working directly with students under the tutelage of Graduate Faculty.
- The Graduate Assistant may also conduct academically significant research related to his or her academic program under the guidance of a faculty member.
- The student could also be involved in administrative duties and other professional activities, ideally related to his or her field.
To be eligible for the Assistantship, the student must first gain admission to graduate study. He/she must register and maintain at least 6 semester credits of graduate coursework. Full time Assistantships are awarded for each academic year but can be awarded for up to (2) years. Students must apply each academic year.
- There is a limit of one GA per Graduate Program (Certain conditions apply).
- GA’s receive a full tuition waiver for up to 12 credits per semester (Fees not included).
- GA’s work approximately 15 hours a week while school is in session during the academic year.
- Only students in good academic standing with a minimum graduate GPA of 3.0 are eligible for selection as GA’s.
- The GPA of 3.0 must be maintained during the assistantship process.
Student must apply directly to Academic Affairs Office for each position of interest.
- Student must submit a general application to the Academic Affairs Office.
- A resume must accompany the application.
- Two letters of recommendation.
- Applications are due at least two months before the start of the fall or spring semester.
- Interview with the Graduate Program Director of the program in which the student is applying.
Download Graduate Assistantship Application
How are positions allocated and assigned?
Application forms are submitted to Graduate Program Directors for initial review. If the Graduate Program Director approves the application, he or she then forwards it for approval to the Chair of the Graduate Studies Committee and the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Following all three approvals both the Financial Aid Office and the Academic Affairs Office will issue a letter of appointment for the GA to sign. Each Graduate Assistant reports to the Supervising Faculty Member identified in the letter of appointment. Although most Graduate Assistants apply for work in their own department, other Graduate Program Directors may require the skills of a student from another department. This can be a great way for a Graduate Assistant to get varying types of experiences.
The supervisor will review the job description with the Graduate Assistant and determine a mutually agreeable schedule for the year. Graduate Assistants should have some significant responsibility/project assigned which may be included on their resumes for the future. A collaborative evaluation will be conducted at the end of each academic year to examine how the original job description matches the reality of day to day activities. In a rare instance where a Graduate Assistant is not performing his/her duties, at the written request of the Graduate Supervisor, the person may be removed by the Vice/President of Academic Affairs.
How Fellowship Award is Applied
The Graduate Assistant Grant is to be applied to the student’s financial aid package for the current semester that he or she is serving. This grant will be applied for graduate coursework only and cannot be used in conjunction with any other form of outside scholarships, tuition reimbursement, or veteran’s benefits. Students must comply with the following:
- Must file a FAFSA for the award year
- Must be registered for at least 6 graduate credit hours
- Must work 10-15 hours per week during the semester for which the grant is to be applied
- Must maintain a 3.0 GPA while receiving the grant