Master of Public Administration (MPA)
Future Public Servants
Are you interested in a career in public service, or wanting to advance your position working for governments or not-for-profits? Then our nationally accredited and award-winning program is right for you!
Pathway to Your Dream Job
Danielle Fluck is Budget and Performance Officer at Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency
The Master of Public Administration Program at University of West Georgia is a professional degree program that relates academic study to administrative practice. The curriculum is designed for those individuals who are either now in the public service or who are seeking a career in government or nonprofit agencies. The MPA program is designed:
- to augment the skills and knowledge of those already in the public service;
- to provide a professional graduate degree program to meet the growing need for many additional skilled, knowledgeable public administrators;
- to encourage students to pursue careers in government by providing public administration education; and
- to equip superior students for research and study at the doctoral level.
Program Mission Statement
The mission of the MPA program at University of West Georgia (UWG) is to educate current (in-service) and future (pre-service) public service leaders with ethical behavior and professional competences that promote public service values extending from UWG’s values of achievement, caring, collaboration, diversity, equity, inclusion, innovation, integrity, sustainability, and wisdom. The program prepares students with the knowledge and skills to advance the public interest through teaching, research, and service to the community.
Public Service Values
- Professional competencies
- Service to the public interest
- Diversity in the faculty and student population
- Ethical behavior
- Two letters of recommendation from former professors or from job supervisors.
- A minimum 2.5 cumulative grade average (GPA) equivalent on a 4.0 scale
- A personal statement that describes your work experience, professional goals, the reasons you have chosen this program, why you want to attend UWG, and how the MPA program will help you achieve your goals.
- A current resume
The MPA program at the University of West Georgia requires the completion of 36 graduate course credits. Students without social science preparation at the Bachelor's level will be required to take POLS 5200, Principles in Public Administration. A Core of 7 courses (21 hrs) is required of all MPA students. All of the MPA courses are available online.
The core curriculum includes the following topics as they relate to the public sector (21 hours)
- POLS 6200 - Public Budgeting and Financial Management
- POLS 6201 - Theory of Public Administration and Ethics
- POLS 6202 - Research Methods for Public Administration
- POLS 6203 - Public Organizational Theory
- POLS 6204 - Public Policy Analysis/Program Evaluation
- POLS 6205 - Administrative Law and Procedures
- POLS 6206 - Public Human Resource Management
The Comprehensive Research Project (3 hours) is taken at the completion of the degree program. A research paper analyzing a policy or program in Public Administration will be completed by the student.
With the approval of the program advisor, each student selects 12 hours beyond the core courses. The track courses can be taken from a variety of departments. Generally, electives should form a coherent whole. Examples of track emphases include disaster planning, management, healthcare administration, non-profit administration, and other particular areas of public policy. Students not working in the public sector or with no governmental experience will take the Public Administration Internship as one elective class.
The Program responds to the changing public service environment through: an innovative curriculum, faculty scholarship and service, links to professional organizations, interaction with governmental agencies, and a commitment to state of-the-art technology. Students may take either face-to-face or online courses depending on their work schedule and/or learning preference.
Students may complete the degree within two years if they take three courses per semester as a full time basis. The program and the faculty provide individual mentoring through various activities to improve student learning experience and job placement.
Public Administration Internship is one elective course and must be completed if not working full time. Various local, regional, and state organizations in both government and nonprofit sectors provide internship opportunities for our students. Elective Courses are 5000 or 6000 level courses offered by the Political Science Department or other departments (courses from other departments must be approved by MPA Director). Elective Courses are offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer Semesters.
The program provides three specialization opportunities in the area of public administration and policy: Public Management, Management of Nonprofit Organizations and Community Development, and Disaster/Emergency Management. Specialization is not required but utilized as elective courses for students who are interested in these foci. These specializations are also associated with Graduate Certificates (see the Graduate Certificate site for more detailed information).
- Anna Fleming, Ph.D (Georgia State University). Instructor
- Anthony Fleming, Ph.D (West Virginia). Associate Professor, Interim Department Chair
- Karen Owen, Ph.D (University of Georgia). Associate Professor, Interim Dean of University College
- Kathleen Barrett, Ph.D (Georgia State Univeristy). Assistant Professor
- Paul Rutledge, Ph.D (West Virginia). Professor
- Sooho Lee, Ph.D (Georgia Tech). Professor, MPA director
MPA students can apply for assistantships, scholarships, travel awards, and other financial aid to support their studies. Information on tuition, fees, health insurance, and general financial aid is available via UWG Graduate Admissions.
Graduate Assistantship: The department of Civic Engagement and Public Service awards several graduate assistantships on a competitive basis to MPA students each academic year. Graduate assistants (GAs) assist primarily for the teaching and research activities of faculty in the department. GAs are provided a monthly stipend and a tuition waiver, but are responsible for paying fees and health insurance. All GAs must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA and be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours during the fall or spring semester. Potential graduate students should contact the MPA director for the assistantship application.
Other Financial Aid: The department of Civic Engagement and Public Service typically distributes scholarships and travel awards for graduate students on a competitive basis. These opportunities are announced regularly and students should contact their faculty advisors and the MPA director for more information. Also, visit the Graduate School to learn more about other scholarship opportunities and Federal Student Aid.
- Coordination with the Public Sector
- Job placement and Career Services
- Career Opportunities in Public Administration
Coordination with the Public Sector
The MPA program faculty have demonstrated their continuing concern over the practicality of the program by establishing an MPA Advisory Board. The MPA Advisory Board is composed of alumni, practitioners at federal, state, and local levels of government, and current students. The Board serves as an advisory body for program activities including the following:
- Curriculum development;
- Program improvement;
- Liaison and networking for program graduates; and
- Career development.
Job placement and Career Services
Our MPA graduates are working in diverse public professional positions, mostly in governments and nonprofit organizations. For example, among a total of 17 graduates in the academic year 2017-2018, currently two are working in the Georgia state government, three in local government, six in nonprofit organizations, two in the private sector, one in military service, and three in doctoral programs. The program and the university provide various services for student’s successful job placement. For more career services, contact the Career Services and faculty advisor.
Career Opportunities in Public Administration
Government needs leaders, today more than ever. Ethical, organized, creative thinkers go far whether they’re a city planner, county administrator, state bureau director, or member of the U.S. Cabinet. If serving humanity and doing public good through government employment is your goal, then UWG’s NASPAA Accredited Master’s of Public Administration (MPA) degree is for you.
What Can You Do With A UWG MPA?
- Administrative Analyst
- Finance and Budget Manager
- Public Relations Officer
- Personnel Officer
- Office/Department Manager
- City Manager
- Urban Planner Director
- Volunteer Services Manager
- Community Organization Director
- Community Relations Advisor
- Economic Development Director
- Director of a Nonprofit Organization
- Assistant City Manager
- Director of Ethics
- Program coordinator
- Policy analyst
- County administrator
- Grant writer
- Occupational safety coordinator
- Government relations
- Legislative staffer
- Information specialist
- Correctional facility manager
- Park manager
- Emergency services administrator
For Students Seeking Jobs, These Resources Provide Great Opportunities:
Government Job Listings
- America's Job Bank
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
- US Office of Personnel Management - USAJOBS
- American Federal Jobs Digest
- Government Jobs listing
- Federal Bureau of Investigation jobs
- U.S. Federal Agencies
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Nonprofit Job Listings
- Foundation Center Online Job Center
Julian Brown (class of 2015) became the City Manager in his hometown of Cairo, Georgia, a city with a population of approximately 10,000 residents which borders Florida.
Julian stated that, "This opportunity would not have been possible if I did not graduate from UWG's MPA Program. I have already used knowledge and skills studied in the Public Budgeting and Public Personnel courses. I am very thankful for the faculty and staff at UWG."
SUCCESSFUL STUDENTS, SUPPORTIVE FACULTY
“The MPA program at UWG has some of the BEST professors around. There is no way to choose just one favorite. I can say that Dr. Sooho Lee and his team really take pride in what they do and each student.”
-Shawnzia Thomas, Georgia’s Chief Information Officer and Executive Director of the Georgia Technology Authority