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Master of Public Administration

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Master of Public Administration

Our NASPAA accredited MPA degree is a versatile and flexible professional degree.  As part of our mission we provide students with the knowledge and core competencies to become effective public administrators.  Our program allows students to choose the best career path for them.  We offer 7 concentration fields that allow students to focus on more specific coursework.  Coursework that makes sense for the student’s career choice!

What is an MPA?

The Masters of Public Administration (MPA) degree is a professional degree primarily for students seeking a career in public service or nonprofit management. Our MPA program develops the skills and theories used by managers to implement policies, projects, and programs that resolve important situations within their organization and in society.  The need for quality leadership in the public sphere is growing as more demands are made on public and nonprofit organizations by the public.

Why get an MPA? 

The flexibility of the MPA degree allows students to further their education.  JSU offers 7 concentration fields in which a student can focus their studies.  Having a comprehensive knowledge of public administration combined with higher level course work in a single concentration allows students to excel in their chosen profession.   The future of public administration is expanding.  Demographics are showing that there will be a shortage of employees in government in the near future.  Having an MPA lets current and future employers know that you are dedicated to the career and capable of achieving the goals set forth.

Who gets an MPA?

The obvious answer is those working in or wanting to work in the public sector.  But many of our students and alumni work for government contractors and nonprofit organizations.  Students come from a variety of backgrounds and all have their own reasoning for getting an MPA, but the common thread that all of our students share is to advance their career.  Having a Bachelors degree is a great start and students have indicated that the bachelors degree helped them get their job.  But after being in the field, they realized that those who are advancing their careers tend to have a Masters degree. 

Employers are also looking for employees who can think at a higher level, demonstrate ability to accomplish goals and provide leadership.  All these things are required in our program.  Selecting a person for a promotion or to fill a job vacancy often comes down to what the person’s resume looks like and demonstration of an advanced skill set .  Having an MPA lets employers know that you are dedicated and qualified to fill the position.

Why choose JSU?

Jacksonville State University has a 40 year history with the MPA.  During this time our curriculum has been modified to offer the most valuable courses to public administrators.  Our NASPAA accreditation ensures that you are enrolled in a quality program with high standards.  In addition, most of our courses are offered at night or online.  This allows students to continue working and attend classes after work or do the course work at a time that is best for the student. 

We are also unique in that we offer 7 concentrations.  Many programs limit your focal area to the two or three concentrations that they offer.    We feel that the student knows what interests them and we try to accommodate as many interests as possible.

Here are some Alumni comments about our program.

Is NASPAA accreditation important?

The NASPAA accreditation is a very significant qualification to ensure that the program you are entering is committed to providing the best public service education.  Our program has met the standards of the profession.  The process is done by peer review from other quality MPA programs that ensure the program has a rigorous mission and outcomes based curriculum and internship requirements.  The continued assessment allows our program to keep striving for the highest quality education.

As with all higher education, it is an investment in yourself and your future.  Having a NASPAA accreditation verifies that your MPA degree from JSU meets the standards set forth by the public administration field.  It also ensures current and future employers that you are well prepared for the demands of management.   For more information about NASPAA click here.

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