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MPA Admission and Program Requirements

A Master of Public Administration degree prepares students for a management career in the public sector. MPA degree programs equip graduates with the leadership skills and knowledge necessary for a variety of management positions in nonprofit agencies, government entities and private organizations.

A well-rounded program and internship opportunities that offer real-world experience give MPA graduates confidence in the skills and experience they acquire. Additionally, the online MPA program offers the flexibility that students need to attend school while fulfilling their existing personal and professional responsibilities.

An Overview

To complete the program, a student needs a total of 39 credit hours or 13 classes. The required course load and internship take approximately two years to complete. Tuition for the program costs $16,575, but this does not include books, equipment, additional materials or living expenses.

The Admissions Process

To complete the admissions process for a Master of Public Administration degree, you will need to complete the following:

  • Fill out the online application and pay the application fee.
  • Submit GRE minimum test scores.
  • Provide three letters of recommendation.
  • Submit an essay on why you want to pursue a Master of Public Administration degree.
  • Provide official transcripts from other colleges or universities you have attended.
  • Submit TOEFL or IELTS scores if necessary.

GRE waivers are available in certain circumstances. Contact the admissions office for more information.


The course curriculum can provide you with the tools to succeed in management roles in the public sector. The MPA online program begins with an introductory course on the world of public administration, which covers a general understanding of the public sector and how it differs from other business and organizational environments. It also provides insight into the functioning of public administration in society. Other courses include Ethics in Public Service, Public Budgeting, and Financial Management in the Public and Non-Profit Sectors.

The courses in the Master of Public Administration degree program offer a cohesive body of knowledge and skills to help you secure a management position in public administration. Ethics in Public Service will help you with decision-making and provide guidance on aligning your decisions with an organization’s code of ethics. Public Budgeting will provide you with a blueprint for mapping out the proper use of budgetary funds. Financial Management will teach you how different areas of public administration configure finances differently.

These and the other 10 required courses detail the full spectrum of responsibilities that accompany public administration management.
Internship Requirement

One of the most valuable features of the Master of Public Administration program is its internship component. Students can gain real-world experience in public administration while pursuing a degree. The internship experience gives students the extra edge and practical knowledge to help them stand out among job seekers. Additionally, the internship counts as credit toward the master’s degree.

The internship component is a requirement unless students can verify more than one year of experience in a public administration setting.

The MPA online program offers flexibility while providing students with the skills and expertise necessary to pursue a management role in public administration. It offers an excellent alternative to the classroom experience without compromising on quality.

Learn more about the UT Arlington online MPA program.


University of Texas at Arlington: Master of Public Administration

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