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Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Designed for pre-career and in-career students, the master's degree program in public administration at Rutgers SPAA provides professional competencies in public administration and management and gives students a broad understanding of the field and its relevant issues. Students become competent at defining pu­­­blic problems, analyzing quantitative and qualitative data, developing and communicating creative solutions, and implementing ethical and practical courses of action.

Program Quick Facts

  • Program: On Campus | 100% Online
  • Credits: 42 (33 Core Credits | 9 Concentration/Elective Credits)
  • Priority Application Deadline: Fall: July 1 | Spring: Dec. 1

MPA Core Curriculum Areas of Study

  1. Foundational: Provides understanding of public administration contexts and key professional competencies for public and nonprofit sectors
  2. Analytical: Examines quantitative and qualitative data methods and research design
  3. Managerial: Provides foundations in organization and human resources management
  4. Financial: Examines financial contexts and budgeting skills
  5. Applications: Provides students with the opportunity to utilize what they have learned in the program via a real world capstone project

Capstone Project

The capstone provides students with an opportunity to integrate learning from various courses with application to real-world issues and career ambitions. Students work individually under the guidance of a faculty member to develop either a research paper (thesis) on a topic of interest, or a professional portfolio (often in the form of a website) showcasing their academic work, community engagement, and professional competencies. The outputs are a final project as well as a presentation to fellow students, faculty members, and invited guests. The capstone seminar serves as a culminating experience in the MPA program.


Candidates for the MPA degree complete 42 credits of coursework, which includes a required core curriculum of 33 credits and 9 credits for electives. Each course represents three credits; there are a total of 14 courses in the degree.

For course descriptions and prerequisites see Courses.

Core Curriculum (33 Credits)

Electives (9 Credits / 3 courses required)

Three elective courses are required to earn the MPA degree. Students enrolled in the MPA program can graduate with a concentration, a concentration and a certificate, or neither a concentration nor a certificate. Taking two courses (6 credits) in the same area of study is considered a concentration. (A certificate requires 18 credits.) Students may take elective courses outside of SPAA from relevant Rutgers departments and schools with the prior approval of the MPA Director.

Rutgers SPAA offers the following MPA concentrations:


Admission Requirements

For admission requirements and application information and deadlines see Apply Now.


Program Costs

For information on tuition rates and program fees see Tuition & Fees.


Academic Policies, Procedures & Forms

For MPA program information such as the student handbook, mission statement, and advisement forms, see Academic Policies, Procedures & Forms.


For More Information

To learn more Request Information or email