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Master of Public Administration (MPA) [Prior to Fall 2023]

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 nonprofit 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.

> Discover Why Rutgers SPAA is the place for aspiring leaders to gain the knowledge and skills required for successful Careers in government or the nonprofit sector
> Read our Alumni Stories to see what some of our alumni do with their degrees from Rutgers SPAA

Program Quick Facts

  • Location: on campus, 100% Online, or hybrid
  • Credits: 42 (33 core credits / 9 elective credits)
  • Priority Application Deadlines: 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.

For recent capstone portfolios by SPAA students see MPA Capstone Portfolios.


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 9 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 MPA concentrations and/or certificates in the following areas of study:


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


Degree Completion / Individualized Dual-Degree Option for the MPA

Apply your graduate credits from another program toward earning your Rutgers MPA, either on campus or 100% online. Learn more about our Degree Completion / Individualized Dual-Degree Option for the MPA.


For More Information

To learn more, Request Information or Join a SPAA Info SessionIf you have questions about a program or the application process, contact Aaron Gibbs, associate dean of student and academic services, at