Department of Political Science & Criminal Justice

Master of Public Administration

Mission Statement

Our mission is to:

  • Prepare pre-service and in-service students to meet the challenges of public and nonprofit service.
  • Develop student knowledge and competencies through scholarly activity, experiential learning, and applied research.
  • Ensure the MPA coursework presents a framework of understanding based on academic materials and skill development through activities, projects, and assignments.
  • Promote public service values, leadership and management skills, and ethical decision-making in all aspects of public and nonprofit sector organizations.
  • Ensure our on-campus and online students have comparable academic experiences that develop knowledge and skills for public service


A broad-based professional degree program, the MPA includes applied work in several related disciplines: Public Administration, Communication, Management, and others. The conceptual and analytical skills developed through the MPA curriculum, which is now available online or on campus, are critical to the effective management of public or non-profit agencies and programs. Contemporary public officials are required to make complex choices and implement programs and policies within difficult financial, legal, political, and organizational constraints. More than ever, it is important that administrators be able to work with a variety of people, both within and outside the public or non-profit sectors. Professional education in public administration encompasses fiscal control, organization management,decision analysis, and a working understanding of government institutions and legal procedures. MPA graduates are uniquely prepared to understand the responsibility and accept the challenge of managing in the public or non-profit sectors.

The MPA is considered a terminal degree frequently sought by professionals entering or pursuing a career in the public or nonprofit sectors. This degree is also useful to individuals pursuing careers in private industries that are highly regulated. The degree is conferred when the student completes the required thirty-six credit hours with a cumulative GPA of no less than 3.0. Students can complete the degree by enrolling full-time for two years. Graduate hours are divided between required core courses (21 hours) and elective courses (15 hours).

Any MPA student can enroll in either online or on-campus courses. Students may choose from all course offerings in any combination of on-campus or online courses as long as the minimum credits are earned at the required performance level. Southern Utah University and the Master of Public Administration program currently are accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NCCU) and National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).