Masters of Public Administration (MPA)

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Why Get a Masters of Public Administration Degree?

Our Masters of Public Administration (MPA) degree prepares students for leadership careers in public service organizations. The degree is appropriate for people already working in these fields as a means of advancement and also for pre-service individuals looking to develop the skills and knowledge to enter into an administrative position.

What Can You Do with a Masters of Public Administration Degree

Murray State MPA graduates have found positions in federal, state, and local governments, as well as in nonprofit organizations and for-profit firms. These graduates now hold positions as city managers, human resource administrators, public works directors, inspector generals, military officers, diplomatic personnel, child protective services caseworkers, probation and parole officers, police chiefs and investigators, college and university faculty and administrators, and CEOs of charitable organizations.

Can You Get Your Masters of Public Administration Online?

Yes! We offer two options for the online MPA degree.

Accelerated option:
Two half-semester terms are offered in the fall and spring semesters. Students will take two courses per half-semester term and then complete coursework by taking three courses the following summer term.

Part-time option:
This program is also designed for students who are looking for an online program that has some flexibility. Students who cannot take two courses per half-semester term could take just one course per half-semester term and still finish in two years while enrolling part-time.

Masters of Public Administration Requirements

Master in Public Administration Degree Requirements (CIP 44.0401)


Total Course Requirements – 33 hours

Required Core Courses - 21 hours
POL 660 Research Methods
POL 670 Foundations of Public Administration
POL 671 Public Policy Analysis
POL 673 Public Budgeting and Finance
POL 674 Public Organizations
POL 681 Human Resource Administration
POL 685 Public Administration Capstone

Graduate Electives – 12 hours
A student must take 12 hours of graduate electives to fulfill a specialized option or area of interest with the approval of the MPA director.

What Are Admission Requirements for the MPA Program?

Applicants must meet Murray State University requirements. Additional requirements for unconditional and conditional admission are as follows.


To qualify for unconditional admission, an applicant must have:

  • an undergraduate major in political science, other social science or business, or substantial background in relevant disciplines;
  • a grade point average of 2.75 (on a 4.00 scale);
  • students whose native language is not English must present
  • a minimum TOEFL score of 550 on paper based test or 213 on computer based test.


For conditional admission, an applicant may have:

  • a grade point average between 2.25 and 2.74 (on a 4.00 scale)


  • an overall grade point average of 2.0 to 2.24 if the student’s experience is evaluated by the director and faculty of the M.P.A. program as indicating the likelihood of success;
  • students whose native language is not English must present a minimum TOEFL score of 550 on paper based test or 213 on computer based test before the completion of nine (9) graduate hours. 

What Do Murray State MPA Graduates Have to Say About the Degree?

"The MPA program at Murray State provided a deep understanding of public service and the complexities surrounding public policy formation and implementation. Anyone pursuing a career within the public sector, or careers that involve interaction with the public sector, should consider the MPA program as essential. Understanding the political, social and personal motivations that drive our society have been fundamental to becoming more effective and efficient with my current occupation."
Andy Rideout, Hopkins County Extension Agent, Kentucky Cooperative Extension Office

"Prior to entering the MPA program at Murray State University, all of my educational background was in business administration. However, the career path I had chosen led me down a path where I worked directly with governmental public agencies. Through the completion of the MPA program, I obtained the skills that have helped me move forward in my career in the public sector. The lessons I learned not only from course studies, but from the lessons gained through personal experiences of the professors gave me great insight on how to become a more effective public servant."
Amy Frogue, Director of Community Development, Pennyrile Area Development District