Master of Public Administration

Calling all leaders.

Prepare to make a difference in your community, your region and beyond. Murray State University’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree is offered as a traditional on-campus program in Murray and via Interactive Television (ITV) courses on Murray State's regional campuses in Paducah, Madisonville, Henderson, Hopkinsville or Fort Campbell. The degree can also be completed entirely online as well. The MPA degree readies students for a successful career as upper-level administrators in public service organizations. Whether you are currently employed or desire to work in the public or private sector, this program is ideal for individuals to advance professionally in the field of public administration.

100 percent online program provides the ultimate convenience.

A student completes coursework on an iPad. Our online MPA students are not limited by times of the day or days of the week  while pursuing  their degree. Work towards your degree at times that are most convenient for you! Many of our courses also feature e-textbooks, adding even more convenience and reducing the cost of your overall degree.

Earn your graduate degree in just 12 months.

Graduates can complete their degree in as little as one year -- and many of our graduates have achieved their MPA in less than two years. 

Graduate Programs Tuition & Fees


MPA Program Concentrations

Murray State’s MPA program offers students a chance to develop their areas of specialization with various concentration options. Currently, we offer four concentrations in the areas of Health Administration, Public and Community Health, Economic Development and Non-Profit Leadership Studies. Students also can develop their own concentrations in their areas of interest.

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Health Administration

Healthcare is one of the largest industries and employers in the United States. Students interested in the different facets of health care administration may complete 21 hours in this area.

Public and Community Health

The field of community health is expected to grow significantly. Students interested in promoting and implementing health promotion programs will complete 21 hours in public and community health.

Economic Development

Economic development is one of the main concerns for all governments. Students interested in this concentration will take 12 hours of courses in economic development.

Non-Profit Leadership Studies

Non-profit leadership studies is designed for public service professionals who intend to enter careers in not-for-profit organizations. Students interested in this concentration will take 12 hours of courses in non-profit leadership studies.

Public Management

The MPA concentration in public management is designed for public service professionals who intend to enter careers in the management of public agencies. 


Course requirements

Degree requirements

Non Thesis Track

Total Course Requirements - 36 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 (15 hrs)


  • A student may take 15 hours of graduate electives from outside the Department of Political Science and Sociology to fulfill a specialized option or area of interest with the approval of the M.P.A. director.
  • At least half of the total course work must be taken at the 600 level.
  • A maximum of 15 hours of relevant graduate courses with a grade of B or better may be transferred from a regionally accredited university for credit in the M.P.A. program. No more than nine hours of comparable courses may be transferred into the core as evaluated by the M.P.A. director. Official transferral of this credit shall take place after successful completion of nine hours of graduate work at Murray State University.

The listed requirements provide an example of what is applicable to most students entering Murray State University at the present time. Criteria as they may relate to individual students may vary. The primary source is the Murray State Bulletin applicable at the time of the student's enrollment.

Requirements for Admission

The GRE is not required for admission. 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) or
  • 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.

Our graduates are successful leaders

Murray State MPA graduates are employed in federal, state and local government offices as well as non-profit organizations and for-profit firms. Our graduates are making a difference every day in the following careers:  

Students complete classwork.

  • City manager
  • Human resource administrator
  • Public works director
  • Inspector general
  • Military officer
  • Diplomatic personnel
  • Child protective service caseworker
  • Probation and parole officer
  • Police chief
  • City Planner
  • College/university faculty or administrator
  • CEO’s of charitable organization
Andy Rideout
Andy Rideout
Hopkins County Extension Agent

What's next?

Connect with our faculty, who can help you become the leader you were destined to be.



Dr. Jim Clinger
MPA Director
Dr. Drew Seib
Interim Chair