Master of Public Administration

The Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) degree program prepares students for careers as administrators in public service organizations. The program provides in-service personnel an opportunity to refine their administrative skills; it also provides individuals seeking positions (pre-service) an opportunity to develop administrative skills.

The program has two components: a) 21 hours or seven required core courses that provide a general foundation in public administration and b) 12 hours or four elective courses that may be selected to develop an area of specialization. The graduate courses taught by the Department of Government, Law and International Affairs support other graduate programs at Murray State University.

Requirements 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)


  • 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.

Master of Public Administration Accelerated Online Program


Total Course Requirements...................................... 33 hours
POL 673 Public Budgeting and Finance
POL 681 Human Resource Administration
POL 660 Research Methods
POL 670 Foundations of Public Administration
POL 671 Public Policy Analysis
POL 674 Public Organizations
POL 685 Public Administration Capstone
Graduate Electives (12 hrs)

A student may take 12 hours of graduate electives from outside the Department of Government, Law and International Affairs 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.

NOTE: A maximum of 12 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.