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Master of Public Administration | M.P.A.

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) is the preferred graduate degree for a career in public service, enabling our graduates to pursue a multitude of career paths in federal, state, and local government; and the nonprofit, education and private sectors.

The MPA degree provides students with an understanding and knowledge of government institutions, actors, and processes. As a professional program, emphasis is placed on learning the concepts, processes, and techniques associated with conducting society's business. The degree blends the theoretical with the practical dimensions and encourages a broadened scholarly and professional perspective. It also provides an understanding of the role of public administration and public policy in social and political contexts.

We understand and appreciate the diverse needs of our students. Our program offers classes in multiple formats and at multiple locations. Courses are scheduled in the evening, weekends, online and during the day. You can complete our full program on the Norman or Tulsa campuses, and our faculty routinely teach MPA courses at the OU Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City.

The MPA is a degree that makes a difference in the lives of others. Whether your interests lie in policy or public service, domestic or international organizations, political or nonprofit leadership, this degree can help you achieve your personal and professional goals. Apply today!


Admission & Degree Requirements

In order to be considered for admission to the graduate program, students must first meet Graduate College admission requirements as described in the Graduate College Bulletin.

To seek admission, students must apply directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions by submitting the official online application form along with transcripts and the application fee.
Students whose native language is not English will be required to submit their scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The TOEFL institutional code for the University of Oklahoma is 6879.

In addition, the Graduate Programs in Public Administration requires students to submit the following materials with your online application:

  • A current résumé
  • A statement of about 1,000 words articulating the applicant’s specific preparation for graduate study, proposed fields of study and area of focus, and career aspirations. A compelling statement is a critical part of the application; the applicant should invest time in crafting the personal statement
  • Two or three letters of recommendation from persons in a position to speak knowledgeably about the applicant’s academic ability. Typically, these would be academic references rather than personal acquaintances or employers

Admissions applications are accepted on a rolling admissions deadline; that is, as soon as your application dossier is complete it is referred to the admissions committee for recommendation. Typically, the committee evaluates applications on a monthly basis to ensure that a recommendation is made expeditiously. 


Research Project 

MPA students complete the degree by working on a research project. The research project gives graduating students the opportunity to apply the principles, analysis, and research skills they have learned in the MPA program to an applied policy problem facing citizens today. The research project can be done as a group member in a semester long class with a MPA faculty member serving as the advisor, or as an individual project in which you work one-on-one with a MPA faculty member. The semester-long course assignments for P SC 5950 Research Problems-Public Administration satisfy the comprehensive examination requirement of the Graduate College. There are several degree completion guidelines that you need to remember as you move through the research project process.

  1. Normally MPA students will enroll in P SC 5950 only after they have completed 27 credits of MPA coursework.
  2. Enroll in P SC 5950 only AFTER you have submitted the Program of Graduate Work/Admission to Candidacy form to the MPA program before the applicable deadlines listed below:
  3. March 1 – for fall semester enrollment in P SC 5950 
    September 1 – for spring semester enrollment in P SC 5950 

    February 1 – for summer semester enrollment in P SC 5950

  4. Enrollment in P SC 5950 should be for 3-credit hours (note: P SC 5950 is a variable credit hour course and the system default will be for 2-credit hours.) Ozone enrollment lists multiple sections of P SC 5950 corresponding with the names of all Political Science faculty members. MPA students should only enroll in the course titled P SC 5950 Research Problems-Public Admin.

Individualized Intensive Study

If you are conducting an individual intensive study research project for P SC 5950, students must receive the approval of the MPA faculty member supervising your research project and the Director of Graduate Programs in Public Administration. The MPA student should enroll in the P SC 5950 Research Problems section that corresponds with the MPA faculty member supervising your research project.

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MPA Student Guide 2015

The MPA Student Guide is updated annually and circulated for informational purposes. Every effort is made to provide information that is accurate at the time the Guide is prepared. However, information concerning regulations, policies, fees, curricula, courses and other matters contained in the Guide is subject to change at any time.


Please feel free to contact Mr. Jeff Alexander at jjalexander@ou.edu, or (405) 325-1845.