Oct 17, 2021  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [Current Academic Year] 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [Current Academic Year]

Public Administration [MPA]

Revised Program [Fall 2021]

The Master of Public Administration Program at Eastern Michigan University offers a professional degree grounded in applied social sciences that prepares students for leadership roles and careers in public and nonprofit organizations by providing the knowledge and tools to address complex and diverse public service needs. MPA graduates work in all sectors, including local government, nonprofit organizations, healthcare organizations, public safety, higher education, state government, the federal government, and the private sector. The majority of EMU MPA alumni live and work in Michigan. The MPA is a versatile degree that equips students with the tools to effectively lead and manage an organization and make a difference in their communities. When our students graduate, we expect them to have learned our program values of integrity; professionalism; service; collaboration; and equality, diversity, and inclusion.

Our program is flexible for students who currently work or desire a public or nonprofit sector career. Students learn from knowledgeable faculty who have field and research experience. Students can specialize in local government or nonprofit management or construct a set of electives that prepares them for whatever niche of public service is attractive to them. MPA students have various interdisciplinary study opportunities, including management, health administration, educational leadership, urban and regional planning, marketing, and social work.


The MPA program is fully accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA), the global standard in public service education. This accreditation indicates that EMU’s MPA program meets all global standards for such programs.

Department Activities

The department offers special opportunities to MPA students by its involvement in professional associations and local communities and its offering of professionalization workshops and other training opportunities. Students may also participate and assume leadership roles in the department’s Public Administration Club, a student organization designed to introduce students to opportunities in government and nonprofit administration. The EMU MPA program stays connected to its network of more than 600 alums working in southeast Michigan and beyond.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships are available on a competitive basis to MPA students. Graduate assistants support faculty members in instructional, research, service, and administrative projects. Placements are also available outside the department with other University offices.

Eastern Michigan University, the Graduate School, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Political Science Department also offer graduate students opportunities for scholarships and fellowships.

Program Admission

Graduate School Application

After reviewing the admission requirements below, please select the appropriate application. The University is transitioning application platforms; pay close attention when selecting the application below.

The program you are applying to may not accept applicants every semester.

For additional information regarding the application process, please see Graduate Admissions or International Admissions.

Admission Requirements

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

A four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or an equivalent degree from a non-U.S. institution. In addition, a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale, or 3.0 in the last half of the undergraduate program, is required for full admission. Applicants who do not meet minimum admission requirements may be considered for conditional admission. See International Admissions for international applicant requirements.

Applicants must also meet the following program requirements:

  • An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or 3.25 in the last half of the undergraduate program
  • A 250-word description of the applicant’s academic and professional history and professional goals in public administration.
  • One political science course in the fundamentals of American government, public law, state and local government, or public administration, with a C or better if taken as a part of a bachelor’s degree or a B or better if taken after the bachelor’s degree.

Applicants are encouraged to contact the program advisor before submitting their application if there are any questions about admission under the criteria above.

Conditional Admission

An applicant deficient in the above prerequisites may be granted admission on a conditional basis, subject to completing the prerequisite(s). 

Promising applicants with a minimum of five years of administrative experience that do not meet the GPA requirements for regular degree admission and who have a GPA between 2.75 and 3.0 may be granted conditional admission. Such applicants must contact the program advisor before submitting their application. Applicants will be granted degree admission after completing at least three courses, two of which must be required courses for the program, with a minimum grade of 3.0 (B) in each course.

Application Process

Qualified applicants will be admitted to Fall and Winter semesters on a rolling basis until the start of the term, but desired classes may not be available for students, and delays in securing official transcripts may also delay admission decisions. As noted above, separate applications must be filed for the MPA program and any certificate programs that a student may be interested in pursuing, even if done concurrently.

Department Information

Political Science Barbara Patrick, Ph.D., Department Head | 601 Pray-Harrold, 734.487.3113, bpatric1@emich.edu

Advisor Information

Rose Jindal, MPA Coordinator, 601 Pray-Harrold, 734.487.3113, rsoliven@emich.edu

Degree Requirements: 39-42 hours

The M.P.A. degree is awarded upon satisfactory completion of the following: 

  • All pre-service students without substantial work experience in public administration must complete a 15-week equivalent internship experience and enroll in PLSC 688 - Practicum in Public Affairs . The director of internships in the Political Science Department will work with students to identify and supervise an appropriate internship.
  • The minimum acceptable grade in each of the nine required courses is a B. Students scoring less than a B may repeat a course once before being dismissed from the program. All students must have a B average overall to graduate.

Concentration Area: 18 hours

Select one of the following concentration areas.

Local Government: 18 hours

General Public Administration: 18 hours

We welcome students who would like to tailor their program to their career interests rather than specializing in either of the two concentrations above. You can create an individualized set of Political Science and other courses subject to approval by the MPA advisor. Three courses must be in PLSC.