Public Administration MPA

College : Health and Public Affairs Degree :MPA
Department : School of Public Administration Option : Nonthesis
Program Websites :


The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) and nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report.


The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program consists of 42 credit hours. Each student completes a core of nine courses (27 credit hours), an advanced curriculum of four electives (12 credit hours), and a capstone experience equivalent to one course (3 credit hours). 

The Master of Public Administration is offered both in a campus-based classroom setting (face-to-face) and also completely online.  The curriculum requirements below apply to both the campus-based and online options.  Students must choose either the online option or the face-to-face option when they apply for admissions.  Students in the campus-based program may enroll in a combination of online, mixed-mode and face-to-face classes.  However, students in the online option may only enroll in online courses due to the difference in fees.  For information on completing MPA exclusively online with a reduction in campus-based fees, please visit 

The  face-to-face courses are offered evenings during the week on the main campus. The MPA program incorporates group projects into every course in both the online and campus-based options. Group projects are intended to develop leadership abilities while also providing an opportunity to demonstrate how students work as part of a team. Group projects promote important intellectual and social skills and help to prepare students for work in a world in which teamwork and collaboration are increasingly the norm.               

Courses and credit hours used for undergraduate degrees cannot also be applied toward the MPA degree, except for Senior Scholar students. Students approved as undergraduates at UCF to participate in the Senior Scholar program may, with the permission of the MPA program director, use up to 9 credit hours of graduate course work taken as part of the bachelor's degree toward the MPA degree.  However, no undergraduate-level courses will be accepted in the MPA program.

Total Credit Hours Required:
42 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor's Degree

Required Courses—30 Credit Hours

Core—27 Credit Hours

  • PAD 6700 Research Methods for Public Administration (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6035 Public Administration in the Policy Process (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6037 Public Organization Management (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6701 Analytic Techniques for Public Administration (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6053 Public Administrators in the Governance Process (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6227 Public Budgeting (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6207 Public Financial Management (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6335 Strategic Planning and Management (3 credit hours)
  • PAD 6417 Human Resource Management (3 credit hours)

    Capstone—3 Credit Hours

    • PAD 6062 Advanced Concepts and Applications in Public Administration (3 credit hours)

    Students will engage in a capstone experience that builds upon the knowledge and skills gained from completing the core courses in the MPA program. Students will complete this requirement through enrollment in PAD 6062 Advanced Concepts and Applications in Public Administration. PAD 6062 is offered in fall and spring semesters only and may be taken following the completion of all core courses. It may not be combined with a core course in the same semester.

    Electives—12 Credit Hours

    • Electives (12 credit hours)

    Elective courses offered within the School of Public Administration provide an emphasis on state and local government; however, other emphases may be developed in consultation with the Program Director and Academic Adviser. With prior approval from the MPA Program Director, up to 6 credit hours of elective course work may be taken from outside the school. Students must show that elective courses taken outside of the school directly support a career in public administration. The MPA program of study does not accept undergraduate-level courses.

    Students interested in a professional management career may take elective courses from the School of Public Administration’s graduate certificate programs in Nonprofit Management, Urban and Regional Planning, and Emergency Management to enhance their managerial skills. Students interested in a research career can work with the Program Director and Academic Adviser to take advanced research courses to strengthen their analytical skills.

    Students without practical administrative experience in the public sector are strongly advised to complete an internship (3 credit hours) as part of their electives.

    • PAD 6946 Internship (3 credit hours)

    Additional Program Requirements

    Students must achieve a grade of "B-" (80%) or higher in every course listed under core requirements and in the Capstone Experience (PAD 6062).

    Students must maintain a program of study and graduate status GPA of 3.0 or higher and can only graduate with a graduate status GPA of 3.0 or higher.

    The School of Public Administration incorporates service learning into some courses. Service learning is a teaching method that provides a means for every student to enhance his or her academic program with experiential learning opportunities. Service learning provides an opportunity for students to work with community partners by collecting and compiling data and producing quality products that will be beneficial to both students and organizations.

    Students are expected to be computer literate and have computer internet access upon entry to the program.

    Independent Learning

    Independent learning is demonstrated throughout the curriculum through the process of inquiry, dialogue and service learning. Tangible projects, such as scholarly research, papers, internships and the capstone experience also contribute to the self-development of MPA students. The research paper and Learning and Professional Development Portfolio in the Capstone Experience focus on reviewing and analyzing contemporary issues in the context of real world applications.

    Application Requirements

    For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.

    The MPA program is offered as either a campus-based classroom (face-to-face) program or a completely online program.  Applicants must select one option at the time of admission.  Admission requirements and the admission process is the same regardless of which option the applicant chooses.

    In addition to meeting general UCF graduate application requirements, applicants to this program must provide:

    • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended. 
    • Three letters of recommendation specifically for the MPA program evaluating scholarly and professional capacity. Letters from professors from the colleges/universities attended are preferred, but if that is not feasible, letters from current or past supervisors will be accepted. The recommender must address the applicant's work ethic and ability to succeed at graduate-level academic work.
    • Current professional résumé including public service experience (paid or voluntary).
    • Goal Statement: The goal statement is a key component of the admission review process and serves as an example of the applicant's ability to express himself or herself in writing. The goal statement must be no longer than two pages double spaced (500-800 words) and should address the following:
      • Personal background and career aspirations in public service.
      • Reason for pursuing graduate study in public administration, including future career goals and plans.
      • Specific areas of public administration that interests you.   
    • Applicants applying to this program who have attended a college/university outside the United States must provide a course-by-course credential evaluation with GPA calculation. Credential evaluations are accepted from World Education Services (WES) or Josef Silny and Associates, Inc. only.
    • All international students must meet university minimum TOEFL score requirements regardless of language in which the undergraduate program was completed.
    Admission to this degree is competitive; applicants meeting the minimum university and/or program application requirements are not guaranteed admission to the program.

    All requested material must be submitted by the established deadline date. Materials received after the established deadline may not be considered.  

    Application Deadlines

    Public Administration MPA *Fall Priority Fall Spring Summer
    Domestic Applicants Jan 15Jun 15Nov 1


    International Applicants Jan 15Jan 15Jul 1


    International Transfer Applicants Jan 15Mar 1Sep 1


    *Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.


    Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.


    Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.