More than 1,500 alumni of the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program work in the public sector as well as the private and nonprofit sectors. The curriculum in the MPA program emphasizes a combination of courses and practical experience leading to entry-level management positions for students beginning their professional careers and job advancement for students already in government service. All faculty members have professionally relevant experience and are involved with a number of professional associations.
Current information may be obtained by accessing the department’s web site at www.padm.unt.edu.
The MPA degree at the University of North Texas is accredited by the Network of School of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) (1029 Vermont Avenue NW, Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20005; 202-628-8965). The curriculum conforms to NASPAA standards.
Graduates of the MPA program enter a wide range of careers in government and the nonprofit sector, and, to a lesser extent, in business. The greatest employment opportunities are in city and county government, primarily because of faculty ties and an extensive alumni network in management positions. A growing number of graduates, however, serve in state and federal government, and in nonprofit organizations. A few serve in administrative positions in other countries. Graduates of the MPA program at UNT work in management positions in such areas as city management, disaster and emergency response, budgeting and finance, human resources, utilities, planning, public safety and public works, evaluation and auditing, and in administrative positions in such nonprofit organizations as Habitat for Humanity, chambers of commerce and the United Way.
Students without prior government experience are required, in most cases, to complete a paid internship for which they receive 3 hours of credit. The department assists students in locating internship positions as well as full-time employment.
All general admission requirements to the Toulouse Graduate School, as outlined elsewhere in this bulletin, must be fulfilled, including Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and grade point requirements. Application must first be made to the Toulouse Graduate School through the office of the graduate dean. Once the student is admitted to the graduate school, the application will be reviewed by the department for admission to the MPA program. Applications to the MPA program are reviewed throughout the year.
The Master of Public Administration program uses a holistic review process for reviewing applications for admission. The application packet includes official transcripts for all college work (from which a grade point average is computed), and GRE scores (verbal, quantitative and analytical writing). Additional information may be requested, including three letters of recommendation from persons capable of evaluating the applicant’s potential for graduate study, an essay describing the applicant’s career objectives and explaining how an MPA degree will help achieve those objectives, and a current resume. All requested materials, including GRE scores, must be submitted before an admission decision is made.
Completed applications are reviewed for admission to the fall semester by August 1. A smaller number of students are admitted to begin in the spring semester (January). The deadline for receipt of completed applications for the spring term is December 1. For both semesters it is recommended that students seeking financial aid submit their applications as early as possible.
A minimum of 42 hours of graduate credit for pre-career students is required. For students with up to three years of full-time management experience at the time of admission, the number of required hours is reduced to 39; for students with more than three years of mid-level managerial experience, 36 hours of graduate credit are required. These program length requirements are distributed as follows:
- 24 hours of required course work in public administration;
- a 3-hour internship for most pre-career students (the 3 hours of intern credit is not available to those in the 39- or 36-hour programs); and
- the remaining hours selected from a variety of electives or as part of a specialization appropriate to the student’s interests. Specializations supported by the MPA program include local government management, emergency management, financial management, nonprofit management, and personnel management.
In addition to the course requirements, students must pass a written comprehensive examination. The written comprehensive examination will cover topics from the core courses and areas included in the MPA degree program, including all core courses with the exception PADM 5035 .
Curriculum options are adapted to the needs of both pre-career and in-career students. Additional program information is contained in the MPA Student Handbook. The student is responsible for obtaining a copy of the document from this department and for knowing its contents.
A number of financial assistance programs are available to students in the MPA program. Each year the department awards to entering MPA students up to five Hatton W. Sumners Fellowships, each of which currently provides a $12,000 stipend paid over 16 months plus $17,500 toward tuition and fees. For the first 12 months of their appointment, Sumners Scholars work 10 hours each week as research assistants for a faculty member. Other financial assistance available to students includes Alumni Scholarships worth up to $1,000 each for tuition and fees; the Charldean Newell Graduate Public Administration Scholarship (amount varies by semester), and the E. Ray Griffin Alumni Scholarship for tuition and fees. Under current rules, nonresidents of Texas receiving at least $1,000 per year in scholarships qualify for in-state tuition. All students seeking financial assistance must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and submit their scores (verbal, quantitative, analytical and writing) to the department.