About the Master of Public Administration

Public servants holding a Master of Public Administration are increasingly valuable. 

Public servants with skills that can only be learned by earning a graduate degree in public administration are growing more and more necessary in Tucson, Arizona, America, and the world. Non-profits, government agencies, and public institutions are looking for employees that are equipped with the necessary leadership skills to help their organizations thrive. Whether you are a student just graduating with your bachelors, a public servant looking to continue to progress in your current career track, or an employee in a different career looking change your professional direction, an MPA can help you further your capacity to serve your community. 

The Modern Professional Administrator faces increasingly complex social problems, which places ever more formidable demands on leadership in the public and nonprofit sectors; they must learn the managerial imperatives of pursuing efficiency and effectiveness in an equitable, democratic way. 

The traditional boundaries between public, private, and non-profit sectors are becoming increasingly indistinct; public policy and private enterprise have assumed promising but sometimes troublesome new relationships. Despite this increased cooperation, public administration remains a separate entity requiring particular knowledge and skills: managers in the public and non-profit sectors require managerial expertise equal to their private sector counterparts, but they must also fully understand the public policy and decision-making framework for proponents of the public interest. 

The Master of Public Administration degree program at the University of Arizona is designed to combine these two spheres of knowledge and skills in preparing students for challenging and rewarding careers in changing public and non-profit arenas. The program combines curricular structure, physical facilities, and real-world fieldwork opportunities to foster the managerial skills needed to meet today's greater demands for accountability and effectiveness from public and non-profit organizations. 

Our classes are unique- we offer all of our MPA core courses between the hours of 5:30-8pm to accommodate those students who wish to start or continue working full time while they earn their degree. A student attending classes full time can earn an MPA in as little as 2 years.

For additional information such as the admissions process, curriculum, and frequently asked questions, please click on the appropriate link below.


Master of Public Administration Program Mission Statement

The School of Government and Public Policy strives to promote a commitment to public service values, develop students’ professional competencies through excellent instruction and exposure to rigorous faculty scholarship, and to provide opportunities for practice through practicums and internships.

The Program emphasizes a commitment to public service by integrating the following values into the curriculum and the overall student experience:

  • Civility and respect in all public discourse
  • Fair, transparent and inclusive service to an increasingly diverse public
  • Constant adherence to professional ethics and public accountability

The Program serves a diverse group of graduate students who include public and nonprofit professionals and pre-service students with varied backgrounds, interests and expertise.   In keeping with the expectations and standards of a “Research One” university, our students benefit from exposure to an interdisciplinary faculty and distinguished scholarship that informs public policy and management theory and practice. Grounded with applied research and professional experience, students hone their analytical skills, tools and techniques to perform in public and nonprofit organizations as well as in inter-organizational networks and cross-sector collaboration.

Consistent with the University of Arizona’s mission as a land grant university, the Program serves the state of Arizona, the southwestern United States, and the U.S. – Mexico border region and aspires to serve the national and international demand for committed and highly trained public servants.


University of Arizona Land Acknowledgement

We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples. Today, Arizona is home to 22 federally recognized tribes, with Tucson being home to the O’odham and the Yaqui. Committed to diversity and inclusion, the University strives to build sustainable relationships with sovereign Native Nations and Indigenous communities through education offerings, partnerships, and community service.


NASPAA Accreditation

The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) is recognized as the global standard in public service education. 

NASPAA accreditation "recognizes that a master's degree program in public policy, affairs or administration has gone through a rigorous process of peer review conducted by the Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA), and has successfully met the NASPAA Accreditation Standards."


  The MPA program is listed as one of the "Best-Priced NASPAA-Accredited MPA Programs"!