FAQs

If you want a quick answer to a specific question, we hope you will find that answer below. We also invite you to explore the other MPA program pages, where you will find many more details about the program.

Q: What is an MPA degree and what can I do with it?
A: MPA stands for Master of Public Administration. It is a broad-based degree designed to provide students with the skills, knowledge, and competencies to pursue successful careers as public managers in government or the nonprofit sector. Read more in Program Basics.

Q: How do I get into the MPA program?
A: Applicants to the MPA program must meet the minimum requirements established by the Department of Government and the MPA faculty. Please visit the UAB Graduate School website for specific requirements. Read more in Program Basics.

Q: Where do I begin my application?
A: Application for admission should be made online through the Graduate School website. Admissions will be made fall, spring, and summer semesters. Read more in Program Basics.

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Q: How long does it take to complete the program?
A: A full time student, taking 3 courses per semester, plus two additional courses over the summer, should be able to complete the program within two years. All courses are offered in the evenings to accommodate working professionals. It is important that students complete courses in the correct sequence in order to complete the program in two years.

Q: Do I have to wait until the fall to start the program, or can I start in the spring or summer?
A: You can start the MPA program during fall or spring semesters. If you have passed the application deadline and still want to take classes in the upcoming semester, you may apply to the program as a non-degree seeking student. Please contact the program coordinator for more information.

Q: What if I don't want to apply for full admission – can I still take a couple of classes and check the program out?
A: Sometimes we get students who are not positive they want to commit to doing the full program and just want to take a class or two to see how they like it. To take classes in the program without being admitted you may apply to the program as a non-degree seeking student. Please contact the program coordinator for more information. You may also want to consider the Graduate Nonprofit Certificate program.

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Q: Do I have to be a full time student or can I go part time?
A: Our program is geared to be very flexible. If you have a job or other responsibilities, going part time may be your best option.

Q: Can I take classes in the program and still work during the day?
A: All of our classes are offered in the evenings to accommodate working professionals. In addition, some of our courses are offered in a blended learning format (part face to face, part online) to enhance flexibility for our students.

Q: How much does it cost?
A: Current tuition and fees can be found on the UAB Students site.

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Q: Is financial aid available?
A: The Department of Government has a limited number of graduate assistantships awarded on a competitive basis, which can be awarded during any semester as vacancies occur. In addition, every year at least one MPA student is awarded a cash award for academic excellence from the MPA Alumni Society. Other financial resources are available through the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Q: What kinds of careers can I pursue with an MPA?
A: The MPA Program at UAB has been producing successful public servants for over 25 years. The MPA degree is a valuable general-purpose professional degree that opens doors to many career paths with very competitive salaries and benefits. Check out our career page.

Q: Who should I contact if I have other questions?
A: Inquiries concerning program admission or other questions about the program should be directed to the MPA Program Coordinator.


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