Program Basics

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program 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. It is a professional graduate degree for both pre-career students and in-service administrators. Because of its multidisciplinary nature, we draw people with undergraduate degrees from a wide spectrum of fields, ranging from the arts and humanities to the natural and social sciences.

The MPA curriculum is designed to ensure that students achieve competency in five areas:
  • to lead and manage in public governance;
  • to participate in and contribute to the policy process;
  • to analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems, and make decisions;
  • to articulate and apply a public service perspective; and
  • to communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry.

Getting into the Program

We look for a diverse group of students from all undergraduate majors who have the academic ability and potential for success in a career in public service. Applicants to the MPA program must meet the minimum requirements established by the Department of Government and the MPA faculty.

Please visit the Graduate School website for specific requirements or view a PDF of the Admissions Checklist.

Most applicants must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test. Waivers are available for:
  • students with a graduate degree from an accredited college or university;
  • working professionals with at least five years of professional, full-time, mid- to senior-level management that can be deemed progressively responsible public sector or nonprofit career experience; and
  • MPA/JD dual degree applicants who may substitute the GRE with LSAT scores.
Under certain circumstances, the GMAT may be substituted at the discretion of the Program Director. There are no waiver considerations for other tests such as the MAT, MCAT, etc.

IMPORTANT
Applicants applying for a waiver or substitution of other test scores must contact the MPA Director for official approval.

How Much Does it Cost?

Detailed tuition and fees information can be found on the UAB Students page.

How Do I Apply?

Application for admission should be made online through the UAB Graduate School website. Admissions will be made for fall and spring semesters. Please review the admissions checklist for additional details.

Application deadlines are:
  • Fall Admission: July 1
  • Spring Admission: November 1

How Long Does it Take to Complete the Program?

A full time student taking three 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 courses be taken in the correct sequence.

Our program is geared to be very flexible. If you have a job or other responsibilities, going part time may be your best option.

Non-Degree Students & the Certificate Program

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. These students may apply to the program as a non-degree seeking student. Please contact the MPA program Coordinator for more details on the application procedure.

The Graduate Nonprofit Certificate Program provides working professionals with the opportunity to enhance their skills and improve their capacity to effectively run their organizations. The program is designed to serve those who wish to gain specialized knowledge in the field of nonprofit management without committing to a graduate program.

Questions?

Please contact the MPA program coordinator.