MPA Curriculum

A total of 39 hours is required to complete the MPA program. For pre-career students, an additional 3 credit hours of internship (20 hours/week) is also required. For a total of 42 hours, a full-time student, taking 3 courses per semester, plus one additional course over the summer, should be able to complete the program within two years. All courses are offered in the evenings to accommodate working professionals.

University Boulevard at night. Students without professional public service experience are required to do a three-hour internship (20 hours/week) in addition to required coursework, bringing the total hours of coursework plus the internship to 42 hours for the MPA degree. Previous graduate work at UAB or another NASPAA-accredited MPA program may be credited toward the degree if it is directly applicable.

Students who desire a public administration education transferable to many different public or nonprofit settings may want to take this course of study. Course descriptions can be found in the UAB Graduate Catalog.

Students may select a thesis or non-thesis option.

Required Courses & Electives

All students are required to take core courses and a number of electives. The most up-to-date course information can be found in the UAB Graduate Catalog.

Thesis and Graduation Learning Portfolio (Non-Thesis) Options

Students taking the thesis option (Plan I) must take three (3) hours of MPA 696: Independent Study, under the guidance of the thesis chair during the second-to-last semester, and six (6) hours of MPA 699: Thesis Research in the last semester of the program.

Students opting for the non-thesis option (Plan II) must register for MPA 697: Graduation Learning Portfolio during their last semester of the program.


Contact the MPA Program Manager.