Graduate Certificate in Public Management

The purpose of the Graduate Certificate in Public Management (CPM) is to provide skills and insights necessary to plan and manage public organizations. The certificate is geared towards professionals who are seeking upward mobility within their organizations, and students seeking to enter the workforce at the local, city, state and federal level.

The five-course curriculum designed for the Public Management Certificate will educate future leaders in public management, providing them with resource-skills and knowledge to be better employees, managers, and leaders through courses that teach HR management, intergovernmental relations, administrative law, program evaluation, and public finance. These skills are highly sought after with potential employers, which will make graduates more attractive for higher than entry level positions in the local, state or federal government.

Application for the Certificate Program

If you are interested in pursuing the certificate in Public Management you must complete the application form prior to your first class. Students admitted into the program, either fully or probationary, may complete the application at any point during their course work.

Download the application form, fill it out, and return it to the MPA program coordinator by email, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or fax, (205) 975-5712.

You must be admitted as a non-degree seeking graduate student as defined by the UAB Graduate School. These requirements include an earned undergraduate degree from an accredited institution. Students admitted to the MPA program, either fully or probationary, have met this requirement by virtue of their admission; however, the application form must be completed in order to receive the certificate.

Curriculum

The content and curriculum have been carefully designed to provide students with cutting-edge skills, best practices, and essential management tools necessary to thrive in today's dynamic public sector. Successful completion of five (5) courses is necessary to earn the certificate. For the most up-to-date course requirements, please visit the Graduate Catalog.

Grades

You are expected to produce graduate level work and maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher to continue in the program.

Registration and Payment

You are expected to register for a course each semester. Payments of tuition and fees will be handled through the UAB Financial Affairs. All payment problems or inquiries should be directed to that office.

Future Graduate Degree Work

If you want to apply to the MPA program after completing the nonprofit management certification requirements, you must complete all application requirements as outlined in the Graduate School guidelines. A maximum of four courses (12 hours) with a grade of B or better may be applied toward the MPA degree if the student is accepted in the program.

Successful completion of the nonprofit management certification does not automatically admit a student into the MPA program. All application materials must be completed. Students who pursue the MPA degree following certification must complete all course work within seven years of the first course taken in the certificate program.

Questions?

Please contact the MPA program coordinator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

NASPAA Accreditation

NASPAA Accredited logo. The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) is the membership association of graduate programs in public administration, public policy, and public affairs. The Commission on Peer Review & Accreditation is the accreditor of these master degree programs. NASPAA is considered the global standard in public service education.

MPA Program Self-Study

UAB's MPA program completed its Self Study Report for review by the Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA) of NASPAA. Programs that are accredited by NASPAA have been determined to be in substantial compliance with the Standards set forth by the field. UAB's MPA Program completes the Annual Accreditation Maintenance Report each year.

NASPAA Program Data 2018-19

UAB’s MPA Program values transparency, accountability, and truthfulness. The faculty and staff believe in the value of public service and strive to provide information and data that reflect our strengths and limitations. You will learn more about the program through the recommended framework of the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA).

Degree Title: Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Organizational Relationship: MPA resides in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences, housed in the Department of Political Science & Public Administration

Modes of Delivery: UAB (on-ground) with some online coursework available

Number of Credit Hours: 42

Length of Degree: 5 semesters (full-time)

Dual Degrees: MPA/MSCJ, MPA/MPH, MPA/JD (with Samford University's Cumberland School of Law)

Concentrations/Specializations: Public Management and Planning, Nonprofit Management

Number of Students: 72

Mission Statement: In line with the mission of the University, the MPA program is committed to excellence in graduate education through teaching, research, service, and practice. The program focuses on building the next generation of global leaders and responsible decision makers by enhancing their intellectual and social capacities through knowledge and skills provided within the framework of public service values embedded in the MPA curriculum.

Admission: The general prerequisite for admission to the MPA program is a four-year bachelors' degree with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA of the junior-senior year (last 50-60 credit hours). Under extenuating circumstances, an average below 3.0 will be considered. The following factors will be considered in the determination of a student's admission status:

  • Grade point average for the junior-senior year
  • Grade point average for the undergraduate degree
  • Work history
  • Writing skills (based on the applicant's admissions essay)
  • References (based on two written letters of recommendation)
  • GRE Exam (complete four to six weeks before application deadline)

Fall 2018 New Enrollment

Total: 36

Faculty

Number of faculty teaching in the program: Five full-time faculty, two part-time faculty

Faculty:

  • Akhlaque Haque, PhD
  • Erin Borry, PhD
  • Nevbahar Ertas, PhD
  • Peter Jones, PhD
  • Mason Beale, PhD
  • Joe Packa, MPA
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., PhD

Cost of Degree

In-state students

  • Tuition: $20,250
  • Fees: $100
  • Total cost: $20,350

Out-of-state students

  • Tuition: $46,350
  • Fees: $100
  • Total cost: $46,450

Financial Aid Information: Many UAB students utilize FASFA for their financial aid. Visit UAB's Office of Student Financial Aid

Assistantships: The MPA program does have graduate assistantships available. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Job Placement Statistics for UAB MPA Program from 2017-2018 Cohort

This list includes job placement statistics from self-reported graduate surveys who were employed in the profession within six months of graduation, by employment sector, per NASPAA guidelines:

Employment Sector

Number of Students

National or central government in the same country as the program 2
State, provincial, or regional government in the same country as the program 9
City, county, or other local government in the same country as the program 0
Government not in the same country as the program (all levels) or international quasi-governmental 0
Nonprofit domestic-oriented 7
Nonprofit/NGOs internationally oriented 0
Private sector—research/consulting 1
Private sector but not research/consulting 1
Obtaining further education (Ph.D.) 0
Military service 0
Unemployed (not seeking employment) 1
Unemployed (seeking employment) 0
Status Unknown 0

TOTAL

21


Graduation Completion

 

Initially Enrolled

Graduated within 2 Years

Graduated within 3 Years

Graduated within 4 Years

Total Students Graduated and Persisting to Graduation

Students in the ARY-5 Cohort (FA11)

46 39 44 45 45

Faculty Contribution

Index of faculty publications

Programmatic Outcome

Graduation Rate

Graduation rates 2013-2014 (see table below for numbers)

Students enrolled in Fall 2013-14: 46

  • Graduation within two years: 85%
  • Graduation within three years: 11%
  • Graduation within 4 years: 2%
  • Discontinued: 2%

Graduate Outcome: Employment Sector

Employment graduates 2017-2018 (see table below for numbers).
  • National: 10%
  • State: 43%
  • City, County: 0%
  • Government or international: 0%
  • Nonprofit domestic: 5%
  • Nonprofit/NGOs International: 0%
  • Private Sector Research/consulting: 5%
  • Private Sector but not research/consulting: 5%
  • Obtaining further education: 0%
  • Military Service: 0%
  • Unemployed not seeking: 5%
  • Unemployed seeking: 0%
  • Status unknown: 0%
  • TOTAL (21 respondents reported): 100%

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.

MPA stands for Master of Public Administration. It is a broad-based degree designed to help students gain the skills, knowledge, and competencies to pursue successful careers as public managers in government or the nonprofit sector. Read more in Program Basics.
Applicants to the MPA program must meet the minimum requirements established by the Department of Political Science & Public Administration and the MPA faculty. Please read Program Basics for specific requirements.
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.
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.
You can start the MPA program during the fall, spring, or summer semester. Applications are due August 1 for fall admission, December 1 for spring admission, and April 1 for summer admission.
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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information. You may also want to consider our Graduate Certificates in Nonprofit Management or Public Management.
Our program is geared to be very flexible. If you have a job or other responsibilities, going part time may be your best option.
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.
Current tuition and fees can be found on the UAB Students website.
The Department of Political Science & Public Administration 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.
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 can open doors to many career paths with very competitive salaries and benefits. Check out our career page.
Inquiries concerning program admission or other questions about the program should be directed to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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.

Questions?

Contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

MPA Careers

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. Below are just some of the potential career paths you can follow with an MPA degree.

  • Systems Evaluation Officer
  • Auditor
  • Analyst (research, systems, budget, legislative, statistical)
  • Labor/Management Relations
  • Program Coordinator
  • Employee Development Officer
  • Financial Counselor
  • Revenue Officer
  • Contract Compliance Officer
  • Information Specialist
  • Environmental Planner
  • Investigator
  • Claims Examiner
  • Executive Director
  • Management Consultant
  • Managing Partner
  • Senior Staff Associate
  • Personnel Recruitment Director
  • Town/City/County Manager
  • Assistant Manager
  • Planner
  • Finance Coordinator
  • Budget Director
  • Hospital Administrator
  • Municipal Court Administrator
  • Police Officer
  • Police Chief
  • Fire Fighter
  • Probation Officer
  • Grants Specialist
  • Business Manager
  • Personnel Director
  • Supervising Clerk
  • Development Specialist
  • Professor
  • Assistant Comptroller
  • Research Associate
  • Community Relations Specialist
  • Government Affairs Officer
  • Budget Analyst
  • Personnel Director
  • Registrar/Admissions Director
  • Financial Aid Director
  • Continuing Education Director
  • Museum Management
  • Environment Program Management
  • Fundraising Coordinator
  • Grants Officer
  • Director of Contracts
  • Project Manager
  • Attorney
  • Public Relations
  • Executive Officer
  • Marketing
  • Events Planning
  • Systems Analyst
  • Editor
  • Writer
  • Manager

What Are Our Graduates Doing Now?

Development Authority of Coumbia County logo. The following list provides a small sample of what our program graduates are doing now. If you are about to graduate, or are an alumnus/alumna and would like to be included on this list, please send us an e-mail letting us know what you're up to; be sure to include your full name, graduation year, and job title/employer.

Government

  • City of Tuscaloosa seal. Patrick Bryant, City Manager of Talladega
  • Rachel Hicks, Presidential Management Fellow 2014, US State Department
  • Eliabeth Hendrix, Presidential Management Fellow 2016, US Treasury
  • La Sonya Harris Hall, MPA, 1994, Deputy Director, Division of Parks & Neighborhoods, Memphis, Tennessee
  • Dana Hazen, MPA 2007, City Planner, City of Mountain Brook
  • Walter Maddox, MPA 2004, Mayor of Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  • Troy Post, MPA 2003, Executive Director, Development Authority of Columbia County, Georgia
  • Merika Coleman, MPA 1998, Alabama House of Representative 57th District (Jefferson County), and Assistant Professor of Political Science at Miles College
  • MAlabama House of Representatives logo. ark G. Michaelsen, MPA 2005, Legislative Assistant to Rep. Curt Gielow (23rd District, Minnesota)
  • Andrew Russell, MPA 2013, Planner, City of Dunwoody, GA
  • Tiffany Brown, MPA 2013, Presidential Management Fellow, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Health

  • CDCKenneth Rose, MPA 1997, Policy Director, Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control
  • Joyce Morris, MPA 1985, State Assessment Coordinator, Oklahoma State Department of Health
  • Gary Mans, MPA 2004, Director of Public Relations, UAB, and Chair of the Group on Institutional Advancement (GIA) for the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)
  • Leslie J. Morgan, MPA-MPH/JD 2000, Attorneys Bradley Arant Rose & White

Nonprofit

  • RedCrossSusan Matlock, MPA, 1985, Former President and Chief Executive, The Innovation Depot
  • Joe Packa, MPA 1982, Former Chief Executive Officer, Red Cross, Southeast Region
  • Sherri Van Pelt, Former VP of Development and Communications, Glenwood Autism and Behavioral Health Center
  • Melissa Kaplan, Director, Capital Campaign at Hadassah International

Career Resources

There are many resources available to help you start or advance your career.

Hire A Blazer online portal. The University's Career Center is a great place to get started. The center provides information on employment opportunities, assists with job skill development including interviewing and resume writing, sponsors jobs fairs, and much more! Be sure to check out the information and advice tailored specifically for you.

Three of the most prominent groups in professional public service careers and education have joined forces to create a job board and career information website.

You can research your job prospects and potential salary through the Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook (revised every 2 years, it describes working conditions, training and education needed, and expected earnings and job prospects).


For information on local nonprofit career opportunities, see the Alabama Association of Nonprofits job board.

Nonprofit Management Certificate

The Graduate Nonprofit Certificate Program provides practitioners in the Greater Birmingham area with an opportunity to enhance their skills and improve their capacity to effectively run their organizations.

This program is designed to serve those who wish to gain specialized knowledge in the field of nonprofit management without committing to a graduate program. Classes are offered online and on campus. Secondarily, students who are admitted into the MPA program with a specialty in nonprofit management may apply for the graduate certificate in nonprofit management.

Application for the Certificate Program

If you are interested in pursuing the certificate in nonprofit management you must complete the application form prior to their first class. Students admitted into the MPA program, either fully or probationary, may complete the application at any point during their course work.

Download the application form, fill it out, and return it to the MPA program coordinator by email, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or fax, (205) 975-5712.

You must be admitted as a non-degree seeking graduate student as defined by the UAB Graduate School. These requirements include an earned undergraduate degree from an accredited institution. Students admitted to the MPA program, either fully or probationary, have met this requirement by virtue of their admission; however, the application form must be completed in order to receive the certificate.

Curriculum

The content and curriculum have been carefully designed to provide nonprofit professionals with cutting-edge skills, best practices, and essential management tools necessary to thrive in today's dynamic nonprofit environment. As of fall 2020, successful completion of five (5) courses is necessary to earn the certificate. For the most up-to-date course requirements, please visit the Graduate Catalog.

Grades

You are expected to produce graduate level work and maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher to continue in the program.

Registration and Payment

You are expected to register for a course each semester. Payments of tuition and fees will be handled through the UAB Financial Affairs. All payment problems or inquiries should be directed to that office.

Future Graduate Degree Work

If you want to apply to the MPA program after completing the nonprofit management certification requirements, you must complete all application requirements as outlined in the Graduate School guidelines. A maximum of four courses (12 hours) with a grade of B or better may be applied toward the MPA degree if the student is accepted in the program.

Successful completion of the nonprofit management certification does not automatically admit a student into the MPA program. All application materials must be completed. Students who pursue the MPA degree following certification must complete all course work within seven years of the first course taken in the certificate program.

Questions?

Please contact the MPA program coordinator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Welcome to the Department of Political Science & Public Administration!

Students of different nationalities on the UAB Campus Green. We are proud of our diversity and the number of international students who come to learn with us. If you chose to join us, you will not be alone.

The Masters of Public Administration program has admitted students from Afghanistan, Cameroon, Egypt, Gambia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Pakistan. Campus-wide you will find students from over 80 countries. UAB is ranked as one of the five most diverse campuses in the United States.

We invite you to explore all of the programs and services offered to international students. International Student and Scholar Services will be able to advise you about how to apply and who to contact for information. Please visit their website, or send general questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Language Requirement

Are you an international student interested in attending UAB? Explore the INTO UAB initiative.

Applicants to the MPA program whose native language is not English are required to take the TOEFL or IELTS. Exceptions to this requirement will be considered for those students who have completed an undergraduate or a graduate degree at an institution whose primary language of instruction is English.

The minimum score for consideration is 80 on the TOEFL iBT, or 6.5 on the IELTS. Applicants must make arrangements to take the TEOFL directly with ETS or IELTS. Scores should be reported to UAB using institution code RA 1856. TOEFL scores must be no more than two years old at the time of application submission.

Applicants who do not meet the English proficiency requirements may still be accepted to the program. Candidates will be evaluated through the UAB English Language Institute (UAB ELI) and can be recommended for English courses prior to taking regular MPA classes.

Further Information

For more information please contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
UAB's Heritage Hall, home of the Department of Government. UAB's Heritage Hall, home of the Department of Political Science & Public Administration.

MPA Program Manager

The program manager provides information and assistance with the MPA program's administrative requirements. The program manager:

  • helps you understand degree requirements, course selection, and schedule planning;
  • refers you to resources across campus that can boost academic performance;
  • helps you understand academic policies and procedures; and
  • provides information about potential areas of study.

For more information, email the program manager at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (205) 975-3413.

Graduate Program Visit

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Student Groups

Joining one or more student groups will augment your education and provide opportunities beyond those found in the classroom.

Pi Alpha Alpha

Pi Alpha Alpha logo. Pi Alpha Alpha is the national public administration honors society for students in the field of public administration. Students are admitted into the UAB chapter each year at our spring reception. Students who have completed at least half of the required classes in the program with a cumulative GPA of 3.7 or greater are eligible for membership in Pi Alpha Alpha.

The purpose of Pi Alpha Alpha is to encourage and recognize outstanding scholarship and accomplishment in public affairs and administration. Its objectives — such as fostering integrity, professionalism, and effective performance — promote the advancement of quality in the education and practice of the art and science of public affairs and administration. PAA membership identifies those with the highest performance levels in educational programs preparing them for public service careers.

Contact Dr. Nev Ertas, the UAB chapter faculty advisor, for additional information.

International City/County Management Association (ICMA)

ICMA logo. The Association's mission is to create excellence in local governance by developing and fostering professional local government management worldwide. ICMA provides member support; publications; data and information; peer and results-oriented assistance; and training and professional development to nearly 9,000 city, town, and county experts and other individuals and organizations throughout the world.

Formed in 2010, UAB is the inaugural ICMA Student Chapter. It is an open organization for students who are interested in learning about local government and management. Like the ICMA, the UAB chapter strives to bring UAB students closer to local government and management officials by developing and fostering a strong relationship of interaction.

The UAB ICMA chapter is student-led. The faculty advisor is Dr. Stephanie Pink-Harper.

MPA Alumni Society

All graduates from the MPA program automatically become a member of the MPA Alumni Society. Our annual gathering is usually held in April of every year but activities occur throughout the year. Before you go anywhere after graduation, please send your contact information to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact one of the officers through the Society's Facebook page.

Forms & Resources

Forms

Listed below are forms that will help you as you pursue your Master of Public Administration.

Career Planning

See where our graduates have gone on to work and explore career resources on our careers page.


FAQs

Read our MPA FAQs.


Financial Aid

UAB Office of Student Financial Aid


UAB MPA Alumni Association

All graduates from the MPA program automatically become a member of the MPA Alumni Association. Our annual gathering is usually held in April of every year but activities occur throughout the year. Before you go anywhere after graduation, please send your contact information to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Useful Links

  • DEMOCRABLOG'S Top 50 Public Administration Web Resources (2013): A public administrator needs all the resources available at his or her fingertips, including information about organizations, research, online interaction, public outreach and contact information for local, regional, national, and international resources.
  • The Conference of Minority Public Administrators (COMPA): COMPA is one of America's leading national organizations-committed to excellence in public service and public administration in city, county, state and federal government.
  • The National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA): The NFBPA's mission is to strengthen the position of blacks within the field of public administration; increase the number of blacks appointed to executive positions in public service organizations; and to groom and prepare younger, aspiring administrators for senior public management posts in the years ahead.
  • Public Service Careers: This job board and career information website is brought to you by the three most prominent groups in professional public service careers and education: NASPAA, ASPA & APPAM. Whether you are a recent MPA graduate, a veteran of the public sector, or a PhD, this site can help you build and sustain your career.
  • More resources are available on the MPA Careers page.
  • The International City/County Management Association (ICMA): ICMA provides member support; publications; data and information; peer and results-oriented assistance; and training and professional development to nearly 9,000 city, town, and county experts and other individuals and organizations throughout the world.
  • Alliance for Nonprofit Management: The Alliance is the national voice and catalyst for the field of capacity building. We improve the effectiveness of individuals, groups, and organizations helping nonprofits and communities achieve positive social change.

Financial Aid

How do you plan to pay for college? It's something everyone has to think about, no matter your background or situation. Guidance on financing your education, as well as detailed tuition and fees information, is available on the UAB Students Paying for College page. Information about costs and financial support can also be found on the UAB Graduate School website.

A UAB banner on a post in front of a flowering tree. The Department of Political Science & Public Administration has a limited number of graduate assistantships awarded on a competitive basis, which can be awarded during any semester as vacancies occur.

The United States Department of Education has the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Plan (PSLF) for students looking to enter or continue their career in public service. For more information about the PSLF Program, visit the PSLF Program page on the US Department of Education’s website.

Scholarship Opportunities

The MPA Alumni Scholarship of $500 is given to the most outstanding student from the department every year. For more information on how to apply, contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Advising

MPA Program Manager

Law books.

The MPA Program Manager assists the MPA Program Director with the MPA Program’s administrative requirements. The MPA Program Manager also provides information and assistance to students. The Program Manager:

  • helps you understand degree requirements, course selection, and schedule planning;
  • refers you to resources across campus that can boost academic performance;
  • helps you understand academic policies and procedures;
  • provides information about potential areas of study;
  • helps you find internships related to your field of interest; and
  • keeps you abreast of job and volunteer opportunities in the community.

For more information, contact the MPA Program at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Faculty Advisor

Once admitted to the MPA program, each student is paired with a member of the faculty. This faculty advisor will give you academic and career advice.

Students should meet regularly with their faculty advisor to explore their academic options and career goals.

Questions?

We welcome feedback from students and alumni. Contact the us through email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us at (205) 975-3413.

Internships

Logo of the GAO. The MPA's public administration internship program is designed to provide students with practical, hands-on experience of the challenges, complexities, and rewards of working in the public sector. It is an essential ingredient of the MPA program, and was recently recognized for its excellence by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).

Logo of Alabama Policy Institute. The purpose of the internship is to give students the opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom within a professional workplace setting. The internship must be concluded before completion of the MPA degree.

CMBOur graduate interns are equipped to provide research support, policy analysis, budgeting experience, and/or program evaluation skills to a public or nonprofit organization. They will provide professional assistance to existing staff members, provide expertise and resources for projects and activities in which the agency is involved, and contribute skills on analytic methods of program and/or policy evaluation. Many of our students have gone on to work full-time for organizations where they initially served as interns.

Before you sign up for internship credit, please contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Where Do You Want to Intern?

Students may choose where they would like to intern as long as the agency or organization has an internship policy. Here are a few of the agencies that our students have served as interns over the past few years:
  • Alabama Ballet
  • Alabama Citizens for Constitutional ReformLogo of Alabama Dance Council.
  • Alabama Dance Council
  • Alabama Heart Association
  • Alabama Policy Institute
  • Alabama-Germany Partnership
  • Better Basics
  • Birmingham Housing Authority
  • Birmingham Humane Society
  • Birmingham Pledge Foundation
  • Cities of Bessemer, Birmingham, Dothan, Homewood, Morris, Mountain Brook, and Vestavia
  • GBHSCrohns and Colitis Foundation
  • Fair Housing Center of Northern Alabama
  • Gateway, Inc.
  • Girls, Incorporated of Central Alabama
  • Government Accountability Office (GAO), Washington DC
  • Homes for Our Troops
  • Jefferson County Department of Health and Family Court
  • Jones Valley Urban Farm
  • Main Street Birmingham
  • Homes for Our Troops logo. Metropolitan Birmingham Services for the Homeless (now One Roof)
  • Mobile County Commission
  • M-Power Ministries
  • Nonprofit Resource Center of Alabama
  • Office of the US Trade Representative
  • Operation New Birmingham
  • Pathways
  • Rape Response
  • The Red Barn
  • Regional Planning Commission
  • Shelby County ArtsUnited Way of Central Alabama logo.
  • The Seasteading Institute
  • Treatment Alternatives for Safer Communities (TASC)
  • UAB Benevolent Fund
  • United Way of Central Alabama
  • Urban Ministry
  • VSA Arts of Alabama
  • YWCA

Joint Degrees

The Department of Political Science & Public Administration's MPA program offers three joint degrees that allow graduate students to refine and enhance their studies and career aims. These three programs are:

The Master of Public Administration/Master of Public Health Joint Degree Program

UAB's Public Health Building. In an increasingly complex healthcare policy environment, a need exists for trained professionals competent in both general public management and in healthcare policy. The MPA/MPH degree offers students a chance to earn two masters degrees in the fields of public administration and public health.

Program Requirements

Students are required to complete a total of 60-64 semester hours for the coordinated degree (includes 3-6 hours of internship). Core requirements of 21 hours from the MPA program and 16-17 hours from the MPH program are required. Students can specialize in the Health Care Policy/Health Care Management track. Full-time students should be able to complete all degree requirements within three years.

Program Admission

Students must apply and be admitted to the MPA and MPH programs separately. The requirements for each degree must be met and close communication with both programs is required. Depending on prior experience, a field placement may be required.

Further Information

For more information read the UAB School of Public Health detailed program description or e-mail the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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The Master of Public Administration/JD Joint Degree Program

Logo of Cumberland Law School. A complex interrelationship exists between the legal system, public policy analysis, and public management. Recognizing this, the Department of Political Science & Public Administration's MPA program has partnered with the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University to offer a coordinated MPA/JD program. It is particularly applicable to those pursuing careers in government and/or public interest law.

Program Requirements

Students are required to complete a total of 120 semester hours for the coordinated degree (includes 3 hours of internship). This includes 30 hours in the MPA Program, and 90 hours in the JD Program. Full-time students should be able to complete all degree requirements within three years.

Program Admission

Students must apply and be admitted to the MPA and JD programs separately. The requirements for each degree must be met and close communication with both programs is required. Depending on prior experience, a field placement may be required.

Further Information

For more information contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at UAB; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Associate Dean and Starnes Professor of Law; or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Director of Law Students Records.

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The Master of Public Administration/Master of Criminal Justice Joint Degree Program

Image of building houses UAB's Criminal Justice program. The Master of Public Administration (MPA) and the Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) programs at UAB offers one of the most unique sets of curriculum for the preparation of public service professionals today. Currently there is a need for criminal justice personnel who not only are well-versed in the latest theories and practice of criminal justice, but also possess a complimentary set of professional administrative and management skills, such public policy, human resource management and program evaluation. The joint MPA/MSCJ degree program is designed to meet this need through a relevant and rigorous curriculum in criminal justice and public administration.

With an impending wave of retirements occurring in the private and public sectors, a number of middle and upper management positions will become vacant in the coming years. The MPA/MSCJ degree provides both a solid foundation in criminal justice and the skills needed to become an effective supervisor or manager in law enforcement and other justice-related professions. This degree will provide a path for such students, helping them to improve the skills and credentials needed to move into management positions within their organizations.

Program Requirements

Students are required to complete a total of 60 semester hours for the coordinated degree (includes 3 hours of internship and a 3 hour capstone project). This includes 30 hours in each department. Full-time students should be able to complete all degree requirements within three years.

  • MPA 600: Ethics and Morality in Public Service
  • MPA 601: The Public Policymaking Process
  • MPA 602: Administrative Theory and Behavior
  • MPA 603: Public and Nonprofit Budgeting
  • MPA 604: Human Resource Management
  • MPA 605: Information Management for Government
  • MPA 697: Graduate Research Paper (capstone)
  • 9 hours of electives
  • JS 583: Crime Patterns
  • JS 600: Pro-Seminar in Criminal Justice
  • JS 601: Seminar in Criminology Theory
  • JS 604: Seminar in Criminal Justice Policy
  • JS 605: Seminar in Research Methods
  • JS 606: Seminar in Data Analysis
  • JS 696: Internship
  • 9 hours of electives


Program Admission

Students must apply and be admitted to the MPA and MSCJ programs separately. The requirements for each degree must be met and close communication with both programs is required.

Further Information

For more information please contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Program Basics

Two women in an office looking at data. The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program is a broad-based degree designed to help you hone 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 help 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.

Applications for the MPA Program must include:

  • Undergraduate transcripts (and, if applicable, graduate transcripts)
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores*
  • Statement of interest that addresses this prompt:
    • In 2-3 double-spaced pages (300-500 words), please share why the MPA degree at UAB is right for you. Address your public service values and motivations, ways you want to make change, and vision for your career after obtaining your MPA degree. If you have prior academic deficiencies, please also address those in this statement;
  • Two letters of recommendation that meet the below criteria:
    • If possible, both letters should come from academic references (which may include professors and faculty advisors) and account for your academic performance and commitment. If one or both letters are not from academic references, they must be professional references. These letters must come from someone who was in a supervisory position in which you were their subordinate in either a work or volunteer capacity. They need to list in what capacity they know you (employee, subordinate, volunteer, etc.). Letters from peers, co-workers, friends, etc. are not acceptable.

More information about submitting your application is below under “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 Political Science & Public Administration and the MPA faculty.

Admissions checklist:

  • Complete and submit online application through the UAB Graduate School
  • Submit application fee payment
    • Domestic: $50.00
    • International: $60.00
  • Please ask the individuals from whom you request references to submit them online via the Apply Yourself system. Electronic submission is the preferred method. However, if your referees prefer to mail a recommendation letter, it should be mailed to the address of the department or program to which you are applying.
  • Request an official transcript to be mailed by the issuing institution to the UAB Graduate School: UAB Graduate School, G03 LHL; 1700 University Blvd., 1720 2nd Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35294-0013
  • Applicants must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and submit scores (see Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Test Waivers below for information on waivers).
  • Submit official GRE test score: Institution code: 1856
  • Submit official TOEFL test score (for international applicants only): Institution code: 1856
  • Mail Financial Affidavit of Support (for international applicants only) to: UAB Graduate School, G03 LHL; 1700 University Blvd., 1720 2nd Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35294-0013

**Because of COVID-19, the GRE requirement is currently waived.**

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for official approval.

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

Application for admission should be made online through the UAB Graduate School website. Admissions will be made for fall and spring semesters.

Application deadlines are:

  • Spring Admission: December 1
  • Summer Admission: April 1
  • Fall Admission: August 1

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.

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

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details on the application procedure.

The Graduate Nonprofit Certificate and Graduate Public Management Certificate both provide working professionals with the opportunity to enhance their skills and improve their capacity to effectively run organizations. Each program is designed to serve those who wish to gain specialized knowledge in either nonprofit organizations or public organizations. More information about the certificates can be found in the Graduate Catalog.

Please contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

NASPAA accredited.

Do you want to make a difference? Do you want to be the difference? For over 30 years, UAB's nationally ranked Master of Public Administration (MPA) program has prepared students for successful careers in public service where they can serve the greater good. We have graduates locally and across the country who have become successful leaders and managers in local, state, and federal government positions, and in nonprofit organizations.

Official Peace Corps Logo.

Are you a recent graduate? The MPA program will help you gain the knowledge and experience you need for the job market. Are you an experienced professional who wants to advance your career? The MPA program and the Graduate Certificates in Public Management and Nonprofit Management were designed with you in mind. Are you an international student? The MPA program will work with you to further your success.

Our Mission

In line with the mission of the University, the MPA program is committed to excellence in graduate education through teaching, research, service, and practice. The program focuses on building the next generation of global leaders and responsible decision makers by enhancing their intellectual and social capacities through knowledge and skills provided within the framework of public service values embedded in the MPA curriculum.

Nationally Ranked, Internationally Recognized

The MPA program at UAB is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. Our nationally ranked program (number 73 in the nation) is among the best in the Southeast and is one of the top 200 public administration masters programs worldwide. We invite you to explore our program and see all that it has to offer. The UAB MPA Program is a proud partner with the Peace Corps Coverdell Fellowships Program.

The UAB Advantage

The MPA program has been designed to help you succeed.

  • Networking. The MPA at UAB offers what many online programs cannot: connections to people who make hiring decisions and opportunities to connect with government and nonprofit agencies in Alabama's largest metro area. We have a solid track record of helping our students obtain excellent career placements in public service positions locally and nationally.

  • A Program that Fits Your Life. Our program is designed with the busy professional in mind. All classes are offered in the evening, allowing our students to pursue their degree while maintaining full-time employment. In addition, some of our courses offer a mix of online and face-to-face instruction.

  • Experience. UAB's location in Birmingham offers opportunities for students to interact with a wide variety of public service professionals in the government and nonprofit sectors. Many of our courses are taught by those professionals. Our location also provides great opportunities for a wide range of internship placements. Our internship program has been recognized by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration for its excellence.

  • Mentoring. A new program beginning Fall 2017 gives students professional guidance to help them meet their career goals. Students who satisfactorily complete the program will also be awarded a professional development certificate.