Jun 13, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 

Master of Public Administration

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This program is accredited by: NASPAA. More information can be found at: unlv.edu/provost/vpaa/accreditation

Plan Description

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree is the professional degree for the field of public administration and it serves to provide public sector practitioners with an understanding of the inner workings of governmental environments. Our program is the only MPA program nationally accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) in the state of Nevada. Our goal is to prepare students to become public service professionals within organizations that serve the public and nonprofit sectors. Additionally, our program serves career military personnel and private sector professionals whose responsibilities involve extensive contact with governmental agencies.

Graduates of the MPA program will have an understanding of the inner workings of governmental organizational structures, the key principles of public management and administration, and the basic methods of researching and analyzing public policy issues. Graduate work in the program provides an awareness of the organizational and policy contexts in which public sector administrators make and implement decisions. The learning objectives of our program are designed to provide students with skills and expertise that demonstrate their proficiencies within five core competency areas.

For more information about your program, including your graduate program handbook and learning outcomes please visit the Degree Directory.

Plan Admission Requirements

Application deadlines

Applications available on the UNLV Graduate College website.

While admissions to the MPA program entails specific requirements, consideration for admissions may also include previous professional and academic experience.

All applicants are required to have:

  1. An earned bachelor’s degree in an acceptable field of undergraduate study from a regionally accredited college or university.
  2. A GPA of at least 2.75 overall or 3.00 in the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate study on a 4.0 scale.
  3. Satisfactory score on either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT). Applicants with an undergraduate GPA of 3.5 and five years of responsible administrative or professional work experience in the public or nonprofit sector need not submit GRE or GMAT scores. Applicants who have completed the department’s Graduate Certificate in Public Management with a GPA of 3.5 or higher need not submit GRE or GMAT scores. The GRE scores should be sent directly to the School of Public Policy and Leadership.
  4. Three reference letters that speak to the applicant’s character, work ethic and ability to conduct graduate work.
  5. A resume indicating educational and professional experience sent to the School of Public Policy and Leadership.
  6. A personal statement describing how the MPA fits into the applicant’s professional goals.
  7. An official transcript from the college or university where the applicant received a bachelor’s degree should be sent to the School of Public Policy and Leadership and Graduate College.

All domestic and international applicants must review and follow the Graduate College Admission and Registration Requirements.

Students are accepted into a degree program as described in the Graduate Catalog. The faculty and corresponding sub-disciplines and sub-plans within the described programs are subject to change at any time.

Subplan 1 Requirements: Public Administration Concentration

Total Credits Required: 36

Course Requirements

Analytic Skills Courses – Credits: 3

Elective Courses – Credits: 12

Complete 12 credits of elective coursework from any graduate-level Public Administration (PUA) course or graduate-level social science, business, or other relevant course with the approval of the graduate coordinator or department chair.

Culminating Experience– Credits: 6

Complete the following courses in sequence

Subplan 2 Requirements: Nonprofit Management Concentration

Total Credits Required: 36

Plan Degree Requirements

  1.   Completion of a minimum of 36 credit hours with a minimum GPA of 3.00.
  2.  All students entering the program must start with PUA 701 - Governance & Urban Community, a class designed to provide a general overview of the field. With this foundation, the student then embarks upon the rest of the program.
  3. Students may enroll in PUA 725 only after they have completed at least 24 credit hours toward the MPA degree. The order of the end-of-course sequence (PUA 725) is determined by when the student completes the required 24 credit hours.
  4.  Students enroll in PUA 729 - MPA Capstone Experience to complete their final project which is taken after completing PUA 725. The final project applies analytical skills to an issue of interest to a governmental or nonprofit agency and should be completed near the end of a student’s program of study.
  5. Students must obtain a B average in order to graduate. A student can have no more than one grade less than a B-. It is assumed that students working full time and taking courses on a part-time basis can complete the MPA program in two and one-half years of study.
  6. For students without appropriate professional administrative experiences, the degree requires an internship and a total of 39 hours.

Plan Graduation Requirements

  1. The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements.
  2. The student must complete the two end of program capstone courses (PUA 725 and PUA 729).

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