The Master of Public Affairs (MPA) degree requires 43 semester hours if an internship is required, and 40 hours if a student has had relevant professional work experience and receives an internship waiver. Other requirements include:
Full-time students can graduate in less than two years, while most part-time students finish in three to four years, though the program does not prescribe a course load or timeline for either groups. Our overall completion rates for the past four years averages 84%, with almost all full-time students finishing in two years, and 62% of the part-time students finishing in three years. Of the 29 students who started the program in 2010-11, 22 (76%) graduated, with 9 (31%) finishing in two years, 17 (59%) in 3 years, and 22 (76%) in five years or less.
Classes are offered on campus in the evenings and on Saturdays to accommodate students' internships and full-time jobs. The program's flexibility in scheduling courses, the many networking opportunities, and the variety of students and specializations are viewed by our graduates as significant strengths of the MPA program.
Students not having approved prior work experience in a professional or managerial position complete a supervised internship in a public or nonprofit agency for 3 hours credit, beyond the 40 hour requirement. The internship is usually designed as a paid, full-time professional position during the summer, from approximately May 15 to August 15, between the student's first and second year of academic work. A part-time position for a longer time period is sometimes used as a substitute for the full-time summer internship. (See Internships)
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