The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program is intended for those with career interests in public management, health and human services, government, and other public service and nonprofit organizations. The curriculum blends theoretical and applied concepts and assures “real-world” experiences for the novice administrator. In addition, it requires that students devote attention to general professional development. The MPA program is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration.
Students may begin the program in any semester. Three courses (or 9 credits) per semester are considered a normal course load for full-time students. Part-time students typically take one or two 3-credit courses each semester and one or two courses during the summer session to maintain steady progress toward the degree.
The MPA program is offered as a dual modality, providing both online and residential course work options. The Residential program is in person at Penn State Harrisburg campus and the online program is fully online via Penn State World Campus.
Program Mission and Goals
The Penn State Harrisburg Master of Public Administration program seeks to advance the knowledge and skills necessary to manage and lead organizations engaged in public service in democratic and diverse societies.
- Goal 1: To develop leaders and professionals who are ethical and skilled to work effectively in an increasingly globalized world.
- Goal 2: To develop leaders and professionals who are competent as managers and analysts skilled in oral and written communications.
- Goal 3: To develop leaders and professionals who share a commitment to public service values and democratic processes.
- Goal 4: To effectively contribute with theoretically-driven research questions and appropriate and sophisticated empirical methods relevant to the practice and the profession of public administration.
- Goal 5: To effectively apply competencies and expertise to address local, regional, state, national, and global public issues by engaging relevant stakeholders and the community called to serve.
The MPA program is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). NASPAA is the recognized global accreditor of master's degree programs in public policy, affairs, and administration. Their mission is to ensure excellence in education and training for public service and to promote the ideal of public service.