Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Offered both online and in-person, the University of Michigan-Flint’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) program is designed for those who endeavor to support the common good and serve their communities.

With a rich legacy bolstered by that of the University of Michigan’s Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, UM-Flint’s MPA degree program has cultivated thousands of civil servants in the public and nonprofit sectors over the years. Through our rigorous MPA program, you are equipped with the knowledge and skills to bring a positive impact to society by creating viable solutions to emerging public challenges.


Why Earn Your MPA Degree at UM-Flint?

A Multi-Pronged Approach

Aiming to foster well-rounded public administrators, UM-Flint’s Master of Public Administration program takes an interdisciplinary approach. With faculty and courses in political science, economics, health care, criminal justice, and more, the MPA program offers a rich and varied knowledge base.

Flexible Online and In-Person Formats

To accommodate your busy schedule, UM-Flint’s Master of Public Administration program offers an online learning option with hyperflex courses and an on-ground learning option. You may choose the format that best suits your lifestyle.

Evening Class Schedule

Designed for working professionals who want to earn their MPA degree part-time, the program offers classes primarily after 5:30 p.m., Monday – Thursday. With the convenience of the evening class schedule, you are able to maintain your full-time employment while pursuing your academic success.

Customizable MPA Program with Five Concentration Options

In addition to the General Program which offers a broad education in public service, the University of Michigan-Flint’s MPA program offers four concentrations:

  • Nonprofit Administration & Social Entrepreneurship
  • Criminal Justice Administration
  • Health Care Administration
  • Social & Public Policy

MPA Program that Delivers Results

The MPA program at UM-Flint has a proven track record of advancing graduates’ careers. Whether you are currently employed in a public organization or interested in starting a graduate degree before obtaining concurrent work experience, you can receive the balanced, advanced education necessary to become a capable, decisive leader.

Supportive Experienced Faculty

UM-Flint faculty make themselves available to students outside the normal class schedule with flexible office hours and online availability. Furthermore, many faculty members have practical work experience. Their real-world public administration knowledge blends into the classroom and enhances students’ learning experiences.

The professors of the Master of Public Administration program come from diverse professional fields including:

  • Criminal court systems
  • Health care
  • Higher education
  • Nonprofit administration
  • Law
  • Local and state government
  • Research

Master of Public Administration Program Curriculum

Encouraging interdisciplinary learning, the MPA program curriculum is designed to meet the educational needs of students who have earned specialized, technical, or liberal arts degrees and who are seeking to expand or update their knowledge of administration.

With four concentration options, the robust Master of Public Administration curriculum consists of 36 credit hours of fundamental MPA core courses and in-depth concentration electives. Students may customize their curriculum with a concentration that suits their career aspirations in public services. In addition to theoretical education, the curriculum gives students the opportunity to gain first-hand experience through a variety of practical experiences inside and outside of the classroom through community partnerships and simulations.

Learn more about the MPA program curriculum.

MPA in Criminal Justice Administration

Designed for those who seek to gain specific policy and administrative knowledge about the criminal justice system, this concentration instills the knowledge in criminal justice administration for complex tasks.

Nine credits from the following:

  • CRJ 588 – Corrections: A Critical Perspective 
  • PUB 530 – Criminal Justice Policy 
  •  PUB 531 – Restorative Justice 
  • PUB 532 – Policing Contemporary Society

MPA in Health Care Administration

Geared towards health care professionals, the Health Care Administration concentration delves into administration and policy analysis. Focusing on contemporary developments in health care administration, the concentration empowers students to solve the challenges in today’s health care system.

Three from:

  • PUB 505 – Health Policy
  • PUB 574 – Disability Law and Policy
  • PUB 579 – Economics of Health Care
  • HCR 577 – Applications of Financial Management in Health Care
  • HCR 587 – Legal Issues in Health Care
  • Other coursework as approved by director

MPA in Nonprofit Administration and Social Entrepreneurship

This concentration is ideal for those who aspire to become an administrator in the nonprofit and socially aware for-profit sectors. No previous work experience in related fields is required to apply to the MPA in Nonprofit Administration and Social Entrepreneurship program.

  • PUB 525 – Fundamentals of Nonprofit Organizations 
  • Choose two from:
    • PUB 520 – Resource Development for Nonprofit Organizations 
    • PUB 548 – Social Entrepreneurship
    • PUB 594 – Grantwriting and Administration

MPA in Social and Public Policy

Focusing on the depth and breadth of public policy in a variety of areas, the Social and Public Policy concentration fosters students’ understanding of policy trends and equips them with the skills to conduct policy analysis and drafting.

  • PUB 505 – Health Policy
  • PUB 522 – Environmental Law and Public Policy 
  • PUB 530 – Criminal Justice Policy 
  • PUB 571 – Public Economics
  • PUB 574 – Disability Law and Policy 
  • PUB 579 – Economics of Health Care 
  • Another 500-level class approved by director

Master of Public Administration Career Outlook

University of Michigan-Flint’s rigorous MPA degree program empowers graduates to serve in their desired fields with strong knowledge in policy analysis, leadership, program evaluation, and management.

With a master’s degree in Public Administration, you are able to embark on a new career in the public and nonprofit sectors or advance your current role to the managerial level. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for public administration professionals is constantly growing. The employment of Social and Community Service Managers, for example, is projected to increase by 17% through 2029.

Moreover, MPA graduates have many other exciting job opportunities:

  • Public Relation and Fundraising Manager
  • City Manager
  • Budget Analyst
  • Urban and Regional Planner
  • Policy Analyst
17% projected social and community service managers employment growth

Admission Prerequisites

Qualified applicants to the MPA program must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Applicants should have completed:

  • A course in government or public sector administration or relevant experience
  • A course in microeconomic principles
  • A course in statistics

Students lacking any of the knowledge base courses at the time of application will fulfill these requirement(s) as part of their MPA degree.

Probation Admission

For those who do not meet these requirements, please review the Probationary Admission option. Probationary admission may be an option for students who:

  • Show strong academic potential, but their GPA falls below the 3.0 requirement
  • Have had extenuating circumstances that have negatively affected their cumulative GPA
  • Can show how conditions have changed and they are now poised to maintain a “B” average or higher in the MPA program

Students can articulate these factors through the Statement of Purpose listed in the required documents for application in the section below. Factors will be reviewed by the admissions committee upon application to the program. Should you be admitted on probationary or Lifelong Learning status, your registration will be limited to four credits or less for the first two semesters in order to establish a strong GPA.


Applying to UM-Flint’s MPA Program

To be considered for admission, submit an online application below. Other materials can be emailed to FlintGradOffice@umich.edu or delivered to the Office of Graduate Programs, 251 Thompson Library.

Admission to the MPA Program is based on a holistic review of an applicant’s academic and professional history. Applicants are required to submit a completed application, application fee, and provide the following documentation:

  • Application for Graduate Admission
  • $55 application fee (non-refundable)
  • Official transcripts for prior coursework at any and all institutions of higher education attended
  • Statement of Purpose detailing the reasons for seeking further study in the MPA program and that addresses any deficiencies in the applicant’s educational background
  • Two letters of recommendation, preferably at least one from a professional reference and one from an academic reference (University of Michigan alumni are exempt from this requirement)
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae
  • International students must submit additional documentation.

Application Deadlines

Submit all application materials to the Office of Graduate Programs by 5 p.m. on the day of the application deadline. The Master of Public Administration program offers rolling admission with monthly application reviews. To be considered for admission, all application materials must be submitted on or before:

  • Fall (early review*) – May 1
  • Fall (final review) – August 1
  • Winter – November 15

*You must have a complete application by the early deadline to guarantee application eligibility for scholarships, grants, and research assistantships.

International students are required to apply earlier than the deadlines posted above. The final deadlines for international students are May 1 for the fall semester, and October 1 for the winter semester.

MPA Program Academic Advising

At UM-Flint, our dedicated advisors are happy to help you find your unique path to success. Book an appointment today to talk with our advisors about your plan of earning a master’s degree in Public Administration.


Learn More about the Master of Public Administration Program

With flexible online and on-ground program options, the University of Michigan-Flint’s Master of Public Administration program builds your analytical, conceptual, and cultural competencies to launch a successful career in public administration.

Ready to advance your skills and become an advocate for social change? Apply today, or request information to learn more about our MPA degree program!