Nov 28, 2022  
2012-2013 General Catalog 

Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.)

Program Information

Director: Patricia Keehley, Ph.D. (Interim)
Department of Political Science & Criminal Justice
GC 406 ~ (435) 865-8153

MPA Administrative Assistant: Jennifer Sorenson
GC 406 ~ (435) 865-8150


Degrees Offered

Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) 
Master of Public Administration (M.P.A) - State and Local Government Emphasis 
Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) - Criminal Justice Emphasis 
Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) - Non-Profit Management and Administration Emphasis 
Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) - Student Service Emphasis 

Overview of Program

The 36 semester hour MPA program is a professional degree suitable to all students interested in pursuing a career in management within the public or non-profit sectors. The MPA program provides an intellectual, collaborative and engaged learning environment where practical and theoretical concepts of public administration are presented within the historical, political, social, cultural and economic contexts. Students learn to act as facilitators in defining and pursuing the public interest.

Classes focus on developing the ability to reason critically, to analyze important dimensions of public service, and to take coherent positions on key public administration and policy issues. Upon graduation, students in the program should be able to think critically, communicate effectively through written and oral means, advocate public sector values, apply analytic tools to policies and decisions-making, and demonstrate leadership skills.

Versatile in its design, students may customize the program to suit their personal interests and career objectives. A variety of electives are available within the MPA program and through other graduate programs at SUU. Students may choose to complete an internship or thesis. The internship offers practical, developmental opportunities in public or nonprofit organizations. The thesis option is recommended for students who prefer a more academic approach to their degree program or who want to pursue a doctoral program in the field.


The Master of Public Administration degree program builds upon Southern Utah University’s individualized, experiential learning through our mission and goals.
Our Mission is to:

  • Prepare pre-service and in-service students to meet the challenges of public and nonprofit service.
  • Develop student knowledge and competencies through scholarly activity, experiential learning, and applied research.
  • Offer coursework that presents a framework of understanding based on academic literature and skill development through activities, projects, and assignments.
  • Promote public service values, a culture of democratic administration, leadership and managements skills, and ethical decision-making in all aspects of public and nonprofit sector organizations.
  • Provide on-campus and online students with comparable academic experiences that develop knowledge and skills for public service.

Our Goals:

  1. Educate and train students to be innovative leaders in public and nonprofit organizations.
  2. Enhance the field of public administration regionally, nationally, and internationally through the academic and service contributions of our faculty and students.
  3. Create a learning environment where our students develop public service values and thoughtful and ethical decision-making skills.
  4. Assess student learning and use assessment research to continuously enhance the program offerings.
  5. Embrace and partner with a diverse student body, faculty, workforce, and public to enhance public policy and administration.

Department/Program Learning Outcomes

 After the completing the degree, students should be able to:

  1. Think critically.
  2. Solve problems using analytic tools and best practices.
  3. Synthesize diverse perspectives and information.
  4. Implement policies in an efficient and effective manner.  

Other Information

Application and Degree Requirements for Master of Public Administration.

Prospective MPA students must follow all of the Graduate Application procedures outlined above. The MPA program accepts the LSAT entrance exam, as well as the GMAT, GRE, and MAT. The MPA program does not accept electronic reference forms. Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation through SUU’s Graduate Admissions Office.

In addition to SUU’s graduate application requirements, prospective students must submit a Letter of Intent to the Director of MPA. The Letter of Intent is an opportunity for the prospective student to introduce him/herself to the MPA faculty and is closely reviewed during the admissions process. The Letter of Intent should include information such as prior volunteer, work or academic experiences, career interests, and why the applicant would like to pursue an MPA at SUU.

Prospective students should be aware that an internship or thesis is required to complete the MPA degree. The internship ensures each student has an opportunity to apply the competencies and knowledge learned in courses to a public or nonprofit organization environment. While the MPA Director and faculty may assist students with locating internship opportunities, it is incumbent upon each student to seek out and arrange their respective internships. The internship must be approved and supervised by the Director or MPA faculty.

The thesis option is available for students who intend to pursue a doctorate in the field or may be already employed in the public or nonprofit sector. The thesis topic and research methods must be approved by the supervising faculty. The final thesis should consist of original research and meet the MPA academic and publication standards for theses.

Admission to the MPA Program

Applications for admission must be received by the following deadlines:
July 15 - Fall semester
November 15 - Spring semester
April 15 -Summer semester

The following are required when seeking admission to the MPA Program:

  1. SUU Graduate Admissions application;
  2. Payment of the non-refundable application fee;
  3. A Letter of Intent written by the applicant;
  4. Receipt of three (3) letters of recommendation 
  5. Receipt of official score report from the GRE/GMAT/LSAT/MAT. The test score will be evaluated in conjunction with GPA and other factors to determine whether or not the applicant is ready for graduate study.
  6. Official transcripts from all previously attended institutions.
  7. Complete Resume.

Minimum Admission Requirements

Applicants should meet the following criteria:

  1. Have been awarded a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited university or college;
  2. Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher;
  3. Complete the GRE/GMAT/LSAT/MAT (Graduate level entrance/placement exam).
  4. International applicants from non-English-speaking countries must demonstrate competency in the English language. A minimum score of (550: Paper based test, 213: Computer based test, or 79: Internet based test) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) taken within past two years satisfies this requirement.

After all of the above are received, the materials will be reviewed by the MPA Admissions Committee. Applicants meeting the minimum requirements may be interviewed by the Program Director. The Admissions Committee views each application in its entirety to ensure all applicants receive an appropriate opportunity for consideration.

All admitted graduate students are expected to have read the APA STYLE GUIDE (available in book stores and online) prior to their first day of class.

National Standards and Academic Endeavor

The MPA program is a member of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). The program will seek accreditation by NASPAA (a multi-year endeavor) beginning fall 2012. Additionally, in spring 2012, students organized a chapter of Phi Alpha Alpha, the national honor society for MPA students. All MPA students who maintain a 3.5 GPA are eligible to join.