Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Mission of the MPA Program

The MPA Program's mission is to develop in students:

  1. an understanding of the governmental, social, and economic environment of public service at the national, state and local levels
  2. the skills and values to enable them to manage and lead in areas of policy and governance
  3. an understanding of democracy and ethics which will allow them to better serve the public good. 

The program provides students with an awareness of administrative principles, concepts, and issues. The faculty, through their teaching, research, and service, contribute to the development of professional knowledge and are responsive to community needs. SPPL’s MPA Program serves governmental entities, nonprofit agencies, and the citizens of Southern Nevada.

The Master of Public Administration degree is a 2.5-year program of study that is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs & Administration (NASPAA).

As a student in our master's program, you will gain:

  • An understanding of the governmental and nonprofit economic environment in which administrators work.
  • An awareness of administrative principles and the knowledge and skills needed to address current issues facing public and nonprofit administrators.
  • An understanding of the federal, state, local government and nonprofit environments.

Important topics covered in our program include:

  • Governmental structure and organization
  • Essential principles of public management
  • Development of public policy
  • Regulatory processes of government
  • Theories and methods of administrative research

Career military personnel, nonprofit organization administrators, those in the private sector whose responsibilities involve extensive contact with governmental agencies, and public-sector workers will also find the M.P.A. curriculum relevant.

Program Requirements

To earn a master's degree in public administration, the following requirements apply:

  • The MPA program requires students to complete 36 credit hours. 
  • The program is designed to be completed in 7 semesters (approximately 2 ½ years) for students taking at least 6 credits hours during the Spring and Fall and 3 credit hours in the Summer.
  • Non-degree-seeking students may take up to six credit hours. To continue, students must be admitted to the program.

Course Curriculum

Find out what courses are required to earn a master's degree in public administration.

Graduation Rates

The vast majority of our students successfully complete the MPA Program in two years. Historically, 90% to 100% of all full-time students (those taking 9 credit hours per semester) complete the program in two years, while the small percentage of remaining full-time students definitely finish within five years. For part-time students (6 or fewer credit hours per semester), our historic graduation data shows that 55% of students earn their MPA degrees within two years, while a full three out of every four (73%) graduate within five years.

Apply for Financial Aid and Graduate Assistantships

Students are encouraged to apply through the Grad Rebel Gateway for available financial aid and assistantship opportunities with the department and for other units on campus. The department typically supports 3-4 MPA students a year as graduate assistants. Other scholarships to support graduate student travel to conferences are available through the Graduate College or the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA).


Dr. Jayce Farmer