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MPA Program Facts

Mission

The Master of Public Administration program prepares students for careers in public service and nonprofit organizations by providing outstanding academic and practical instruction in public administration. Preparing a corps of technically proficient, ethical and service-oriented public administrators will improve the quality of life and governance for all the region’s citizens and this is our primary mission.

History

Since 1973, Georgia Southern University’s MPA program has been a leader in the advancement of public and nonprofit management education.  Today, the MPA program is recognized as one of the top graduate programs at Georgia Southern, boasting a dedicated core faculty and an alumni base of more than 700 strong.

Read more about our program history

In 2011, the MPA Program gained membership in the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council (NACC), which is comprised of academic programs and institutions committed to furthering research and education in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector.  The MPA program is also accredited by the NASPAA Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation and listed on the Annual Roster of Accredited Programs in conformity with NASPAA Standards.

On July 1, 2012, in recognition of the MPA program’€s continued development, the program was made part of the newly established Institute for Public and Nonprofit Studies (IPNS). In 2018, the IPNS became the Department of Public and Nonprofit Studies.  Today, the department serves as the focal point for scholarship, teaching, and professional service in the field of Public Administration, Public Policy, and Nonprofit Management at Georgia Southern.  It is one of six academic departments in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.

Centered around two innovate tracks (Hybrid and Executive), the MPA program’s curriculum is structured to meet the needs of both pre-service students and in-career practitioners. Launched in Fall 2021, the Hybrid Track blends online and in-person instruction on the Statesboro Campus. In Spring 2023, the MPA program will welcome the first cohort of students to the fully online MPA Executive Track.

Also, in Spring 2023, the graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management, Leadership, and Innovation (CNMLI) will be launched. The CNMLI is open to current Georgia Southern graduate students (any major) as well as welcomes applicants from outside the university.

As of Fall 2021, undergraduate students majoring in Recreation Management or Human Development and Family Science-Family Services may apply to the Accelerated Bachelors to Masters (ABM) program. The ABM program provides students with the opportunity to apply up to 12-credit hours of MPA coursework towards both their undergraduate and graduate (MPA) degree requirements.

The department also offers three undergraduate minors (Public Administration, Public Policy, and Nonprofit Management).  The department’s undergraduate courses are taught fully-online and are open to all students seeking training in public and nonprofit management.  Students in the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) program may also pursue program concentrations in these areas.

Program Length

The MPA program is offered in two tracks – Hybrid and Executive.

The Hybrid Track requires a total of 39 credit hours where, in addition to core management courses, students pursue an area of concentration in public or nonprofit management. The Hybrid Track blends online and in-person instruction. This means that 50% of a course is online and 50% taught in-person on the Statesboro Campus. Moreover, the curriculum is designed for full-time (9-credit hours) or part-time (3- or 6-credit hours) study.

The Executive Track requires a total of 39 credit hours. The Executive Track is designed for individuals with a minimum of three years of relevant work experience in the public (civil or military) sector, nonprofit organization, or closely related position. This cohort-based lock-step track is offered fully online with courses delivered in an abbreviated format. The Executive Track admits cohorts annually each spring, with the entire program taking 18-months to complete. In the Executive Track, concentration courses have been carefully selected to expose students to a range of cutting-edge skills and ideas spanning public and nonprofit management.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Using the major theories underlying the field of public administration students can synthesize relevant information to address public problems.
  • Students can articulate and apply a public service perspective in their demonstrated knowledge of the structure, components, goals and objectives of the public and nonprofit sectors.
  • Students are able to participate in the public policy process through analysis and application of quantitative and qualitative empirical evidence to determine the effectiveness of a public policy or program.
  • Students are able to describe the public policy process and the administrator’s role in that process.
  • Students are able to identify ethical problems in public administration, assess the nuances and ambiguities of those ethical problems, and create appropriate solutions using moral reasoning skills.
  • Students will participate in and contribute to the policy process through preparation and analysis of a public budget in order to lead and manage in public governance.
  • Students can manage the major components of a personnel system within an organizational setting, understand the nuances of effectively motivating and managing personnel, and communicate and interact productively and in culturally responsive ways with a diverse and changing workforce and society at large.

The MPA program’s learning outcomes align with the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) universal required competencies.  The required competencies include five domains:

  • to lead and manage in the public interest;
  • to participate in, and contribute to, the policy process;
  • to analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems and make evidence-informed decisions in a complex and dynamic environment;
  • to articulate, apply, and advance a public service perspective;
  • to communicate and interact productively and in culturally responsive ways with a diverse and changing workforce and society at large.

Program Size, Demographics, and Graduation Rates

The MPA program has historically averaged between 40-50 students enrolled in a given academic semester.  There are currently six full-time core nucleus faculty members, as well as a select few practitioners that teach courses in the program.

More information related to the demographic make-up of the MPA student body can be found in the Georgia Southern University Fact Book.

Most full-time students graduate from the MPA program in two academic years, whereas part-time students graduate in three to four years on average.

The table below displays the graduation rates for the cohort entering Fall 2016 (ARY-5, as required by NASPAA). Of the 17 students who enrolled in Fall 2016, 12 (71%) graduated within two years and an additional three students graduated within four years. The overall four-year graduation rate, including full-time and part-time students, was 88% or 15 out of 17 students in this cohort. Please note that this data is for the MPA Hybrid Track. Retention, Progression, and Graduation data for the MPA Executive Track (beginning Spring 2023) will be shared here once available.

Fall 2016 Cohort Initially Enrolled Graduated within 100% Program Length (2 yrs.) Graduated within 150% of Program Length (3 yrs.) Graduated within 200% of Program Length (4 yrs.)
All New Students 17 12 14 15
Percentage Graduated 71% 82% 88%

Recent Internships and Job Placements

Internships

The completion of an internship (300 hours minimum) that is relevant to a student’s area of concentration is required of all pre-service students.  In consultation with the program director, in-service students may 1) use their current position for the internship or 2) complete an additional seminar course.  Most full-time students complete the internship requirement during the summer between their first and second years in the MPA Program.  Regardless, a student must have at least 15-credit hours completed in the MPA Program prior to being eligible for an internship.

Students intern, as well as receive professional positions in a variety of governmental and nonprofit organizations.

Recent Examples

  • City of Statesboro, Georgia
  • City of Savannah, Georgia
  • City of Sylvania, Georgia
  • City of Atlanta, Georgia
  • Georgia Southern University (Provost’s Office, Office of Career Services, Multicultural Student Center)
  • Bulloch County, Georgia (Human Resources, County Manager’s Office, DUI Court, Sheriff’s Office)
  • Chatham County, Georgia (Crime Analyst, District Attorney’s Office, Metropolitan Planning Commission)
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of America (Statesboro, Georgia)
  • Boy Scouts of America (Statesboro, Georgia)
  • Girl Scouts of America (Statesboro, Georgia)
  • Averitt Center for the Arts
  • Statesboro Regional Sexual Assault Center
  • Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Blakely-Early County Chamber of Commerce
  • Red Cross (Volunteer Coordinator, Syracuse, New York)
  • The Development and Education Programme for Daughters and Communities Centre in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region, Mae Sai, Chiang Rai, Thailand
  • Choices of the Heart
  • Federal Law Enforcement Training Center
  • Georgia Victory
  • The United Nations, Division of Economic and Social Affairs
  • American Red Cross of Southeast Georgia
  • Azalea Health and Rehabilitation
  • Habitat for Humanity Effingham County
  • City of Pembroke, Georgia
  • Office of Congressman E. L. “Buddy” Carter
  • Department of Health and Human Services – Food & Drug Administration – Office of Regulatory Affairs
  • City of Macon Planning and Zoning Commission, Georgia
  • Athens Regional Medical Center

Job Placements

Historically, MPA graduates enjoy high rates of employment following graduation. In AY2020-21, 10 students graduated from the MPA program and accepted or continued positions in state or local government, the nonprofit arena, military, or in the private sector.

Employment, by sector, for this cohort:

  • National or central government in the same country as the program – 1 student
  • State, provincial or regional government in the same country as the program – 1 student
  • Government not in the same country as the program (all levels) or international quasi-governmental – 1 student
  • Nonprofit domestic-oriented – 3 students
  • Private sector (research/consulting) – 1 student
  • Private sector (but not research/consulting) – 2 students
  • Obtaining further education – 1 student
  • Total number of graduates during this period – 10 students

Other recent employment examples include:

Local Government:
  • City Planner, City of Grovetown, Georgia
  • City Management Fellow, City of Columbia, Missouri
  • Planning and Zoning Coordinator, City of Pembroke, Georgia
  • Assistant City Engineer, City of Statesboro, Georgia
  • Special Projects Coordinator, City of Savannah, Georgia
  • Building Inspector, Troup County, Georgia
  • Tourism Coordinator, City of Covington, Georgia
State Government:
  • Fiscal Policy Analyst, Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget (Georgia)
  • Development Officer, University of Georgia
  • Senior Staff Attorney, Ogeechee Judicial Circuit
  • Clerk of Superior, State, and Juvenile Courts, Bulloch County, Georgia
  • Coordinator of International Student Services, Georgia Southern University
  • Office Manager, Business Innovation Group, Georgia Southern University
  • Budget Analyst II, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Senior Records Administrator, Fulton County Government
  • Executive Assistant, College of Health and Human Sciences, Georgia Southern University
  • Academic Advisor, Georgia Southern University
  • Public Safety Officer, Georgia Southern University
  • Associate Director of Alumni Relations, Georgia Southern University
  • Assistant Director of Development, Western Carolina University
  • Assistant Volleyball Coach, University of Buffalo
  • Director, Performing Arts Center, Georgia Southern University
  • Enrollment Director, Georgia Southern University
  • Affirmative Action/EEO Specialist, Georgia Southern University
  • Outdoor Pursuits Coordinator, University of North Georgia
Federal Government:
  • Portfolio Manager, U.S. Department of Treasury
  • 2nd Lieutenant (x 3 times), U.S. Army
  • Air Traffic Controller Specialist Trainee, Federal Aviation Administration
Nonprofit Organization:
  • Development Associate, Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine
  • International Affairs Specialist, New York, NY
  • Regional Coordinator, Georgia Youth Science & Technology Center, Bainbridge, Georgia
  • Education Specialist, Boys and Girls Club of America, Statesboro, Georgia
  • Regional Member Experience Director, YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia
Private Organization:
  • Marketing Coordinator, Caldwell Shooting Supplies
  • Insurance Agent, State Farm Insurance
  • Director of Recruiting, One Life America
  • Immigration Consultant, Convergys
  • Compliance Specialist, Insight Global
  • Communications Coordinator, Moreland Associates
  • Associate, HORNE LLP
  • Director of Corporate Accounting, Avatar Hotel Group
Continued with further graduate study:
  • University of North Texas
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Elon University School of Law
  • Arizona Summit Law School
  • University of Nebraska-Omaha

Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid

Tuition and Fees charged by Georgia Southern University are approved by the University System of Georgia annually.  Changes in tuition and fee rates are typically effective fall semester each year.  The tuition and fees listed on the links below provide an estimate of tuition, fees, housing, meals, books and supplies.  Actual costs are determined when a student registers for classes each semester and are based on student level, residency, credit hours, miscellaneous course fees, housing and meals.  Please contact the Office of Financial Aid with specific questions about tuition and fees.

Related Tuition and Fees Information:

Graduate Assistantships

A number of MPA students are awarded graduate or research assistantships each academic year.  While some assistants work for academic departments supporting faculty in a variety of teaching and research roles, others work as graduate assistants in the University’s numerous administrative departments.  Graduate and research assistants receive a waiver of the standard in-state and out-of-state tuition, along with a monthly stipend during the academic year.

Graduate and research assistantships are awarded each year by academic units and non-academic units on a competitive basis using predetermined criteria, including but not limited to the applicant’s academic record, test scores, recommendations, and other pertinent information.

All graduate assistantship (GA) positions in the Department of Public and Nonprofit Studies have been awarded for the Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 semesters. Additional GA opportunities can be found on the College of Graduate Studies website. Students should reach out to the listed contact(s) for more information about a listed position. Students should also complete the GA application.

Last updated: 11/4/2022