Graduate Program

Master of Public Administration

UTSA’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) program prepares students for public service careers and leadership roles in government, public and nonprofit realms. The MPA Faculty works to nurture a student’s commitment to ethical public service in their respective communities. All classes are offered through in-class instruction and held in the city's political, economic and cultural center, on the conveniently-located UTSA Downtown Campus. The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).

Our Mission: The MPA program at The University of Texas at San Antonio educates responsible leaders and ethical public servants through a curriculum incorporating original research and practice. The program’s diverse graduates, representing a wide range of professional and community backgrounds, serve the public locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. Bridging research and practice, MPA graduates demonstrate the decision making, management, communication and analytical skills necessary to sustain a responsive and effective public sector.

Program Admission Requirements: Applicants must satisfy University-wide graduate admission requirements, submit a letter of intent, and complete (or have completed) an undergraduate course in U.S. government or politics (3 hours). The 500 word letter of intent should state the applicant’s reasons for pursuing the M.P.A., how their educational and/or career experience has prepared them for the M.P.A. program, and how the degree will help the applicant achieve her or his goals. Two letters of recommendation are required from persons familiar with the applicants academic and/or work abilities (normally, professors and/or work supervisors). Applicants may be admitted as unconditional, conditional, or special graduate students. Admission as a special graduate student does not guarantee subsequent admission as a degree-seeking student; such students must reapply for degree-seeking status.

Degree Requirements: The minimum number of semester credit hours required for the degree, exclusive of coursework or other study required to remove deficiencies, is 40. In addition to these basic degree requirements, students without previous public service employment must complete an additional 6 semester credit hours of PAD 6963,6 Internship. For a complete listing of courses that satisfy degree requirements see the graduate catalog.

Degree candidates must complete the following requirements:

A. 25 semester credit hours of core courses:

PAD 5003  Introduction to Public Service Leadership and Management

PAD 5023 Research Design and Methods

PAD 5033  Theories of Public Organizations

PAD 5233  Applied Research I

PAD 5323  Public Policy Process

PAD 5363  Public Budgeting and Finance

PAD 5393  Economics for Public Affairs

PAD 6001 Leadership and Communication Skills Development Seminar

PAD 6923 Applied Research II

Normally, students enroll in PAD 5003 during their initial semester.

B. 9 semester credit hours of prescribed electives, choose three (3) courses from the following list:

PAD 5243  Management Information Systems

PAD 5303  Ethics in Government Administration

PAD 5313  Public Policy Analysis

PAD 5333  Program Evaluation

PAD 5343  Human Resource Management in the Public Sector

PAD 5443  Diversity Policies and Management

PAD 5913  Nonprofit Organizations

PAD 5923  Nonprofit Leadership and Management

PAD 5943  Strategic Planning & Management for Public and Nonprofit Organizations

PAD 6243  Administrative Law

C. 6 semester credit hours of Public Administration electives, chosen in consultation with the student's advisor.

D. Comprehensive examination. Degree candidates are required to pass an oral comprehensive examination. The examination is administered in the form of a presentation to a faculty committee of the exit paper written by the student in the required PAD 6923 Applied Research course.