Program Overview

MPA Program Formats

The MPA Program has three modes (or modalities) of instruction. There is an on campus face to face part time evening and weekend schedule. We also have asynchronous online programs. To distinguish these three modes, the campus schedule is considered face to face (or 16 week) and two online schedules – one for public management (12 week) or specialized cohorted concentrations (8 week).

Online Program

Though the curriculum is similar, Online courses are fundamentally different than Campus courses. It is not simply that classes don't meet on Campus, instruction techniques must vary to facilitate learning without face-to-face interaction. You'll still have traditional activities, like reading assignments, papers, and projects, but in place of in-class meetings, we hold online discussions, exercises, or other assignments. Instead of meeting three hours on one evening (per course) each week, you are expected to engage online in Blackboard several times per week; interacting with classmates in online discussions or carrying out other online activities. These assignments and discussions are designed to facilitate learning and understanding.

There are two online MPA schedules to meet student needs

The online formats for the MPA program are scheduled with two different academic calendars. Students interested in specific concentrations will determine the online course schedule. Both online formats are scheduled as a two year program.

The Public Management concentration is offered in four sessions. Each session (similar to semesters) is scheduled in 12 week intervals. The typical course load is two courses per session. The academic calendar is as follows:

  • Session 1 (Spring) - beginning of January to end of March
  • Session 2 (Summer) - beginning of April to end of June
  • Session 3 (Fall 1) - end of June to end of September
  • Session 4 (Fall 2) - end of September to middle of December

The specialized concentrations (Criminal Justice Policy and Administration, Health Care Policy and Administration, and Nonprofit Management) are offered in three sessions. Each session is divided into two terms and scheduled at 8 week intervals. The typical course load is one course each term. The academic calendar is as follows:

  • Spring Term 1 - beginning of January to beginning of March
  • Spring Term 2 - beginning of March to beginning of May
  • Summer Term 1 - beginning of May to end of June
  • Summer Term 2 - beginning of July to end of August
  • Fall Term 1 - beginning of September to end of October
  • Fall Term 2 - end of October to middle of December


On-Campus Program

The MPA on-campus program is a three year program. The Program is scheduled with the University academic calendar and students take two courses every semester including Summer semester. Students are required to take courses in the summer semester. The current academic calendar can be found here.

Courses are scheduled in the evenings or on Saturday mornings. Evening classes are between the hours of 7 pm and 9:45 pm. Saturday classes are typically 9 am to 11:45 am. The typical course load is two courses per semester. Each course is scheduled weekly and students typically take their courses on Tuesdays and Saturdays OR Thursdays and Saturdays.

*After admission to the MPA program, any change in modality requires the approval of the Assistant Dean of Graduate and Professional Programs. Students are not able to take courses from other modalities.

**The MPA program may enforce limits on the number of units for which a student can register during each registration period. Graduate students are not to exceed 9 units of study in any given session.

 *The MPA program may enforce limits on the number of units for which a student can register during each registration period. Effective Fall 2019, graduate students are not to exceed 9 units of study in any given session