Public Administration, MPA

Public Administration graduate students at the 2016 graduation

The M.P.A. curriculum is built around a solid core of skills and knowledge for all public service or non-profit professionals. A range of electives and specializations are offered to enhance your capacity to achieve your full potential in your current position and to prepare you for the next step in your professional career.

With courses offered at our two campuses in Durham and Manchester, the M.P.A. curriculum gives you the flexibility of going to school full-time or fitting classes into your work schedule. Classes are offered in the early evenings, one evening per week, for 8-week or 16-week sessions.

Relying on a diverse faculty of full-time professors and seasoned adjunct practitioners, the M.P.A. program offers the right mix of academic insight and solid real world experience to meet your professional and personal needs. With its emphasis on professionalism, the UNH M.P.A. program provides a classroom setting where committed students from a range of fields can share their valuable experience with others. In recent years, M.P.A. students have included:

  • Police chief from a major seacoast city
  • Head of major state public safety agency
  • Several New Hampshire town managers
  • Health care workers and hospital administrators
  • School administrators
  • Managers in state government agencies
  • Non-profit and non-governmental organization managers

View the UNH Graduate School program page

Program Contact

Daniel Bromberg

Director of the M.P.A. Program
Assistant Professor of Political Science
Email |  603.862.0798

Program News

  • Rethinking Political Science: Introducing Public Service and Nonprofit Leadership

    Full Story
  • Alexandra Kirade is pursuing a Master of Public Administration and a Master in Community Development Policy and Practice at UNH

    Nonprofit Passion Leads to Dual Master’s Degrees

    Full Story
  • MPA Student David Muse Learns to Lead and to Follow

    Full Story

  • Fall Admission: February 15 (to be considered for financial aid); April 1 otherwise
  • Spring Admission: November 1
  • Summer Admission: April 1

Applying to graduate school has never been easier! To complete your application, you will need:

More Information

Master of Public Administration students must complete a minimum of 36 or 39 credits for the degree. Required courses include:

  • Four basic core curriculum courses in foundations and theory, organization and management, statistical analysis, and the capstone internship or project (POLT 905, 906, 909, and the 908, Capstone). 12-15 credits. Students are expected to take POLT 906 Foundations and Theory in either their first fall semester.
  • Three advanced core curriculum courses in finance and budgeting, human resources, labor relations, public or nonprofit management, administrative law, policy and program evaluation, leadership, performance management, or legal and policy-making environments (POLT 804, 808, 812, 898, 907, 911, 912, 914, 918). 9 credits
  • Five electives in public administration, political science, or related discipline with adviser’s approval. 15 credits
  • Two of the five required electives will be waived for students who have successfully completed Level II of the New Hampshire Certified Public Manager Program.

The capstone internship or project is the culmination of the student’s graduate work, applying academic knowledge with practical experience. Students without prior public or nonprofit sector professional experience are required to complete the 6-credit internship component of the capstone.

Core Courses (12 or 15 credits)

Abbreviation Course Number Title Credits
PA 905 Introduction to Statistical Analysis 3
PA 906 Foundations & Theories of Public Administration 3
PA 909 Organization & Management in Public and Non-Profit Sectors 3
PA 908A OR
Capstone: In-Service  OR
Capstone: Pre-Service
3  OR

Advanced Core Courses (9 credits)

Choose three from the following courses.

Abbreviation Course Number Title Credits
PA 804 Policy & Program Evaluation 3
PA 808 Administrative Law 3
PA 907 Legal & Policy-making Environment in Public & Non-Profit Sectors 3
PA 911 OR
Public Management Techniques OR
Leadership Theory & Practice
PA 912 OR
Human Resource Management in Public & Non-Profit Sectors OR
PA 914 Financial Management & Budgeting in Public & Non-Profit Sectors 3
 PA 918 Non-Profit Management 3

Electives Courses (15 credits)

Abbreviation Description Credits
PA Five (5) courses. Combination of 800/900 level Public Administration or related discipline curriculum (approval of MPA advisor required for coursework outside of Political Science Department) 15

Master of public administration students must complete a minimum of 36 - 39 credits for the degree. The capstone internship or project is the culmination of the student’s graduate work, applying academic knowledge with practical experience. Students without prior public or nonprofit sector professional experience are required to complete the 6-credit internship component of the capstone.

The Capstone internship or project is the culmination of the student’s graduate work, applying academic knowledge to practical experience. All students matriculated in the UNH M.P.A. Program are required to complete a “Capstone” experience during the final semesters in the program. The Capstone experience is designed to provide students with an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills developed in the program to real world situations.

The Capstone experience can take four forms depending on the (1) student’s background [pre-service, in-service] and (2) his or her projected career path [transitional, non-transitional]. Determination of each student’s Capstone requirements will be based on the following guidelines.

In-Service (3 credits)

In-service students are those who have served in a managerial capacity for a minimum of 2 years or in a supervisory capacity for a minimum of 4 years in a public organization or a private organization with substantial government or non profit interaction. Students seeking In-service designation must demonstrate that they have been responsible for a staff in their managerial/supervisory capacity and all of the functions this requires; or that the level of their work involved a degree of substantial responsibility for the functions of their agency.

There will be two designations for this category.

A. In-service – non transitional - These students meet the requirements detailed above and intend to remain in the same field upon completion of the M.P.A. program. These students are exempt from the internship requirement and can complete a practicum as a 3 credit POLT 908A.

B. In-service – transitional – These students meet the requirements outlined above but are intending to make a transition to another field. These students can opt to take a 3 credit, 300 hour internship in the transitioning field in lieu of the 3 credit practicum and will sign up for POLT 908A.

Pre-Service (6 credits)

The Pre-service designation is for any student who does not meet the In-service standards detailed above. There will be two designations in this area.

A. Pre-service – limited or no experience – These students have limited to no experience in the public sector and will be required to take the 600 hour, 6 credit internship, POLT 908B.

B. Pre-service – experience – These students have worked for a minimum of three years in a full time role in the public sector or a private organization with substantial government or non profit interaction, but have limited experience serving in managerial or supervisory capacities These students will be required to complete a 300-hour internship as well as a modified practicum project designed to complement their internship assignment. This will be taken for 6 credit hours as POLT 908B.

Upon matriculation into the UNH M.P.A. program, students are required to complete a Determination of Capstone Status advising form (DCS) with their program advisor. This form will determine the level of public service each student has completed and ensure their proper designation as pre/in-service as well as the relevant form of Capstone experience. This form allows the student to clearly outline their professional experience as well as their specific managerial experience. It should be completed and reviewed in consultation with the student’s advisor or the M.P.A. Capstone Coordinator and placed in their student file.

Students are normally expected to have completed 24 credit hours toward their degree before enrolling in POLT 908A/B, and ideally they should have completed all other core course requirements. In the semester prior to enrollment in 908, eligible students are required to contact the M.P.A. Capstone Coordinator who will review the DCS and develop a plan for the internship/practicum experience. Any change in the designation determined on the form is subject to review by the MPA Program Director and the M.P.A. Committee.

Each internship and/practicum requires the active endorsement and participation of a “host” agency or organization. The student and host organization will complete an “Internship/Practicum Agreement” setting forth the requirements for the student internship/practicum assignment and addressing all of the expectations of the student, the host organization, and the Capstone Coordinator. This form is designed to ensure that the expectations for the internship/practicum are clear to all involved in order to assure a positive experience for all concerned.

The M.P.A. program is working to develop a pool of organizations that may offer potential internship opportunities. This will provide students a starting point or initial contact when seeking out their internship opportunity. These opportunities will be posted online as they become available. Students are also encouraged to seek out additional internship opportunities. Students are responsible for identifying and proposing their own internships, but the determination of what is an acceptable internship assignment resides with the M.P.A. Capstone Coordinator.

What is the Master of Public Administration degree and how does it differ from a M.B.A. or other professional degree program?

The Master of Public Administration degree is the preferred graduate degree for those interested in a career in the public and non-profit sectors. The M.P.A. degree provides training in all aspects of government-related management including budgets, planning, personnel, collective bargaining, policy analysis, etc.

For what kinds of professional positions are M.P.A. graduates prepared?

Managerial positions in all areas of government (federal, state and local); non-profit and non-governmental organizations; research institutes; foundations; professional and trade associations; etc.

Will I be able to attend part-time or full-time?

Our M.P.A. Program is designed for full and part-time students. Classes are held in the early evenings, meet one evening per week, and are offered at the Durham and Manchester campuses.

Can I take a “test drive” before applying?

Yes. At both campuses, students can take a course prior to matriculating into the program to see if the program fits their individual needs.

Are there employment or course prerequisites for admission to the M.P.A. Program?

Applicants with professional or academic experience in government, political science, or public administration are encouraged to apply. Applicants without such background are also welcome to apply, but will be required to demonstrate ability to succeed in M.P.A. graduate studies.

The Master of Public Administration requires the completion of 36 credit hours.

2018/2019 Tuition*
  Per Credit 3 Credit Course Per Semester Per Year
NH Resident $650 $1,950 $5,850 $11,700
Non-Resident $715 $2,370 $6,435 $12,870

Health insurance is required as a condition of enrollment for all full-time students (9 credits or more). Please see Health Insurance for further information.

*The tuition & fee chart is subject to change. UNH's official tuition schedule: UNH Business Services.