public administration, MPA

why an MPA from ASU?

A Master of Public Administration from the ASU School of Public Affairs offers:

  • a nationally-ranked, high-quality professional degree program for those aspiring to leadership and management positions in the public sector
  • internationally renowned faculty whose research is on the cutting edge of public management innovation and urban governance
  • expert faculty practitioners who hold top-level executive positions across the Phoenix metropolitan region
  • course work that is paced to fit your schedule and designed to provide real-world skills necessary to advance your career
  • a community of fellow students from diverse educational and professional backgrounds from around the globe
  • a network of proud alumni throughout the US and the world

Listed as one of the best MPA programs by US News & World Reportthe School of Public Affairs at ASU is ranked 13th overall in the country. The school is also ranked:

  • 4th City Management & Urban Policy
  • 5th Information Technology
  • 7th Environmental Policy 
  • 9th Nonprofit Management
  • 11th Public Finance 
  • 11th Public Management 

Rankings of master’s programs are based on a survey of 272 programs nationwide.

Learn more about the Marvin Andrews Fellowship in Urban Management, the nation's premier program in urban management leadership.


The mission of the ASU MPA program is to prepare a new generation of public service professionals that can successfully address problems of democratic governance in public administration at the local, state and national levels. We expect our graduates to serve the public through their work in neighborhoods and communities, in urban regions, nationally and globally. We expect them to be capable of rigorous problem analysis, successful collaboration leading to comprehensive solutions, clear communication of those solutions, and the ethical and effective management of public institutions.


NASPAAThe MPA program at Arizona State University has successfully met the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) Standards for Professional Master’s Degree Programs in Public Affairs, Policy and Administration.

The NASPAA Standards are the quality benchmark used by graduate public service programs around the world. NASPAA’s accreditation process is mission-based and driven by public service values. Accredited programs must contribute to the knowledge, research, and practice of public service, establish observable goals and outcomes, and use information about their performance to guide program improvement. They must practice truth in advertising and ensure their students achieve learning objectives in five domains essential to public service.

program details

The Program of Study is the set of classes that is recognized by ASU, the Graduate College and the School of Public Affairs as sufficient to grant a degree. Programs of Study for the MPA total 42 hours of graduate credit and include core courses, concentration courses (if applicable) and approved electives. In order to graduate, each student must submit an Interactive Program of Study (or iPOS) using an online form once 18 credit hours have been scheduled. The Graduate Advisor will assist students in planning and completing the iPOS.

No more than nine credit hours of graduate courses taken before admission to the School and approved by a student’s supervisory committee can be included in the Program of Study. Students from institutions other than ASU may transfer a maximum of 9 credit hours to their SPA program. Any transfer credit must be approved by the MPA/MPP Director. Students have 6 years from the term of their first MPA class to complete the degree.

More information is available in the Graduate Student Guide.


Students enrolling in core MPA/MPP courses must demonstrate minimum competency in statistics and American Government. Prerequisites do not count toward the 42 hour degree programs. Students may be admitted prior to completion of the minimum competencies. Students admitted to the MPA or MPP program who have not satisfied one or both prerequisites will simply be required to do so by the end of their first semester of study.

Statistics – Competency in statistics is met with a grade of B or higher in one of the approved courses (PAF 301, POS 401, PSY 230, QBA 221, SWU 321, ECN 221, STP 226 or SOC 390) within the past two years or by passing a diagnostic test approved by the MPA/P Committee. Other courses taken within the last two years may be substituted upon approval of the MPA/P Director.

American Government – Competency in American government is a demonstrated understanding of American government institutions and processes. Students may be required to take an undergraduate class in American government (PAF 200, PAF 300, PAF 340, POS 110 or POS 310).

The CLEP Exam can be used to demonstrate competency in American government. Find out more about the CLEP or about taking the test at ASU.


The MPA and MPP degrees require students to demonstrate competency for public service or public policy by synthesizing and applying core knowledge, skills and abilities to public problems. Students demonstrate competency by earning an A or a B in the program capstone course. The capstone is an integrative clientbased applied project course, and is to be taken after completion of all core courses.


A public service internship is recommended for students without previous administrative experience in government. The internship is not a required component for any graduate program within the School of Public Affairs. However, students completing a concurrent degree should review all program requirements for all degrees sought. The purpose of the internship is to provide students with practical and professional experience in a specific career area. Students work in and for public organizations applying the skillset acquired in their program of study. During the internship experience, students can develop a professional network that will aid them in their pursuit of a career in government or nonprofit organizations. Students can apply three hours of internship credit to the degree program.