Public Administration (Public Finance), MPA

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The MPA is a transdisciplinary, professional degree program designed to prepare students for public service, public management and policy analysis at the local, state and national levels of government. The Master of Public Administration degree program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration and is ranked high nationally by U.S. News & World Report.

The concentration in public finance provides knowledge and skills for students seeking or advancing careers in areas in which financial management plays an integral role in governance. This concentration emphasizes theories and research concerning urban economics and public finance, managing money in the public sector, public budgeting, and finance and capital budgeting and financing.

We're #14 in the country!  Ahead of Columbia, Duke, UCLA, and Georgetown, among others. Check out our video.

In addition, the school offers concurrent Master's degree programs in planning, sustainability, criminology and criminal justice, social work, and others. See https://spa.asu.edu/content/concurrent-degrees.

Be sure to read our Admissions page thoroughly to get all your questions answered! 

Plan of study, core courses, electives, course loads, and suggested course sequences 

National rankings, cost, modes of instruction, internships

Visit the campus and attend an "MPA/MPP Preview" Information Session

Online:  We are not an ASU Online program, but all the MPA core courses are offered in iCourse (online) format every semester, and there are plenty of online electives to choose from every semester. Some concentrations may not be available due to in-person class scheduling, but yes, you can definitely get an MPA by taking all your classes online. 

This program, ranked No. 14 by U.S. News & World Report, is designed to work with your schedule through evening, online or traditional course offerings. Enhance your resume while preparing to lead through the lens of financial management.

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The MPA is a transdisciplinary, professional degree program designed to prepare students for public service, public management and policy analysis at the local, state and national levels of government.

The concentration in public finance provides knowledge and skills for students seeking careers or career advancement in areas in which financial management plays an integral role in governance. This concentration emphasizes theories and research concerning urban economics and public finance, managing money in the public sector, public budgeting, and finance and capital budgeting and financing.

At A Glance

Public Administration (Public Finance), MPA

Plan of study

The Plan of study is the required curriculum to complete the program.

View Plan of Study

Application deadlines

Applicants to the MPA and MPP programs are accepted year-round. Students may be granted admission for Fall, Spring and Summer semesters.

Priority application deadlines:

July 1 for Fall semester
Nov 1 for Spring semester
April 1 for Summer semester

Admission requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree from a regionally accredited institution in a related field. Related fields include social science degrees, although the department may accept applicants with degrees from all educational backgrounds provided the minimum requirements for the degree program are met.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00(scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. three letters of recommendation
  4. GRE scores
  5. written statement
  6. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency.

At least two of the three letters of recommendation should be from faculty or other academic staff who can evaluate the applicant's academic performance.

The written statement should be one to two pages in length and describe the applicant's educational and career goals. This statement is also used as a sample of the applicant's writing abilities.

Students enrolling in Master of Public Administration core courses must demonstrate minimum competency in statistics and American government. Courses taken to fulfill the competency do not count toward the total credit hours required for the degree program. Completion of prerequisite courses is not a requirement for admission but must be completed within one semester after starting the program.

Competency in statistics is met with a grade of "B" (scale is 4.00 = "A") or higher in one of the approved courses (PAF 301 or PAF 401, POS 401, PSY 230, ECN 221, QBA 221, SWU 321, STP 226 or SOC 390) within the past two years or passing a diagnostic test approved by the MPA committee. Other courses taken within the last two years may be substituted upon approval of the Master of Public Administration director.

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 300, PAF 340, POS 110 or POS 310) with a grade of "B" or higher. The College-Level Examination Program can also be used to demonstrate competency in American government.

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