Public Administration (Emergency Management), MPA

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The MPA program with a concentration in emergency management provides students with the skills and knowledge to manage and assume positions of leadership within the field of emergency management. An all-hazards and all-threats orientation provides the student with a generalist perspective which is critically important for the disaster managers of today and tomorrow. In addition, this program examines community resilience from a systems perspective, embracing government, private, nonprofit and civic roles. The program also provides an understanding of how community members respond to the need to prepare for, endure and recover from disasters and provides the ability to utilize multiple communication methods to help community members before, during and after these emergencies.

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In addition, the school offers concurrent Master's degree programs in planning, sustainability, criminology and criminal justice, social work, and others. See

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 

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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 top-ranked concentration within our MPA program (#3 in Homeland Security and Emergency Management, U.S. News & World Report) prepares you to be a results-driven leader within the field of emergency management. The program can be completed full-time, part-time, or entirely online.


The MPA is a professional degree program designed to prepare students for public service at all levels of government as well as the nonprofit and private sectors.

The program consists of a core curriculum emphasizing managerial and analytic skills needed in a large range of careers that serve the public good. Through a focused set of electives, the concentration in emergency management provides students with the skills and knowledge to manage and assume positions of leadership in government, private, nonprofit and civic roles, within the field of emergency management. An all-hazards and all-threats orientation, together with an focus on community resilience and communication, provides the student with a generalist perspective, which is critically important for the disaster managers of today and tomorrow.

At A Glance

Public Administration (Emergency Management), MPA

Plan of study

The Plan of study is the required curriculum to complete this graduate level 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

Degree requirements

Required Core (24 credit hours)
PAF 501 Public Service Research I (3)
PAF 502 Public Service Research II (3)
PAF 503 Public Affairs (3)
PAF 504 Microeconomics of Public Policy I (3)
PAF 505 Public Policy Analysis (3)
PAF 506 Public Budgeting and Finance (3)
PAF 507 Public Human Resource Management (3)
PAF 508 Organization Behavior (3)

Required Concentration (9 credit hours)
PAF 520 Public Management (3)
PAF 552 Integrated Emergency Management (3)
PAF 555 Information Technology in Emergency Management (3)

Electives or Research (6 credit hours)

Culminating Experience (3 credit hours)
PAF 509 Public Affairs Capstone (3)

Additional Curriculum Information
Students should see the academic unit for a complete list of approved electives.

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 political science, criminology, planning, business, urban and metropolitan studies, and other social science fields. Although most students for the graduate concentration would likely come from the aforementioned degree fields, the department may accept applicants with undergraduate 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. statement of career and educational goals
  4. two letters of recommendation (both of which should be academic recommendations)
  5. 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.

The following entry-level competencies are needed for admission the program: Students should have an undergraduate social statistics course such as PAF 301 Applied Statistics and undergraduate coursework in American national government such as POS 310 American National Government. Students may also satisfy the American national government competency by taking the College-Level Examination Program in American Government and receiving a passing score.

Students should see the program website for application deadlines.

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