Public Administration

Why Study Public Administration

Well-trained public administrators are needed today at all levels of government. Fiscal constraints and public demands for responsive government make effective management a necessity. MPA graduates hold policy-making positions with the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the national and state government. Graduates of Shippensburg University’s master’s program in Public Administration use their managerial skills working for local government, not-for-profit agencies, and in the private sector.

For almost 40 years, Shippensburg University has offered a master's degree in public administration. The MPA program is offered both on campus in Shippensburg and at the Dixon University Center in Harrisburg (DUC). We typically offer three courses per semester on campus and two at the DUC. You can take courses one night per week at the DUC and finish your course work in two years. If you take courses at both locations you can graduate in one and a half years or in one year by taking courses during the summer. Class sizes are small to promote group interaction and ensure each student can benefit equally from the insights of their professors and peers.

The Public Administration Master's program is a popular choice for anyone with a passion for public policy or a strong desire to work in civil service. You will develop valuable management skills and other tools useful for influencing policy decisions from the nonprofit/non-governmental sector. You'll learn how to advocate for change and raise the profile of community stakeholders through effective, action-oriented discourse.

Shippensburg University is located just 40 minutes from the Harrisburg state capitol. Optional course content focuses on Pennsylvania-specific issues in state and local governance - giving you an important advantage when entering the public service job market. You'll remain close to the Capital Region and within a short drive of Philadelphia, New York and other major East Coast cities.

The average salary for public administration jobs in PA is $53,000.

To be eligible for admission to the master's program, you must:

  • Have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Present an official transcript showing at least a 2.75 cumulative grade point average for undergraduate studies; applicants who do not have a 2.75 or greater GPA may be admitted with sufficient work experience.
  • Students without relevant undergraduate coursework may be required to take an introductory course
  • Provide a current resume

Visit the Graduate Admissions page for more information about deadlines, fees and other important details. Learn about admission and entry into the Public Administration Master's program at PA's Shippensburg University.

This program has an 8-week course structure, which means students can take two courses within a typical semester without the courses overlapping. To earn an MPA, students must complete 36 credit hours. Students who have full-time managerial employment in a relevant profession may apply for an internship waiver when applying. If a waiver is granted, students choose a 3-credit hour experiential skill course for a total of 33 credit hours. See the Graduate Catalog for a complete list of courses and requirements. 

Throughout the program, graduate students work closely with MPA faculty on applied research projects, primarily focusing on state and local government and the implementation of public policy. Our experienced faculty consists of public policy experts who deliver a curriculum rooted in contemporary theory and the practical issues today's employees face.  

MPA Program - Political Science
424 Grove Hall, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257
(717) 477-1718
Department Website