College of Arts & Sciences

Office of Dean - College of Arts & Sciences
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg PA 17257
(717) 477-1151

Department of Political Science

424 Grove Hall
Shippensburg University
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 
(717) 477-1718
Department Website

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Contact Information

Graduate Admissions

Graduate Admissions Office
Shippensburg University
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg PA 17257
Phone: 717-477-1213
Fax: 717-477-4016

Graduate Dean's Office

The School of Graduate Studies
Shippensburg University
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA  17257
Phone: 717-477-1148​ 


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Master of Public Administration


The MPA Program

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.

MPA Admission Requirements

For almost 40 years, Shippensburg University has offered a master’s degree in public administration. To be eligible for admission to the master’s program, a student 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.

MPA Locations

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. Students can take courses one night per week at the DUC and finish their coursework in two years. Students who take courses at both locations can graduate in one and a half years or in one year by taking courses during the summer.

MPA Degree Requirements

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. 

MPA Courses

Required Core (18 credits)

  • PLS 501 Organizational Theory and Behavior
  • PLS 502 Human Resource Management
  • PLS 503 Public Budgeting and Financial Management
  • PLS 601 Research Methods
  • PLS 603 Public Policy Analysis
  • PLS 605 Capstone Seminar: Applied Public Management

Electives (12 credits)

  • PLS 431 Pennsylvania Local Government
  • PLS 504 Ethics for Public Service Managers
  • PLS 511 State Government
  • PLS 512 Intergovernmental Relations
  • PLS 521 Labor Relations in the Public Sector
  • PLS 522 Advocacy in Public Administration
  • PLS 523 Communication for the Public Manager
  • PLS 551 Planning and Public Policy
  • PLS 553 Public Policy Implementation
  • PLS 561 Administrative Law
  • PLS 491/591 Selected Topics
  • PLS 621 Field Research I
  • PLS 622 Field Research II

Experiential Requirements (6 credits)

  • PLS 611 Internship I
  • PLS 612 Internship II


Experiential Skills Electives (for internship waiver - 3 credits)

  • PLS 521 Labor Relations in the Public Sector
  • PLS 522 Advocacy in Public Administration
  • PLS 523 Communication for the Public Manager
  • PLS 621 Field Research I
  • PLS 622 Field Research II
  • PLS 491/591 Selected Topics (if applicable)
  • BSN 510 Economics and Information Systems Environment
  • BSN 512 Essentials of Accounting and Finance
  • GEO 517 Applied GIS
  • ISS 515 Information Systems Project Management
  • ISS 550 Database Design
  • ISS 570 Information Analysis
  • COM 570 Fund Raising and Association Public Relations

With a close proximity to the state capital and a wealth of internship opportunities, Shippensburg University is an ideal place to earn a Master’s of Public Administration in PA.

MPA Faculty

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. Class sizes are small to promote group interaction and ensure each student can benefit equally from the insights of their professors and peers.

MPA Career Paths and Opportunities

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. Students also develop valuable management skills and other tools useful for influencing policy decisions from the nonprofit/non-governmental sector. They 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 students an important advantage when entering the public service job market. Students remain close to the Capital Region and within a short drive of Philadelphia, New York and other major East Coast cities.