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1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg PA 17257
(717) 477-1151

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424 Grove Hall
Shippensburg University
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 
(717) 477-1718
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Office of the Provost
OM 308
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 17257
(717) 477-1371 

The School of Graduate Studies
Shippensburg University
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 17257
Phone: (717) 477-1148
Fax: (717) 477-4016 

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Master of Public Administration


Degree Requirements 
Contact Info

The 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 the Shippensburg University program also use their managerial skills working for local government, not-for-profit agencies, and in the private sector.

Admission Requirements

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

  • Have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university;
  • Present an official transcript showing at least a 2.75 cumulative grade point average for his or her undergraduate studies; applicants with an undergraduate GPA of less than a 2.75 must take either the GRE General Test or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) and achieve scores equivalent to or exceeding the mean; and
  • Have taken at least six (6) semester credits in political science or public administration at the undergraduate level; applicants who have not completed the required course work may be admitted on a conditional basis
  • Provide a current resumé; and
  • A two to three page writing sample, double spaced.This writing sample should be academic in nature, demonstrating the applicants ability to communicate in a professionally appropriate manner necessary for graduate study. Previous research papers or samples of a work assignment would be appropriate for submission. 

Degree Requirements

To earn an MPA, students must complete eighteen (18) credits of core courses. Students must complete twelve (12) additional credits of public administration electives. Most students will complete six (6) credits of internship. Students planning to pursue an additional graduate degree may opt to complete a master's theseis for six (6) credits..


Required Core (18 credits)
  • PLS 501 Organization Theory and Behavior
  • PLS 502 Human Resources Management
  • PLS 503 Foundations of Public Budgeting and Finance
  • PLS 601 Research Methods
  • PLS 603 Public Policy Analysis
  • PLS 605 Applied Management Techniques in Public Administration
Electives (12 credits)
  • PLS 431 Pennsylvania Local Government
  • PLS 491 Selected Topics
  • PLS 504 Ethics for Public Service Managers
  • PLS 511 State Government
  • PLS 512 Intergovernmental Relations and Programs
  • PLS 521 Collective Bargaining and Labor Relations in the Public Sector
  • PLS 551 Planning and Public Policy
  • PLS 561 Administrative Law
  • PLS 591 Selected Topics

Students may take one three-credit course from another department or accredited graduate institution for elective credit with prior approval of the MPA Coordinator.

Internship or Thesis (6 credits)

  • PLS 611 Internship I
  • PLS 612 Internship II
  • PLS 621 Thesis I
  • PLS 622 Thesis II


Throughout the program, graduate students work with faculty members on applied research projects, primarily focusing on state and local government and the implementation of public policy. The faculty members and their areas of expertise are:

Curtis R. Berry, Ph.D., Chair, Syracuse University (Human Resource Management; State and Local Government; Labor Relations)

Cynthia A. Botteron, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin (Public Policy Analysis; Not-for-Profit Management)

C. Nielsen Brasher,
Ph.D., American University (Research Methods; Public Policy Analysis)

Alison D. Dagnes,
Ph.D., University of Massachusetts at Amherst (American Government; Political Institutions; Political Behavior)

Michael Greenberg,
Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin (Research Methodology; Intergovernmental Relations)

Sara A. Grove, J.D., Ph.D., The University of North Carolina (Administrative Law; Health and Aging Policy; Research Methods)

Steven Lichtman, J.D., Ph.D., Brandeis University (American Government; Political Institutions; Political Behavior)

Amanda Olejarski, Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Organization Theory; Property Rights)

Mark Sachleben, Ph.D., Miami University at Miami, Ohio (International Organizations; International Law; Human Rights)

Lonce Sandy-Bailey,
Ph.D., University of Massachusetts at Amherst (Public Budgeting; Financial Administration, Organization Theory)

Ronnie B. Tucker, Sr., Ph.D., Mississippi State University (Public Service Ethics; Applied Management)