The Western Michigan University School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) is one of the nation's largest Master of Public Administration (MPA) programs and is accredited by the Network of of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).
The MPA curriculum emphasizes evaluating the administrative environment and addresses the economic, cultural, historical, and political environment in which a student's agency operates. These elements enhance the student's capacity to respond effectively to current problems and maximizes a manager's ability to effectively address policy and constituency issues.
The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program provides a foundation in the principles of public administration, addresses the practical responsibilities of the public manager, and reflects on the task of administrative leadership. The MPA program includes three components: the MPA Core Program (18 credit hours), an Area of Concentration (18 credit hours), and the capstone Project Paper Seminar (3 credit hours). Pre career students must also satisfactorily complete PADM 7120: Professional Field Experience, an additional three credit hour (300 contact-hour) internship in an agency or organization approved by the student's advisor.
The entire curriculum assumes that MPA students have basic computer literacy skills and a working knowledge of the American political processes at local, state, and national levels. Prospective students without these skills are encouraged to acquire them before they begin their MPA course work.
MPA courses are offered at the Kalamazoo campus, and the Battle Creek and Lansing regional sites of Western Michigan University.