Master of Public Administration

The Master of Public Administration in the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Western Michigan University is a nationally ranked, Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) accredited program that provides a foundation in the principles of administration, addresses the practical responsibilities of managers and leaders, and reflects on the task of programmatic and policy analyses. Experienced full- and part-time faculty of the program balance academic rigor and professional practice in curriculum design and delivery. The program accommodates the needs of pre- and in-career, domestic and international students in career, professional development and course sequencing. Students have a choice of five concentrations: health care, human resources, nonprofit, public management and public policy. The School has a history of offering innovative programs as a way to lead and manage change in the public and nonprofit sectors.

This program is offered in-person, online, or in combination.

MPA program Highlights brochure 

MPA program Detailed brochure

Program components

The M.P.A. program requires 39 credit hours divided into the following components: (Note: This applies to students starting in and after fall 2020. The requirements for earlier years are found on the 2019-20 graduate catalog.)

  • M.P.A. core program (15 credit hours)
  • Area of concentration (12 credit hours)
  • Capstone portfolio (3 credit hours)
  • Elective stream (6 credit hours)
  • Internship (required for pre-career students): three credit hours

The curriculum assumes that candidates already have basic computer literacy and a working knowledge of the American political processes at local, state and national levels.

Portfolio Guidelines

The faculty-approved guidelines help to guide students in tracking their development throughout the MPA program and documenting their competency in the final Capstone Portfolio.

Tuition and Scholarships

The updated tuition and fees page provides more complete information on the cost of attendance.

Various financial aid programs, scholarships and assistantships are available to students who are just entering or already in a graduate program.


M.P.A. courses are offered at the main campus in Kalamazoo as well as online.


Contact us with any questions or comments or see our list of frequently asked questions.