In 1962 a handful of students and few faculty members worked together to start an academic program for students interested in public service.
Fifty years later, and with more than 1,200 graduates, the master of public administration program offered through the College of Public Affairs and Community Service at UNT is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the top such program in Texas and one of the top public service education programs in the United States.
"The most compelling testimony to the program's reputation is the success of its graduates," says Bob Bland, professor and chair of the Department of Public Administration. "UNT continues to supply more executives for Texas cities than any other university. MPA alumni now hold leadership positions in federal and state agencies and are moving into key positions in nonprofits."
The program has grown exponentially since opening in 1962. In 1992, the Center for Public Management opened within the department to provide continuing education services, and in 1996, the nation's first undergraduate degree in emergency administration and planning was established in the department. A Ph.D. program in public administration was introduced to the department in 2005.
Students in the M.P.A. program can focus their degrees on several areas, including emergency management, financial management, local government management, nonprofit management and human resources management.
Leslie Wimmer with UNT News Service can be reached at Leslie.Wimmer@unt.edu.