Program type:


On Campus
Est. time to complete:

2-3 years
Credit Hours:

Prepare for leadership and management roles in public and nonprofit organizations.
The mission of the M.P.A. program is to prepare leaders dedicated to the advancement of ethical, accountable and inclusive governance. Program graduates will serve diverse local and global communities through competent, professional public service that values critical analytic skills and an ability to communicate with and to solve problems in partnership with a diverse and changing workforce and public.

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Why Earn a Public Administration Master's?

U.S. News and World Report ranks the M.P.A. program at UNT as the best in Texas and the Southwest, and 11th in the nation, in the area of local government management. We also have strong specializations in nonprofit management, public finance, emergency management and human resource management.

We'll teach you time-tested management theories for real-world application. We have an exceptionally strong network of more than 1,500 alumni who support the MPA program with internship opportunities, scholarships and mentoring. The MPA program is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration, which provides recognition that the program meets or exceeds high standards of excellence in education.

Marketable Skills
  • Governmental budgeting, accounting, and analysis
  • Coordination of governmental operational activities
  • Recruit, train, and retain staff
  • Statistical analysis for managerial decisions
  • Program evaluation/performance measure identification

Public Administration Master's Highlights

The faculty have professional and relevant work experience, hold leadership roles in professional associations, and have contributed to the study and practice of public administration through the publication of numerous books and articles in leading journals.
The faculty members also sponsor a monthly Public Administration Colloquium Series that engages students in a vigorous discussion of current research and competing viewpoints on public administration issues.
The Public Administration Student Association provides networking opportunities and insightful discussions.
Depending on the length and level of managerial experience, students accepted into the program are placed into one of three categories with varying coursework requirements: pre-career (40 hours, including an internship), in-career (39 hours) or mid-career (36 hours).
The M.P.A. program offers approximately $50,000 per year in scholarships.
Courses focus on timely and critical topics such as city and county management, economic development and growth management, management of nonprofit organizations and smart city technology, among others.

What Can You Do With a Public Administration Master's?

Recent graduates are employed as:

  • City managers
  • Assistants to city managers
  • Budget/finance analysts
  • Legislative liaisons
  • Economic development administrators
  • Administrators in nonprofit organizations
  • Chiefs of police
  • Finance directors
  • Directors of human resources

Recent graduates are employed by:

  • 100+ cities in the Dallas-Fort Worth region
  • 30+ Public Safety and Emergency Management organizations
  • 50+ Special Districts
  • 80+ Private firms
  • State of Texas agencies
  • Federal government agencies
  • County government agencies
  • Nonprofit organizations

Public Administration Master's Courses You Could Take

Leading and Managing Public Organizations (3 hrs)
Survey of contemporary theories and applications of managing high performance public organizations. Focus is on leadership approaches, strategy, decision making, change management, networks and collaboration, privatization and groups and teams.
Managing Human Resources (3 hrs)
Theory and application of managing human behavior in public organizations. Topics include motivation, supervision, conflict management, workplace diversity and the functions of public personnel systems including job design, analysis and classification; recruitment and selection; compensation, development, training and evaluation; promotion and discipline; and employee law.
Managing Financial Resources (3 hrs)
Explores the theory and practice of budgeting at all levels of government and nonprofit organizations. Particular emphasis is on local government. The course equips participants with competence in budgeting terminology, alternative approaches to budget preparation, linkage of the budget with other aspects of financial management, the federal budget process, and economic repercussions of the federal budget.
Cultural Competency in Public Management (3 hrs)
Focuses on cultural competencies and diversity in modern public management. Examines the contemporary meaning of workplace diversity; the identification and evaluation of governmental policies, processes and management techniques for promoting diversity; and the effect of workplace diversity on government performance. Emphasis is given to identifying effective techniques for demonstrating cultural competencies in managing people.
Financial Accountability in Government (3 hrs)
Introduction to financial control in government, including fund accounting, financial reporting, internal controls and auditing. Emphasis is given to the public manager’s use of accounting information in contexts including budget decision making, pricing government services, cash planning and municipal bond ratings.
Public Administration and Society (3 hrs)
Examination of the political, institutional, organizational, ethical, social, legal and economic environments in which public administrators operate.

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