MPA Program Requirements

Program Requirements

All courses numbered 5000 and above are graduate courses.  If a 5000-level courses is cross-listed with a 4000-level undergraduate course, graduate students must register for the 5000-level section of the course.  Of the 36 semester hours of course work, at least 30 hours must be graduate level courses at the 6000 level or above.

No more than 9 credits may be taken as independent study and/or workshops.

Students must take a minimum of 33 semester hours of course work and either
• three credit hours of credit for either a thesis and oral defense OR
• three credit hours for the Capstone Course (plus an internship).

All students are required to complete 15 hours of core courses, 18 additional hours of public administration coursework (a minimum of of 9 of these courses must be 6000 level Political Science courses).

Core Courses (18 hours)
Required of all students
The six required courses in the MPA “core,” each worth 3 credit hours, are:

  • POLS 6210 Public Administration Theory and Behavior
  • POLS 6260 Public Management I: Personnel Management and Leadership
  • POLS 6280 Public Management II: Budgeting, Fiscal Policy, and Decision-making
  • POLS 6200 Public Administration and Public Policy
  • POLS 6750 Research Methods
  • POLS 6900 Public Administration Capstone

Students must receive at least a 'B' grade in all core classes.

Public Administration Courses (18 hours)

Sample courses may include:

  • Nonprofit Management
  • Program Evaluation
  • Economic Development
  • Administrative Law
  • International Development

Students are encouraged to explore relevant course offerings outside of the department to support their interests and career goals in consultation with the graduate coordinator.

Independent Studies/Reading Courses

Students with specialized interests in a topic may do an independent study course with a faculty member to supplement their regular MPA coursework. No more than 9 hours of independent study can be counted towards the degree.

Public Administration Capstone and Portfolio

The MPA Capstone is the culmination of the Bowling Green State University Master of Public Administration program.  This capstone course is designed to provide graduating students with a summative experience that allows them to synthesize and apply their cumulative learning throughout the MPA program while completing a service-learning project of value for a community partner.

Students will develop a professional portfolio that provides evidence of their learning relating to the program’s core learning competencies.  They will reflect on the body of their academic and professional work to construct a document that provides evidence of their mastery of the core competencies.

Program Core Faculty

Dr. Nicole Kalaf-Hughes (Associate Professor) Interim Graduate Coordinator
Dr Shannon Orr (Professor)
Dr. Andrew Kear (Associate Professor)
Dr. Justin Rex (Associate Professor)
Dr. Abhishek Bhati (Assistant Professor)
Mr. Greg Walterhouse (Instructor) 

Additional Faculty teaching graduate courses

Dr. Stefan Fritsch (Associate Professor)
Dr. David Jackson (Professor)
Dr. Marc Simon (Associate Professor)
Dr. Melissa Miller (Professor)
Dr. Tom Wiseman (Instructor)
Dr. Albert Dzur (Professor)

Student Data

The MPA degree is typically completed in 1.5 – to 2 years as a full-time student.  Part-time students typically take between 3-4 years to complete the program depending on how many courses are takien each semester. The table below provides information on degree completion time for students who began the program five years ago (ARY-5 cohort) in 2017-2018. Of those students, 100% completed the program in 3 years.

Graduated in
100% of degree
program length
Graduated in
150% of degree
program length
Graduated in
200% of degree
program length

Number of students



The following is employment data based on students who graduated in 2021-2022, 6 months after graduation by employment sector.


Federal, State, provincial or regional government in the same country as the program


City, County, or other local government in the same country as the program


Nonprofit domestic-oriented or international


Obtaining further education


Private Sector/research/consulting5

Military Service


Status Unknown




Updated: 01/26/2024 03:56PM