The Master of Public Administration at UMass Lowell prepares students for successful careers in the public and not-for-profit sectors through the development of managerial, communication & analytical skills.

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MPA Overview

Under the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program, students develop the strong managerial, communication, and analytical skills that public, private and non-profit organizations are seeking. At UMass Lowell, a highly ranked research university, close partnerships with such organizations provide learning experiences that emphasize an ethic of public service, while faculty from several disciplines bring their expertise, and various perspectives, to the program.

The MPA program offers the following options: Human Service Management, Justice Administration and Public Humanities and the Arts.

The program is available entirely online, and students may attend full- or part-time. Please contact us to discuss the schedule that will work best for you!

UMass Lowell’s MPA program can help students transition to non-profit management ranks from the for-profit sector, advance within a non-profit or public agency, Non-Governmental Organization, or start a new job with the credentials and depth of knowledge necessary to advance.

  • This 39-credit program requires:

    • Five required core courses for 15 credits; courses may include:
      • Foundations of Public Administration
      • Data Analysis
      • Public & Non Profit Budgeting and Financial Management
      • Public & Non Profit Management and Leadership
      • Capstone Experience
    • Four courses in Managerial Skill Areas (12 credits)
      • Managing Information
      • Managing Resources
      • Managing People
      • Managing Communication
    • General Electives (choose 4, 12 credits)

    For more information including course listings and degree pathways, visit the UMass Lowell online Graduate Catalog.

    Juniors and seniors at UMass Lowell are eligible to apply for an accelerated B.A. to M.A. program. This program allows for the completion of both degrees within five years, saving time and expense by taking some graduate courses in the final year of the undergraduate program. Enrollees in this program do not need to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.

    • Submitted online application
    • Prior study in public administration or other related field
    • Relevant work experience
    • Official transcript from previously earned degrees
    • GRE/GMAT score is NOT required
    • 2 letters of recommendation
    • Statement of purpose
    • $50 application fee

    International Applicants

    • For applicants who earned their degree outside of the U.S., you do not need to have your transcript evaluated by a credentialing service such as WES or CED.
    • English proficiency testing
      • TOEFL minimum 79
      • IELTS minimum 6.5

    See the Graduate Catalog for additional requirements of the program. 

    Visit Graduate Admissions for more information.

  • For information on tuition and financing, please visit Graduate, Online & Professional Studies.

  • Alumni of the program include city managers, municipal department heads, health and human service workers, music and art educators, state government administrators and founders of non-profit community based organizations.

    The MPA is designed to prepare students in a number of potential career fields:

    • Prepares students to assume managerial roles in public and nonprofit organizations that are focused on addressing the social, health, and mental health needs of a range of populations, with a particular focus on immigrant communities, the elderly, and the underserved.
    • Prepares students for careers in court administration, correctional systems (both community and institutional), law enforcement agencies, community-based agencies serving justice-involved populations, and policy research organizations focused on justice-related issues.
    • Prepares students for management careers within cultural institutions, including those related to visual arts, theater, music, museums, and historic preservation.

    Talk with your adviser about your specific career goals to see how the MPA might fit for you.

Why Study Public Administration at UMass Lowell?

Honors College students Lindsay Blount, Kale Connerty and Erin Monahan work at the Thoreau Institute library with curator Jeffrey S. Cramer.

"The program is helping me synthesize what I’ve learned through my nonacademic and academic experiences."

Erin Monahan finds value in learning principles applicable to a wide range of arts and humanities-based organizations. She is getting professional experience as an archivist through an internship at the Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods. Read more about Erin.

Gary Wallace, executive director of the Lowell Housing Authority, talks with Assoc. Prof. Thomas Pineros-Shields, head of the new M.P.A. program, at the launch event. Image by Tory Germann

Standout Faculty

Master of Public Administration (MPA) students will benefit from the diverse and multi-faceted perspectives of the interdisciplinary faculty drawn from a range of departments in the College of Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Meet our faculty.

Patrick Martin fields calls in U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas’ Lowell office

Adaptable Curriculum

Students in UMass Lowell’s MPA program get a crash course in how to manage public and private agencies in the arts and humanities, criminal justice and human services. Learn more about the MPA program.

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