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Master of Public Administration

Full time Part time BA to MA Duration: 2 years

Under the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program, students develop the strong managerial, communication, and analytical skills that public and not-for-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.  

Students may attend full- or part-time, and the program offers both on-campus and online courses. 

UMass Lowell’s MPA program can help students transition to nonprofit management ranks from the for-profit sector, advance within a nonprofit or public agency or NGO, or start a new job with the credentials – and depth of knowledge -- necessary to advance. Three areas of concentration prepare students well for nonprofit sectors that offer plentiful job opportunities:

  • Human Services Management
  • Justice Administration
  • Public Humanities and the Arts
This 39-credit program requires:
  • Six required core courses for 15 credits; courses may include:
    • Foundations of Public Administration
    • Financial Accounting
    • Public & Non Profit Budgeting and Financial Management 
    • Public & Non Profit Management and Leadership
    • Data Analysis
    • Professional Practicum
  • two courses from the "flexible core" for 6 credits; courses may include:
    • Advanced Data Analysis
    • Grant Writing
    • Program Evaluation
    • Public Policy Analysis
    • Managing Workplace Diversity
  • six courses within one of the three option areas (human services managementjustice administrationpublic humanities and the arts) for 18 credits.  

For more information including course listings and degree pathways, visit the 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
  • Official score from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) - waivers may be available for UMass Lowell alumni who graduated in the past five years with a 3.0 GPA or higher and are interested in applying to the MPA program
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose
  • $50 application fee

International Applicants

  • For applicants who earned their degree outside of the US, 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.

In-state

Cost Per Credit: $836.65*
Total Tuition (based on 39 credits): $32,629*

Out-of-state/International Students

Cost Per Credit: $1,491.10*
Total Tuition (based on 39 credits): $58,152*

*These estimated graduate charges are for the 2018-2019 academic year. These prices are subject to change by vote of the UMass Board of Trustees.

Financing

For more information on tuition and financing, visit Costs & Aid for Graduate Programs.

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.

Three areas of concentration prepare students well for nonprofit sectors that offer plentiful job opportunities:

  • Human Services Management 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.
  • Justice Administration 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.   
  • Public Humanities and the Arts prepares students for management careers within cultural institutions, including those related to visual arts, theater, music, museums, and historic preservation.

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
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. Photo by Tory Germann

Standout Faculty

Master of Public Administration 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

Public Humanities and the Arts is Niche Program

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. Read more