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.

Earn Your Degree with One of Three Options

Human Services Management

Justice Administration

Arts Administration & Public Administration

MPA Overview

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 Non-Governmental Organization, or start a new job with the credentials - and depth of knowledge - necessary to advance.

MPA offers students the opportunity to choose an area of concentration, based on their academic interests, and their career objectives. Click on links below for more information and degree pathways for each individual program option, or email: to discuss which option is best for you!

  • 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

    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
    • 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.

  • In-state

    Cost Per Credit: $844.99*
    Total Tuition (based on 39 credits): $32,954*

    Out-of-state/International Students

    Cost Per Credit: $1,499.44*
    Total Tuition (based on 39 credits): $58,478*

    *These estimated graduate charges are for the 2021-2022 academic year. These prices are subject to change by vote of the UMass Board of Trustees.


    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. Image 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