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USF Master of Public Administration

The Master of Public Administration Program at USF takes a multidisciplinary approach, preparing you for successful leadership roles and management careers in the public sector. Apply today!

USF Master of Public Administration: Who We Are

Since 1977, the USF MPA has been training students for work in the public and nonprofit sectors. Our 45 credit hour program (42 credit hours for students holding public and nonprofit sector management positions) is offered on our Tampa campus. With an enrollment of 60 – 70 masters students, we are able to offer small classes (10 – 25 students) and one-on-one advising.

To accommodate working students, required courses are offered either evenings, weekends, or online.

Mission statement:

The USF Master of Public Administration program provides quality education to prepare leaders in public service. Housed within a university classified as both research intensive and community-engaged, it is the mission of the USF MPA program to provide a high-level, cutting edge curriculum alongside a rigorous public service experience to students, ranging from prospective candidates for entry level positions to seasoned public service professionals.

Our academic program is grounded in theory but rich in experiential opportunities, preparing students for excellence and leadership in public service. While our primary research and collaborative focus is within our West Central Florida region, we also study, and prepare students to work in state, national and international environments.

Reflecting the diversity of our region, our students and faculty represent a variety of professional, intellectual and cultural backgrounds and contribute to the development of a diverse academic and professional community. Our longstanding collaborations across all levels of government and the private and nonprofit sectors, and our commitment to the ethical application of theoretical knowledge to real-world problems, are among the programs' many strengths.

Time to completion and employment:

Full time students can complete this program in two years. Part time students will need three to four years, depending on how many credit hours they take each semester. Of the students who entered the program in 2011, 32% earned their degree in two years; 70% were done in three years, and 85% in four years. Our students have been very successful in finding employment. Of our 20 graduates from the 2014-2015 academic year, 16 were employed in the field within a year of graduation (two were still seeking work and two could not be contacted).

Costs of attendance:

Per credit hour tuition and fees can be found here:

Real World Experience

Students gain practical experience in many ways. Class projects often involve collaboration with local governments or nonprofit agencies. A mentorship program allows students at all stages of their careers to partner with senior administrators in the region. And our internship program, recommended for all students and required for those who do not come in with relevant management experience, is often a stepping stone to employment. Recent internship placements have included the City of Lakeland; Tampa General Hospital; the American Diabetes Society, Pinellas County Emergency Management, and the USF Office of Government Relations.

Take the next step in your public or nonprofit sector career

With an MPA from USF, you can pursue a career in local, state, or federal government agencies, nonprofit organizations and special service districts. The degree also enables you to continue studying public affairs with doctoral programs, including the Doctorate in Public Administration or a Ph.D. in public policy and administration. See the links below for more information, and to schedule a meeting with the program director.

Your MPA, Your Way

Quick Links

Apply to USF
Admission Requirements
MPA Handbook
Program Curriculum
MPA Advising