Fairfield University announces new master's degree in public administration


Image: Fairfield UniversityFairfield University is launching a new master's degree in public administration (MPA), the first of its kind in Fairfield County, and is accepting applications for this graduate program, which begins with the Fall 2013 semester.

Fairfield's MPA is designed for individuals already working in the public and nonprofit sectors, including those working in state, regional and local government, health and nonprofit organizations. This new graduate degree is also ideal for those wishing to jumpstart their careers in the nonprofit world as well as those who are looking to change careers into the dynamic and rewarding areas of nonprofit or government employment. The MPA is now considered the terminal degree for professionals in these sectors and is rapidly becoming a requirement for advancement.

"Working professionals who have devoted themselves to service in the nonprofit and governmental sectors, or are seeking new job opportunities in this area, will no longer have to leave lower Connecticut to pursue a degree in Public Administration," said Mark LeClair, Ph.D., professor of economics and director of the MPA program. "Fairfield County is our home, and we work with and among the nonprofits and city governments whose employees will benefit from this new, exciting program. The MPA provides the best preparation possible for those who want to successfully pursue work or advance their careers in public service."

After studying the regional market, Fairfield chose to begin the program with two distinct tracks - nonprofit management and city/state administration. More tracks will be added as the program evolves.

The new program requires a total of 42 credits, including 11 courses, a six-credit internship and a three-credit capstone seminar. The internship may be waived for those with sufficient professional experience in a relevant position. The rigorous, interdisciplinary curriculum includes courses in communication, ethics and multiculturalism, as well as research opportunities in a personal and student-centered learning environment.

As a Jesuit institution, Fairfield emphasizes civic and social responsibility in all its academic programs, so the MPA program fits naturally with the University's existing programs and the culture and values of the institution.

The need for the program was clear: Despite being home to a host of Fortune 500 companies, internationally recognized nonprofit organizations and large cities, Fairfield County was without an MPA program and some nearby programs are not accredited. Fairfield hopes its new MPA will draw students from across Fairfield County and into Westchester County, New York.

"We expect the MPA at Fairfield will quickly become one of our signature graduate programs, given the strength of the faculty, the wonderfully interdisciplinary nature of the program, and its consistency with our University mission to serve the common good," said Robbin Crabtree, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. "We're very excited to welcome the first class of students to the University."

For detailed program and admission information, visit www.fairfield.edu/mpa.

Prospective students who would like to learn more about the new MPA or meet with faculty and advisors are encouraged to attend Fairfield's next Graduate Information Session to be held at the Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J. Center on campus on Wednesday, April 10 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. RSVP to this event at www.fairfield.edu/grad.

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Media Contact: Meredith Guinness, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, mguinness@fairfield.edu

Posted on March 1, 2013

Vol. 45, No. 143