Fairfield University’s new state-accredited Master of Public Administration (MPA) is designed to examine pressing social, ethical, and professional issues, while developing strong leadership abilities for career advancement. Courses emphasize theory, research, and application in the following: city and state governments, non-profit organizations, healthcare management, and private research. Students are also able to work with dedicated teachers to tailor their curriculum to their personal, professional, and academic goals.
Professionals with MPAs find careers in a variety of fields including:
Join us for an upcoming Graduate Information Session where we can answer your questions one-on-one, give you an opportunity to meet our faculty and introduce you to the Fairfield University community and experience.
Dear Prospective Student,
Finding a job that is also your calling can be a difficult challenge. Working on behalf of others, whether through public service or through a career in the nonprofit sector, provides an opportunity to make your occupation your passion.
Fairfield University’s Master of Public Administration program provides a unique mix of theoretical and practical training for those who want to make a job with a nonprofit their career. A solid foundation in the discipline of public administration is coupled with hands-on training in evaluating data, understanding the management of organizations, and analyzing the relationship between the public and private sectors. Students who concentrate in the nonprofit track will receive further training in the management, operation and funding of nonprofits. Those who choose the city-state track will obtain expertise in the management of governmental organizations and the process of local development and planning.
The Fairfield MPA culminates in a faculty-mentored capstone experience that involves students in a research project that directly addresses a community need - an experience that graduates can take into the marketplace when they complete their degree.
The faculty encourages you to consider what the Fairfield MPA can offer, and encourages you to explore the program further. If you have questions, please contact:
Check out Dr. LeClair's latest publication, Philanthropy in Transition
The Master of Public Administration degree requires a total of 42 credits, including eleven courses, six credits from internships, and a three-credit independent capstone project. Students choose from a range of courses that have been designed specifically for the MPA program and may also take up to two courses in allied areas.
Students, in consultation with the program director, select courses to suit their academic, personal, and career goals.
Required Courses (15 credit hours)
Introduction to Public Administration
Financial Management and Budgeting
Human Resource Management
Elective Courses (21 credit hours)
Four courses from a student’s concentration of choice, including the capstone class
Two Communication courses
One course in Ethics
Capstone Experience (MPA 510)
The Capstone Experience is intended to complement the student's coursework and complete the chosen program of study. It is undertaken with the close supervision of a faculty advisor and can take the form of a specially designed course, independent study, or a master’s thesis.
Applicants for the MPA must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university (or the international equivalent). Applicants are required to meet all program prerequisites, which includes the following undergraduate course: Statistics (MA 17, Probability and Statistics). To take the course at Fairfield, visit our part-time studies page.
Applications are reviewed by the Graduate Admission Committee. Students seeking admission must submit:
All application materials should be sent to:
Office of Graduate and Continuing Studies Admission
1073 North Benson Road
Fairfield, CT 06824-5195
Phone: (203) 254-4184
Fax: (203) 254-4073
How to Apply
For detailed admission requirements, please refer to the links below:
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
To be considered for financial aid, Fairfield University requires students to complete a FAFSA form. For further information, visit the Office of Financial Aid.
College of Arts & Sciences Graduate Veterans Fellowships
The College of Arts and Sciences takes pride in serving our veterans, just as they take pride in having served our country. As part of our commitment to helping these individuals attain their educational goals, The College is proud to offer a number of graduate level veterans fellowships to former servicemen and servicewomen interested in pursuing an MFA or MPA from Fairfield University. Each of the fellowships range from $3,000 to $10,000 and are available to veterans enrolled in the MFA or MPA Programs who have exhausted all or a portion of their GI Bill® educational benefits. Visit our Veterans Financial Aid page for details on how to apply.
Fairfield University’s annual MPA Summit is a yearly public forum that brings together public administration students and members of the community with business leaders, economists, political analysts, and elected officials to participate in a constructive dialogue about important public administration challenges directly affecting the community.
The 2019 forum, titled “New Administration, New Direction: Taxes, Tolls, Transportation, and Connecticut’s Future” will discuss Governor Ned Lamont’s proposed public policy solutions for Connecticut and analyze their potential impact on local communities and the average household. The event is free and open to the public.
3nd Annual MPA Summit
New Administration, New Direction: Taxes, Tolls, Transportation, and Connecticut's Future
April 2, 2019 at 7 p.m.
Dogwood Room, Barone Campus Center
Moderated by NBC Connecticut political reporter Max Reiss, the summit will feature a community Q&A and in-depth panel discussion with a team of political experts and community leaders.
The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) has created an accelerated pathway for current, high achieving undergraduate students who are interested in transitioning directly into one of our master's programs.
For more information, contact:
Ms. Fran Yadre
College of Arts and Sciences
(203) 254-4000 x2246
Ready to Run™ Connecticut is a nonpartisan, women's leadership and campaign training program designed to empower women to become active participants in Connecticut's political process. Modeled after the Center of American Women and Politics (CAWP) national program at Rutgers University, Ready to Run™ Connecticut offers women an all-day workshop series that equips them with the necessary strategies, knowledge and networking tools to effectively pursue leadership positions in state and local government.
The College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University is home to a vibrant community of engaged faculty, dedicated staff and passionate scholars devoted to the process of invention and discovery and excited by the prospect of producing knowledge in the service of others. Our faculty members are experts in their field and work closely with graduate students to provide academic advice and individualized attention that makes their experience as productive as it is rewarding.
Name: Reneta Chavis
Employer and job title: Child support investigator for the Department of Social Services
What has been a stand-out course so far?
The public administration introductory course was very enlightening and a lot of fun. We studied a variety of different public administrators and we focused on the field of public administration. In the introductory course we completed an ethnography study. This study consisted of us choosing an agency of our choice and going into the field to view the agency and gain an understanding of what the agency does for the community. I chose to study the Emergency Management and Homeland security agency which is an agency that primarily focuses on protecting the people in the city. This project helped give the students a better understanding of government agencies and public administrators.
Name: Maitreyee Shah
Employer and job title: Medical research at Yale University
Why did you choose Fairfield's MPA program?
I wanted to get an MPA in healthcare management (Shah runs experiments on infectious diseases) and eventually will go further and pursue a Ph.D. Fairfield's MPA program offered the health care tract and I've appreciated the involvement that we've had with the director (Dr. Mark LeClair). I've really liked the professors and the smaller classes - it gives us a more one-on-one connection. I went to the University of Florida for undergrad and most of my classes were with 200 students so I wanted to make sure that my Master's was on a more personal level.
Name: Alison Riith
Employer and title: Knowledge Associate, Fairfield County's Community Foundation, Norwalk, CT.
How does an MPA degree prepare you for work in the non-profit sector?
I've always been interested in the non-profit sector. I did a few internships in college and some temp work after graduation. In the long-term I'd like to stay in the field. Several colleagues of mine have MPAs so I recognized that if I wanted to keep advancing in the field, that's what I would need to achieve too. I like the academic side of Fairfield's program just as much as the field work. The program is a great way to not just learn about the theories, but we also learn through hands-on real life examples by doing our own research.
Do I need to have a specific type of undergraduate degree to apply?
No. The MPA program is designed to accommodate a variety of students from different backgrounds. An undergraduate degree in a specific field of study is not required. Students with a variety of undergraduate backgrounds are encouraged to apply if they feel that training in public administration would further their personal, academic, and career goals.
How long does it take to complete the MPA program?
Full-time students would be expected to complete the program in one and a half years. Part-time students should be able to complete the program in three to four years.
Part-time students who move at a slower pace will be expected to complete the program in no more than five years, after which time the coursework begins to expire.
How are courses offered?
The courses will be taught in both a traditional 14-week format as well as alternative formats as outlined below:
How are the courses structured?
Traditional courses are taught as lectures/ seminars. Courses offered in other formats are designed to offer the same type of classroom experience as the traditional format. Some classes use online discussion, chats, blogs, electronic portfolios, and other mechanisms as ways to enhance the course experience.
What is the tuition for this degree program?
Tuition for the MPA program will be published after April 1, 2013 in advance of the inaugural Fall 2013 enrollment. Call (203) 254-4184 for more information.
What is the application deadline?
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
Do I need to take the GRE's?
No. However, we will look closely at your undergraduate academic record and professional achievements when considering your application.
Can I transfer graduate credits? If so, how many?
Requests to transfer a limited number of credits will be evaluated by the Master of Public Administration Steering Committee on a case-by-case basis.
Can I apply to this program as an international student?
Yes, review the application requirements for international students.
Whom do I call if I have questions?
For information about admission, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about the program, contact Dr. Mark LeClair, Director of the Master’s of Public Administration program.
How do I learn more about the MPA program?