Master of Public Administration

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Program Overview

Why purse a master’s degree in public relations (MPA)? Many challenges that Connecticut and the U.S. face as a whole lie outside the realm of the private sector. Despite a growing and vibrant economy, concerns persist about our educational and healthcare systems, homelessness, access to affordable housing, and strains on our infrastructure and transportation systems. It is the nonprofit and governmental sectors that ultimately address these public issues when a market-based mechanism does not provide a solution.

Fairfield University’s state-accredited MPA program is designed for professionals working in the public and nonprofit sectors, recent college graduates, or individuals interested in a career change. Throughout their course of study, students obtain the essential skills needed to address pressing public issues, including fiscal management, project administration, grant writing, analytics, and human resource management.

The program’s curriculum examines pressing social, ethical, and professional issues, while developing strong leadership abilities for career advancement. Students study current theories, trends, and issues related to the field of public administration and engage in active learning, critical reflection, and experiential practices that are the hallmarks of a Jesuit education. Courses emphasize theory, research, and application to advance careers in the following areas:

  • State and City Government
  • Nonprofit Organizations
  • Healthcare Management
  • Emergency Management
  • Private Research

Master of Public Administration

Requirements & Course Offerings

To earn the Master of Public Administration degree, 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

To earn a master’s degree in public administration, students are required to complete 42 credits of graduate coursework, including:

Eleven (11) Core and Elective courses
Six (6) credits from a professional internship (may be waived with relevant experience)
Three (3) credits from an Independent Capstone Project conducted under the supervision of a faculty member

In consultation with the program director, students are required to select and complete a four-course specialization in an aspect of public administration that matches their career goals. These specialization tracks include:

  • Nonprofit Management
  • State and Local Government
  • Emergency Management
  • Public Health

A detailed list of MPA course requirements, offerings, and more can be viewed in the University’s course catalog.

Admission

MPA program applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution (or the international equivalent) and give a promise of meeting the standards set by the school. Applications are considered on a rolling basis for fall, spring, and summer admission.

 

Accelerated Bachelor's/ Master's Degree Program

The College of Arts and Sciences' accelerated bachelor’s/master’s program allows qualified undergraduate students to earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in as few as five years. This accelerated pathway permits students to transition directly into the University's MPA program and earn a graduate degree in less time and at potentially less cost than when done separately. Each program has certain prerequisites and require the permission of the program director for entry.

Eligibility

  • Full-time, matriculated politics or economics student
  • GPA of 3.2 or higher
  • Completion of at least 96 credits prior to the start of fall senior year 

Admission Requirements

  • Online application available at fairfield.edu/applynow
  • $65 admission fee (waived for current students)
  • Fairfield University transcript (obtained by the Office of Graduate Admission)
  • A letter of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • Copy of resume

Timeline

  • Students apply during their spring semester of junior year
  • Upon acceptance, students will remain an undergraduate, but are allowed to register for two graduate classes during their senior year
    • These classes will be covered through full-time tuition payment but cannot count towards fulfillment of the undergraduate degree
    • During the final semester, typically spring, students will need to apply to the program officially to become a matriculated graduate student upon completion of their undergraduate degree.Upon acceptance, students will remain an undergraduate, but are allowed to register for two graduate classes during their senior year

More Information

For more information, please contact Ms. Yadre.

Ms. Fran Yadre
College of Arts and Sciences
fyadre@fairfield.edu
(203) 254-4000 x2246

More About MPA

Annual MPA Summit

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Annual MPA Summit

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 state and community.

Moderated by a member of the local media, the yearly event features a community Q&A and in-depth panel discussion with a team of political experts and community leaders. Previous summit topics have included:

  • Moving Forward in the Absence of GE: Examining the Political and Economic Impact of General Electric’s Departure from Connecticut
  • Connecticut’s Budget Predicament: The Path Forward After 2017
  • New Administration, New Direction: Taxes, Tolls, Transportation, and Connecticut’s Future

Check back soon for information regarding this year's summit.

Faculty

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Faculty

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.

Meet the Faculty

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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.

Courses are taught in both a traditional 14-week format as well as alternative formats as outlined below:

  • Traditional: 14-week/2.5 hours per week format (35 hours)
  • Accelerated: 7-week/five hours every other week format (35 hours)
  • Intensive: Saturdays (seven, five-hour meetings spread over 7 or 14 weeks, or five Saturdays for 7 hours each; 35 hours)
  • Summer: 7-week accelerated (35 hours)
  • Online or hybrid formats of any of the above schedules

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.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

No. However, we will look closely at your undergraduate academic record and professional achievements when considering your application.

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.

Yes, review the application requirements for international students.

For information about admission, contact gradadmis@fairfield.edu. For information about the program, contact Program Director Dr. Gayle Alberda.

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