Master of Public Administration

Program Overview

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:

  • Nonprofits: Connecticut Council for Philanthropy, Save the Children, Connecticut Voices for Children, AmeriCares, United Way, etc.
  • Positions in regional, city, state, and government offices
  • Healthcare management
  • Data Analyst for public and private organizations
  • Financial Analyst for public organizations
  • Management consulting firms
  • Public and private Universities
  • Public libraries

 



Graduate Information Session

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.

Message from the Director

Dear Prospective Student, ‌‌Mark LeClair headshot

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:

Mark LeClair, Director, MPA Program ‌
(203) 254-4000 x2295
mleclair@fairfield.edu

Check out Dr. LeClair's latest publication, Philanthropy in Transition

Program Requirements

Requirements

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 M.P.A. 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
Research Methods
Financial Management and Budgeting
Human Resource Management
Leadership

 

Elective Courses (21 credit hours)

Breadth Courses
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.

Course Offerings

View our Online Catalog for MPA Course Descriptions 

Course Offerings

  • MPA 400 Financial Management and Budgeting
  • MPA 405 Research Methods
  • MPA 410 Introduction to Public Administration
  • MPA 415 Human Resource Management
  • MPA 420 Leadership
  • MPA 425 Grant Writing
  • MPA 430 Economics of the Nonprofit Sector
  • MPA 450 State & Local Government
  • MPA 470 The Dynamics and Challenges of Administrative Corrup
  • MG 500 Leadership
  • MG 505 Human Resource Strategies
  • MG 525 Employee Performance, Management and Rewards
  • CO 522 Communication and Organizational Leadership
  • MPA 500 Internship
  • MPA 510 Capstone Experience
  • AC 380 Municipal and Not-for-Profit Accounting
  • ASSO 463 Urban/Suburban Sociology
  • CO 440 Ethics and Communication
  • CO 522 Communication and Organizational Leadership
  • CO 524 Negotiation and Conflict Management: Communication Approaches
  • CO 540 Intercultural Communication
  • EN/W 335 Technical Writing
  • EN/W 339 Grant and Proposal Writing
  • IS 520 Project Management
  • MG 503 Legal and Ethical Environment of Business
  • MG  504 Managing People for Competitive Advantage
  • MG 505 Human Resources Strategies
  • MG 507 Negotiations and Dispute Resolution
  • MG 510 Management Communication, Influence and Power
  • MG 520 Diversity in the Workplace
  • MG 525 Employee Performance Management and Rewards

Admission Requirements

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.

Formal Admission Process

Applications are reviewed by the Graduate Admission Committee. Students seeking admission must submit:

  • A Completed Application for Graduate Admission Form Apply Online. While your application is in progress, you can check to see if your supporting documents, such as transcripts and recommendations, have been received. Please allow 48 hours from the time we receive the documents for them to post to the checklist. Track the status of your application.
  • A Non-refundable $60 Application Fee
  • A Professional Resume. Applicants are required to submit a current resume that includes employment and education history. (Submit Online)
  • A Personal Statement of self-evaluation of work experience and career objectives. (Submit Online)
  • Official transcripts from all universities and colleges attended. (All foreign transcripts must be evaluated by an approved evaluating service.)
  • Two Recommendation Forms and Letters, one of which must be, preferably, from a current employer or supervisor. The Recommendations are completed online. At the time of application you will need to provide your two Recommender's names and e-mail addresses.
  • Interviews. Applicants may be required to participate in an interview as part of the admission process. If required, candidates will be contacted by the program director to schedule an appointment.

 

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
gradadmis@fairfield.edu

 

How to Apply

For detailed admission requirements, please refer to the links below:

Admission Deadline

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.


Financial Aid

To be considered for financial aid, Fairfield University requires students to complete a FAFSA form. For further information, visit the Office of Financial Aid.

Annual MPA Summit

Fairfield University’s Annual MPA Summit is a yearly conference focusing on the issues and challenges of public administration in a global marketplace.

The 2018 2nd Annual Summit will feature a panel of state officials, economists, and local business leaders who will discuss Connecticut's political and economic challenges with a 21st century vision. The event is free and open to the public.

2nd Annual MPA Summit
Connecticut's Budget Predicament: The Path Forward After 2017

February 27, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Quick Center for the Arts

Panel Participants

  • Brian R. Farnen, General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer for the Connecticut Green Bank
  • Brian Flaherty '87, Senior Vice President of Public Policy for the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA)
  • Kevin Lembo, State Comptroller
  • Thomas Moore, Superintendent of West Hartford Public Schools
  • Thomas Murray, PhD, Fairfield University Associate Professor of Economics 

Complimentary tickets can be reserved through the Quick Center Box Office at 203-254-4010 or boxoffice@quickcenter.com

For more information, read our current article in News@Fairfield. 

Accelerated Master's Degree

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.

Eligibility

 

Admission Requirements

  • Online application available at fairfield.edu/applynow
  • $60 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
    • These classes 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.

     

For more information, contact:

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

Ready to Run™ Connecticut

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.

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.

Student & Alumni Profiles

Reneta Chavis headshot‌Name: 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. 

 

Maitreyee Shah headshot‌Name: 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.

 


Alison Riith headshot‌Name:
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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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:

  • Traditional: 14-week/2.5 hours per week format (35 hours)
  • Accelerated: 7-week/five hours every other week format (35 hours)
  • Intensive: Saturdays (7 five-hour meetings spread over 7 or 14 weeks, or 5 Saturdays for 7 hours each; 35 hours)
  • Summer: 7-week accelerated (35 hours)
  • Online or hybrid formats of any of the above schedules

 

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 gradadmis@fairfield.edu. 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?

Contact the Director of the program for more information: Dr. Mark LeCLair, (203) 254-4000 ext. 2295, attend one of our Graduate Information Sessions, or Apply online

 

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