Public and Nonprofit Management — Degrees

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"...public service is a stimulating, proud, and lively enterprise. It is not just a way of life, it is a way to live fully." — Lee H. Hamilton

Master of Public Affairs

The Master of Public Affairs (MPA) is a professional degree that focuses on the development of analytical skills needed for management positions in government and nonprofit settings. The program curriculum covers theoretical and practical principles of public administration, leadership, and policy making. Coursework emphasizes critical thinking and problem solving. Many students view their courses as an opportunity to network with others and master new approaches to management, leadership, and policy analysis in a collegial environment. The program is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA).

The UT Dallas MPA is a 36 credit-hour program that consists of 24 credit hours of required core courses, 9 hours of directed electives, and a 3 credit-hour capstone seminar. A 3 credit-hour internship in a public or nonprofit organization is also required for students without public or nonprofit work experience. Students taking three courses in the fall and spring semesters or two courses in the fall, spring, and summer semesters typically complete the degree in two academic years.

MPA students typically take a combination of in-person, online, and hybrid courses over the course of their studies. In addition, the PNM program offers an intensive course on international/comparative public management in the summer semester. Students spend a week in Seoul, Korea learning about Seoul’s municipal government and gaining a comparative perspective on administrative systems in the public sector. To learn more about this summer intensive, please contact Dr. Doug Goodman or apply at

The MPA program tuition rates are available on the UT Dallas tuition webpage. A number of competitive scholarships are available to MPA students. A recent survey of the MPA program graduates suggests that they find employment in different sectors of the economy, with positions in local and state governments and non-profit organizations making up about two thirds of all employment.

MPA Alumni Employment by Sector

In addition to the MPA degree, the Public and Nonprofit Management program offers graduate certificates in Local Government Management and Nonprofit Management. The certificates serve as professional development programs for many public sector employees in North Dallas. Certificate credit hours can be transferred towards the MPA degree.

Graduate Certificate - Local Government Management
The graduate certificate in local government management is designed for local government professionals and Master of Public Affairs students who seek to broaden their knowledge of important issues and effective management strategies in the public sector. Learn more » PDF

Graduate Certificate - Nonprofit Management
The graduate certificate in nonprofit management is designed for nonprofit professionals and Master of Public Affairs students who seek to broaden their knowledge of important issues in the nonprofit sector and learn practical skills of managing people and data that are key to securing managerial positions and being successful in the nonprofit sector. Learn more » PDF