Southeast Missouri State University

Why Should I Pursue a Master's of Public Administration (MPA) at Southeast?

The Master's of Public Administration (MPA) is a professional degree that prepares students for a career in management in government and nonprofit organizations. Typically, such a degree involves a broad core of courses dealing with personnel, budgeting, intergovernmental relations, communication, policy formulation and analysis. Those who hold the MPA degree can be found working in all levels and branches of government, as well as in a wide array of non-profit organizations. Others who hold the MPA may be found working for businesses in the private sector, especially in positions that involve interaction with governmental organizations.

It is possible to complete the MPA in two to two-and-a-half years.Many students, however, are mid-career professionals who choose to take one course per semester, and therefore take longer to complete the degree.

Career Opportunities

Our graduates have positions in a wide variety of governmental and non-profit organizations.These positions include city managers, parks directors, purchasing officers, personnel administrators, executive directors of charitable organizations, mid-level managers in larger government agencies, etc. Employment opportunities are plentiful for those with an MPA. There are almost two million nonprofit organizations in the United States, and current employment in national, state, and local governments exceeds twenty million.

MPA Courses

All of the core courses are offered during the evening, typically from 6to 8:50 p.m. The Department maintains a regular multi-year schedule for when those courses will be offered. For the current course rotation schedule, please see the graduate bulletin.While the MPA courses are not offered online, several of them are offered in blended format, meaning that during some weeks the class meets in person, and during other weeks the class meets online.

Real-World Experience

Students typically arrange internships with area government agencies or nonprofit organizations. The internship involves 120 hours of work with the host organization, and the completion and successful defense of a formal internship paper. Students completing the internship receive three hours of academic credit for the experience.

MPA Faculty

In general, all of the core MPA courses are offered by full-time faculty of the Department of Political Science, Philosophy and Religion who hold a doctorate and who have had a wide range of experience in the conduct of public administration. In addition, other Public Administration option courses may be offered by area practitioners whose specialized expertise supplements the regular course offerings. For more on the Department's MPA faculty, please visit the Department's Web site.


Classes are held in the completely-refurbished A.S.J. Carnahan Hall, and the classrooms are attractive, comfortable, accessible and equipped with a full range of educational technology. Online components of blended classes are conducted through a state-of-the-art educational software system developed and maintained by Southeast staff.

Related Links

Online Application
Graduate Bulletin
Department of Political Science, Philosophy, and Religion
School of Graduate Studies
International Students

Contact Us

Dr. Rick Althaus, Professor of Political Science, Ph.D.

Department of Political Science, Philosophy, and Religion
Southeast Missouri State University
One University Plaza, MS 2920
Carnahan 211F
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

Phone: (573) 651-2700