10 Reasons for studying Public Administration at Grand Valley? 

There are many good reasons to choose Grand Valley for your MPA degree, including its relative affordability, convenient Grand Rapids location, and attractive urban campus.

Here are ten more great reasons why the Grand Valley MPA should be your first choice:

1. Grand Valley created its MPA program in 1978. In thirty-five years, we have established a strong reputation in public management education. On the US News and World Report's list of Public Affairs graduate programs, we are the second highest ranked Michigan university (121st overall) and the only Michigan university ranked for Nonprofit Management (25th overall).

2. Accreditation from NASPAA since 1995. The MPA program earned accreditation from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) in 1995. This accreditation assures prospective employers outside of Michigan, who may be unfamiliar with GVSU, that our graduates are well prepared for the profession.

3. Active Involvement in an urban setting. As a professional program in an urban setting, MPA students are actively involved with the community in professional service activities and applied research.

4. Flexibility of moving from one sector to another. Our MPA program recognizes the importance of the nonprofit and healthcare sectors, but not as disconnected areas of activity, but as realms that overlap and interact with the public sector. We recognize that many of our students will move among these sectors during their professional career.

5. Most flexible course schedules. The MPA is the most flexible graduate program at GVSU in terms of course scheduling. We offer MPA courses on the downtown Pew campus at night and on weekends, so they can accommodate most work schedules. We offer a growing number of classes in online and hybrid formats. We offer many popular courses in Fall, Winter and Spring/Summer semesters. Students can attend part-time or full-time, adjusting their course loads to fit changing circumstances.

6. Strongly supporting individual career objectives. The MPA is the most accommodating graduate program at GVSU in terms of supporting individual career objectives. With five alternative concentrations and nine elective credits, every student's study plan is distinctive. You will graduate an individual ready to make a difference, not a clone with a dozen generic competencies.

7. Courses always justify their costs. Our courses are more demanding and our grading is tougher than you might find elsewhere. This may sometimes be painful. However, each course's content justifies your cost. And when you graduate, you will feel that you and your classmates truly "earned" your degree. 

8. Most diverse Masters Program. The MPA classroom is the most diverse of any Masters program at GVSU. We have both pre-career and midcareer students. We have a relatively high percentage of minority and international students. In any particular class, you may be sitting next to a graduate student from social work, criminal justice, health administration, nursing, occupational therapy, business, or communications. This makes for richer classroom experience than any other program you can find in West Michigan.

9. No standardized tests required for most applicants. Well-qualified MPA applicants are not required to take standardized tests, which are expensive, yet fallible indicators of academic success. We make admission decisions on a rolling basis, and will inform you of your status a few weeks after your application is complete. We encourage you to apply on time, but we will evaluate your application even if it is late.

10. Exceptional Academic and Practitioner faculty members. The curriculum is delivered by thirteen academic facility members who have earned Ph.D.s and are actively engaged in research. They are supported by twenty practitioner faculty members who bring a total of 150 years of real-world experience into our classroom.


Page last modified March 12, 2014