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GVSU Public Administration graduate students in class.

Public Administration, M.P.A.

The mission of the Master in Public Administration (M.P.A.) is to develop both the general knowledge and specific abilities needed for professional careers in public service organizations. The curriculum is designed to prepare students to act ethically and effectively in public management, urban and regional policy and planning, government, criminal justice, and healthcare administration.

Visit the program website for more information.

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Program Overview

The M.P.A. program offers the following concentrations:

  • Criminal justice
  • Health administration
  • Nonprofit management and leadership
  • Policy analysis, advocacy, and evaluation
  • State, regional, and local governance

Why Study Public Administration at Grand Valley?

  • Grand Valley is actively involved with the community in professional service activities and applied research.
  • Students receive personal attention by faculty in all courses in our student-oriented, teaching-focused program.
  • The program meets the diverse educational needs of part-time and full-time students with a flexible, innovative curriculum design that includes evening and weekend courses, workshops, and Web-enhanced learning.
  • Students have opportunities for research.

Helpful Links

For More Information

School of Public, Nonprofit, and Health Administration
288C DeVos Center
(616) 331-6575

Graduate Admissions Office

Location & Format

Classes for the program meet on the Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus.

  • Face To Face


Students study a variety of topics, including:

  • Economic and community development
  • Metropolitan politics and administration
  • Nonprofit financial management
  • Philanthropy and the nonprofit sector
  • Public budgeting
  • Public policy analysis
  • U.S. health administration

Career Options

Career opportunities include positions as:

  • City managers
  • Community developers
  • Department heads
  • Financial managers
  • Foreign service officers
  • Fundraisers
  • Program or agency directors

Skills Employers Want

The Master of Public Administration at GVSU will develop the skills you need to land the job you want. Whether the skills are advanced or general, you will build a resume of qualifications that are sure to attract employers. The following skills correlate with those pulled from actual public administration job openings.

  • Accounting
  • Budgeting
  • Public Administration
  • Financial Statements
  • Auditing
  • Treasury
  • Forecasting
  • Purchasing
  • Public Relations

Application Deadline

Deadline for fall semester is June 1; winter is November 1; and spring/summer is April 1. The $30 nonrefundable application fee is waived if the applicant has previously applied to Grand Valley State University. Please visit

Admission Requirements

  • An undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale calculated on the last 60 credit hours of undergraduate coursework
  • Three letters of reference from informed sources
  • A detailed resume
  • An essay on career and educational objectives (250-750 words)
  • A demonstrated commitment to community and public service
  • Submitting a GRE score is recommended for applicants who have neither a 3.0 undergraduate GPA nor five years of professional experience. The GRE is also recommended for applicants applying for a graduate assistantship with SPNHA.


“We're on the cusp of a lot of change in health care and my instructors teach according to that. I really think that’s going to put me ahead of people that attended somewhere else.”



When you became a Laker, you opened up a lifetime of learning, and now alumni like you can use your Laker Lifetime Learning (L3) account for classes that provide greater knowledge and new skills. Your account is waiting for you to use for future classes at GVSU. All you have to do is click on the button below to find out more.

Find Out More About Your Laker Lifetime Learning Account (L3)