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.

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West Michigan Job Growth by 2024
U.S. Job Growth by 2024
GVSU Ranking as West Michigan Talent Provider

Source: EMSI, 2020


According to 2020 EMSI data, public administration jobs are expected to grow 8% in West Michigan, 6% in Michigan, and 7% in the U.S. by 2024. The median annual wage for public administration professionals is $84,905 but varies by region and job title. Students who graduate with an M.P.A. often hold the following job titles:

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

Source: EMSI, 2020

In addition to the program outlook above, the NASPAA requires us to show the following program completion rates and employment statistics.

M.P.A. Program Completion RatesM.P.A. Employment Statistics

The 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.

Advanced Skills

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

Common Skills

  • Management
  • Operations
  • Leadership
  • Communications
  • Presentations
  • Customer Service
  • Research
  • Coordinating

Source: EMSI, 2020


  • Accredited. The M.P.A. program has earned accreditation by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) since 1995.
  • 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.
  • 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.


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

Visit the online catalog to see a full list of course offerings and degree requirements.

Course Offerings


The Master of Public Administration program admission deadlines are June 1 for the fall semester, November 1 for the winter semester, and April 1 for the spring/summer semester. The admission requirements are available here. The $30 application fee is waived for undergraduate alumni of Grand Valley. Visit the online catalog to view admission requirements for this program.

Admission Requirements


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)


For more information on tuition and fees, please visit the costs portion of the GVSU Financial Aid website. For financial support, scholarship search, and filing for FAFSA, please visit the GVSU Financial Support website.

Note: Grand Valley does not charge a higher tuition rate based on residency. Tuition is based on the program in which you chose to enroll.


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