MPA - Master of Public Administration

Susan Kragt video

Why an MPA from GVSU?

The Master of Public Administration is the gold standard degree for careers in public service organizations. Our NASPAA accredited MPA degree is designed with our mission and students in mind. Our mission and competency-based curriculum develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for leadership in governance and community-based organizations. The 39-credit hour program (plus an additional 3-credit hours of internship for pre-career students) prepares graduate students for careers in state, regional, and local governance; policy analysis, advocacy, and evaluation; nonprofit management; criminal justice; and health administration. In and out of the classroom, students engage with a diverse student body and nationally and internationally recognized faculty; and network with student organizations, alumni, and leaders in the field. Classes are offered weekday evenings and online. The Master of Public Administration from GVSU will improve the skills necessary to have a successful and rewarding career as a public servant. Apply now and start your future today.


The mission of the MPA program is to develop both the general knowledge and specific abilities needed for leadership in governance and community-based organizations. The curriculum is designed to prepare graduate students for careers in state, local, and regional governance; policy, advocacy, and evaluation; nonprofit management; criminal justice; and health administration. We are committed to developing in graduate students the capacities for ethical judgment, critical thinking, and the core competencies necessary to fulfill multiple roles as effective managers and public servants.

The MPA program is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). We have held this prestigious delegation since 1995. This accreditation certifies that our MPA degree maintains rigor and relevancy for the 21st Century public servant. Learn more about the courses, concentrations, and requirements on the program of study page.

Online and Hybrid Classes

Online and face to face in-seat classes held in downtown Grand Rapids at the Pew Campus.

4+1 Accelerated Degree

Current GV undergraduate students can complete both a bachelor's and an MPA degree in 5 years. The combined degree accelerates career trajectory, one step ahead of the competition so to have a more immediate impact on the communities we serve.

Scholarships and Assistantships

A variety of scholarships and graduate assistantships are available to help make the degree more affordable.

Generous Transfer Credits

Transfer up to 12 credits of graduate work from another program.

Real-World Experience

Students gain real world experience through multiple internships and projects where they connect with community leaders and alumni.

Diverse Student Population

The MPA program has one of the most diverse student populations at GVSU.

Network Building

Connect with community leaders and alumni through student-led professional organizations such as the International City/County Management Association, Nonprofit Professionals Graduate Student Organization, and HPGSA.

Multi-sector Career Opportunities

Numerous concentrations prepare MPA graduates for careers in a variety of multi-sector organizations such as city/county government offices, universities, nonprofit charities, public health organizations, criminal justice departments.

Prospective Students

If you are interested in a degree that complements your career goals and enhances the skills necessary to be a 21st Century leader, then the Master of Public Administration is the degree for you. Students can earn the MPA one of two ways: the Professional MPA or for current GVSU undergrads, the 4+1 MPA.

At GV you will network with a diverse group of students, alumni, and local leaders, and learn from internationally and nationally recognized professors who bring real world experience to the classroom. For more information, visit the program of study page to learn about courses, concentrations, and requirements.

Admission requirements include: an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (transcripts must be submitted), a detailed resume, three letters of recommendation from informed sources, and an essay on career and educational objectives (250-750 words) that demonstrates your commitment to community and public service. GRE scores are NOT required but may be requested in cases where GPA is lower than a 3.0.

Visit the application website to apply online.

For more information, contact the graduate program director: Dr. Neal Buckwalter.

Meet Binh Ha

MPA student video

MPA Alumni

1100 plus MPA alumni
91 percent employed at graduation
average annual income for government administrators
90 percent complete degree in five years
Franziska Rook

Franziska Rook is a Senior Program Manager in Member Education for Global Ties U.S., in the Washington D.C. area. 

NaTasha Brown

NaTasha Brown is a New School Development Associate for National Heritage Academies.

Jerryl Ewing

Jerryl Ewing is currently BHR Operations Manager at the Foothill Community Health Center in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Brian Flannagan

Brian Flanagan is the Managing Director of the Sanger Leadership Center in the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. 

Hannah (Rogers) Olechnowicz

Hannah (Rogers) Olechnowicz is currently Executive Director of the Grand Haven Schools Foundation


Linda Witte

Linda Witte is the program developer/manager for health programs in the Workforce Training Department at Grand Rapids Community College.

Page last modified May 17, 2022