MPA - Program Transparency


NASPAA accreditation

The mission of the MPA program is to develop the knowledge, skills and abilities needed for leadership in governance and community-based organizations. The curriculum is designed to prepare graduate students for careers in public management, urban and regional policy and planning, 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) 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.


Graduation Rates

Of the students who started the MPA program in Fall 2016 or Winter 2017, 71.1% were retained into their second year. Of the students enrolled in the MPA program for the 2015-2016 cohort: 64% completed the MPA in 4 years or less

Registration

In the Fall 2019 semester, 28.7% of MPA students were registered full-time (9 or more credits) and 71.3% of MPA students were registered part-time in Fall 2019. the average student course load was 6.25 credit hours.


Class Size

The average MPA class size was 13.9 in Winter 2020

Recommend MPA

82% of MPA graduates (2016-2019) recommend the program

Employment

90.6% of MPA students are employed at graduation

Learning Outcomes

GVSU student learning outcomes.


Student Profile

MPA students at time of graduation, August 2012 to April 2017 (Total graduates: 352)

Gender

  • Female: 69%
  • Male: 31%

Race and Ethnicity

  • African-American / Black: 7%
  • American Indian or Alaskan Native: 1%
  • Asian / Pacific Islander: 4%
  • Hispanic: 5%
  • Mixed-race: 2%
  • White: 71%

Age

  • Age under 25: 14% 
  • Age 25-29: 45%
  • Age 30-39: 25%
  • Age 40+: 17%

International

6% of MPA students are International (on student visa) students


Employment Statistics

MPA graduates find employment in a variety of fields. Sample jobs obtained by graduates include Section 8 housing coordinator for the Grand Rapids Housing Commission, Contract Administrator for the City of Grand Rapids, Academic Advisor for GVSU, Clinical Manager at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, Development Coordinator at Kids' Food Basket, Human Resource Generalist at Cascade Engineering. 

2019-20 Graduates (29):

  • State/Provincial/Regional government: 1
  • City/county government: 6
  • Nonprofit, Domestic: 11
  • Nonprofit, NGO: 1
  • Private sector, research/consulting: 1
  • Private sector, not research oriented: 6
  • Pursuing further education: 1
  • Unknown: 2

2018-19 Graduates (38)

  • Private sector, research/consulting: 2
  • Private sector, not research oriented: 7
  • Nonprofit, Domestic: 14
  • City/county government: 10
  • Unknown: 5

2017-18 Graduates (39):

  • State/Provincial/Regional government: 1
  • Private sector, research/consulting: 1
  • Private sector, not research oriented: 10
  • Nonprofit, NGO: 1
  • Nonprofit, Domestic: 18
  • City/county government: 7
  • Unknown: 1

2016-2017 Graduates (54):

  • State/Provincial/Regional government: 2
  • Pursuing further education: 1
  • Private sector, not research oriented: 13
  • Nonprofit, NGO: 2
  • Nonprofit, Domestic:  22
  • City/county government: 7
  • Non-US Government: 1
  • Unemployed / Not seeking employment: 1
  • Unknown: 5

2015-2016 Graduates (67):

  • State/Provincial/Regional government: 4
  • Pursuing further education: 1
  • Private sector, research-oriented: 1
  • Private sector, not research oriented: 6
  • Nonprofit, NGO: 2
  • Nonprofit, Domestic:  29
  • International quasi-governmental: 1
  • National government: 1
  • City/county government: 15
  • Unknown: 7

2014-2015 Graduates (75):

  • National or Central domestic government: 2
  • State, provincial, or regional government (USA): 2
  • City, county, or other local government: 4
  • Government (all levels) or international quasi-governmental: 0
  • Nonprofit, domestic-oriented: 49
  • Nonprofit/NGOs, Internationally oriented: 3
  • Private sector - Research or Consulting: 1
  • Private sector - Not Research or Consulting: 5
  • Unemployed, seeking employment: 3
  • Status Unknown: 6

2010-2014 Graduates (476):

  • National or Central domestic government: 9
  • State, provincial, or regional government (USA): 12
  • City, county, or other local government: 41
  • Government (all levels) or international quasi-governmental: 1
  • Nonprofit, domestic-oriented: 254
  • Nonprofit/NGOs, Internationally oriented: 15
  • Private sector - Research or Consulting: 6
  • Private sector - Not Research or Consulting: 60
  • Obtaining further education: 10
  • Unemployed, seeking employment: 21
  • Status Unknown: 47

Program Completion Rates

Once you begin your MPA studies at GVSU, you have eight years to complete the program. The timeline for completion varies by student, and can depend on a variety of personal factors such as work and family schedules or financial aid. SPNHA considers full-time status to be 9 credit hours per semester, or two years for completion. Part-time status is anything below 9 credits per semester, with four years as the general completion time.

For the cohort of students who began in the 2014-15 academic year, 74 students enrolled initially. 

  • Students who graduated within two years: 37
  • Students who graduated within three years: 45
  • Students who graduated within four years: 48
  • Total students persisting to graduation: 51

For the cohort of students who began in the 2013-14 academic year, 86 students enrolled initially. 

  • Students who graduated within two years: 41
  • Students who graduated within three years: 52
  • Students who graduated within four years: 54
  • Total students persisting to graduation: 59

For the cohort of students who began in the 2012-13 academic year, 87 students enrolled initially. 

  • Students who graduated within two years: 44
  • Students who graduated within three years: 56
  • Students who graduated within four years: 64 
  • Total students persisting to graduation: 66

For the cohort of students who began in the 2011 academic year, 76 students enrolled initially. 

  • Students who graduated within two years: 52
  • Students who graduated within three years: 63 
  • Students who graduated within four years: 68  
  • Total students graduating: 71 

GVSU President handing student a diploma