Master of Public Administration

Master of Public Administration

University of Alaska Anchorage

What is a Master of Public Administration?

What is a Master of Public Administration?

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree provides students with knowledge and skills needed for professional careers in public service. MPA students learn new techniques and add to their expertise in organizational and program management, policy analysis, and related areas with emphasis on policy and administrative issues in the North. Students specialize in one of the following emphasis areas: Public Management, Policy Analysis, Health Administration, or Criminal Justice.

The Public Management emphasis is designed for those working for or planning to work for executive agencies of local, state, and federal government; for private, non-profit organizations; and in government relations units of private corporations. It provides basic tools of public management, understanding of the structure and processes of public organizations, and the history and context of the field of public administration.

The Policy Analysis emphasis is intended to provide the professional staffs of executive and legislative departments of local, state, and federal governments with the capability to analyze the effects of a broad range of actual or hypothetical government policies. It emphasizes the application of economic analysis and other quantitative and qualitative methods to Alaska and national policy issues.

The Health Administration emphasis prepares students to function as health administrators in state, local, or federal agencies, non-profit organizations, and private companies that do health-related work. Students develop knowledge and skills necessary for effective public management in the health care area: planning, decision-making, and managing people, money and programs.

The Criminal Justice Emphasis provides graduates with the theoretical basis for management careers in the field of criminal justice. Students develop knowledge and skills necessary for effective public management: planning and decision making, managing people, money and programs. These skills are  applicable in a wide spectrum of employment areas in law enforcement and the criminal justice system; and also prepare graduates seeking to earn a terminal degree in justice administration.

Other students may wish to pursue a dual emphasis. Various additional dual emphasis areas may be created by combining individual emphasis areas. Interested students should speak with their advisor.

As an example – the dual emphasis in public management and public policy analysis is designed for those who work for, or plan to work for, both executive and legislative agencies of local, state and federal government; for private, nonprofit organizations; and in government relations units of private corporations. It combines the basic tools of public management with the capability to analyze the effects of a broad range of actual or hypothetical government policies. It provides an understanding of the structure and processes of public organizations, the history and context of the field of public administration, and emphasizes the application of economic analysis and other quantitative and qualitative methods to Alaska and national policy issues. This dual emphasis requires an additional 9 credits.

Upon approval of the student’s advisor and dean, and by completing additional course work and meeting other degree requirements, an MPA student may receive both the MPA and the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees.

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