To earn the Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree, students must successfully complete 40 semester hours (SH) of credit in a prescribed curriculum, which can be accomplished in as little as 18 months.
The MPA Core
The MPA Core encompasses seven courses (28 SH) that combined provide a range of competencies to prepare students for leadership and management careers in the public and nonprofit sectors. All students should expect to start the program with PPUA 6500, Principles of Public Administration, and finish it with PPUA 7673, Capstone in Public Policy and Urban Affairs. Other core courses, and any electives, can be taken as convenient, with sequencing based on an individualized plan of study worked out with the student’s advisor. Core course typically are offered twice per year, once on the Boston campus and once online. Current and prospective students should refer to the 2019-2020 Graduate Catalog for a description of the Master of Public Administration curriculum.
MPA students have 12 SH in free electives, which can be applied to earning one of several graduate certificates (below), concentrated in a particular focus area, or selected as desired from a broad array of courses offered by the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, other graduate programs in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, and most other graduate level programs at Northeastern University. The selection of electives is done in consultation with the student’s advisor.
MPA students can use their electives to fulfill a graduate certificate in an area of specialized training. Currently available graduate certificates include in the Nonprofit Sector, Urban Analytics, Urban Studies, or Public Policy Analysis. Outside of the certificates, students can build expertise in a particular focus area (e.g., sustainability and resilience, health policy and administration) based on courses selected in consultation with their academic advisers.
Degree Outcomes and Tuition
Graduates of the MPA Program enter a wide variety of careers in the public and nonprofit sectors alike. A small percentage also enters the private sector. Graduates go on to careers as Town Administrators, Management Analysts, Research Analysts, and Program Directors.
A recent survey of MPA alumni concluded that 30 percent of 2015-2016 graduates are employed in the nonprofit sector; 35 percent in the public sector; and 22 percent in the private sector.
Data from the 2012-2013 cohort shows that of the 44 students initially enrolled in the MPA Program, 27 graduated within 2 years, 32 graduated within 3 years, and 34 graduated within 4 years.
As of Fall 2020, the tuition rate for the MPA Program is $952 per semester hour for a total of approximately $38,080. Additional fees may apply.
|International Student Fee (one-time)||$350|
|Student Center Fee (full-time students, per-term, Boston campus only)||$70||$35|
|Student Center Fee (part-time students, per-term, Boston campus only)||$10||$5|
|Student Recreation Fee (full-time students, per-term)||$60||$35|
|Student Recreation Fee (part-time students, per-term)||$30|
|Student Activities Fee (per-term)||$16||$8|
|Resident Activity Fee (per-term)||$32||$16|
For additional information, contact Julie Switkes.
Type of Program
- Graduate Program
Accreditations & Affiliations