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Master of Public Administration

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Master of Public Administration

The mission of OU’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) program is to equip students with knowledge and skills to adapt to changing public service environments and to work collaboratively to solve problems in the public and nonprofit sectors. We accomplish this mission through:

  • offering a robust curriculum in a manner sensitive to the diverse perspectives present in Oklahoma,
  • preparing our graduates to provide leadership and analytic skills within their communities,
  • generating knowledge relevant to public service based on rigorous research,
  • engaging our community in teaching, research and service activities.

The MPA is the preferred graduate degree for a career in public service, enabling our graduates to pursue a multitude of career paths in federal, tribal, state, and local government; and the nonprofit, education and private sectors.

An OU-MPA graduates with an understanding and knowledge of government institutions, actors, and processes. As a professional program, emphasis is placed on learning the concepts, processes, and techniques associated with conducting society's business. The degree blends theoretical and practical dimensions while encouraging a broadened scholarly and professional perspective. It also provides an understanding of the role of public administration and public policy in social and political contexts.

The Department of Political Science, an academic unit of the College of Arts and Sciences at OU, is the academic home of the MPA program. All OU academic units offering master’s and doctoral degrees are guided by the policies of the OU Graduate College. The Graduate College ensures quality, observance of policy, and academic excellence in all areas of graduate study at the University.

The MPA degree requires completion of 36 hours of graduate credit and is designed as a self-paced program giving both part-time and full-time students flexibility in completing the degree. Courses are scheduled in the evening, weekends, online and during the day. The full degree can be completed on either the Norman or Tulsa campus.

Many prospective students inquire if our degree can be completed online. The OU-MPA program is not an online degree program. While our program does offer occasion online courses throughout the academic year, the degree cannot be completed online.



Active Student Population96¹
Norman Campus49
Tulsa Campus47
Average Overall Graduate GPA3.75
Average Age32
Oklahoma Residents94%
American Indian/Native Alaskan5%
Black/African American7%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander1%
Do Not Wish To Report2%

¹Data does not include Accelerated Degree Program (ADP) students (n=8) not admitted to the graduate portion of the ADP. These students are still considered undergraduates.

OU offers dual master’s degree programs allowing students to pursue degrees simultaneously in two fields of study. To learn more about pursuing a dual degree consult the current Graduate College Bulletin, or contact Mr. Jeff Alexander at

Length of Degree

The MPA degree requires completion of 36 hours of graduate credit. A full-time student taking nine hours during the fall and spring semesters can complete the degree in two years (less when taking coursework during the summer semester). A part-time student taking six hours during the fall and spring semester can complete the program in three years (less when taking coursework during the summer).

The table below demonstrates the graduation rates for the Academic Year (AY)-2013 MPA combined Norman and Tulsa campus cohort. During that year, a total of 21 students matriculated in the program, more than two-thirds of the cohort graduated within three years, and the graduation rate was 81%.

Graduation Rates AY-2013 Cohort

Initially EnrolledGraduated in 2-YrsGraduated in 3-YrsGraduated in 4-YrsTotal Student Cohort Graduating

Admission & Degree Requirements

In order to be considered for admission to the graduate program, students must first meet Graduate College admission requirements as described in the Graduate College Bulletin.

To seek admission, students must apply directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions by submitting the official online application form along with transcripts and the application fee.

Students whose native language is not English will be required to submit their scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The TOEFL institutional code for the University of Oklahoma is 6879.

In addition, the Graduate Programs in Public Administration requires students to submit the following materials with your online application

  • current résumé
  • statement of about 1,000 words or less articulating the applicant's specific preparation for graduate study, proposed fields of study and area of focus, and career aspirations. A compelling statement is a critical part of the application; the applicant should invest time in crafting the personal statement.
  • two letters of recommendation from persons in a position to speak knowledgeably about the applicant's academic ability. Typically, these would be academic references rather than personal acquaintances or employers. 

The GRE is not a requirement for admission.

Admissions applications are accepted on a rolling admissions deadline; that is, as soon as your application dossier is complete, it is referred to the admissions committee for recommendation, versus waiting for the application to be reviewed after a set application deadline.

Applications are accepted for summer, fall and spring admission terms during the academic year. To ensure your application is reviewed for the term you wish to enroll, the admissions committee strongly recommend that all applicants submit their completed application dossier well in advance of the intended enrollment semester. Typically, the committee evaluates applications on a monthly basis to ensure that a recommendation is made expeditiously. The admissions committee reserves the right to defer a recommended application for another semester based on enrollment capacity.

All MPA students are required to select one of four concentrations when applying to the program. These concentrations are: General, Public Policy, Nonprofit Management or Individualized Intensive Study (refer to the program’s current MPA Student Guide below for more information on concentrations).

Cost of Degree

Graduate Tuition$236.80$847.60
Mandatory Hourly Fees$110.05$110.05
Academic Excellence Fees$90.00$90.00
College & Technology Fees$34.00$34.00
Total Per Credit Hour$470.85*$1,081.65*

Mandatory Semester Fees (Resident/Non-resident) $126.50 per semester
Mandatory Semester Fees (Int'l only) $201.50 per semester

*All tuition and fees are for informational purposes only and are subject to change without notice. Individual courses may have special fees associated. Late registration fee is applied to all students enrolling after first official day of classes.

Financial Aid for Students

As the cost of higher education continues to rise across the nation, many students need financial assistance to pursue their education. OU Financial Aid Services awards and monitors all federal and need-based awards for students. For additional information on financial aid programs at OU, or start your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application visit the Financial Aid Services Website.

Financial Aid Services Contact Information

1000 Asp Ave., Buchanan Hall, Room 206
Norman, OK 73019-4078
(405) 325-4521

Types of Aid for Graduate Students
Below are a few select types of financial aid for eligible graduate students.

Federal Grants
Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

Tribal Grants and Resources

Eligible American Indian/Alaska Native students are encouraged to contact their respective tribal agency for specific information and application materials for higher education grants, scholarships and fellowships. tribes for more information and to apply.

Students may also contact the American Indian Student Life office at the University.

Another resource of funding is through the American Indian Graduate Center, a national resource for nonprofit organization providing resources for American Indian students.

Vocational Rehabilitation Services
The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services may assist certain physical, mental, or emotionally disabilities by providing funding or other support services.

Department of Political Science-MPA Scholarships

MPA scholarships are available for eligible enrolled students. Specific scholarships are the John Halvor Leek Memorial Scholarship, Walter F. Scheffer Scholarship and the Joyce and Edmond Peters Scholarship.

GI Bill

The OU Veteran Student Alliance is an excellent resource for GI Bill educational benefits available to students who are active-duty, reserve personnel, or veterans.

Graduate Assistantships

On occasion to support the teaching and research mission of the department of political science graduate assistantships may be available to eligible MPA graduate students. To learn more about graduate assistantships with the department, please contact Mr. Jeff Alexander at


Direct Unsubsidized Loan

Direct PLUS Loan

Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

OU Institutional Loan



The MPA faculty comprise of 14 tenured and tenure-track professors pursuing active teaching and research portfolios in a variety of relevant public administration and public policy areas. Many of our MPA faculty lead OU affiliated research units and hold leadership positions with the University.

Alisa Hicklin Fryar

Director of Graduate Programs in Public Administration

Meg Myers Morgan

Program Director - MPA Tulsa

Scott Robinson

Chair of the Department of Political Science

Recent Graduate/Internship Placement

The career path of recent MPA graduates at OU is varied and reflective of students’ own interests and career aspirations. The majority of our graduates seek careers in the public sector; specifically, career tracks in federal, tribal, state and local government. Other graduates are pursuing careers in the nonprofit or public sector.

OU-MPA Graduate Employment Statistics for AY-2017

Employment Sector# of Students
National or central gov't in the same country as program1
State, provincial or regional gov't in the same country as program5
City, county, or other local gov't in the same country as the program4
Foreign government (all levels) or int'l quasi-governmental0
Nonprofit domestic-oriented2
Private sector-research/consulting0
Private sector but not research/consulting1
Military Service0
Obtaining further education0
Unemployed seeking employment0
Unemployed not seeking employment0
Status unknown1
Total number of graduates14


MPA students are not required to complete an internship to obtain the degree, but many of our pre-service students pursue internship opportunities. 

Internship Placements for AY-2018
Carrie Blumert Campaign for Oklahoma County Commissioner
Thrive: Sexual Health for Youth
Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy
City of Norman (2 Students)
University of Oklahoma International Student Recruitment Office
Oklahoma Climatological Survey
Oklahoma Department of Labor
Office of Congressman Steve Russell OK-05
Daniel Pae Campaign for Oklahoma State House of Representatives

Feel free to contact our Graduate Programs Coordinator, Jeff Alexander at