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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. 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 occasional online courses throughout the academic year, the degree cannot be completed online.



Active Student Population44
Norman Campus28
Tulsa Campus16
Average Overall Graduate GPA3.84
Average Age32
Oklahoma Residents84%
Non-US Citizen
Hispanic Ethnicity, of any race12%
American Indian or Native Alaskan, alone
Asian, alone
Black or African American, alone
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, alone0%
Two or More Races17%
Race Unreported2%
White, alone67%

Dual Degree

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 during the Academic Year (AY) 2016-2017 for both the Norman and Tulsa campus cohort combined. A total of 61 students enrolled in the program with more than three-fourths of the cohort graduating within three years.

Graduation Rates 2016-2017 Cohort

Initially EnrolledGraduated within 2-YrsGraduated within 3-YrsGraduated within 4-YrsTotal 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 are 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.

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 a completed application 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, Nonprofit Management, Public Management, or Public Policy (refer to the current MPA Student Guide below for more information on concentrations).

Estimated Total Cost of Degree 2022-2023

Tuition (36 hours)$12,051$35,730$35,730
Fees (36 hours)$5,173$5,173$5,323
Estimated Total Cost of Degree (36 hours)

All tuition and fees are for informational purposes only and are subject to change without notice. The total degree cost is an estimate based on completing 36 graduate credit hours. Costs of housing, food, books, and other personal expenses are not included. All tuition and fees shown are in U.S. dollars. Course-specific fees are not included. Individual courses may have special fees associated. Late registration fees are applied to all students enrolling after first official day of classes. This is not a guarantee of future costs.

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. Jeff Alexander at


Direct Unsubsidized Loan

Direct PLUS Loan

Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

OU Institutional Loan  


The Department of Political Science is the academic home of the OU-MPA graduate degree program. The OU-MPA is comprised of nine nucleus faculty members pursuing active teaching and research portfolios. Many of our OU-MPA faculty lead affiliated research units and hold leadership positions with the University.


Deven Carlson*

Director of Graduate Programs
in Public Administration

Meg Myers Morgan*

Program Director - MPA Tulsa

*Nucleus faculty members

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.


Employment Sector# of Students
National or central gov't in the same country as program2
State, provincial or regional gov't in the same country as program4
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-oriented11
Nonprofit/NGOs Int’l-oriented0
Private sector-research/consulting2
Private sector but not research/consulting3
Military Service2
Obtaining further education3
Unemployed seeking employment1
Unemployed not seeking employment0
Status unknown0
Total number of graduates32


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 - 2022
Tinker Air Force Base, Midwest City, OK
Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Oklahoma City, OK

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