A flexible program for working professionals and full-time scholars

The master of public administration (MPA) is the degree of choice for individuals with an interest in public affairs and professional management in the public and nonprofit sectors. Whether you’re seeking a first job in government or with a nonprofit organization, or are interested in advancing in an existing career, Georgia State University’s MPA program provides skills and knowledge that government and nonprofit agencies are looking for. Join us as we explore new ideas and perspectives on public and nonprofit administration, policy and governance in the 21st Century.

Our MPA program is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). Read the NASPAA Code of Good Practice. AYSPS is also a member of APPAM. Recent national studies have ranked our overall public affairs curriculum in the top 27 programs nationwide, and in the top 15 for public finance, urban policy, and nonprofit management. The Department of Public Management and Policy, located in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, provides access to a community of research and teaching scholars with national and international reputations for their expertise and contributions to knowledge and practice across a broad range of administrative processes and policy concerns.

The mission of the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program is to prepare students to become leaders in public service careers as executives, managers, analysts, and policy specialists in government and nonprofit organizations.

Recent Program Statistics 



“The daily challenge for any newer city is to prioritize efforts, keep departments moving in the same direction towards organizational goals and build consensus to manage growth pressures.”

Alumna Samantha Abell, city manager for Gautier, Mississippi

Program Characteristics

The MPA program is a late-afternoon/evening program with courses offered Monday-Thursday.  All courses are one-night-a-week classes, either in the 4:30-7:00 p.m. or 7:15-9:45 time slot.  Classes are all taught on the GSU downtown campus.  Students are welcome to enroll on a part-time or full-time basis based on their personal schedules and work demands.  The purpose for offering the program during evening hours is to not only accomodate those students who are already working professionals, but we also want to ensure students have the ability to complete necessary internship requirements during regular business operating hours at local public agencies.


The information listed here is taken from the University Catalog, but may not be 100% up-to-date. For the most accurate curriculum information, visit the University Catalog and scroll to find your program: 2050.40 – Master of Public Administration

The MPA degree requires 39 hours of graduate coursework, comprised of 24 credit hours of required courses, 12 credit hours in a concentration, and three credit hours of internship or practicum.


  • PMAP 8111 Public Service and Democracy (Note: Nonprofit Management concentration students must take PMAP 8210, Introduction to the Non Profit Sector)
  • PMAP 8121 Applied Research Methods and Statistics I
  • PMAP 8131 Applied Research Methods and Statistics II
  • PMAP 8141 Microeconomics for Public Policy
  • PMAP 8161 Public Budgeting and Finance (Note: Nonprofit Management concentration students must take PMAP 8261, Nonprofit Financial Management)
  • PMAP 8171 Management Systems and Strategies
  • PMAP 8411 Law for Public Managers (Note: Nonprofit Management concentration students must take PMAP 8203, Nonprofit Advocacy, Law, and Policy)
  • PMAP 8431 Leadership and Organizational Behavior


Each student must develop special competence by completing 12 hours in one of six concentrations. Students must formally declare the concentration they wish to complete prior to registering for their first elective course. Students also have the option of graduating without a concentration by developing an individualized set of courses in consultation with an advisor.  Any individualized concentration requires completing a petition and returning it to the Office of Academic Assistance for review by the department. An individualized track in disaster management may also lead to the graduate certificate in disaster management. Concentrations are described below.

Rotating Class Schedule for Department of Public Management and Policy (2015-2017)

The Criminal Justice concentration prepares students for managerial, planning, and development careers in the court system, corrections, and law enforcement, as well as positions in local, state, or national government. Students will develop knowledge and skills necessary for effective public management: planning and decision making, managing people, money and programs. It also enables those who currently carry out administrative responsibilities with the opportunity for substantial professional development.

Requirements and Suggested Course Sequencing

Required courses (6 hours):

  • CRJU 7010 Crime & the Criminal Justice System and/or
  • CRJU 8050 Criminological Theory and/or
  • CRJU 8710 Legal Aspects of Criminal Justice

Choose two courses (6 hours) from the following:

  • CRJU 6040 Comparative Criminal Justice
  • CRJU 6070 Family Violence and Criminal Justice
  • CRJU 7010 Crime & the Criminal Justice System
  • CRJU 8050 Criminological Theory
  • CRJU 8110 Law Enforcement Issues*
  • CRJU 8210 Juvenile Justice Issues*
  • CRJU 8310 Correctional Issues*
  • CRJU 8410 Criminological Issues*
  • CRJU 8710 Legal Aspects of Criminal Justice
  • CRJU 8720 Legal Issues in Criminal Justice
  • CRJU 8900 Special Topics
  • PMAP 8900 Public Service Capstone

*Indicates courses that can be repeated for up to 6 credits (these are special topics courses)

The management and finance concentration prepares students for careers in what has traditionally been called the public service. Where this once meant a government job, today’s public service is far more dynamic. Graduates may find themselves working for a government and interacting regularly with private companies, consultants, and nonprofit organizations. Or, they might work outside government in organizations that also pursue public goals. While management and finance graduates often work as analysts, this track is best suited for students who see themselves eventually in roles that involve leadership and management. The coursework has an analytical, problem-solving orientation, and focuses on the effective management of people, programs, resources, and information in complex environments. This concentration concludes with a capstone experience requiring the application of classroom knowledge to a challenging problem or issue facing a government or nonprofit organization.

Requirements and Suggested Course Sequencing 

Required courses (9 hours):

  • PMAP 8501 Managing Public Money
  • PMAP 8521 Evaluation Research: Design and Practice
  • PMAP 8900 Public Service Capstone

Choose one course (3 hours) from the following:

  • PMAP 8223 Nonprofit Human Resources
  • PMAP 8271 Disaster Policy and Emergency Management
  • PMAP 8311 Urban Demography and Analysis
  • PMAP 8321 Economic Development, Policy and Planning
  • PMAP 8351 Local Government Management
  • PMAP 8461 Ethics and Public Administration
  • PMAP 8505 Local Government Debt Issuance and Administration
  • PMAP 8899 Causal Inference and Evidence-Based Policy
  • ECON 8460 Economics of the State and Local Public Sector
Nonprofit organizations employ one of every 12 paid workers in the nation and as many volunteers, and generate more than $800 billion in revenues each year. This concentration prepares students to meet the challenges of this growing, diverse and critical part of our society. Its twin goals are to help nonprofit managers already working in the field to advance their careers and to assist those just beginning their careers to gain the skills needed to become effective professionals.

Requirements and Suggested Course Sequencing 

Required courses (6 hours):

  • PMAP 8213 Nonprofit Financial Resources
  • PMAP 8223 Nonprofit Human Resources

Choose two courses (6 hours) from the following:

  • PMAP 8010 Social Policy
  • PMAP 8111 Public Service and Democracy
  • PMAP 8161 Public Budgeting and Finance
  • PMAP 8201 International NGOs
  • PMAP 8232 Social Enterprise
  • PMAP 8251 Grant Writing and Management
  • PMAP 8271 Disaster Policy and Emergency Management
  • PMAP 8281 Disaster Relief and Humanitarian Assistance
  • PMAP 8900 Public Service Capstone
  • MBA 8145, or MK 8200, or MK 8210
This program of study prepares students to be better decision makers on planning and economic development issues at the scale of the neighborhood, city, county, and metropolitan region, for individual private employers and nonprofit agencies, for public agencies, and for elected or appointed officials. It prepares students for jobs responsible for selecting locations, planning services and facility investments, providing analyses on policy alternatives, and advocating change and improvement within organizations and society. Students are exposed to theory drawn from planning, economics, and other social science literature, and to a critical view of current practice. They are introduced to the history and professional culture of the planning profession and to the planning process as a systematic approach to problem solving, and they learn about data sources and how to use them appropriately.

Requirements and Suggested Course Sequencing 

Required courses (9 hours):

  • PMAP 8021 Scope and Theory of Planning
  • PMAP 8321 Economic Development, Policy and Planning
  • PMAP 8561 GIS Applications

Choose one course (3 hours) from the following:

  • PMAP 8010 Social Policy
  • PMAP 8031 Urban Political Economy
  • PMAP 8300 Planning for Resilient Communities
  • PMAP 8311 Urban Demography and Analysis
  • PMAP 8331 Urban Development and Sustainable Cities
  • PMAP 8341 Urban Transportation Planning
  • PMAP 8351 Local Government and Management
  • PMAP 8900 Public Service Capstone
  • ECON 8300 Urban Economics
This concentration provides students with the basic skills needed to work as policy analysts and program evaluators. Two required courses offer a foundation in evaluation strategies and analytical techniques for assessing public programs and analyzing policy alternatives. This track also affords students practical research experience in applying these skills.

Requirements and Suggested Course Sequencing 

Required courses (6 hours):

  • PMAP 8521 Evaluation Research: Design and Practice
  • PMAP 8531 Policy Analysis

Choose two courses (6 hours) from the following:

  • PMAP 8010 Social Policy
  • PMAP 8011 Politics and Policy
  • PMAP 8021 Scope and Theory of Planning
  • PMAP 8311 Urban Demography and Analysis
  • PMAP 8561 GIS Applications
  • PMAP 8899 Causal Inference and Evidence-Based Policy
  • ECON 8740 Applied Statistics and Econometrics
This concentration is designed for MPA students with career goals in the public health field that are primarily in the management and policy fields as opposed to health promotion or prevention science fields.

Requirements and Suggested Course Sequencing 

Required Courses (9 hours):

  • HA 8160 or PH 7160 – Health Care System
  • HA 8250 or PH 7230 or ECON 8210 – Health Care Finance
  • SOCI 9230 (Sociology of Health and Illness) or PH 7011 (Epidemiology) or PH 7140 (Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health)

Choose one course (3 hours) from the following:

  • PMAP 8251 Grant writing and management
  • PMAP 8232 Social Enterprise
  • PMAP 8900 Public Service Capstone
  • PH 7012 Health Program Planning, Implementation and Evaluation
  • PH 7130 Leadership and Public Health
  • HA 8450 The Legal Environment of Health Care
  • HA 8670 Health Information Systems
  • HA 8700 Health Services Research and Data Mining


Internships provide students the opportunity to apply concepts and skills gained from their graduate curriculum and are required for all M.P.A. students who lack significant prior administrative experience in a public or nonprofit agency or a related organization. The department’s faculty internship coordinators assist in the search for an appropriate internship opportunity, but students are expected to take the lead. An internship requires enrollment in three hours of PMAP 8941 and the completion of 300 hours of work in the intern position. Students are free to work full-time or part-time, according to their needs and those of their internship sponsor. Many students find paid internships, but unpaid internships can also be very rewarding. Students should consider the value of the experience that an internship provides, in addition to the pay. Internship information and applications are available from the Department of Public Management and Policy, or the PMAP internship homepage on the web at Students with substantial prior administrative experience may petition to waive the internship requirement by completing the online Graduate Internship Waiver Petition form:

M.P.A. students also have the option to conduct a practicum – an applied research project, in lieu of the internship. The practicum represents an excellent option for working students who do not qualify for an internship waiver, but who could pursue a practicum research project in their employing agency. It also represents an excellent option for students who are interested in additional research experience, especially those who intend to pursue doctoral work. Students must obtain approval one semester in advance of the semester they will begin their practicum work and before they will be authorized to register for PMAP 8981 by the department. Approval is obtained by completing the Practicum Proposal Cover Sheet and Approval Form, receiving all the necessary approval signatures, and submitting to the department. The Practicum Proposal Cover Sheet and Approval Form can be found here.

Strong employment outcomes

Of the 111 graduates of the MPA program in 2011-12, we know the employment status of 94. Nearly half (43) work for nonprofit organizations, and 28 work for governments (15 for local governments, 6 each for the federal and state government, and 1 for another country). In addition, 17 work for the private sector, 3 are pursuing doctoral degrees, and 3 are unemployed.

Career resources

Work with our Office of Career Services to connect with the professional community and gain crucial career and leadership skills. Take advantage of employer panels, career fairs and workshops in resume writing, networking and professional presentation.

Join our award-winning student organizations, such as the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, for exclusive access to activities, workshops and events to help you graduate as a competent and versatile professional.

Join a group of leaders

Our graduates hold top positions at nonprofits and all levels of federal, state and local government, including these critical leadership roles:

  • Chief Financial Officer, Georgia Building Authority
  • Director, Georgia Office of Planning and Budget
  • Director, Georgia Senate Budget Office
  • Director of Administration, DeKalb County Board of Health
  • Executive Director, Georgia Municipal Association
  • Executive Director, Senior Citizens Services of Metro Atlanta
  • Policy Adviser, Office of the Governor of Georgia
  • Program Manager, National Democratic Institute, Moldova
  • Statistician, U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of the Inspector General
  • Tax Commissioner, Gwinnett County

Application Deadlines*

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Priority Deadline – February 15
Regular Deadline – April 1
Late Deadline – June 1
Space Available Deadline – July 15
Regular Deadline – October 1
Late Deadline – November 1

*Online applications must be submitted and all materials received by the deadline to be reviewed for admission.

Application Submission Instructions

  • Create an account.
  • Start a new application.
    • Select application type: “2018 Graduate Programs”
    • Click “Create an application”
    • Click “Open Application” to begin your application
  • On the “Program Selection” page:
    • Select College: “Andrew Young School of Policy Studies”
    • Select Program: “Public Administration; Master of Public Administration”
Start Your Application and Apply Now 

Application Requirements

A completed application includes:

  1. Submitted Online Application. All online applications must be submitted by the deadline. Paper applications are not available.
  2. Application fee: A nonrefundable fee of $50 is required for each application. This fee must be paid online by credit card.
  3. Goal statement: The goal statement is your means of presenting yourself to the Graduate Admissions Committee. You should submit a short typed statement of personal and professional goals as they relate to the certificate or degree program you are seeking. Most applicants write approximately two typed pages, summarizing their work experience, the reasons they have chosen the program, why they want to attend Georgia State, and how the degree fits in with their career goals.
  4. Official GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores: Official scores must be reported to institution code 5251. More information can be found at our Admissions FAQ page or, to schedule the test, at Applicants may be considered for a waiver of the GRE with departmental approval. Applicants eligible for a GRE waiver must have (1) a 2-year Master’s degree or (2) a minimum of 5-years work professional work experience in the public and/or nonprofit sectors and a minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0. For consideration, applicants should complete the Master in Public Administration waiver form here.
  5. TOEFL or IELTS Academic scores (International applicants only): All international applicants are required to submit official TOEFL or IELTS Academic scores.
  6. Three letters of recommendation: All letters should be submitted through the online application.
  7. Copies of Official Transcripts from each post-secondary college/university attended:
    • Official transcripts are not required at this stage of application review.**
    • Transcripts should be uploaded to the Academic History section of the online application and must be copies of university transcripts. This can either be an official electronic transcript, or a paper copy that you have scanned and uploaded.
    • Copy of transcript must have one or more of the following features: registrar’s seal, registrar signature, or watermark of the institution.
    • Documents such as self-printed academic histories, web-based academic evaluations, and anything hand-written are not acceptable for review process and should not be uploaded. Doing so will significantly delay the review of your application.
    • Submit one copy of transcript for each post-secondary institution attended, regardless of length of time you attended, your status, whether grades are listed, or where your final degree(s) were received. This would include community colleges, study abroad programs and AP credit. If you received college level credit, a transcript should be submitted for review.
      **Official transcripts will only be required if an applicant is admitted to the program.

If you need assistance with the application process, please contact the Office of Admissions – Graduate Programs.

If you want to learn more about our programs, please contact the Office of Academic Assistance for the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at

Master of Public Administration (MPA)

If you are looking for a professional degree that includes policy but also focuses on managing and leading a public or nonprofit organization, the MPA degree offers courses in organizational behavior, human resources management, public budgeting, and management systems.


  • Criminal Justice
  • Management and Finance
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Planning and Economic Development
  • Policy Analysis and Evaluation
  • Public Health


  • Directors
  • Program Managers
  • City Managers
  • Executive Directors
  • Chief Financial Officers
  • Volunteer Management
  • Human Resources
  • Development Directors
Visit the MPA Page 

Master of Public Policy (MPP)

The MPP is focused on policy analysis, advocacy and evaluation, and the core for this program includes courses in statistics, evaluation research, politics and policy, and policy analysis. Some students use the MPP as preparation for entering a doctoral program in public policy.


  • Disaster Policy
  • Health Policy
  • Nonprofit Policy
  • Planning and Economic Development Policy
  • Public Finance Policy
  • Social Policy


  • Policy analysts
  • Consultants
  • Advocacy
  • Evaluation
Visit the MPP Page