Master of Public Administration
Grow your Community; Grow your Career
Now, more than ever, our communities need people committed to serving the greater good of society. The University of Central Oklahoma Master of Public Administration program prepares you to take a leadership role in public service, contributing to meaningful programs and advancements that make our communities thrive.
Our graduates are working in all levels of government — city, country, state and federal — as well as in nonprofit organizations, the military and the private sector.
The UCO MPA offers flexibility for working adults with night and weekend classes on our Edmond campus and downtown Oklahoma City facility, as well as online and streaming classes. Students can also create customized learning opportunities such as internships, field studies, institutes, workshops and independent studies that can help them complete their degree faster.
The UCO MPA is one of the most affordable degrees of its kind in the Oklahoma City metro offering competitive tuition and financial assistance to those that qualify. The Tuition and Fee Estimate Calculator can help you plan ahead for the semester and provides a breakdown of current costs.
The UCO Political Science Department also offers Teaching Assistantships. These opportunities are posted on UCO’s Careers site. UCO MPA Students may also be eligible for tuition waivers, financial aid, and scholarship opportunities. For a helpful listing of how to pay for school, please visit Admissions and Aid.
The UCO Master of Public Administration (MPA) program is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA)—the global standard for public service education. This accreditation holds significant benefits for institutions like the University of Central Oklahoma and its MPA program.
First and foremost, NASPAA accreditation serves as a mark of excellence and quality assurance. It ensures that the program upholds the highest standards in public service education, promoting public service values and a commitment to continuous improvement. This not only validates the curriculum and faculty's expertise but also reassures students and potential employers that they are receiving a top-tier education. NASPAA accreditation facilitates global recognition and enhances the program's reputation, attracting a diverse pool of high-caliber students and faculty. As one of only two accredited institutions in Oklahoma and part of a select group of 208 programs worldwide, UCO's MPA program gains a competitive advantage, demonstrating its commitment to producing graduates who are well-prepared to make meaningful contributions to the field of public administration and policy.
The UCO M.P.A. Experience
The UCO M.P.A. is a 36-credit hour program that is usually completed within two years of full-time study (nine hours per semester). UCO M.P.A. students enjoy small classes taught primarily by full-time Ph.D. faculty who integrate academic excellence, rigorous research and professional experience. The program also may be completed part time. It is housed in the Department of Political Science in the College of Liberal Arts.
The University of Central Oklahoma M.P.A. program produces graduates whose skills are in demand in both public and private sector jobs. Since its inception, the M.P.A. has produced graduates who have taken positions across the globe.
Some job titles held by UCO M.P.A. alumni include:
- Assistant Secretary for Aging, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services
- Executive Director, Del City Chamber of Commerce
- Project Manager, Oklahoma Health Care Authority
- Director of Suicide Prevention and Outreach, Heartline
- Assistant to the City Manager, City of Edmond
- Community Affairs Director, Chickasaw Nation
- Law Enforcement Assistant, U.S. Department of Interior
- Associate City Planner, Midwest City
- Fiscal Policy Analyst, OK House of Representatives
- Associate City Manager, City of Oklahoma City
- Operations Manager, Woody Guthrie Center
- City Manager, City of Crescent
- Constituency Coordinator, Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform
- Urban Forestry Coordinator, City of Edmond
- Community and Economic Development Director, City of Guthrie
- Library Edge Consultant, Oklahoma Department of Libraries
- Client Solutions Executive of Corporate Business Solutions, AT&T
- Legislative Policy Staff, Oklahoma State Senate
- Youth Guidance Specialist, State Office of Juvenile Affairs
- CEO, Hop Font Consultancy – Kenya-based nonprofit
- Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs, University of Central Oklahoma
Competencies/Student Learning Outcomes
The programmatic student learning outcomes are aligned with the NASPAA required competencies and designed to evaluate our effectiveness in the preparation of ethical, transformational leaders who creatively and analytically inform public dialogue and manage policy through collaborative action. Graduates are prepared for careers in government, nonprofit organizations and other public service fields.
Graduates are prepared to...
- lead and manage in public governance.
UCO M.P.A. graduates recognize and apply appropriate theoretical frameworks to the practice of leadership and management.
- participate in and contribute to the public policy process.
UCO MPA graduates engage key stakeholders in the public policy process through the proper employment of data-driven strategies to navigate public policy and administrative environments.
- analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems and make decisions.
UCO MPA graduates employ proper decision making using critical thought to manage and solve dynamic and evolving public policy and administrative issues.
- apply and articulate a public service perspective.
UCO MPA graduates develop, analyze and implement resources professionally and in partnership with communities in order to ethically manage or solve complex challenges in the public interest.
- communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry.
UCO MPA graduates professionally and effectively communicate, both written and orally, and through informal and formal interactions in diverse work environments and communities.
Programmatic Goals and Objectives
Upon completion of the M.P.A. degree, students should be equipped to:
- Provide transformative learning experiences that effectively prepare our students for public service careers.
- Integrate diverse and inclusive perspectives
- Network with practicing public servants
- Apply professionalism and ethics in the public and non-profit sectors
- Collaborate with colleagues on research-informed public service projects
- Provide visible and meaningful service to diverse communities.
- Develop educated, informed graduates to meet the needs of Oklahoma communities
- Engage with local organizations through collaborative application of faculty and student expertise
- Promote pride in public service throughout the extended UCO MPA community
- Inform public debate and address critical policy issues.
- Mentor students in research, scholarly, and creative activities
- Support faculty scholarly initiatives
- Encourage civic engagement and public advocacy