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Master of Public Administration

NASSPAA logo Nationally accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), Savannah State University’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) program trains individuals to assume management and leadership positions in the public and nonprofit sectors in Coastal Georgia and beyond. Practitioners and pre-service students develop skills essential to successful public service careers. Our diverse student body is engaged in learning, community service, and research.

Like most professional degrees, earning the MPA degree can lead to successful careers in a wide variety of fields. SSU graduates work in national, state and local government agencies; national, regional and local nonprofit organizations; international non-governmental organizations and more.

The MPA program seeks to:

  • Prepare public managers to assume management and leadership positions in a variety of organizational settings in Coastal Georgia and beyond;
  • Provide students with the knowledge, skills and abilities identified as important to job entry and career advancement;
  • Help students develop and apply general public management knowledge and skills in solving problems typically faced by managers in the public and nonprofit sectors;
  • Encourage students to demonstrate commitment to public service through such opportunities as internships, organized projects, and community involvement; and,
  • Graduate students who have developed the knowledge, skills, and abilities to act ethically and effectively as public administrators who will lead and manage in public governance.

Programmatic outcome data

Student diversity data

Completion rates


Students are required to successfully complete a minimum of 36 semester credit hours (21 within the common core), 9-12 hours of electives and 3-6 hours in an internship, an oral exit exam and a major paper that must be defended during the oral exam. The length of time required to complete the program will vary. Classes generally meet in the evenings and on weekends.

In selecting electives, students may choose courses based on their interest in general public administration, city management and human resources. Additionally, a Nonprofit Organization and Leadership Concentration is available.

MPA curriculum grid

For more information, please see pages 48-52 and 75-80 in Graduate Catalog.

Admission Requirements

MPA program applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and show promise of high quality work on the graduate level. While there is no specific undergraduate course of study for admission, students must meet the prerequisites for courses in American National Government and Statistics. Only completed applications are reviewed by the admissions committee. Completed applications are evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE), Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or Law School Admission Test (LSAT) scores
  • Three professional recommendation letters
  • Essay (500-1,000 words) detailing reasons for pursuing the MPA degree
  • SSU graduate program application
  • Official transcripts from each college/university attended (undergraduate and graduate)
  • A one-page resume
  • An in-person interview

The program has two admissions categories: regular and provisional. To be granted regular admission status, a student must average a minimum of 90 points on the applicant evaluation form as scored by the admissions committee. Applicants who score under 90 on the admissions formula may be granted provisional status. An in-person interview is scheduled as determined by the admissions committee.


Core Curriculum

PADM 6830 History, Scope, and Practice of Public Administration
PADM 6832 Organizational Theory and Behavior
PADM 6833 Management of Human Resources in the Public Sector
PADM 6834 Public Budgeting and Finance
PADM 6839 Statistical Applications for Public Administrators
PADM 6840 Research Methods in Public Administration
PADM 6850 Information Resource Management


PADM 6831 Ethics for Public Administrators
PADM 6837 Intergovernmental Relations
PADM 6838 American Public Policy
PADM 6842 State and Local Government Administration
PADM 6843 Management and Leadership Behavior
PADM 6844 Seminar in Public Policy Analysis
PADM 6845 Urban Policy and Administration
PADM 6846 Administrative Law
PADM 6851 Social Welfare Policy, Planning, and Administration
PADM 6855 Special Topics in Public Administration
PADM 6861 Public Program Evaluation
PADM 6862 Public Policy Implementation
PADM 6863 Collective Bargaining in the Public Sector
PADM 6864 Public Policy Formation
PADM 6865 Special Topics in Public Policy
PADM 6872 Human Resource Training and Development
PADM 6874 Fast Track Internship Experience
PADM 6880 Introduction to Nonprofit Organizations and Leadership
PADM 6881 Nonprofit Management, Planning, and Governance
PADM 6882 Financial Management in Nonprofit Organizations
PADM 6883 Marketing and Fundraising for Nonprofit Organizations
PADM 6884 Human Resources and Volunteer Management for Nonprofit Organizations
PADM 6885 Writing Grants: Foundations, NPOs and Government Contracts
PADM 6000 Special Topics
PADM 6100 Independent Study

Application Deadlines

June 1 - International students
June 15 - Regular admissions & graduate assistantships

October 1 - Regular admissions, graduate assistantships & international students

March 1 -Regular admissions, graduate assistantships & international students