Graduate Programs

Public Administration student standing on the staircase at Legislative Hall in Dover, Delaware.

Public Administration: M.P.A., 4+1


The Master of Public Administration (MPA) at the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Delaware is a professional degree program that trains diverse, motivated students to lead and manage public and nonprofit organizations.

Our distinctive MPA program utilizes the Delaware Model to integrate academic excellence with professional experience for aspiring and practicing public and nonprofit managers. Through coursework and experiential learning, the degree develops the leadership, analytical, and problem-solving skills that are critical to competent, values-based decision-making in diverse, changing, and multi-sectored environments.

The M.P.A. program contributes directly to solutions to public challenges of our times through research and public service projects that involve students in experiential learning. The program also seeks to develop relationships with practitioners, fostering a professional focus and approach to public administration and nonprofit management and furthering the values of the field.

The 36-credit curriculum is divided into core subjects, areas of specialization, an internship and a writing assignment. The core curriculum deals with ideas and concepts related to the field of public administration, human resources management, public financial management, management decision making, quantitative analysis, information technology for public managers, organizational leadership, administrative/employment law and public economics. Specialization areas include:

  • Nonprofit Management
  • Public Management
  • Policy and Program Development

Within these broad specializations, students focus in a topic area such as state/local management, educational policy, environmental and energy management, planning and infrastructure, international affairs, public policy analysis, financial management and health policy and management. With the approval of their academic advisor and the M.P.A. program director, students may design their own area of specialization.

Students must research, write and defend a management or policy brief under the direction of a faculty committee. With the approval of the M.P.A. program director, qualified practitioners may also participate on these committees.

All M.P.A. candidates must complete a professional-level internship (unless waived by the internship coordinator). Typically, internships are with governmental agencies, community organizations, advocacy groups, nonprofit institutions, or for-profit organizations engaged in the public good. Upon approval of the faculty, students may pursue a thesis in lieu of an internship.

Traditional master’s degree students can complete the M.P.A. program in two years of full-time study. Part-time and online options are also available. Current UD undergraduates can be considered for admission to the 4+1 B.A. in public policy/M.P.A. or the 4+1 B.S. in organizational and community leadership/M.P.A. Learn more about the 4+1 program.

This program is also offered in a 100% online format. To view more information, please visit the online program website.


download program flyer


Application Deadlines


January 15: Priority consideration to apply

August 15: Final deadline to apply


December 15: Priority consideration to apply

January 15: Final deadeline to apply


April 15: Priority consideration to apply

May 15: Final deadline to apply


Applications are accepted on a “rolling" basis upon completion and submission to the Graduate College.

UD Tuition

The 2023-2024 UD graduate student tuition rate per credit hour is $1028.