Montana State University

Department of Political Science

Montana State University
P.O. Box 172240
Bozeman, MT 59717-2240

Tel: (406) 994-4141
Fax: (406) 994-6692
Location: 2-143 Wilson Hall

Department Head

Linda Young

Find us on Facebook

MPA Program Overview

Montana Hall in winter.


Thank you for visiting the web page for the Master of Public Administration Program at Montana State University. Our program has a long and rich history, and our graduates have gone on to distinguished careers at all levels of government and in a wide range of public, non-profit and private organizations. We are proud to have built a program that focuses on smaller, live and in-person classes where students have the opportunity for rich interaction with our faculty and each other. We have created a strong community of learning and a culture of collaboration among the students and faculty, with explicit attention to the development of skills necessary for immediate professional success, and the normative awareness for career and professional development well into the future. We're excited about the opportunities here at MSU's MPA program, and we hope you will be too.

Please don't hesitate to contact me with any inquiries about the program.

Dr. Eric K. Austin
MPA Coordinator
406 994 5168

Program Description

The MPA degree is a professional degree designed to prepare both pre and mid-career professionals and administrators for supervisory, analytical support and policy-making positions in public sector agencies, and non-profit organizations, at local, state and federal levels. The program stresses sound preparation in wide range of administrative competencies. MPA coursework includes studies in public administration theory, human resource management, public budgeting, leadership, ethics, organization dynamics, and research methods for public administrators. Available courses support specialization in local government, non-profit management, administration of Native American affairs, education leadership, planning and other subspecialties. For early career students, practical experience is gained through a supervised internship with an agency of the student's choosing.

Upon graduation, MPA students are expected to have built their capacities in the following areas:

  • To lead and manage in public governance;
  • To participate in and contribute to the policy process;
  • To analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems and make decisions;
  • To articulate and apply a public service perspective;
  • To communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry.