A woman stands at a podium outside, talking to a crowd of people.

Public Administration

Candidates within the Master of Public Administration program gain supervisory and policy-making skills in order to better pursue positions within public sector agencies, as well as within non-profit organizations at the local, state and federal level.

Public Administration – Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.)

Designed for both pre- and mid-career professionals, students in the Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) program at Montana State are immersed in studies that include public administration theory, human resource management, public budgeting, public policy process, leadership, ethics, organization dynamics, and research methodology for public administrators. The program is designed to support specializations in local government, non-profit management, Native American affairs, natural resources policy and planning.




Faculty in the Public Administration program include professor Dr. Liz Shanahan, who led a team of Montana State professors and graduate students on a research study about how narrative-based risk communication is more effective in engaging audiences about potential natural disaster hazards compared to just straight facts.



Illustration of a globe, longitude and latitude lines cross-hatching its sphere.

Wide-Spread Impact 
Graduates have gone on to distinguished careers at all levels of government and with a wide range of public, non-profit and private organizations.

Illustration of an open book, its pages fluttering.

The Burton K. Wheeler Center
Montana State University has a close working relationship with the Wheeler Center, a bipartisan non-profit organization devoted to public policy in Montana by promoting the discussion, analysis and eventual resolution of critical issues facing Montana and the Mountain West region.

Illustration of a guide post, its signs pointing out in all directions.

Work-Life Balance
Livability has previously ranked Bozeman as one of its Best Places to Live four years in a row, including the #1 best place to live in Montana, calling the city a "tech-savvy, economically vibrant, highly educated city on the grow" with year-round natural attractions.




Fund Your Education

The Graduate School at Montana State is dedicated to helping students secure funding during their time at MSU. Some resources the Political Science department and Graduate School offer includes:

Additionally, the Public Administration program is a member of the Western Regional Graduate Program (WGRP). As a WGRP member, students in the Public Administration program, who are residents of 16 select western states, pay 150% of resident tuition rates.

Research In Your Field

Research in the M.P.A. program includes supervised internships for early career candidates from programs such as:

  • CIty and County Government
  • Local and Regonal Nonprofit Agencies
  • State and Federal Agencies
  • International NGOs
  • State and National Elected Representatives




Admissions Requirements

Each program within the Graduate School at Montana State has its own particular requirements for admission, and the Public Administration program is not different. To ensure that you start your application on the right foot, please review the admissions requirements and deadlines for the Public Administration program on their webpage.

Although the Graduate Program at Montana State does practice rolling admissions, the Public Administration program may have additional deadlines for applicants as well.