Graduate Programs

Move your career to the next level & maximize your impact

US News & World Report Best Grad Schools Badge 2019/2020We are a nationally recognized leader in graduate public affairs education. Guided by our world-class faculty, you can engage in active learning about politics, public policies, issues, and problems, the management of people and programs, international relations, and much more. Through excellent instruction, classroom simulations, internships, guest speakers, and research collaborations with faculty and community partners, CPAA will offer you the kinds of experiential and classroom learning opportunities that you need to move to the next level in your career and maximize your impact.

We offer 1 Doctoral degree, 9 Master’s degrees, and 11 graduate certificates:


Sophia Gehlhausen. Commencement at Bank of Springfield Center Saturday, May 11, 2019.Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)

Designed for experienced professionals, the Doctor of Public Administration (DPA) program is devoted to bridging the worlds of scholarship and practice. Our intent is to spark discussions and stimulate research that improves public and nonprofit management and public policy in Illinois, the nation, and the wider global community.

Our DPA Program is specifically designed as a practitioner-oriented program to meet the educational needs of social sector leaders in governmental and nonprofit positions.


Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Our NASPAA accredited MPA will prepare you to manage organizations where the bottom line is public service rather than profit-making and where leadership makes a direct impact on lives. We offer Graduate Certificates in:

We also offer a Master of Public Administration/Master of Public Health (Joint Degree).


UIS student - Conor McKenzie (blonde male facing camera). Students in the Illinois House and Senate chambers as part of Model Illinois Govt. simulation for those interested in political science, Saturday, March 3, 2018.

Master of Arts in Political Science

Our M.A. degree program is designed to join the basic theoretical pursuits of Political Science with the practical knowledge needed by effective public officials and political practitioners. The campus’ location in the state capital will provide you with a rich setting for combining theory and practice.

For those interested in international affairs and comparative politics, the department offers a special combination of courses and practice-related experiences.

We also offer a Graduate Certificate in Practical Politics for political practitioners, for those who intend to become political practitioners, or who wish to augment their background and skills through exposure to political science frameworks and concepts with a focus on electoral politics, interest group politics and lobbying, and policy analysis.


Sarah Zimmerman. Spring 2018 public affairs reporting students interning at various news organizations in the State Capitol Tuesday, February, 20, 2018. Sarah ZimmermanMaster of Arts in Public Affairs Reporting

PAR is a one-year, professionally oriented master’s degree program that trains students to become journalists who produce intelligent news coverage that helps audiences understand government, politics and other public affairs. The program’s centerpiece is a six-month paid internship where students work for a professional news organization in the Illinois Statehouse press room to report on the spring session of the Illinois General Assembly.


UIS students visiting the Illinois Supreme Court and then talking with Chief Justice Anne Burke, Wednesday, January 22, 2020. Trip was sponsored by the pre-law fraternity Phi Alpha Delta.

Master of Arts in Legal Studies

The Master of Arts program in Legal Studies is designed to present the master’s candidate with an interdisciplinary course of study in public law, emphasizing law as a social phenomenon as well as a technical body of rules. It is a rigorous course of study, designed to develop the candidate’s critical understanding of the legal system and its role in public policy and within society more generally.


Person drinking waterMaster of Public Health, Master of Public Health – Environmental Health, Master of Public Health and Health and Human Services

The CPAA Department of Public Health is creating a safe, healthy, and productive workforce capable of transforming the health of their local and global communities. In addition to the degrees linked above, the department also offers a Joint MPH/MPA degree and the following Graduate Certificates:


Students from two environmental studies classes collecting samples and identifying flora ant fauna at Emiquon wetlands near Havana, IL Saturday, September 28, 2019. After collection students looked an microscopic organism at the Therkildsen Field Station at Emiquon.

MS in Environmental Sciences

Our MS in Environmental Sciences allows students to gain strong scientific understanding of ways to study, evaluate, and interpret environmental realities and their impacts, as well as to manage and mitigate environmental problems. Three concentrations are available: General Environmental Science, Environmental Planning and Management, and Sustainable Development and Policy.

We also offer a Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems.


Online Programs

Be a fully online student, blend your classes (take some online, take some on campus), or take them all on campus- the choice is yours at UIS.


Find more information on internship opportunities visit the Graduate Internships and Assistantships site.


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