Public Administration

The opportunity to find solutions to public problems is the driving force of those who seek careers in public administration.

Department of Public Administration Mission

Illinois State CapitolChanging Policy, Changing Lives

  • The MPA program strives to advance the public interest and civic engagement.
  • Our location in the state capital provides access to a diverse networked community of public affairs scholars, practitioners, and students.
  • The development of our graduate certificate programs and our new undergraduate degree in public administration represent growth as we have seen the need to provide new public service education options.
  • With our online program we have become more diverse and now contribute more to public service in many contexts nationally.
  • The department teaches skill sets that include budget and finance, organizational behavior, human resource management, quantitative and statistical analysis, policy analysis, and program evaluation.
  • Staff are always willing to assist students in navigating the institution from initial registration to graduation.
  • Be sure to read about the MPA-GPSI Experience (pdf) and check out our new MPA Fact Sheet (pdf)!

Programs Offered

Crowd of people in the state capitol rotundaBachelors – The UIS Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration degree program is designed to prepare students to advance the public interest and civic engagement. The program features opportunities for practical learning through access to state government and historical sites, faculty with experience in government, and internship experiences which are coordinated through the Internship and Prior Learning Program. As of Fall 2021, the BA program is FULLY ONLINE! Students may complete their program from start to finish. For more information, please contact the program advisor, Andrew Nicol. The department also offers a Child Advocacy Studies minor. Upon completion of the CAST sequence, students are eligible to receive credit for a minor at UIS as well as the CAST certificate credential awarded externally through the National Child Protection Training Center

Students talking in the libraryGraduate Programs – MPA curricular requirements are designed to impart knowledge and skills essential to meet pressing public problems and to provide our students with the knowledge to be successful in professional and administrative employment in public and nonprofit sectors. 








Community PlanningGraduate certificates provide students with an opportunity to gain specialized knowledge at the graduate level while requiring less coursework than would be required for a full degree. A graduate certificate can be a good choice for students who have completed a baccalaureate degree, but who do not seek a full master’s degree; for students who are pursuing a master’s degree and wish to use the graduate certificate coursework as an area of interest; and for students who have completed master’s degrees and who desire additional coursework related to their job responsibilities.

Statue of Justice in capitol rotundaThe Doctor of Public Administration (DPA) program is specifically designed to meet the educational needs of experienced practitioners in administrative and governmental positions at the state and local levels and in the nonprofit community. Bridging the worlds of scholarship and practice, the DPA equips students with the advanced analytical skills and knowledge of public management and public policy necessary to lead impactful organizations and solve complex problems.


Program Rankings

The UIS MPA online program is highly ranked by multiple organizations:

Best Colleges Best Online Masters
Best Online Programs
Best Colleges Online
Top 25 Best Value

Our Students Experience


Collaboration Announced with the U.S. Children’s Bureau

The Children’s Bureau, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recently launched the Keeping It Real website with a video featuring our own CAST program and the Child Protection Training Academy. Dr. Betsy Goulet and her team continue to do work necessary to train child welfare investigators in the state of Illinois. This website and effort by the Children’s Bureau supports those efforts by demonstrating the importance of simulation training, the likes of which students in Illinois can receive through our recognized program!

Welcome to our Doctoral Dissertation Fellow Jose Irizarry

A warm welcome and congratulations to the newest member of our faculty, Dr. Jose Irizarry! Dr. Irizarry joins us on a dissertation fellowship from Florida Atlantic University. He defended his dissertation on August 28th and holds an MPA and Master in Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. His research interests include but are not limited to: public service, public administration, nonprofits, human resources, organization studies, criminal justice policy and management, community engagement, and diverse and inclusive pedagogy. Before joining UIS, he taught courses in public administration and criminal justice at John Jay College, St. Francis College, and Florida Atlantic University, served as Secretary and Vice President of the New York State Political Science Association, and was ASPA’s first Student Representative and District 1 National Council Member.

New Minor in Child Advocacy Studies approved May 2020

The department now offers a Child Advocacy Studies minor. Upon completion of the CAST sequence, students are eligible to receive credit for a minor at UIS as well as the CAST certificate credential awarded externally through the National Child Protection Training Center.

MCPP first nationally to receive NIGP Accreditation

The newest gradate certificate program offered by the Department of Public Administration, Public Procurement Management, received accreditation from the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP). This makes UIS, the Department of Public Administration, and the Master of Public Administration program first to receive this honor. For more information, see the UIS press release.