Graduate Overview

Master of Public Administration
Doctor of Public Administration
Joint Graduate Degree – MPA/MPH
Graduate Certificates or
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Office Phone: (217) 206-6310
Office Location: PAC 420

Departmental goals and objectives

The UIS Master of Public Administration degree (MPA) strives to advance the public interest and civic engagement. We educate current and future governmental and nonprofit public service professionals through the innovative integration of disciplinary knowledge and skills with practice. Our location in the state capital provides access to a diverse networked community of public affairs scholars, practitioners, and students.

Accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA), the MPA degree offers professional graduate education. The MPA degree is offered on campus and online.

MPA curricular requirements are designed to impart knowledge and skills essential to meet pressing public problems and to be successful in professional and administrative employment in public and nonprofit sectors. The knowledge and skills address understanding of legal, political, and administrative processes, organizational structures, the context of public sector and nonprofit organizations; the development of leadership capabilities; and knowledge of the governmental and nonprofit sectors.

Students may elect to pursue a graduate certificate along with their MPA degree. Options include the Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Labor Relations, the Graduate Certificate in Management of Nonprofit Organizations, the Graduate Certificate in Community Planning, the Graduate Certificate in Public Procurement Management, or the Professional Certificate in Child Advocacy Studies (CAST). UIS CAST courses are certified by the National Child Protection Training Center and lead to professional certification through the Center.

In addition to the MPA degree, the UIS Public Administration Department and the UIS Public Health Department have established a joint degree, MPA/MPH. Students entering the degree without significant professional work experience in the public or private sector are encouraged to undertake internships as part of their program of study through the UIS Graduate Public Service Internship (GPSI) Program, the Illinois Legislative Staff Internship Program (ILSIP), or departmental internship programs.

Graduates of the MPA degree program will be able to understand and demonstrate knowledge and skills in the following competencies:

Lead and manage in public governance

  • Communicate in a clear and concise manner
  • Apply relevant theories, knowledge, and skills to effectively manage resources and programs

Participate in and contribute to the public policy process

  • Describe the public policy process and the role of the various participants and stakeholders
  • Identify problems, frame the issues, and identify and evaluate alternatives for addressing a problem

Analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems, and make decisions

  • Demonstrate the ability to collect, analyze, and interpret data for use in decision making, and drawing conclusions
  • Critically read and apply findings from studies and reports

Articulate and apply a public service perspective

  • Articulate the importance of and operate in a manner that facilitates democracy, equity, transparency, efficiency, and ethics

Communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry.

  • Demonstrate a sensitivity of and respect for differences in culture