Political Science
Varner Hall, Room 418
371 Varner Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4485
(248) 370-2352
Master of Public Administration
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About the MPA Program

The Master of Public Administration Program

The Master of Public Administration (MPA)
at Oakland University provides a challenging education for recent graduates seeking professional careers and for those already employed in governmental and other public agencies.
The need for such programs is recognized, given the growth in the number and complexity of agencies at the state and local level and the concerns for both responsive and effective public service at all levels.
The MPA program seeks a generalist focus through a set of core courses and provides an opportunity for specialization through the electives and the directed project/internship option.

Catalog Program Requirements Nonprofit Management Certificate



"The Master of Public Administration Program at Oakland University advances excellence in public and non-governmental management through strengthening the leadership capacity, problem-solving skills, public service values, and community engagement of current and aspiring public and non-governmental executives. The program is designed to deliver outstanding service to our students, the university community, and the public at large."



"Oakland University’s Master of Public Administration Program is committed to creating a welcoming environment for all students, faculty, and staff.   We will work to inculcate an awareness of the value of diversity and to impart the ability to interact respectfully and productively with all stakeholders, regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, class, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, disability, age, and/or veteran status."

the Oakland University Master of Public Administration programs are fully accredited by NASPAA,
Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration
1029 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20005
Foundation Requirements

The requirement for the MPA is 40 credits. All required courses are offered during weekday evenings and, in some cases, on Saturdays. If students successfully carry a full-time class load of 8 credits, it will be possible to complete the program in two calendar years or five semesters, starting in the fall of one year and ending in the spring/summer of the next academic year.

The program director will review undergraduate transcript to determine if these courses are needed. They are not required of all students entering the program and are not included in the 40 credit program total.

View the academic catalog for a full description of the program and all necessary MPA Program requirements.

Concentration Options

In addition to the 24 credits in the core curriculum, a student may take all 12 elective credits in one of five concentrations:
Each concentration has one course that is a “core course,” meaning that the student must take that course. Students who pursue a concentration may need an additional semester to complete elective requirements. Students may also choose not to concentrate in one area, and may take 12 electives from among any the program offers.

Admission to the program is selective. Applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited undergraduate institution, and must have a grade record that indicates above-average work (generally, a GPA of 3.0 or greater.)

The program welcomes students with a wide variety of undergraduate preparations. Basic courses in political science, government, or public administration, economics, statistics, and accounting are needed. Arrangements may be made for conditional admission to the program while specific deficiencies are being corrected.
Note: Neither the GRE nor the GMAT are required.

Please contact the MPA Program Coordinator, Suzanne Rossi, at  ssrossi@oakland.edu or (248) 370-4117
if you have any questions or to request an advising appointment.
Admission Procedure
U.S. Applicants must:
For information and complete details on the graduate admissions process, please visit the graduate admission website. You will find application instructions, deadlines, contact information, and international student resources.

Anton Frankel Center
Oakland University's Campus Location in Mt. Clemens
Oakland University's MPA program is now offering courses at the new Mt. Clemens campus: The Anton/Frankel Center (AFC). The AFC building provides an opportunity for students to have access to a quality OU education closer to where they work and live. The AFC building itself has state of the art classroom technology, as well as free Wi-Fi for the students' convenience. Each fall and winter semester, one core MPA course and one elective in the criminal justice leadership or the court administration concentration will be offered.

Concentration Possibilities
It is possible for a student to earn an MPA degree in three years by taking classes entirely at the AFC location. A student can concentrate in either criminal justice leadership or court administration exclusively at the AFC, or they can choose to pursue a generalist MPA degree.
Please contact the MPA Program Coordinator, Suzanne Rossi,
at ssrossi@oakland.edu  or (248) 370-4117
if you have any questions, to request an advising appointment, and
to learn how the new AFC center can benefit you as you pursue your master's degree!
Continuing Education

The Post-Master’s Certificate program, offered by the Master of Public Administration program, is designed to provide students who have already earned an MPA or a similar degree with additional education and training in specialized areas of public management and administration.

Students will be required to take at least 16 hours of graduate work beyond the Master’s degree in one of the five post-master's program areas of:

Students in the post-master's certificate program will be required to earn a grade of 3.0 or above in each course required for the certificate.

MPA Program Enrollment and Outcome Information

How many students are enrolled in the program, and do they have prior experience?

On average there are around 40 students in a cohort. For the 2014-2015 cohort, 49% percent of students were pre-service and had not worked in public or nonprofit organizations prior to their enrollment in the program; 51% percent were currently working, or had some experience, in public or nonprofit settings beforehand. 70% of the students in this cohort were considered full-time and enrolled in at least two classes.

How many enrolled students complete the program?

The program is designed for students to finish in five semesters. Full-time students complete the program in two years with continuous full-time enrollment, while part-time students have up to six years to complete the program. The data below show the completion rate for the cohort of 39 students who entered the program during the 2009-2010 academic years:


Initially Enrolled:

39 (100%)

Graduated within 2 years:

11 (28%)

Graduated within 3 years:

7 (18%)

Graduated within 6 years:

9 (23%)

Of the 39 students who were newly enrolled in 2009, 69% graduated within six years of starting the program. Students who did not graduate moved to other programs or had circumstances arise that otherwise prevented completion within the required time frame.

Where are our students after graduation?

Oakland University MPA graduates go on to hold a variety of positions in the public and nonprofit sectors, with a number of graduates also either moving on to utilize their skills in the private sector or opting to further their education. The chart below presents job placement statistics for MPA graduates in the 2014-2015 cohort; employment categories were created by the Network of Schools for Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). 

2014-2015 Cohort Employment by Sector Pie Chart


Who Employs Oakland University’s MPA Graduates?

MPA graduates are employed in a variety of state and local government settings, including Oakland County, Auburn Hills, Clinton Township, as well as in various nationally-recognized nonprofit organizations including the American Cancer Society, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and Forgotten Harvest. Our organization is also represented in hospitals and correctional facilities around the state, as well as in various areas of the private sector. Alumni, including members of the 2014-2015 cohort, are currently working in the following positions:

State and Local Government
Project Manager, City of Troy
City Manager (Multiple Locations)
Eligibility Specialist, State of Michigan
Parole/Probation Officer, State of Michigan
Business Analyst, Oakland County
Region 6 Administrator, Michigan Supreme Court
Executive Director, Planning & Economic Development, Macomb County
Coordinator of Public Works, City of Auburn Hills
Chief Financial Officer, Oakland County Sheriff's Office
Field Investigator, Friend of the Court, 16th Circuit Court
Administrative Superintendent, Waterford Township Dept. of Public Works
Court Clerk, Hazel Park District Court
Director of Public Safety, City of Wixom
Program Coordinator, Michigan Works!
Program Supervisor, Fitzgerald Public Schools
Chief of Staff for Council Member Raquel Castaneda-Lopez, District 6, City of Detroit
Director, Advanced Placement, Oakland University
Director of Development, ALS Michigan
Development Coordinator, Jewish Family Service of Metro Detroit
Director of Annual Giving, Cranbrook Institute of Science
Chief Development Officer, Forgotten Harvest
Purchasing Agent, Henry Ford Health System
Executive Director, YMCA Metro Detroit
Account Manager, Blue Cross/Blue Shield
Administrative Manager, Riverview Hospital
Manager of Operations, William Beaumont Hospital
Program Director, Economic Justice Alliance of Michigan
Manager, Annual Fund, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland
Executive Director, Michigan Senior Olympics
Manager of Special Events, Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan
Events Coordinator, The Rainbow Connection
Grants and Development Manager, Autism Alliance of Michigan
Federal Government
Inventory Management Specialist, U.S. Army TACOM LCMC
Human Resources Generalist, Department of Defense
Senator, District 5, United States Senate
Communication Specialist, Department of State
Operations Supervisor, Social Security Administration
Private Sector
Business Sales Administrator, FedEx Services
Program Director, AdviseMI (Michigan College Access Network)
Project Manager, Epic
Network Management, Meridian Rx
Business Operations Manager, Acxiom
Event Manager, General Motors