Political Science

Varner Hall, Room 418
371 Varner Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4485
(location map)
(248) 370-2352

image of a girl standing under a bridge holding a roll of paper with the text "Earn Your OU MPA 100% Online"


MPA News Updates



About the MPA Program

The Master of Public Administration Program
Lead. Drive change. Solve problems. With a  Master of Public Administration (MPA), you'll become an effective leader in public, private and nonprofit sectors. 
Oakland University's MPA program propels you toward your goals with a rigorous curriculum, small class sizes, and your choice between five specializations:  Court Administration, Criminal Justice Leadership, Healthcare Administration, Local Government Management and Nonprofit Management.  Click here to see these curriculum

If you would like to receive information about this program, including updates on registration and newsletters, please complete our MPA Interest Form

Catalog Program Requirements Nonprofit Management Certificate




Mission Statement

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

Diversity Philosophy

The OU MPA 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 in a variety of organizational settings, regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, class, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, age, and/or veteran status.

Public Service Values

  • Improving organizational policy and procedure rooted in best practices
  • Sound decision-making based on technical expertise and analysis
  • Accountability to mission and stakeholders
  • Community engagement by contributing to public or nonprofit organizations
  • Obligation to promote and defend ethical administration



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

The MPA program welcomes a wide variety of undergraduate degrees. There are no specific prerequisite requirements.
View the degree requirements for a full description of the program, curriculum, and all necessary MPA Program requirements.

Concentration Options

In addition to the 20 credits in the core curriculum, a student may take all 12 elective credits in one of five concentrations:
  • Court Administration
  • Criminal Justice leadership
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Local Government Management
  • Nonprofit Organization and Management
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. All curriculum are listed in the addendum to the 2019-2021 graduate catalog.

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

The program welcomes students with a wide variety of undergraduate preparations, and does not require prerequisites. Moreover, neither the GRE or GMAT are required to apply to the MPA program.

Please contact Jen Sikora via email at jsikora@oakland.edu with any questions or requests for an advising appointment.
Admission Procedure
U.S. Applicants Must:
  • Send an official transcript providing evidence of an earned baccalaureate degree from an accredited U.S. institution, OR a degree equivalent to a four-year U.S. baccalaureate degree from a college or university of government-recognized standing. The email address for official transcripts through National Clearinghouse is gradinfo@oakland.edu.
  • Complete the Application for Admission To Graduate Study
    • Upload Resume
    • Upload MPA Essay, explaining your reasons for applying to the MPA program, including your career goals and any relevant past experiences. This essay should be a maximum of 500 words, should be clearly and concisely written in 12-point standard font, and should be double-spaced.
    • Provide email addresses for two references who will be sent a form to complete that gives OU their opinion of student's ability to succeed as a graduate student. These should be undergraduate professors if possible, or people in supervisory roles.

If you are unable to upload your essay to the application portal, you can send a hard copy to:

Office of Graduate Admissions
O'Dowd Hall, Room 520
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester MI 48309-4401

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.

Visit the Tuition & Costs portion of the Student Financial Services webpage for details on costs to attend this program, as well as an estimated cost for books and living expenses.
The Graduate Certificate program, offered by the Master of Public Administration program, is designed to provide students who have already earned a bachelor's degree with additional education and training in specialized areas of public management and administration.
Students will be required to take at least 12 hours of graduate work beyond the Master’s degree in one of the five post-master's program areas of:
  • Court Administration
  • Criminal Justice Leadership
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Local Government Management
  • Nonprofit Organization and Management

Students in the Graduate Certificate program will be required to earn a GPA 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?

For the 2019-2020 cohort we had 27 admitted and enrolled students. 54% percent of total enrolled students were pre-service and had not worked in public or nonprofit organizations prior to their enrollment in the program. 46% percent were currently working, or had some experience, in public or nonprofit settings beforehand. 25% of the students in this cohort are currently considered full-time and enrolled in at least three 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 41 students who entered the program during the 2014-2015 academic year:

Initially Enrolled: 31 (100%)
Graduated Within 2 Years: 7 (23%)
Graduated Within 3 Years: 22 (71%)
Graduated Within 4 Years: 26 (84%)

Of the 31 students who were newly enrolled in 2014-2015, 27 (87%) 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 list below presents job placement statistics for the 21 MPA graduates in the 2017-2018 cohort; employment categories were created by the Network of Schools for Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). 

  • National Government in Same Country as Program: 0 (0%)
  • State/Regional Government in Same Country as Program: 0 (0%)
  • City/County/Local Government in Same Country as Program: 7 (39%)
  • Nonprofit (Domestic-Oriented):  10 (56%)
  • Nonprofit (Internationally-Oriented): 0 (0%)
  • Private Sector (Research/Consulting): 0 (0%)
  • Private Sector (Not Research/Consulting): 0 (0%)
  • Unemployed (Seeking Employment): 1 (6%) 

Who Employs Oakland University’s MPA Graduates?

Alumni in the 2018-2019 cohort were working in the following jobs six months after graduation:

State & Local Government
Administrative Assistant to the Clerk,  Charter Township of Bloomfield
Assistant to the City Manager, City of Troy
Deputy City Clerk, City of Rochester
Deputy Treasurer, Charter Township of Clinton
Finance Assistant, Charter Township of Royal Oak
Permit Coordinator, City of Rochester
Police Officer, City of Sterling Heights
Administrator,  Macomb County Community Mental Health
Analyst,  Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
Assistant Director of International Students & Scholars,  Oakland University
Chief Allocation & Resources Officer,  MHP Salud
Custodian,  Chippewa Valley School District
Director of It Services Alliance,  Oakland University
Intern,  Trinity Health
Orientation Coordinator,  Wayne State University
Service to Armed Forces Regional Program Specialist,  American Red Cross
Systems Specialist,  Johns Hopkins Healthcare