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Public Administration, MPA

Graduate Admissions
Bridgewater State University
Maxwell Library, Room 019
10 Shaw Road
Bridgewater, MA 02325

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The MPA program accommodates the needs of both pre-career students and in-career professionals by offering alternative program requirements that take into account the student's academic and professional background. The program is designed to be completed in two years by full-time students; part-time students can complete the program in three years with careful planning in consultation with their advisor. Up to six hours of appropriate graduate course work taken elsewhere may be transferred into the degree program. 

Program Highlights:

The MPA program teaches essential managerial and analytic skill that can be applied immediately in either entry or mid-level positions at local, state and federal agencies, as well as at nonprofit organizations that interact with government or private corporations that deal with public policy.

Bridgewater is one of only three institutions in the state of Massachusetts that has earned NASPAA accreditation. Of these three, Bridgewater is the only public university to hold this accreditation.

The MPA program offers:

  • A comprehensive approach to developing leadership and administrative skills within the context of today's challenging political, legal, ethical, economic and social climate.
  • Full- and part-time program options
  • Full-time program is 2 years
  • Evening and weekend courses to accommodate work schedules
  • Diverse faculty with extensive experience in a variety of public service and public affairs settings
  • Professional development modules addressing timely public service issues
  • Small classes facilitating a more personalized learning experience
  • A wide range of internship opportunities in professional settings
  • Affordable tuition, whether you live in state or out of state
  • There are approximately 40 students in the program

Graduate Program Coordinator: Dr. Kevin Donnelly

Link to faculty page:



Admissions Requirements

  • Online application and $50 application fee
  • Resume 
  • Transcripts - Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate course work
  • Minimum GPA - Minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75
  • *GRE - A composite score of 290 or greater on the quantitative and verbal parts of the GRE for clear admit.  To receive conditional acceptance, MPA applicants must have a composite score of 260 on the quantitative and verbal parts of the GRE. 
  • Letters of Recommendation - Three letters of recommendation should come from professors or practitioners familiar with the student's academic ability
  • Personal Statement - Prepare a brief, but careful statement regarding the reasons you want to pursue graduate work in this field, your specific interest and experiences in this field, and your career goals
  • Interview - An interview with the MPA program faculty

The MPA graduate coordinator may waive the GRE requirement for qualified political science majors in their senior year who meet the following criteria:

  • graduation at the end of the term from BSU or another college or university that has an articulation agreement with the BSU Political Science Department;
  • a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher and a GPA in the Political Science major of 3.50 or higher; and
  • successful completion of POLI 279 - Introduction to Public Administration (or equivalent) with a minimum grade of “B”.

Application Deadlines

Fall Semester: April 1
Spring Semester: October 1
Summer Sessions: February 1


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Core Courses
POLI 501- Foundations of Public Administration
POLI 515- Data Analysis and Presentation for Public Administration
POLI 514- Organizational Planning & Assessment OR
POLI 516- Techniques of Policy Analysis
POLI 518- Public Policy for Public Administration
POLI 521- Public Finance
POLI 531- Public Personnel
POLI 532- Organizational Theory and Behavior for Public and Nonprofit Institutions
POLI 541- Legislative - Executive Relations OR
POLI 542- Administrative Law and Regulation
POLI 591- Capstone Seminar in Public Administration

As part of the 12 credits required in electives, each student must take three one-credit professional development modules (POLI 506). At least two of three modules must address elements of information management, technology applications and policy. The remaining 9 credits in electives must be selected, with adviser approval, from the 500-level Political Science (POLI) course offerings.

Credit hours
Student’s with a bachelor’s degree and no professional work experience are expected to complete a 45-credit-hour degree program (including six hours of professional internship).  Students with some professional experience, but less than three years’ full-time managerial experience are expected to complete a 42-credit-hour degree program (including an additional three-credit elective or a three-credit internship), while in-career professionals are expected to complete a 39-credit-hour program.  

Students with a bachelor's degree and no professional work experience must complete a six credit internship in addition to the requirements above.

Students can elect to pursue a generalist track or the Civic and Nonprofit leadership and Administration concentration.

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Funding Opportunities

The College of Graduate Studies provides various opportunities for graduate students to receive funding while working towards their degrees. Appointments are competitive and are determined by undergraduate and/or graduate grade point averages, pertinent experience, educational preparation and interviews.  For information on assistantships, fellowships and conference funding awards, please visit our Graduate Funding Opportunities page.

The Master of Public Administration is eligible for unsubsidized student loans and applicants are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. For more specific questions, please visit the Financial Aid Office website or contact them directly at

Career Placement for Graduates

National or central government in the same country as program: 3% (2)

State, provincial or regional government in the same country as the program: 28% (17)

City, County, or other local government in the same country as the program: 28% (17)

Foreign government (all levels) or international quasi-governmental: 0

Nonprofit domestic-oriented: 23% (14)

Nonprofit/NGOs internationally-oriented: 5% (3)

Private Sector - Research/Consulting: 3% (2)

Private Sector but not research/consulting: 10% (6)

Military: 3% (2)

Obtaining further education: 2% (1)

Unemployed seeking employment: 3% (2)

Unemployed not seeking employment: 0

Status Unknown: 10% (6)

Total Number of Graduates: 72


Internship Placements

Bridgewater, MA, Fire Department

BSU's Institute for Policy Analysis and Regional Engagement

Brockton, MA, Housing Authority

City of Brockton, MA, Mayor's Office

Greater Boston Community Health Network

Carver, MA, Town Administrator's Office

Fall River, MA, Police Department

Hanover, MA, Town Administrator's Office

Old Colony Planning Council

Plymouth, MA, County Commissioners Office

Southeast Regional Planning Committee

Whitman, MA


Program Completion - Fall 2015-Spring 2016 MPA Cohort (Full and Part-time Students)

Initially Enrolled: 13 students

Graduated within 2 years: 32% (4)

Graduated within 3 years: 54% (7)

Graduated within 4 years: 62% (8)




See our Viewbook

Interested in learning more about Bridgewater? View an online copy of our viewbook!

Graduate Events

View our graduate events page to RSVP to information sessions, workshops and seminars.

Cost of Attending

Bridgewater offers competitive tuition and fees for graduate students both in and out of state.

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