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Master’s Degree in Public Administration

Become a leader in public policy and help improve communities in BSU’s public administration master’s program

The Master of Public Administration program at Bridgewater State University helps you develop core competencies in leadership and service in the public and nonprofit sectors. Consistent with BSU’s mission, the master’s degree in public administration program uses its resources to engage and advance the economic, cultural, civic and political life of Massachusetts, other domestic communities as well as the world.

Along with the public administration, MPA degree, we also offer the public administration, civic and nonprofit leadership and administration concentration, MPA degree. This public administration master’s program will focus on developing your leadership skills, strengthening your organizational capacity and building an understanding of the many different aspects of civic and nonprofit organizations.

What’s the difference between an MPA degree and a master’s in public health administration?
Though both degrees can lead to a career in public health, a master’s in public health administration program focuses on operational management, population health, epidemiology and working directly with communities to improve outcomes and prevent disease through hands-on work. An MPA degree takes a broader approach to organizational management, preparing graduates for public service through the development and implementation of public policies.

Master’s Degree in Public Administration Highlights

Paula Montgomery, MPA alumna, looking at plans to renovate an exhibit at Buttonwood Zoo

Accredited by the NASPAA

Bridgewater has earned accreditation from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), a national organization dedicated to ensuring excellence in education and training for public service and to promoting the ideal of public service. BSU is one of only four colleges in the state to earn this accreditation and one of only two public universities in Massachusetts that are NASPAA accredited.
Dr. Rachel Navarre and student Daniela Belice showing Daniela's award received at the BSU MPA dinner

One of the best values in Massachusetts for MPA degrees

With only four other public administration master’s programs in Massachusetts accredited by NASPAA, Bridgewater State University’s program is significantly more affordable, meaning a better value and return on your degree.
a BSU student smiling and sitting at a table while talking with a faculty member who has his laptop open between them

Personal career advising

Bridgewater faculty will work with you one-on-one on academic and career advising, helping you jumpstart your career before you finish your Master of Public Administration program.

Students in the MPA program have been placed in internships at organizations like the Bridgewater Fire Department, Brockton Housing Authority, Brockton Mayor's Office, Greater Boston Community Health Network, Carver Town Administrator's Office, Fall River Police Department, Old Colony Planning Council, People Acting In Community Endeavors (PACE), Inc. and Plymouth County Commissioners Office.

Small class sizes for personalized attention

You’ll benefit from smaller class sizes in our public administration master’s program that allow one-on-one communication with faculty and more collaboration between you and your fellow students, who bring diverse perspectives to the classroom.

Join a growing master’s degree in public administration alumni network

BSU has an extensive group of alumni from our Master of Public Administration program, active in mentoring current students, as well as connecting with one another.

Finish strong with a completion scholarship

Public administration graduate students who maintain a 3.3 GPA may be eligible for BSU’s Nunckatessett Graduate Scholarship, a tuition scholarship of $3,000 to be applied toward the last two courses needed to complete a graduate degree.

Program of Study for Master of Public Administration Students

In contrast to master’s in public health administration programs that focus on work with healthcare organizations, BSU’s Master of Public Administration program teaches essential managerial and analytic skills that can be applied immediately in entry or mid-level positions in local, state and federal agencies, as well as in nonprofit organizations.

In our program, you can choose to pursue a generalist track or the civic and nonprofit leadership and administration concentration. Just a few of the courses you will be taking in the master’s degree in public administration program are:

  • Foundations of Public Administration
  • Data Analysis and Presentation for Public Administration
  • Organizational Planning and Assessment OR
  • Techniques of Policy Analysis
  • Public Policy for Public Administration

The public administration master’s program culminates with a capstone seminar where you’ll work on a service-learning project you can use for your professional portfolio.

Admission Requirements and Program Details

Click link below to reveal the program's admission requirements and program description.

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Program details from 2023-2024 Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog

Graduate Program Coordinator: Dr. Melinda Tarsi

View Graduate Student Achievement Data.

"The value of the Master of Public Administration program at BSU is not recognized or understood until you are enrolled as a student."
Oluwakemi Taiwo, expected graduation year ’24

Careers With a Master’s Degree in Public Administration

As a graduate of BSU’s master’s degree in public administration program, you’ll develop skills in human resources, community organization, public policy, grant administration and financial administration. You’ll have many different career opportunities available to you in both the public and private sectors, including:

  • Urban and Regional Planner
  • Policy Analyst
  • Health Care Administrator
  • City Manager
  • Budget Analyst
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Community Services Manager

Upon earning their Master’s of Public Administration, the majority of BSU graduates work in city, county or local government (27%), state government (19%) and nonprofit administration (19%).

Graduate 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 program 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

BSU Graduate Studies Overview Brochure Cover

View this PDF for an overview of the College of Graduate Studies.

Counselor Education classroom 2020

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

4 students sitting at desks in in a graduate class

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

Grad students in a classroom

Create an account to start your application to a graduate program today!