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The Master in Public Administration (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. Most students are balancing coursework and full-time employment and complete the program in an average of three to four years. Up to six hours of appropriate graduate course work taken elsewhere may be transferred into the degree program. 

Public Administration #ThisIsBSU

Mission Statement

The Master of Public Administration Program at Bridgewater State University provides rigorous graduate public education, developing core competencies in leadership and service in the public and nonprofit sectors. Consistent with the mission of the University, the Program also uses its resources to engage and advance the economic, cultural, civic, and political life of southeastern Massachusetts, other domestic communities, and our global community.

The MPA Program embraces three guiding principles:

  1. Public and community service
  2. Integration of theory and practice
  3. Ethical and accountable practice

Key Features of the program:

  • Prepares students for leadership roles in public service and public affairs
  • Accommodates both pre-career students and in-career professionals
  • Schedules courses primarily evenings and weekends to meet needs of working professionals
  • Offers professional development modules each semester (usually on Saturdays) on topics of special relevance to public service
  • Facilitates internship experiences in professional settings
  • Helps to meet the needs of residents of Southeastern Massachusetts with an ideal location

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 four institutions in the state of Massachusetts that has earned NASPAA accreditation. Of these four, Bridgewater is one of two public universities 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

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
  • 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

Application Deadlines

Rolling admission for Fall, Spring and Summer enrollment. 

Applications that are not completed prior to the start of the semester will need to be moved to the next applicable semester.

Apply Today


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- Leadership in Human Resource Management
POLI 532- Organizational Theory and Behavior for Public and Nonprofit Institutions
POLI 591- Capstone Seminar in Public Administration


As part of the 15 credits required in electives, each student must take three one-credit professional development modules (POLI 506).  The remaining 12 credits in electives must be selected, with adviser approval, from the 500-level Political Science (POLI) course offerings.

Exit Requirement
The MPA program offers some degree of flexibility for exit from this program. All students are required to fulfill an exit requirement, which in most cases will require developing and orally presenting a comprehensive professional portfolio. This portfolio requires students to demonstrate mastery of fundamental principles and issues covered in the core curriculum. Eligibility requires that students complete all core curriculum courses except POLI 591 - Capstone Seminar in Public Administration, during which development and presentation of the portfolio will take place. Students will have two opportunities to pass the portfolio requirement.

In appropriate circumstances, such as a student interested in pursuing further graduate work at the doctoral level, a master’s thesis (POLI 588) with an oral defense may be substituted for the comprehensive examination. Students approved for this option must complete the full 39-credit program. The master’s thesis will carry an additional six hours of graduate credit. Credit for a public service internship is granted under this option if the student completes both an internship and a thesis plus 39 hours of course work for a total of 51 hours of credit. The thesis option is especially appropriate for students wishing to pursue a doctorate after completing the MPA, but is open to all students who meet the criteria established by the department. Departmental standards require the student to work closely with their advisor and to phase the work so that the project proposal is carefully designed and approved before the student advances to the next stage.

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

MPA Coordinator
Kevin Donnelly


Kevin Donnelly
(508) 531-2442

B.S., Providence College
M.A., University of Rhode Island
Ph.D., Northeastern University

Dr. Kevin Donnelly is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Administration, and Coordinator of the Master of Public Administration Program.  He also serves as the Graduate Internship Coordinator.  Dr. Donnelly is also the 2015 recipient of the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching.  He teaches courses in American Government, state and local government, and public policy.  His research interests are in the areas of language in politics, and health and social welfare policy.  Dr. Donnelly co-authored a book titled Foreign Remedies: What the Experience of Other Nations Can Tell Us about Next Steps in Reforming U.S. Health Care with David Rochefort.  He has also published in Polity, the Journal of Policy History, Harvard Health Policy Review, and Medicine and Health Rhode Island, authored a number of book chapters, and frequently presents his work at professional conferences.  Dr. Donnelly's current research focuses on the language of political actors involved in advancing policy ideas and interests.

MPA Assessment Coordinator
Melinda Tarsi


Dr. Melinda Tarsi
(508) 531-2404

B.A., Western Connecticut State University
M.A., University of Massachusetts Amherst
Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Amherst
Melinda R. Tarsi specializes in the field of American politics, with research interests in veterans’ benefits policies and politics; American political development; race and ethnicity in political behavior and representation; public opinion; and public administration. Dr. Tarsi is also a Research Fellow with the Center for Democratic Governance and Leadership, a Faculty Fellow with the Institute for Policy Analysis and Regional Engagement, and a Fellow with the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society. Her work has appeared in the journals Journalism Practice; Armed Forces and Society; Politics, Groups, and Identities; Social Science Quarterly; and the Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics. Her research has also been featured in the media on,, and the Washington Post’s blog, “The Monkey Cage.” Her book project, which focuses on the politics of veterans' benefit policies in the twentieth century, has been supported by the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation's Harry Middleton Fellowship in Presidential Studies, the Roosevelt Institute, the Gerald R. Ford Foundation, and the Harry S. Truman Library Institute.  Dr. Tarsi teaches courses on American politics, public policy, and public administration. In addition to her academic work, she is also a board member for a local nonprofit animal shelter, as well as an appointed member of her town’s finance committee.

Brian Frederick


Brian Frederick
Dr. Brian Frederick's CV
(508) 531-2445

B.S., MacMurray College
M.A., University of Illinois at Springfield
Ph.D., Northern Illinois University

Professor Frederick currently serves as the Chair of the BSU Political Science Department. He specializes in the field of American politics. He teaches classes in campaigns and elections, public opinion, political parties and interest groups, political psychology, women and politics, undergraduate research methods and data analysis for public administration. His research focuses on the U.S. Congress, gender in politics and campaigns and elections. He is author of the books: Congressional Representation and Constituents: The Case for Increasing the House of Representatives and American Presidential Spouses: The Public's Perspective. His research has appeared in Political Research Quarterly, Public Opinion Quarterly, Political Behavior, American Politics Research, Social Science Quarterly, State Politics and Policy Quarterly, PS: Political Science and Politics, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Congress and the Presidency, Politics Groups and Identities, Women, Politics and Policy, Judicature, Justice System Journal, Politics and Policy, American Review of Politics, Social Science Journal and numerous edited volumes. Professor Frederick also serves as a Research Fellow with the BSU Center for Democratic Governance and Leadership.

Full-Time Faculty
Mark Kemper


Mark Kemper
(508) 531-2796

B.A., Northern Illinois University
M.A., Ohio State University
Ph.D., Ohio State University

Professor Kemper teaches courses on American Politics, Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Legal Theory and Process, Model United States Senate, and Mock Trial and Moot Court. He serves as a pre-law advisor for Bridgewater State University and as the faculty advisor to the BSU Pre-Law Club. In 2004 Professor Kemper was recognized as the University's Advisor of the Year. In addition, Dr. Kemper is the Assistant Director of the Center for Democratic Governance and Leadership and co-hosts the Center's monthly cable television public affairs show, Commonwealth Politics. Professor Kemper's current research agenda focuses on the selection of state and federal judges, affirmative action policies in higher education admissions, the impact of courts on bureaucracies, and the historical evolution of free speech doctrine in the United States. Dr. Kemper has presented numerous papers at professional conferences, published an article in The Journal of Politics, and authored several book chapters and encyclopedia entries.

Inkyoung Kim


Inkyoung Kim
(508) 531-2316

B.A., SungKyunKwan University Seoul, South Korea
M.A., Seoul National University Seoul, South Korea
Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Amherst
Inkyoung Kim joins Political Science Department as an assistant professor in August 2016. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Before coming to BSU, she taught at Clark University and Reed College. She is teaching POLI 275, Comparative Government, POLI 488, Politics in the Developing World, and POLI 475, Global Environmental Politics in fall 2016. Her research interests include regional environmental cooperation, transboundary pollution, regionalism, government and politics in East Asia, and sustainable consumption patterns. She is a contributor to journals such as International Relations of the Asia-Pacific and International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics. She loves playing tennis and the piano. 

Seth J. Meyer


Seth Meyer photo.jpg

Phone: 508-531-2950
B.A., University of Rochester
MSSW, Columbia University School of Social Work
Ph.D., Rutgers University - Newark

Dr. Seth J. Meyer is an Assistant Professor of Political Science, with a focus on nonprofit management.  He received a BA from the University of Rochester, an MSSW from Columbia University School of Social Work, and a PhD from Rutgers University - Newark.  Dr. Meyer's research focuses on the organizational behavior of national nonprofit organizations as well as the management of and relationships between South Africa nonprofits.  His work has appeared in the Journal of Social Work and Journal of Social Service Research.  Dr. Meyer is an active member of the NASW and has written for their Administration and Supervision newsletter.  He teaches courses on Organizational Theory and Behavior, Nonprofit Management, and Introduction to Public Administration.

Rachel Navarre


Rachel Navarre

(508) 531-2528

B.A., Knox College
M.A., University of Texas at Austin
Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin

Rachel Navarre received her PhD from the University at Texas in Austin in Government and specializes in the fields of comparative politics and public policy. After completing her degree, she was a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Inter-American Policy at Tulane University in New Orleans. Her research focuses on comparative public policy, specifically issues of framing and issue definition; immigration policy and politics; regional governance; populism; and content analysis. She has presented her work at multiple conferences and currently has articles out for review on immigrant transnational political participation and the effect of religion on attitudes towards immigrants.

Na Sai


Na Sai
(508) 531-2457

B.A., Peking University (China, People's Republic of)
M.A., Duke University
Ph.D., Georgia State University & Georgia Institute of Technology (Joint Program)

Dr. Na Sai specializes in the field of public management and public policy. She also conducts research in nonprofit management. Her current research is focused on human resource management and education policy. She has published in Review of Public Personnel Administration, Social Science Quarterly, and Educational Policy and has also presented a series of articles at professional conferences.   
Dr. Na Sai is currently teaching POLI 521: Public Finance and POLI 501: Foundations of Public Administration for the MPA program, and is also teaching POLI 172: Introduction to American Government and POLI 390: Public Finance for undergraduate students.

George Serra

Dr. George Serra
(508) 531-2417

B.A., M.A., State University of New York, Stony Brook
Ph.D., State University of New York, Stony Brook

Professor Serra is the director of the Center for Democratic Governance and Leadership and coordinator of the interdisciplinary civic education and community leadership minor. He served as department chairman from 2004-2014.  His teaching and research interests focus on legislative and electoral behavior, congressional representation of minority interests, presidency and executive politics, and policy implementation. Dr. Serra is a 2003-2004 American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow and has published articles in leading political science journals, including The Journal of Politics, Political Research Quarterly, American Politics Research,  Legislative Studies Quarterly, Party Politics, The Journal of Legislative Studies, Congress and the Presidency, and Electoral Studies .

Part-Time Faculty
Larry Azer


Larry Azer
B.A., Tufts University
MPA, Bridgewater State University

Larry Azer is a part-time Senior Instructor in the Political Science Department and will be teaching a one-credit course on Public Budgeting (POLI 597) at BSU's Cape Cod campus. Larry is the Director of Finance and Operations for the Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School District since January 2011, where he is responsible for all aspects of financial management and ancillary services including budget development, capital planning, food services, student transportation, and facilities management. He is a member of the Massachusetts Association of School Business Officials (MASBO) and is a Massachusetts Certified Public Purchasing Officer (MCPPO).

While working towards his MPA degree at Bridgewater State University, Larry was actively involved with the Institute for Policy Analysis and Regional Engagement (IPARE), creating and presenting a module on public budgeting. He was also the 2013 winner of the Guy Clifford Scholarship for his scholastic achievement and commitment to public service. As a capstone assignment, Larry had his book review of "Trapped Under the Sea" by Neil Swidey published in The Public Manager in the winter of 2014.

Larry also served an an elected member of the Randolph School Committee from 2003 to 2012, including three years as the board's chair, as well as creating and chairing the budget sub-committee. He was a very active member of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees (MASC) and he led the school district's effort in passing a $5.5 million operational override of Proposition 2 1/2 in 2008, what is believed to be the largest such override in the history of Massachusetts.

Jodie Drapal Koretski


Jodie Drapal Koretski
(508) 531-2814

B.S., University of Nebraska Lincoln/Omaha
M.P.A. & Doctoral Studies, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Ph.D. Candidate, Walden University

Program Director, Certified Public Managers Program, Bridgewater State University
Visiting Lecturer, Political Science Department, Bridgewater State University

Jodie Drapal Koretski’s main research interests include public and nonprofit organizations, citizen engagement, informal associations, and organizational behavior.  She has presented her work at both national and international public and nonprofit sector conferences and has published research articles in Public Administration Review, and Administrative Theory & Practice. She has created articles for Public Manager, Bridgewater Review and PA Times and has been a reviewer for Public Administration Review, Policy and Politics, Oxford University Press, Nonprofit Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Voluntas, and Flat World Knowledge.  She also served as the editorial assistant, copy writer, and network administrator for Administrative Theory & Praxis. Drapal Kluver has served over 25 years within the nonprofit sector in a variety of roles and with a myriad of organizations. Within her academic career, she has served as a core faculty member teaching courses in public and nonprofit management and is currently serving as the program director of the Massachusetts Certified Public Managers program at Bridgewater State University.  Over the past several years she has been actively involved with service learning communities on campus, served on the National Service Learning Conference planning committee, and incorporates service learning/experiential learning within her classroom design. She has also been actively involved in the greater community as an educational consultant with a number of nonprofit and governmental organizations, as an instructor/presenter for nonprofit education programs, and as a director of development for a local arts and culture organization. 

Christopher McMillan


Christopher McMillan
(508) 531-1387

B.A., Bridgewater State University
J.D., Northeastern University
Mr. McMillan is a part-time instructor and will be teaching undergraduate courses for the Political Science Department. Mr. McMillan practices family and property law and has an office located in Osterville, Cape Cod, MA. In addition to his practice, he works with a large domestic violence nonprofit, assisting clients with issues around Abuse Prevention Orders and family law matters. He is also a member of the Massachusetts Bar, the American Bar Association, and is admitted to practice in Massachusetts state courts and the United States federal courts.

Paula Montgomery


Paula Montgomery
(508) 531-1387

A.A., Bristol Community College
B.S., Emerson College
M.P.A., Bridgewater State University
Paula Montgomery currently serves as the Campaign Manager for the Campaign to Re-Elect Jon Mitchell, Mayor of New Bedford, Mass. Paula is a part-time instructor for the Certified Public Manager Program teaching a one-credit course on Change Management. Paula received her M.P.A. degree from Bridgewater State University in 2011.
Paula has spent 17 years in leadership and management roles with national non-profits. Prior to joining Mayor Mitchell's re-election campaign she was the Executive Director for the American Red Cross Rhode Island chapter. Paula also served as the Rhode Island Regional Director for Make-A-Wish Mass. and Rhode Island. Prior to that role, she served in a number of capacities with the American Cancer Society, where her last position was State Vice President of Development.

Paula's undergraduate degrees from Emerson College and Bristol Community College are in Communications and Broadcast Journalism. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Rhode Island chapter where she has served as co-chair of National Philanthropy Day in 2010, 2014 and 2015. Paula was nominated for a Cable Ace by the National Academy of Cable Program as a producer of a 3 part series titled Heroin: Back on the Streets in 1998.

Staff Member
Stephanie Churchill

Graduate Programs Administrator

Career Services 2018-2020

National or central government in the same country as program: 0

State, provincial or regional government in the same country as the program: 33.33% (3)

City, County, or other local government in the same country as the program: 33.33% (3)

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

Nonprofit domestic-oriented: 11.11% (1)

Nonprofit/NGOs internationally-oriented: 0

Private Sector - Research/Consulting: 0

Private Sector but not research/consulting: 0

Military: 0

Obtaining further education: 0

Unemployed seeking employment: 0

Unemployed not seeking employment: 0

Status Unknown: 22.22% (2)

Total Number of Graduates: 9

Pre 2009 - Present

National or central government in the same country as program: 2.08% (1)

State, provincial or regional government in the same country as the program: 31.25% (15)

City, County, or other local government in the same country as the program: 31.25% (15)

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

Nonprofit domestic-oriented: 16.67% (8)

Nonprofit/NGOs internationally-oriented: 2.08% (1)

Private Sector - Research/Consulting: 0

Private Sector but not research/consulting: 4.17% (2)

Military: 0

Obtaining further education: 0

Unemployed seeking employment: 2.08% (1)

Unemployed not seeking employment: 0

Status Unknown: 10.42% (5)

Total Number of Graduates: 48

Program Completion - Fall 2020-Spring 2021 MPA Cohort (Full and Part-time Students)

Initially Enrolled: 9 students

Graduated within 2 years: 44% (4)

Graduated within 3 years: 67% (6)

Graduated within 4 years: 78% (7)

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

People Acting In Community Endeavors (PACE), Inc.

Plymouth, MA, County Commissioners Office

Southeast Regional Planning Committee Whitman, MA

Virtual Committees



Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate ethical and  accountable  leadership skills grounded in relevant theory
  • Interpret the  role  of public  administrators at each stage  of the  policy  development process
  • Analyze  the various steps in the  policy  process
  • Apply  a  variety  of  approaches to address relevant  questions in public  administration including  problem solving, written and oral  communication, quantitative and qualitative methods, and critical thinking skills.
  • Synthesize  the theoretical basis of public  administration with accountable  practice  in public  or nonprofit  organizations
  • Demonstrate the  ability  to interact productively  with diverse  populations
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