Master of Public Administration

Program Overview

Master of Public Administration
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The Maxine Goodman Levin School of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University is consistently recognized as one of the best public affairs colleges in the nation according to US News & World Report.

Our Master of Public Administration (MPA) program of the Maxine Goodman Levin School of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University is committed to nationally recognized excellence in public administration education, to the development of leadership in the search for solutions to urban problems, and to an enhanced understanding of public policy and public affairs in a global and diverse society. 

To advance intellectual and administrative leadership in public administration, the MPA program:

  • Prepares a diverse student body to assume the challenges of public service by providing them with a foundation in general public administration and specialized skills grounded in one of the Program's areas of expertise;
  • Discovers, constructs, interprets, and disseminates knowledge and understanding about the practice of public affairs; and
  • Serves the region, including the professional community, by extending intellectual resources and applying knowledge.

The program’s curriculum is designed to accommodate part-time, mid-career students, as well as full-time students. Courses are offered primarily during the evenings and a few on weekends. Students can apply for Fall, Spring or Summer semesters.

The MPA program is a multidisciplinary program. Courses are offered by the Maxine Goodman Levin School of Urban Affairs, the Ahuja College of Business and the College of Law. The program is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). In addition, the Levin School has been designated a “Center of Excellence” in Public Administration by the university and the Ohio Board of Regents.

The MPA program prepares graduates to lead in diverse and dynamic urban environments. By applying engaged and interactive learning, faculty and students work together to discover, generate, share, and extend intellectual resources for the benefit of the community. Coursework provides a foundation in public service, administration, and management with specialized skills grounded in one of the program's areas of expertise.

The MPA Program has built this mission on a commitment to nationally recognized excellence in public administration education and research, to the development of leadership in government, to public service for solutions to urban problems, and to an enhanced understanding of public policy and management in a global and diverse society. Through its activities, the Master of Public Administration Program supports the educational, research and public service missions of the Levin School and Cleveland State University.

What is a Master of Public Administration Degree?
Depending on the university, graduate education in the field of public affairs and administration can have different emphases and the degree granted can have a number of different names. While a master’s degree in public administration – the MPA – is the most common degree, it also may be known as a master of governmental administration, a master in public affairs, a master of international relations or a number of other specific concentrations. In every case, the degree is a professional one and the educational program is designed to train individuals for government service and related fields.

While the title of the program is not important, the substance is. Every graduate program has a core curriculum designed to teach the skills required for effective public management planning, decision-making, nonprofit management and other related policies.

Graduates of public affairs programs have a wide range of skills. They are prepared for many different jobs yet they have something in common. They understand the challenge, anticipate the excitement, and accept the responsibility that comes with managing in the public sector.

Why Public Administration?
In 1960, the government employed one out of eight persons in the workforce. By 1980, this figure had increased to one in six. While the growth in public sector employment has slowed, government spending still accounts for over a third of the Gross National Product.

The scope of government extends beyond these impressive numbers. The demarcation between the public and private sectors is blurred. Laws, regulations, tax policies, contracts, grants and loans require an interaction between the two sectors so that even in the private sector an understanding of public administration and government is critical.

The Core Foundations of Public Administration 
The MPA core curriculum covers the following areas:

  • Political and legal institutions and processes
  • Economic and social systems
  • Organizational and managerial skills and practices
  • Concepts and techniques of financial administration
  • Techniques of analysis, including quantitative, economic and statistical methods and computer systems
  • Human resources management in the public sector

These core elements constitute the building blocks for a diverse field of study. The choices range from city management and international affairs to personnel administration and strategic planning.

Educational programs in public administration draw on a wide variety of academic disciplines such as political science, economics, business administration and law. Public administration is a unifying field of study that effectively merges the specialties of others. Yet public administration has its own unique set of competencies and areas of expertise as it applies the disciplines of other fields to the public and nonprofit sectors.

The Maxine Goodman Levin School of Urban Affairs Master of Public Administration is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).

Tuition and Fee Rates

For graduate tuition and fee rates, please click here:

Career Opportunities

Students enrolled in the MPA program are preparing for leadership and management in government, nonprofit, and public service organizations such as:

  • Federal, state, county and local governments
  • Regional authorities and special districts
  • Nonprofit and volunteer organizations
  • Economic and community development
  • Health and human service organizations
  • Criminal justice agencies
Contact Information

MPA Program Director: Dr. Clayton Wukich

Dave Arrighi, Graduate Programs Coordinator
Public Affairs Student Services Center
Telephone: (216) 523-7522 / E-mail:

GRE Waiver Information