Master of Public Administration

Is the Seattle University MPA program the right fit for me?

The Seattle University Master of Public Administration (MPA) program educates public service professionals seeking to advance their careers in local, state, or federal government or the nonprofit sector. Our graduates receive a holistic education that promotes service to diverse communities, and prepares them with knowledge and skills in critical thinking, analysis, administration, management, policy, and research.

>> Master of Public Administration Mission Statement

What types of students are in the MPA program?

  • 85% of our 130 students work full-time during their time in the program.
  • For students not employed or seeking to explore another field or sector of interest, the Seattle University MPA offers hands on learning and service opportunities in the heart of an urban community. 2017-2018 internship sites included: City of Seattle, King County, Sound Transit, BloodWorks NW, City of Bellevue, and Enterprise Community Partners.

What makes the Seattle University MPA program unique?

  • We focus on social justice and engagement with diverse communities.
  • Service and research from faculty who are active scholars and practitioners, including six full-time faculty, and part-time faculty that are experienced professionals in their field.
  • We collaborate with a network of experienced students, faculty, alumni, and community leaders.

How much does the degree cost?

  • MPA tuition for the academic year 2018-2019 is $720 per credit and is subject to change annually by the Seattle University Board of Trustees.
  • The MPA is a 57-credit program, so the total cost for the degree based on the 2018-2019 tuition is $41,040. 

How long will it take for me to graduate?

  • Our program operates on the quarter system (Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring); most of our students take two courses per quarter, with an average completion date of two and a half years.
  • All of our MPA classes are conveniently offered on weekday evenings or on Saturdays during all four quarters of the school year.
  • Program Completion Rate: 82% of MPA students completed the program within 200% of program length (for the 2012-2013 admitted class).

What types of careers do graduates of the MPA program go onto?

  • Nearly 3/4 of our graduates continue to live and work in the Puget Sound region.
  • Specific examples include: Executive Director, Compass Housing Alliance, Community Engagement Director, Swedish Medical Center,  Budget Analyst, WA State Department of Social and Health Services, Executive Director, SkillUp Washington, Research Analyst, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Several of our MPA  graduates join the U.S. Presidential Management Fellows program, a prestigious two-year training and development program at a United States government agency, placements include: Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Labor, and National Institutes of Health.
  • Employment Rates by Sector (for the 2016-2017 graduating class, six months after graduation):
    Nonprofit Sector (domestic) 39%
    Private Sector 13%
    Public Sector (federal level) 13%
    Employed: Other 13%
    Not currently employed 9%
    Public Sector (state level) 9%
    Nonprofit /NGO (international) 4%

Are scholarships available?

  • All newly admitted MPA students are eligible to apply for scholarships in their first quarter; recipients may receive up to $5,000 toward the MPA degree. Financial need is strongly considered when selecting recipients and the amount of their award. Apply for Graduate Public Administration Scholarships.