Political Science

Varner Hall, Room 418
371 Varner Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4485
(location map)
(248) 370-2352


MPA News Updates

About the MPA Program

The Master of Public Administration Program
Lead. Drive change. Solve problems. With a  Master of Public Administration (MPA), you'll become an effective leader in public, private and nonprofit sectors. 
Oakland University's MPA program propels you toward your goals with a rigorous curriculum, small class sizes, and your choice between five specializations:  Court AdministrationCriminal Justice LeadershipHealth Care AdministrationLocal Government Management, or  Non-Profit Organization & Management.

If you would like to receive information about this program, including updates on registration and semesterly newsletters, please click here

Catalog Program Requirements Nonprofit Management Certificate



"The Master of Public Administration Program at Oakland University advances excellence in public and non-governmental management through strengthening the leadership capacity, problem-solving skills, public service values, and community engagement of current and aspiring public and non-governmental executives. The program is designed to deliver outstanding service to our students, the university community, and the public at large."



"Oakland University’s Master of Public Administration Program is committed to creating a welcoming environment for all students, faculty, and staff.   We will work to inculcate an awareness of the value of diversity and to impart the ability to interact respectfully and productively with all stakeholders, regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, class, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, disability, age, and/or veteran status."

the Oakland University Master of Public Administration programs are fully accredited by NASPAA,
Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration
1029 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20005
Foundation Requirements

The requirement for the MPA is 40 credits. All required courses are offered during weekday evenings and, in some cases, on Saturdays. If students successfully carry a full-time course load of 8 credits, it will be possible to complete the program in two calendar years or five semesters, starting in the fall of one year and ending in the spring/summer of the next academic year.

The program director will review undergraduate transcript to determine if these courses are needed. They are not required of all students entering the program and are not included in the 40 credit program total.

View the academic catalog for a full description of the program and all necessary MPA Program requirements.

Concentration Options

In addition to the 28 credits in the core curriculum, a student may take all 12 elective credits in one of five concentrations:
Each concentration has one course that is a “core course,” meaning that the student must take that course. Students who pursue a concentration may need an additional semester to complete elective requirements. Students may also choose not to concentrate in one area, and may take 12 electives from among any the program offers.

Admission to the program is selective. Applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited undergraduate institution, and must have a grade record that indicates above-average work (generally, a GPA of 3.0 or greater.)

The program welcomes students with a wide variety of undergraduate preparations. A basic course in accounting is needed. Arrangements may be made for conditional admission to the program while specific deficiencies are being corrected.
Note: Neither the GRE nor the GMAT are required.

Please contact the MPA Program Coordinator, Suzanne Rossi, at  ssrossi@oakland.edu or (248) 370-4117
if you have any questions or to request an advising appointment.
Admission Procedure
U.S. Applicants must:
  • Send an official transcript from each university or community college that the student earned credits applied toward his or her bachelor's degree. Email address for official transcripts through National Clearinghouse is:  gradinfo@oakland.edu
  • Complete the Application for Admission To Graduate Study
    • Upload Resume
    • Upload MPA essay - instructions below
    • Email addresses for two references who will be sent a form to complete that gives OU their opinion of student's ability to succeed as a graduate student. These should be undergraduate professors if possible, or people in supervisory roles.
  • Instructions for MPA Essay
For information and complete details on the graduate admissions process, please visit the graduate admission website. You will find application instructions, deadlines, contact information, and international student resources.

Continuing Education

The Graduate Certificate program, offered by the Master of Public Administration program, is designed to provide students who have already earned a bachelor's degree with additional education and training in specialized areas of public management and administration.

Students will be required to take at least 16 hours of graduate work beyond the Master’s degree in one of the five post-master's program areas of:

Students in the post-master's certificate program will be required to earn a grade of 3.0 or above in each course required for the certificate.

MPA Program Enrollment and Outcome Information

How many students are enrolled in the program, and do they have prior experience?

On average there are around 40 students in a cohort. For the 2016-2017 cohort, 66% percent of students were pre-service and had not worked in public or nonprofit organizations prior to their enrollment in the program; 34% percent were currently working, or had some experience, in public or nonprofit settings beforehand. 63% of the students in this cohort were considered full-time and enrolled in at least two classes.

How many enrolled students complete the program?

The program is designed for students to finish in five semesters. Full-time students complete the program in two years with continuous full-time enrollment, while part-time students have up to six years to complete the program. The data below show the completion rate for the cohort of 47 students who entered the program during the 2012-2013 academic years:


Initially Enrolled:


Graduated within 2 years:

18 (38.3%)

Graduated within 3 years:

29 (61.7%)

Graduated within 4 years:

30 (63.8%)

Of the 47 students who were newly enrolled in 2012, 35 (74.4%) graduated within six years of starting the program. Students who did not graduate moved to other programs or had circumstances arise that otherwise prevented completion within the required time frame.

Where are our students after graduation?

Oakland University MPA graduates go on to hold a variety of positions in the public and nonprofit sectors, with a number of graduates also either moving on to utilize their skills in the private sector or opting to further their education. The list below presents job placement statistics for MPA graduates in the 2016-2017 cohort; employment categories were created by the Network of Schools for Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). 

        Nonprofit (domestic-oriented): 31%

        Private Sector (not research/consulting): 6.8%

        National government in same country as program: 3.4%

        State/provincial/regional government in same country as program: 13.8%

        City/county/local government in same country as program: 37.9%

        Unemployed (seeking employment): 3.4%

        Unemployed (not seeking employment): 3.4% 

Who Employs Oakland University’s MPA Graduates?

MPA graduates are employed in a variety of state and local government settings, including Oakland County and the State of Michigan, as well as in various nationally-recognized nonprofit organizations including the National Consumers League and the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association. Our organization is also represented in hospitals and correctional facilities around the state, as well as in various areas of the private sector. Alumni in the 2016-2017 cohort were working in the following jobs six months after graduation:

State and Local Government
Business Analyst, Oakland County
Budget and Policy Analyst, State of Michigan Budget Office
Administrative Support, State of Michigan
Human Resources Representative, Trinity Health
Assistant Unit Manager, St. Mary Mercy Hospital
Teacher, Rochester Community Schools
Quality Assurance Analyst, Beaumont Health
Project Manager, Beaumont Health
Chief Operating Officer, Downtown Detroit Partnership
Senior Program Manager, Best and Brightest
Benefits and Insurance Coordinator, Macomb Community Colleges
President, Genuinely Awesome Women Organization
Community Revitalization Coordinator, Community Housing Network
Administrative Assistant, American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association
Grants Administrator, National Consumers League
Administrative Assistant, The Rainbow Connection
Grants and Contracts Specialist, UT Southwestern
Volunteer Services, Beaumont Health
Federal Government
Executive Administrative Assistant, U.S. Army
Specialty Program Coordinator, 51st District Court
Private Sector
Account Coordinator, Dart Appraisal
Claims Analyst, Meridian Health Plan
Office Manager, Stark Enterprises LLC
Legal Assistant, Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC
Global Humna Resource Specialist, Techworld Language Solutions Inc
Lead Purchasing Specialist, Fuyao Automotive
Facilities Supervisor, Meritor
Vehicle and Driver Support Coordinator, Roush Performance