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Information for Prospective MPAA Students

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Program Information

The University of Missouri-St. Louis’ Public Policy Administration (P P ADM) program has three components: the Master of Public Policy Administration (MPPA) degree program, the Nonprofit Management and Leadership Program (NPML), and the Local Government Partnership (LGP).

The Master of Public Policy Administration (MPPA) is an interdisciplinary program designed to prepare students for managerial and policy analysis positions in the public and non-profit sectors or related organizations. The MPPA is part of the Public Policy Administration program, an independent unit of the UMSL Graduate School, and is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) (NASPAA).

A key strength of the program is the experienced faculty, all of whom are committed to the success of our students. Core faculty members hold joint appointments in public policy administration and related departments, such as economics, political science, sociology, and business administration. Adjunct instructors also have considerable professional, educational, and teaching experience and play an important role in connecting our students with the professional community.

The full facilities of Campus Computing, and the Laboratory for Quantitative Analysis are available. UMSL is a member of the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, the Association for Public Policy & Management (APPAM), Nonprofit Academic Centers Council (NACC) and NASPAA.

U.S. News and World Report ranks the program in the top third of graduate public affairs program and it is the highest ranked in the St. Louis region. Tuition rates are competitive and graduate research assistantships are available. To accommodate those who are working, MPPA courses are generally held in the evening (starting no earlier than 5:30 pm) or on weekends. The campus is located near I-170 and I-70 and has two onsite MetroLink stations. Full-time students are eligible for free Metro passes.


The MPPA degree consists of 40 credit hours, 28 of which are taken as part of the core curriculum and 12 that are electives. Students who complete the degree must demonstrate the following:

  • Design, research, write, and defend analyses of substantive public policy problems and/or potential solutions
  • Use data and sophisticated analytic tools (qualitative and quantitative) to conduct research in public policy and administration
  • Understand the policy and internal/external environments of public and nonprofit organizations
  • Develop expertise in a substantive area of public policy administration

A student can choose an emphasis area in Non-Profit Management & Leadership, Local Government Management, Managing Human Resources & Organizations, and Policy Research & Analysis.  Students may also work with the program to create their own individualized emphasis areas.  

Financial Aid:

  • Graduate Research Assistantships:  A limited number of positions for Graduate Research Assistants are periodically available through the PPA Program.  These are competitive, paid, part-time positions in which students are provided a tuition waiver.  Students will be notified when GRA positions are available, and application is made directly to the PPA Director.  General information on GRA/GTA positions is available at GRA/GTA Positions.
  • Other Financial Aid: You should contact the Financial Aid office for information on loans, grants and scholarships:  UMSL Student Financial Aid Office , 278 Millennium Student Center, (314) 516-5526.

For more information:
Graduate Program Director: Dr. Deborah Balser
Phone: (314) 516-5145