Make a difference with a Master of Public Policy Administration degree from the University of Missouri–St. Louis

Become an effective leader in any sector with a Master of Public Policy Administration degree from UMSL.

Our public policy master’s program will equip you with valuable skills to succeed in myriad areas, from managerial to policy analysis roles. Through a comprehensive curriculum blending theory, research methods and more, you’ll gain the knowledge and tools necessary to build a meaningful career working with and advocating on behalf of others.

Our public policy master’s program is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration, the gold standard in public service education. Our MPPA is also ranked in the top third of graduate public affairs programs by U.S. News and World Report and holds the highest ranking in St. Louis.

A public policy administration degree you can align with your goals

When you earn your Master of Public Policy Administration at UMSL, you can tailor it to align with your career aspirations through one of three areas of emphasis, including:

  • Policy research and analysis
  • Local government management
  • Nonprofit organization management and leadership

Through advanced studies in these fields, you can learn more about important issues facing local governments and nonprofits, especially in the St. Louis region. Take courses on land use, zoning and regional planning, the politics of public policy, global health and human rights, and more.

Program type:

Graduate, MPPA



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Why earn your Master in Public Policy and Administration at UMSL?

At UMSL, our public policy and administration program was inspired by leaders, academics and the community to educate and train professionals in local government, nonprofit management and policy analysis to better meet the needs of the St. Louis region and beyond.

This program is unique because it emphasizes both public policy analysis and public administration, which typically are pursued through separate programs. At UMSL, you’ll also find:

  • Expert faculty. Learn from researchers and practitioners who are leaders in their fields, from economics to public policy.
  • An administration and public policy master’s program tailored to working professionals. Take courses around your schedule, in the evening or on the weekends.
  • Important hands-on learning opportunities. For example, local government management students take a summer course through which they travel to area municipalities and learn in the field.

What can you do with a Master of Public Policy Administration?

Today’s increasingly complex and challenging policy issues have created a growing need for professionals with strong understandings of public policy and administration. Our Master of Public Policy Administration degree program can help you prepare to meet that need.

Our MPPA graduates have built successful careers in a range of settings in the nonprofit and public sectors. They include city administrators, community development specialists, nonprofit executive directors and directors of development.

When you complete your master’s degree in public policy administration at UMSL, you will be able to:

  • Design, research, write and defend analyses of substantive public policy problems and their potential solutions.
  • Use data and sophisticated analytic tools to conduct research in public policy and administration.
  • Understand the policy and environments of public and nonprofit organizations.
  • Develop expertise in a substantive area of public policy administration.

While you navigate the program and prepare for your future, you will work with your advisor and the public policy and administration program director for personal career advising and guidance.
Regardless of which area you choose to concentrate, our Master of Public Policy Administration program will help you prepare to respond to the growing needs of the St. Louis region and beyond


Median annual salary

Career Opportunitie

  • City administrator
  • Community development specialist
  • Consultant
  • Director of economic development
  • Management analyst
  • Nonprofit administrator
  • Policy Analyst
  • Research and data analyst
  • Senior analyst
  • Senior program manager


Plan of study

Review Full Degree Requirements Download Program Requirements

Non-Missouri Residents: Prospective students are responsible for reviewing the UMSL state authorizations page to see if this program is offered in their state throughout their program and to review the licensure or certification requirements for the state in which they reside.

Student Organizations - Make new friends and learn new skills by joining one of our Recognized Student Organizations

Career Services – Students have access to professional career counselors who can assist in everything from resume development and interview preparation to lining up an internship or connecting you with your next fulltime career. UMSL alumni also enjoy high quality, lifelong career management programming, services, events and resources to assist in all phases of career development.

Networking – with the largest alumni network in the region, UMSL graduate students have access to leading professionals engaged in business, research, entrepreneurship, non-profit, government, community organizations. Our academic units engage this network in curriculum development to ensure our graduate students gain the skills needed to advance along their choose career path.

Research – There are many opportunities for graduate students to showcase their research including our annual Graduate Research Fair, which is open to students from all graduate programs. Doctoral and thesis master’s students can also compete in the Three Minute Thesis challenge to be evaluated by a panel of judges for a chance to win cash prizes.