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Public Administration

There’s no substitute for the leadership savvy, decision-making and strategic skills that an advanced degree provides. As one of the top 25 ranked master's programs in the nation, USD's Master in Public Administration can take you anywhere. 

Why Study Public Administration?

Whether you are just starting out or have years of experience, USD offers several program options that are flexible, affordable and even part-time to advance your career.

Graduates of the USD public administration program serve at all levels of government and nonprofit organizations in the United States and abroad. This program offers you flexibility and the skills to become a strong leader. The program combines in-depth study of core administration subject matter with elective coursework in several areas so you are able to effect change for your organization and your cause.

The on-campus MPA program prepares you with a strong theoretical background, as well as an experiential component to provide a practical experience. Lead and manage organizations; participate in the policy process; analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems and make decisions; articulate and apply a public service perspective; and communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry. The MPA is fully accredited by NASPAA since 1983.


Degrees & Offerings

Public Administration (MPA)

Master's
  Vermillion Main Campus

This 39 credit hour program offers you flexibility, and the skills to become a strong leader. The programs combine the in-depth study of core administration subject matter with elective coursework in several areas so you are able to effect change for your organization and your cause.

Accelerated Public Administration (MPA)

Master's
  Vermillion Main Campus

If you are a current USD undergraduate student who would like to begin a master's degree while completing your bachelor's degree, you may apply and begin the program after the completion of 90 undergraduate credit hours.  This program leads to both a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree in as few as five years.

Program Details

Graduate

College

Department

Contact

Graduate Admissions

Start Your Application Today

Each program has unique application requirements and deadlines. Be sure and consult the graduate catalog for detailed program information. It will ensure your application and materials are complete and submitted on time. To learn more about the application process, visit how to apply.

Known for Excellence

With qualities like small class sizes, specialized programs and incredible student opportunities, USD is not your typical university. What makes us unique is what makes your education exceptional.
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Student Opportunities

The academic opportunities available to you extend beyond the classroom. Visit our department webpage for more information about the experiences and resources you can look forward to at USD.

 

Learn more about political science

Departments & Facilities

Our faculty are experts in their fields, bringing practical experience in government, law and the nonprofit sector to the classroom.
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Political Science

Whether you are interested in a career in government and politics, law, the criminal justice system, international relations or a related field, the real-world experiences and connections you find in the Department of Political Science will help you get there.

Faculty & Staff

Get to know faculty and staff in the Department of Political Science. Our faculty are experts in their fields, contributing research and scholarship in American government, criminology, victimology, international human rights, gender politics, race/ethnicity in politics, comparative political economy, international law and more. They bring practical experience in government, law and the private sector to the classroom.
Bio Image for Faculty Member David Earnest

David Earnest

Chair, Political Science
Faculty Default

Sandi Allred

Secretary
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Michael Card

Associate Professor
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Ilmira Dulyanova

Dir. Online Grad Prog & Coord.
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Matthew Fairholm

Professor/Coord, Grad Programs
Bio Image for Faculty Member Jacqueline Faulhaber

Jacqueline Faulhaber

Senior Lecturer/Adviser
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Ed Gerrish

Associate Professor
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Joshua Houy

Senior Lecturer
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Julia Hellwege

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Eric Jepsen

Eric Jepsen

Professor/Coord Ungrad Study
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Sandy McKeown

Coord, Criminal Justice
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Thomas Mrozla

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Lynita Newswander

Lynita Newswander

Senior Lecturer
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Shane Nordyke

Coordinator, Chiesman Center
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Timothy Schorn

Assoc Prof/Coord Int'l Studies
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Laura Wiemers

Program Assistant II
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Gain Real-World Experience

Each year, the Department of Political Science puts more than $175,000 of funding toward student internships, study abroad experiences, research and conference participation, and student organizations.
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Chase Your Dream Career

Whether you want to hit the campaign trail, apply for law school, work for state or local government, or pursue another career path. A master's degree in public administration from USD will set you up for success. 

The accomplishments of our students and alumni speak for themselves; our students are leaders on campus and at conferences, and our graduates have transitioned straight into jobs in their chosen field around the state, region and country.

Surprisingly Affordable

Whether you’ve recently completed your undergraduate degree, or you want to kick your career up a notch, graduate school is the next logical step. The good news is there is funding for both online and on-campus students to get you through your program. 
Resident & WRGP
MN Residents
Non-Resident
Tuition (9 cr.)
3061.35
4398.75
5886.45
Fees (9 cr.)
497.7
497.7
497.7
Books (estimate)
360
360
360

More About Tuition & Fees

This is an estimate tuition rate* per credit hour and other factors such as special fees associated with your program may change the cost of tuition. Tuition rates are subject to change. 

If you are wondering about how to pay for graduate school, there are additional funding options to consider.

We Are Proud of Our Students

Success story Taige Tople smiling.
I learned about budgeting, nonprofit management, conflict resolution, statistical analysis, and how certain case law impacted the public sector. Throughout the program, I felt that my professors were attentive to my learning style and academic goals, while also helping me plan for my career. My job working with the Department of Labor and Regulation as a Labor Program Specialist came specifically because of an internship course I needed complete my MPA degree. 

Taige Tople

MPA Public Administration
Saint Paul Public Schools
Minneapolis, MN

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