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Political Science Graduate Programs


Our degrees prepare you to be effective leaders in both public and private organizations.

Pursue a degree in political science, administration or public administration.


We offer several paths to earn your credential in public administration. Each program prepares students to be leaders in public service. The Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) program is for students who currently hold an undergraduate degree while the Fast Track program are for USD Political Science students who would like to complete both degrees in five years. The Executive Master of Public administration Program is for mid-career professionals. Click “Degrees” for more information!

Public Administration (M.P.A. or E.M.P.A.)

Graduates of the public administration program serve at all levels of government and nonprofit organizations in the United States and abroad. Consider options for both seasoned public service professionals (E.M.P.A.) and those who are just entering their public service career.

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View M.P.A. Handbook

View E.M.P.A. Handbook

Administration (M.S.A.)

A cross-disciplinary program that provides the primary tools and organizational skills necessary to effectively perform administrative roles in public service oriented organizations.

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View M.S.A. Handbook

Graduate Certificates

Leadership in Public Management

The Leadership in Public Management Graduate Certificate offers an important set of skills and theories from a rich history of academic work. The skills are especially applicable for public and nonprofit sector employees who, after a few years of experience, find themselves managing others. 

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Nonprofit Management

The graduate certificate in nonprofit management is an online program designed to further develop skills in nonprofit administration, governance, fundraising, personnel management, grant writing, team building and budgeting. 

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Techniques for Public Policy

This certificate will provide you with a tool kit of common evaluative, analytical and statistical techniques used in the field of public policy. Designed for those who regularly need to evaluate programs or understand program data.  

View Techniques for Public Policy Certificate

Admission Requirements

For more detailed admission requirements, please refer to Political Science in the current graduate catalog. Additional requirements exist for international applicants. For more information, visit International Admission Requirements. For additional details about the graduate political science programs, contact Graduate Admissions at 605-658-6200 or email