Political Science Public Administration

Service and Integrity

Build the skills to provide leadership, communication, innovation and change.

Learn to become a strong leader within public and non-profit organizations and effect change for your organization and your cause.


Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.)

Graduates of the public administration program serve at all levels of government and nonprofit organizations in the United States and abroad.

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M.P.A. Fast Track

Up to six high-achieving students interested in public service careers, who have completed a course in either State and Local Politics or Public Administration, are invited to participate in a special Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) fast-track program during their second semester of their junior year.

These students are eligible to take up to nine hours of selected core courses in the M.P.A. program during their senior year that would count for both their undergraduate B.A. or B.S. as well as for our nationally-accredited M.P.A. After satisfactory performance, fast-track students are guaranteed admission into the M.P.A. program and receive full credit for the core graduate courses taken as a senior.

Executive Master of Public Administration (E.M.P.A.)

Designed for seasoned public service professionals who seek to advance their understanding of administration in public and nonprofit organizations.

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Admission Requirements

Application requirements can be found at Graduate School Admission Requirements and include:

  1. Completed Graduate Application
    Apply Online
  2. $35 application fee
  3. Official transcript(s) verifying receipt of an undergraduate degree and previous graduate credit earned
  4. Three (3) letters of recommendation
  5. Statement of Purpose
  6. Applicants may submit a summary of any relevant professional experience and/or public service (M.P.A.)
  7. A minimum of five years of cumulative professional experience, including three years at the middle-to-upper level (documented through a resume) (E.M.P.A.)
  8. Additional requirements exist for international applicants.  For more information, visit International Admission Requirements

For more detailed admission requirements, please refer to Political Science in the current graduate catalog. To learn more about graduate tuition and fees, visit the Business Office.

For Executive Master of Public Administration admission requirements, visit Online Executive Master of Public Administration.

Application Deadlines

  • March 15 to be considered for an assistantship
  • July 15 for enrollment

The Classroom & Beyond

  • Faculty led study trips to Italy and Ireland are now available. Political science, criminal justice and international studies majors are eligible to receive Farber Funding.

  • U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of South Dakota as the top 130th school among 272 listed, placing its Master of Public Administration program in the top 47 percent.

  • A wide variety of internship experiences are available to students, who are especially encouraged to intern with the U.S. Congress and the SD State Legislature.