Details at a Glance
Interested in Pursuing a Career in Public Administration?
The public administration master's program provides a quality graduate degree that is affordable, responsive to local workforce needs and is accessible to working part-time commuting students who seek to serve the public through employment in governmental and other non-profit institutions.
The public administration master's program is interdisciplinary with programs sponsored by the departments of political science, criminal justice, geography and regional planning, and economics and business management.
We offer three concentrations suited for your particular interest:
- Criminal Justice Administration
- Non-Profit Management
- Public Management
CRIMINAL JUSTICE ADMINISTRATION CONCENTRATION
This track provides students with advanced theory and practical skills necessary to confront and help resolve the complex problems associated with the American criminal justice system. This 15 credit concentration offers both general and specialized courses by full-time and adjunct WSU faculty in the criminal justice department. Students will gain expertise in the design and evaluation of criminal justice.
NON-PROFIT MANAGEMENT CONCENTRATION
This track provides students with both theoretical and practical knowledge to manage a successful non-profit organization. Special emphasis is given to organizational design, strategic planning, human resource concerns, marketing and fundraising. Courses are taught by full-time faculty in the Westfield State University management department, along with adjuncts with special expertise in applying business-world skills to advance the goals of charitable and social service non-profit organizations. Completion of this 15 credit concentration, along with the 21 credit core courses, prepares students for leadership roles and rewarding careers in the non-profit sector.
PUBLIC MANAGEMENT CONCENTRATION
This track provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary for administering public agencies and programs. Courses are taught by University full-time faculty in political science and in regional planning, and by adjuncts with particular expertise in public management, public budgeting issues, public policy analysis, program evaluation and implementation, human resource concerns, urban planning and administrative law. Regional economic and administrative concerns are addressed in such courses as “Managing Towns and Cities” and “The Regional Economy of New England.” Completion of this 15 credit concentration, combined with the 21 credits of core courses, will prepare students to meet the public administration challenges of the 21st century.
PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS AND LENGTH
The M.P.A. program at Westfield State centers on a fixed set of seven required “core” courses and a 15 credit substantive specialization. Our core is informed by the NASPAA curriculum guidelines described in their “Standards for Professional Masters Degree Programs.” As such, our core courses cover the essential areas of knowledge or skill necessary for public sector management. Overall, the M.P.A. curriculum requires students to complete 36 credit hours, comparable to other programs nationally and in the state. The program is designed to fit the needs of the working student, and thus, program length depends on many factors. Students may opt to takes classes only during the traditional spring and fall semester, or they may choose to take advantage of our two accelerated summer sessions. Some students take one class at a time, while others may take three.
Westfield State is ranked among the best universities in the northern U.S. and provides a flexible course of study for our students. All classes are offered weekdays during the evening, with many hybrid and online courses offered throughout the program.
The M.P.A. program is on rolling admissions; applications are accepted year-round with the following preferred deadlines:
November 1st- spring admission
April 1st- summer admission
June 1st- fall admission
What Our Students Say
"I had a tremendous experience in receiving my graduate degree from Westfield State University. The faculty are extremely knowledgeable and provide a first class graduate education. They are very helpful in giving you the tools to achieve your goals."Andrew Golas, Master of Public Administration ‘14
“The most important things that I’ve learned here at Westfield State that I can actually take along with me no matter where I go in my career path is leadership skills that I can put in my toolbox. Not only learned patience, understanding, and listening, but actually asking questions to find out if a policy or procedure is actually needed”Farah Rodriguez, Master of Public Administration ‘19
"I had a tremendous experience in receiving my graduate degree from Westfield State University. The faculty are extremely knowledgeable and provide a first class graduate education. They are very helpful in giving you the tools to achieve your goals."
“The most important things that I’ve learned here at Westfield State that I can actually take along with me no matter where I go in my career path is leadership skills that I can put in my toolbox. Not only learned patience, understanding, and listening, but actually asking questions to find out if a policy or procedure is actually needed”