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URI Providence Campus

80 Washington Street

Providence, RI 02903

Phone: 401-277-5000

masters in public administration - MPA Homepage

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

Robert A. Weygand, M.A., M.P.A.
Francis J. Leazes, Jr., Ph.D.
Assistant Director


The Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) program is a late afternoon and evening program administered jointly by the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College and is conveniently offered in downtown Providence at URI's Feinstein Providence Campus. The program offers the most current administrative theory and practice for the public and nonprofit sectors. The core curriculum conforms to the National Association of Schools for Public Administration and Affairs (NASPAA) guidelines.

The M.P.A. program is designed to accommodate part-time and full-time students, as well as those who are interested in taking courses for a better understanding of the public sector. Subject to applicable rules and regulations, courses may also be taken by state employees for incentive credits.

The program has been the recipient of a highly competitive U.S. Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE) grant to implement initiatives designed to incorporate the study of public ethics throughout the M.P.A. curricula. Specialized courses are available.

If you would like to receive information about the Master in Public Administration program at the University of Rhode Island, please contact Robert A. Weygand bobw@uri.edu.

Program of Study

The program currently has more than 40 matriculating students. The size of this program allows for students to have more one-on-one interaction with the professors of the department, as well as affording students the opportunity to direct their studies according to their personal interests. The MPA Director works with matriculating students to develop their Program of Study in line with the student’s professional goals.

The course work covers critical areas for public managers at the national, state, local, or international levels, including program and policy analysis, statistical methods, budgeting and finance, personnel, public ethics, administrative law, strategic decision-making and policy formulation and implementation.

The program requires 36 credits for students with sufficient preparation in political science, computer science, and statistics, including 21 credits of required core courses and a 6 credit internship. The internship credit requirement can be waived for students with appropriate work experience and replaced with two additional elective courses. Electives for completing the degree are available from among the graduate level offerings at URI and RIC. We also consider the inclusion of graduate certificate courses for course electives. Successful completion of written comprehensive exams is also required for graduation.

Core courses are offered at the Providence Campus generally in the following semesters:

Fall Semester

  • PSC 501: Administrative Theory
  • PSC 504: Ethics in Public Administration
  • PSC 506: Seminar in Budgetary Politics

Spring Semester

  • PSC 503: Problems in Public Personnel Administration
  • PSC 505: Public Program Evaluation
  • PSC 524: Seminar in Public Policy Problems
  • PSC 573: Administrative Law

Other Educational Opportunities

The MPA Program provides interested graduate students a number of other educational opportunities. The University of Rhode Island offers a joint program in public administration and library science that leads to the M.P.A. and the M.L.I.S. degrees. Students interested in a professional career in nonprofit administration can obtain a Certificate in Nonprofit Studies (RIC), Certificate of Labor Studies (URI) or a Certificate of Human Resources (URI) as part of their MPA plan of study. The MPA Program also works cooperatively with Rhode Island College Certificate Program in International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGO).