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Kentucky Capitol Building in Frankfort

MSU's Master of Public Administration (MPA) is one of the most affordable accredited online MPA programs in the country. The MPA program actively engages students in a dynamic learning environment, combining coursework and hands-on research. The curriculum will challenge students to examine issues shaping local and national level policies, equipping them with knowledge and skills in theory, methodology and innovative practice in the interdisciplinary field of public administration. Graduates of this program lead and manage a diverse range of government, public service, nonprofit, education and health care organizations.

The MPA program is a 40-43 credit hour program with a required one hour internship and thesis or capstone research experience. Students can choose between three areas of concentration: Security Studies, Intelligence and Theory or Economic Development and Intergovernmental Management, or Counseling Addiction Services Management.

Scholarships and Assistantships

Scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships are available for qualified full and part-time students.

  • Research Scholarships: Research scholarships may be awarded up to $2,500 a year. Students must be engaged in a research project under the mentorship of the program director. Once a research project has been approved by the program director, the student will seek out opportunities to present their research at appropriate regional, national, and international forums. All travel requests must be approved by appropriate university administrators.
  • Graduate Assistantships: Graduate assistantships or research assistantships range from $5,000 up to $10,000 and provide the opportunity to work with faculty on research projects for up to 20 hrs. per week. Graduate assistantships do not include tuition remission at Morehead State University.
  • Research Assistantships: These are competitive based upon academic merit. Applications must be completed and are reviewed by April 30. These applications are submitted to the Graduate Program Director by email or via the Department of History, Philosophy, Politics, Global Studies and Legal Studies.
  • Research Positions: Students may be hired to assist faculty with ongoing research projects. Contact MPA Director Dr. James Masterson at or 606-783-2655 to discuss current opportunities.

Program Requirements


Program Competencies

  1. Students will be actively engaged in research and learning exercises that will develop comprehensive understanding of the concepts and principles of public administration.
  2. Students will become familiar with American government and public sector institutions and the processes that are responsible for the formation and execution of public policy.
  3. Students will engage in learning exercises and research projects that will develop an understanding of the links between public administration and organizational behavior, public sector management, intergovernmental relations, public finance and governmental policy.
  4. Students will participate in courses, seminars and learning exercises that will develop an understanding of the institutions and processes that are responsible for the formation and execution of public policy in sub-national governments.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of this program pursue careers in government, public service, education, and nonprofit organizations.

MSU's Career Services  offers career planning, interview and resume preparation assistance, internship placement, and services to help you find a job after you graduate.

Program Faculty


Program Adjunct Faculty


Program Outcomes

Data recently collected for our 2016-17 Program Review indicates that the MPA program at MSU has high graduation rates. For instance, our 2010-11 cohort graduation rated is 77%, with 62% of the cohort graduating within two years, and 69% of the cohort graduating within four years. 

Graduation Outcomes
Graduation Outcomes: 2016-17 ARY-Cohort
  Initially Enrolled Graduated within 2 years Graduated within 3 years Graduated within 4 years Total Students Graduated and Persisting to Graduation
Total Number of Students in the ARY-5 Cohort 10 1 (10%) 2 (20%) 2 (20%)  3 (30%)


Job Placement Rates
Graduate Employment Placement Rates 2016-2017
Year - Percent
Year - Percent*
Year - Percent
Year - Percent
Year - Percent
National or central government in the same country as the program 1  (20%)        
State, provincial or regional government in the same country as the program       1 (25%) 1 (50%)
City, County, or other local government in the same country as the program 1  (20%)        
Nonprofit domestic-oriented 1  (20%)   1  (100%) 1 (25%)  
Obtaining further education 2  (40%)     2 (50%)  
Unknown         1 (50%)
Total 5   1 4 2

* There were no graduates during this academic year.

Over the last five years we have placed interns in the following offices:

  • Churchill Downs (Louisville, KY)
  • Legislative Research Committee (Frankfort, KY)
  • Morehead City Mayor’s Office (Morehead, KY)
  • Rowan County Economic Development Office (Morehead, KY)
  • Montgomery County Clerk of Courts (Mt. Sterling, KY)
  • Montgomery County Judge Executive Office (Mt. Sterling, KY)
  • Eastern Kentucky University, International Student Office
  • Frontier Housing (Morehead, KY)
  • Benchmark Family Services (Florence, KY)
  • Kentucky Christian University (Grayson, KY)

Data from our most recent MPA alumni survey indicates that 50% of our graduates seeking employment obtained a job, while 50% of our students went on to pursue further graduate education. Since 2016, the program has placed graduates in the following positions/programs:

  • US State Department International Visitors Bureau (Washington, DC)
  • Churchill Downs (Louisville, KY)
  • Westminster College (Fulton, MO)
  • Fletcher Group (London, KY)
  • Mercy Health (Cincinnati, OH)
  • Medical University of South Carolina (Charleston, SC)
  • University of South Carolina PhD program (Columbia, SC)
  • University of Cincinnati PhD program (Cincinnati, OH)
  • University of Kentucky PhD program (Lexington, KY)
  • Northern Kentucky University JD program (Highland Heights, KY)
  • Commonwealth Educational Opportunity Center (Greenup, KY)

Overall, 82% of respondents in our recent alumni survey reported that they were either satisfied or very satisfied with their education in the MPA program.

Program Costs

To learn about program costs, visit