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Program Curriculum

Curriculum Requirements:

  • The curriculum consists of a distinct set of eight required core courses
  • Plus Elective Area courses in an Area of Specialization
  • A formal field placement internship (for those not employed full time in the public or nonprofit sector)
  • Final Capstone Paper

The elective area of specialization is open to the student. A student’s choice of elective coursework should be a function of her/his interests and career objectives and undertaken in consultation with her/his academic advisor.

Methods of Program Delivery: On-Line

The MPA online degree program is nationally accredited by NASPAA and is one of only a select number of MPA programs in the United States fully accredited by NASPAA. The online program is unique in that it is not exclusively web based. Instead, each online course in the program utilizes a combination of web based instruction tools common to online courses (discussion boards, online lecture notes, email, electronically accessible readings).

Our Core Values

A good place to begin is to examine our core values:

  • Public service requires personal honesty and transparency
  • The public interest comes first always
  • Citizen participation in decision-making
  • Technical Competence in analysis and implementation
  • Expanding access to public service education and research
Our Mission Statement 

Kent State University's MPA Program seeks to enhance the quality of public sector and non-profit management by teaching ethical leadership and theoretical understandings of administration; enhancing knowledge, analytical skills, and technical abilities; and emphasizing experiential learning opportunities to apply theory and skills. Toward that end, the program provides professional-level graduate education to pre- and in-service students through a high quality online format.


The MPA program encourages persons with physical challenges to apply. University accommodation efforts are taken seriously both in terms of personal accommodations, counseling and support services, as well as electronic accommodations. Specifically, for MPA students with disabilities and taking courses on campus, the MPA program provides a 21st century on-campus computer disability lab for the exclusive use of our students with disabilities. Moreover, our online program is constantly being updated to make it compliant with Federal standards for electronic accessibility.

Method of Delivery: Online

We strongly recommend our online degree to four sets of individuals: obviously students who are too far away to attend classes, persons working full-time whose schedule makes it difficult to attend evening classes; single women who are caretakers either of young children or their elderly parents; and persons with physical disabilities. As to this latter cohort, the MPA online program is ADA compliant and makes every effort to be Section 508 compatible.

Accessible Faculty

We have not yet reached the point where our students who need as much time as needed are unable to sit down one on one with a faculty member. We value students and interaction with them. Additionally, the same faculty members teaching in the online program teach in our on campus program. This assures students integrity in the program as well as accessibility.

Accelerated MPA Degree Option for Current KSU Undergrads

Kent State University offers a special option for Kent juniors and seniors with specific GPA's. This option allows KSU undergraduates to apply and take graduate courses while still an undergraduate. Specifically, this benefit permits one to double count up to 12 hours of credits for both your undergraduate degree and toward the MPA degree. This shortens the time you need to spend in school to obtain a graduate degree, plus related savings in tuition. If you are interested in this option, please contact Dr. Anthony Molina, the MPA Program Coordinator, for assistance in admission to this program. More detailed information on this option can be found in the Undergraduate Catalog.

International Student Body

Students have come to the MPA program to study from many countries in the world. In addition, the MPA program has formal negotiated relationships with select universities in the People’s Republic of China. Students come to the Kent-MPA program from these universities bringing with them the perspectives and knowledge of current administrative and political events in the PRC.


Admission to the MPA program is moderately selective. Each applicant is assessed based on a review of required documents submitted to the Graduate College and MPA Program Coordinator. The required documentation consists of: (1) undergraduate transcripts with a GPA of 3.0 or better (A=4.0); (2) GRE scores of 150 verbal and 150 quantitative; (3) submission of a research paper demonstrating the applicant’s writing and analytical skills; (4) letters of reference; and (5) a one page letter of intent as to why the applicant is desirous of studying public administration. Applicants with a deficiency in one of these criteria may be given a conditional admission. Deficiencies in two or more areas, is cause for denial of admission.


The MPA program tuition costs are commensurate with other public universities in Ohio. The MPA program requires 36-39 credit hours of coursework for matriculation.

Current tuition costs may be found by visiting the Kent State University Bursar's Office.

For students wishing to study nonprofit management in the MPA program; this is especially attractive relative to private colleges. Moreover, students who are out-of-state and enroll in the Online MPA program do not pay out-of-state tuition rates. Rather these students pay the same tuition rates as in-state graduate students, plus a minimal $30 per course surcharge.