Prepare for leadership and management roles in public and nonprofit organizations with a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from UNT.
The mission of the MPA program is to prepare leaders dedicated to the advancement of ethical, accountable and inclusive governance. Program graduates will serve diverse local and global communities through competent, professional public service that values critical analytic skills and an ability to communicate with and to solve problems in partnership with a diverse and changing workforce and public.
The MPA program was established in 1961 and now has more than 1,400 alumni working in all forms of public service as well as the private sector. US News and World report ranks our local government specialization as the #7 program in the nation, and #1 in Texas. We also have strong specializations in nonprofit management, public finance, emergency management, and human resources.
We are excited to announce the creation of an endowed fund for a professorship to honor George R. Schrader, the 10th city manager of Dallas (from 1972 to 1981), a pioneer for modern city management and a staunch champion for the council‐manager form of government. Learn more about the George R. Schrader Professor of Practice in Local Government Management.
Admission to the MPA program is based on an assessment of an applicant's ability and potential to meet the demands of a rigorous graduate program. Each application is considered in a holistic approach. Considerations include past academic performance and potential and other materials that student may choose to submit. , as well as other materials that you may submit to the department. The only materials required for admissions are completion of the online application form and submission of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts from previous universities and colleges. Please follow these instructions:
Step 1: Submit an online application.
Application for admission to the MPA program is made directly to the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies using the online form by clicking the Apply Texas link below. Be sure to select the major that says "MPA" in its title. The application fee is $75 and nonrefundable.
Step 2: Submit transcripts to the Toulouse Graduate School.
Request official academic credentials and transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended. Official transcripts are required from every college or university you have attended. Contact the colleges and universities you have attended about their processes for providing official transcripts. If you already have a degree from the University of North Texas you are not required to provide your UNT transcript to the Toulouse Graduate School as we will be able to obtain this from the Registrar's office for you. Most universities have digital submission now, but please send transcripts to the following address if necessary:
By U.S. Postal Service:
Toulouse Graduate School
1155 Union Circle #305459
Denton, TX 76203-5017
Toulouse Graduate School
1147 Union Circle, ESSC 354
Denton, TX 76203-5459
The transcripts must show you have earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution (or equivalent).
Graduate applicants are evaluated holistically. If your undergraduate GPA is less than 3.0 for the last 60 hours of coursework, we strongly recommend the submission of additional supporting materials discussed below. The submission of additional supporting materials is not mandatory, but additional materials may strengthen your case for admission. The following are examples of materials that may strengthen an application portfolio.
- GRE scores for all three parts of the GRE General Test (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing) is an important way to strengthen your application. We strongly recommend the submission of GRE scores if the applicant’s GPA is less than 3.0 for the last 60 hours of the undergraduate program. The GRE General Test is not required for admission to the MPA program, but some scholarships do require GRE scores. For students applying for scholarships, the GRE is required for many scholarship applicants. GRE scores for all three parts of the GRE General Test (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing) should be taken. Request that official test score reports from the testing agency be sent to the Toulouse Graduate School. The UNT school code for the GRE is 6481.
- TOEFL scores or other evidence of English proficiency (such as IELI completion) for international students.
- Letters of recommendation attesting to intellectual and leadership abilities.
- A written statement by the applicant describing career objectives and explaining how an MPA degree will help meet those objectives. This should be 500 words or less.
- A current resume showing all work experience.
- Other evidence that demonstrates the applicant's ability to perform satisfactory work at the graduate level.
Please submit any additional materials by mail to the following address or by email to MPA Admissions (this should be our firstname.lastname@example.org email address).
Department of Public Administration
University of North Texas
1155 Union Circle, #310617
Denton, TX 76203-5017
Step 3: Complete the basic scholarship application.
The MPA programs offers about $50,000 per year in scholarships. We strongly recommend that every applicant apply for a scholarship by completing the general scholarship application that takes about five minutes. Additional information is on the MPA Scholarship page.
Click here for information about Financial Aid and How to Apply for Scholarships
Recent graduates are employed as:
- City Manager
- Assistant City Manager
- Budget Analyst
- Town Administrator
- Chief of Police
- Finance Director
- Director of Human Resources
Recent graduates are employed by:
- 100+ cities in the Dallas-Fort Worth region
- 30+ Public Safety and Emergency Management organizations
- 50+ Special Districts
- 80+ Private firms
- State of Texas agencies
- Federal government agencies
- County government agencies
- Nonprofit organizations
Various forms of financial assistance are available to MPA students directly from the department or from external sources. On an annual basis, students in the MPA program receive $50,000 from departmental resources. We recommend that students interested in financial aid investigate available options at the time they apply to the program since a number of scholarship/assistance opportunities are offered to new students only. Other scholarship are available to students who have begun their program, especially external sources. Please follow the instructions below to be eligible for departmental and college scholarships. Students can apply for multiple scholarships, but will be awarded only one departmental scholarship, which is the one of greatest monetary value.
Go the UNT scholarship application page and complete the “Eagle Scholarship Portal.” You will need an EUID to begin this process. UNT usually sends your EUID within a week or so of the admissions decision. Start by clicking the Sign In box at the upper right corner of the page. Please note that Edge browsers may have problems with the link. We recommend you use either Chrome or Firefox. You may choose to complete the College of Health and Public Service application for additional opportunities. You are not required to complete this application however.
Your Academic Advisor
Graduate students are advised by department faculty. Incoming students contact the department with questions.
Master of Public Administration
MPA Tuition and Fees
Tuition and fees for the program can be calculated at the https://admissions.unt.edu/tuition-costs-aid. The cost for Fall 19/Spring 20 is about $4,000 per semester for tuition and fees for 9 hours.
MPA Degree Requirements
The program core consisting of eight required courses that provide the basic concepts and methods of public administration plus, for pre-career students, an internship. The program furthermore consists of a set of electives suited to the student's career interests or an optional specialization designed to develop expertise in a particular substantive area. Details are found in the MPA Student Handbook Academic Year 2019-20.
Core Courses (18 hours)
- PADM 5010 Public Administration and Society
- PADM 5020 Leading and Managing Public Organizations
- PADM 5030 Managing Human Resources
- PADM 5400 Managing Financial Resources
- PADM 5420 Revenue Policy and Administration
- PADM 5500 Administrative Research Methods I
Specialization electives (15 hours)
- Local Government Management
- Nonprofit Management
- Financial Management
- Emergency Management
- Human Resource Management
- Public-Nonprofit Analytics
Students with extensive and upper level management work experience in the public sector may be exempted from three hours of electives.
Internship for Pre-career Students (3 hours)
An internship is required for students with no public sector experience. Internships provide an opportunity to apply the classroom experience in a government agency or nonprofit organization. The internship requires 440 contact hours and it must be a paid. Students with relevant work experience may be exempted from an internship upon review by the MPA coordinator.
The final degree requirement is successful completion of a comprehensive exam. Students wishing to take the exam must have completed at least 30 hours of their graduate degree program and all core courses.
Founded in 1992, the Department of Public Administration is located in the College of Health and Public Service.
Today the department's ten faculty and five professional staff serve more than 350 majors in these three programs. Student-centered education is a hallmark of this dedicated faculty who take personal interest in every student's progress from the first day they enter and beyond graduation to their professional career.
Chilton Hall 204