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Public Administration

Texas Capitol Building at dusk

Public administration faculty have been recognized nationally for their contribution to outstanding teaching, research, and service. The faculty leads practical research projects to inform public management and public policy in the region. The master of public administration (M.P.A.) program is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA).

The program cultivates practical, research-oriented students for careers as reflective practitioners guided by democratic values, integrity, and service.

 Contact The Graduate College for general questions about getting started with your application, funding your degree, and more.
If you have program-specific questions after reviewing the program details, we encourage you to contact the following:

Graduate Advisor
Dr. Nandhini Rangarajan
Undergraduate Academic Center (UAC), Room 355

Advisor Support
Dodie Weidner
Undergraduate Academic Center (UAC), Room 355

“The M.P.A. program sharpens the passions and talents you already possess and shows you how to go from theory to implementation. What I learned and experienced within the program has been very useful in my career as a public servant and elected official.”

— Ron Davis, Travis County Commissioner, Precinct 1

Course Work

The M.P.A degree is a 39-hour program consisting of core courses and electives in areas such as: general public administration; local and state government management; urban policy and planning; environment, energy and sustainability; nonprofit sector leadership; human resources; and labor relations. A 3-hour public service internship is required for pre-service students who lack public sector experience. The M.P.A. program offers three pathways to graduation. Students can choose either the thesis option, comprehensive exam option, or the applied research project option as their culminating experience.

Degree Hours Concentration Thesis Option Minor Option
M.P.A. 39 No concentration Non-Thesis No minor
M.P.A. 39 No concentration Thesis No minor
M.P.A. 39 Applied Research Project Non-Thesis No minor
Undergraduate Academic Center building

  Texas State Round Rock Campus
This program can be completed in Round Rock, though taking courses in both San Marcos and Round Rock will result in quicker degree completion.

  Online Availability
Part of this program may be offered online. If you are not a Texas resident and will not relocate, please visit the Office of Distance and Extended Learning. International students, please visit International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) regarding additional considerations in taking online courses.

Public administration program graduates are employed in administrative leadership positions in the public and nonprofit sectors. Many M.P.A. graduates have pursued doctoral education upon graduation.

Program Mission

A flexible program designed for full- and part-time students, the M.P.A. program offers:

  • Individual attention – Students work on research under the direction of a faculty member. M.P.A. students have won national and regional research awards.
  • Professional development – M.P.A. students and faculty are active leaders in regional professional associations and networking groups. A faculty of practice and manager in residence help mentor students in the program.
  • Internship opportunities – Pre-service students have internship placement opportunities in state and local government and the nonprofit sector. These internships are often paid and provide meaningful management and policymaking experience.
  • Employment opportunities – Students have excellent opportunities for job placement in one of the nation’s fastest-growing regions.

Visit program website ›

Program Faculty

The program’s faculty brings a wide range of perspectives, skills, and experiences to the classroom. Some faculty members have significant experience with local, state, or national government. The faculty consists of scholars whose accomplishments include books and journal articles published in top-tier journals in the field, government-funded research and sponsored projects, conference papers, technical reports, and presentations. The program’s faculty also encourages student research and publication in professional journals and student participation in professional development activities.

Meet our faculty ›

Career Options

M.P.A. graduates have successful careers in management positions in city, county, state, and national government as well as the private and nonprofit sectors. Their achievements reflect the diversity, challenges, and opportunities in the public sector, and these alumni are a valuable resource to current M.P.A. students and faculty. The M.P.A. program director and the career support area faculty coordinators provide internship and job placement assistance.

Application Process

Step 1

Review Requirements

Application Deadlines

Deadlines U.S. Citizen International
Fall - Priority February 1 February 1
Fall - Standard June 15 June 1
Spring October 15 October 1
Summer I April 15 March 15
Summer II June 1 No Admission

Application Deadline
This program has a firm deadline.

Funding Information
Applications must be complete by the priority deadline to be considered for certain types of funding.

Decision Timeline
This program reviews applications on a rolling basis.

Application Requirements

The items required for admission consideration are listed below. Additional information for applicants with international credentials can be found on our international web pages.


  Review important information about the online application.

Application Fee(s)

  • $55 nonrefundable application fee
  • $90 nonrefundable application fee for applications with international credentials

  Review important information about application fees.

Transcripts & GPA

  • baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university
  • a copy of an official transcript from each institution where course credit was granted
  • minimum 3.0 GPA in your last 60 hours of undergraduate course work (plus any completed graduate courses)

  If your last-60-hours GPA does not meet the minimum requirement, official GRE scores (general test only) are required. Read additional information below.

  Review important information about transcripts. Official transcripts, sent directly from your institution, will be required if admission is granted.

GRE Scores

  The GRE may be waived if you hold a master's or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. If you hold a master's or doctoral degree (or the equivalent thereof) from an accredited international institution, the GRE may be waived on an individual basis.

  Review important information about official test scores.


  • statement of purpose (two pages in 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced with one-inch margins and your full name in the header) addressing the following:
    • your academic interests, your personal and professional experiences relevant for graduate work, your motivations and your accomplishments

    • your potential as a graduate student and your readiness for graduate school

    • your interest in the M.P.A. program at Texas State and why you would be a good fit

    • your aspirations and the specific goals you plan to achieve by being part of this program

  • two letters of recommendation

  Review important information about documents.


Applicants are required to submit TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS scores that meet the minimum program requirements below unless they have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or the equivalent from a country on our exempt countries list.

  • official TOEFL iBT scores required with a 78 overall
  • official PTE scores required with a 52 overall
  • official IELTS (academic) scores required with a 6.5 overall and
    • minimum individual module scores of 6.0

  Review important information about official test scores.

Additional Information

  GPA and GRE Requirement
If your last-60-hours GPA falls below the minimum requirement of 3.0, the official GRE (general test only) with competitive scores in the verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning sections will be required in order to be considered for conditional admission.* Our office will notify you via email should this occur. 

*Conditional admission is not available to applicants who require "F" or "J" visas.

  Work Experience

If you do not have public sector experience, you will be required to complete a three-hour internship course.