Dr. Matthew Mingus, Dr. Daniela Schroeter, and Dr. Udaya Wagle.
The mission of the MPA program is to improve the quality of public service by developing professionals and leaders equipped with knowledge and skills in theories, methodology, and innovative practice in the interdisciplinary field of public administration. Our graduates lead and manage a diverse range of government, nonprofit, and health care organizations and make positive impacts on the lives of citizens locally, nationally, and globally.
The MPA Program is modeled around the following core values of public administration.
- Plurality of ideas and perspectives;
- Common good, social justice, and democratic governance;
- Ethical and competent leadership and decision-making; and
- Efficient, effective, equitable, and transparent practice of public service.
The program expects its students to achieve competency across the following learning outcomes and domains:
- To apply theories and techniques of leadership and management in contexts of public governance;
- To demonstrate the ability to participate in and contribute to the public policy process;
- To analyze problems, synthesize information, think critically, and make evidence-based decisions in order to solve public and collective problems;
- To articulate and apply a public service perspective focused on common good, liberty, social justice for all, and democratic governance; and
- To communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry.
Reflecting on the multi-disciplinary nature of the field, the MPA program draws upon the talents of a diverse and multidisciplinary team of faculty within the School of Public Affairs and Administration. In addition, faculty and other resources are used from other academic departments or units throughout the University as well as the larger community. The MPA program is offered on the main campus with concentrations in health care, human resources, nonprofit, public management, and public policy; with the nonprofit and public management concentrations also offered in a hybrid format in the Grand Rapids Downtown regional location.
Applicants to the MPA program must meet the Graduate College requirements of an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university with an overall grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Students with an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.5 who also demonstrate a record of relevant work experience and professional advancement may be considered for conditional admission.
The following must be submitted in order to be considered for admission:
- The completed University online application for Graduate Admission, with paid application fee
- An official transcript from each undergraduate and graduate institution attended (except WMU)
- A written statement of how the MPA will help you meet your personal and career goals
- A current resume including all academic, professional, and volunteer experience
- Three letters of recommendation (at least one academic and at least one professional)
Admission decisions are based on undergraduate grade point average, any prior graduate course work, work experience, letters of recommendation, and statement of career goals. MPA admissions decisions are made on an ongoing basis and applicants are usually notified within three weeks of submitting all required application materials. To ensure admissions by the start of the semester or summer session, all admissions materials must be received by August 1 for fall admissions, December 10 for spring admissions, and April 10 for summer admissions, though earlier applications allow for better course availability.
Note: International applicants must follow the process and timing specified by WMU’s international admissions. The School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPPA) usually makes a decision within one week of receiving materials from that office.