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Master of Public Administration

Cleveland State University's Master of Public Administration program's mission is to advance intellectual and administrative leadership in public administration by preparing students to assume the challenges of public service. Course work gives a diverse student body a foundation in general public administration and specialized skills grounded in one of the program's areas of expertise. It also helps students to discover, construct, interpret, and disseminate knowledge and understanding about the practice of public affairs. The MPA program also serves the Northeast Ohio region, including the professional community, by extending intellectual resources and applying knowledge.

The Master of Public Administration program is multidisciplinary, drawing on the faculties of the Monte Ahuja College of Business, the Levin College of Urban Affairs, and the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. The principal objective of the program is to prepare its graduates for administrative positions in government, nonprofit, and public-service organizations. The program provides a broad educational base, as well as specific administrative techniques as preparation for positions carrying administrative responsibility. The program is designed both for in-service students and recent college graduates seeking careers in government and public-service organizations. Most courses are offered in the evening and a few on weekends, allowing students to take classes after work hours.

The program is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).

Students focus their studies by choosing a specialization in: public & city management, economic development, nonprofit management, or public financial management. 

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Admission Requirements

  • Application Form
  • Application Fee
  • Undergraduate Transcripts
    • Minimum 3.0 Undergraduate GPA
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • GRE Test Scores
    • Average Verbal & Quantitative Test Scores at 40th percentile and an Analytical Writing Score of 4.0
    • Students with a graduate degree from an accredited U.S. college or university are exempted from this requirement. 

*Admission to the program is based on a combination of a candidate’s undergraduate GPA and the GRE score.  

-International students are required to have met at least one of the following English language proficiency requirements:

  • TOEFL iBT (Internet-Based): 78 & at least 17 in each section
  • TOEFL PBT (Paper-Based): 550
  • IELTS: 6.0 and at least 5.0 in each section
  • PTE (Pearson’s Test of English): 50
  • iTEP: 3.8

Admission Deadlines

All applications must be submitted and complete on the following application deadline dates:

  • Domestic Students
    • Rolling
  • International Students
    • Fall Semester – May 15th
    • Spring Semester - October 15th
    • Summer Semester - March 15th

Program Requirements

  • UST 600 - Foundations in Public Administration
  • UST 671 - Urban Colloquium
  • UST 601 - Applied Quantitative Reasoning I
  • UST 603 - Public Sector Economics
  • UST 617 - Public Administration and the Political Process
  • UST 630 - Public Human Resources Management
  • UST 634 - Ethics in the Public Sector
  • UST 636 - Public Budgeting and Finance
  • UST 672 - Urban Simulations or UST 683 - Urban Issues in Action 

Public & City Management

  • UST 619 - City Management
  • UST 604 - Leadership, Management, & Organizational Behavior
Choose 1 course
  • UST 504 - Fundamentals of Applied Reasoning
  • UST 572 - Negotiation and Conflict Management
  • UST 631 - Law and Public Administration
  • UST 633 - Budget Policy and Management
  • UST 635 - Public Sector Information Management
  • UST 690 - Urban Internship
  • UST 771 - Political Philosophy and Public Administration

Economic Development

  • UST 605 - Regional Theory and Analysis
  • UST 629 - Economic Development Finance
Choose 1 course
  • UST 504 - Fundamentals of Applied Reasoning
  • UST 524 - Distressed People, Distressed Places
  • UST 622 - Economic Development Policy
  • UST 626 - Workforce Development
  • UST 690 - Urban Internship

Nonprofit Management

  • UST 550 - Fundamentals of Nonprofit Administration and Leadership 
  • UST 656 - Adv Topics Nonprofit Mngmt 
Choose 1 course
  • UST 504 - Fundamentals of Applied Reasoning 
  • UST 510 - Proposal Writing 
  • UST 604 - Leadership, Management, & Organizational Behavior 
  • UST 650 - Financial Administration and Control of Nonprofit Organizations 
  • UST 651 - Fundraising and Revenue Generation 


  • Choose from approved UST electives to reach a minimum of 12 credit hours in the specialization

Public Financial Management

  • ACT 501 - Financial Accounting
  • FIN 501 - Financial Management
  • UST 633 - Budget Policy and Management
  • Choose from approved UST electives to reach a minimum of 12 credit hours in the specialization


This is a generalist public administration capstone course that provides a final common experience for MPA students. In this course, students integrate learning from the MPA core curriculum with professional practices encountered in public and nonprofit organizations. Students are expected to prepare and defend a capstone paper.

Did You Know?

Employment of administrative services managers is projected to grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2022.

Bureau of Labor Statistics


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Career Outcomes

  • Students enrolled in the MPA program are preparing for leadership and management in government, nonprofit, and public service organizations such as: federal, state, county and local governments, regional authorities and special districts, nonprofit and volunteer organizations, economic and community development, health and human service organizations, and criminal justice agencies.
  • These are some of the local companies that are hiring CSU grads: NASA, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, Cuyahoga County Office of the Prosecutor, UIC Government Services, US Department of the Navy, Internal Revenue Service Office, Cleveland Clinic, and Council for Economic Activities in Greater Cleveland.