Dec 07, 2023  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Public Administration (M.P.A.)

Program Overview

Public Administration is a professional program that prepares students to be leaders who serve the public interest. The program combines both the theoretical foundations of leadership and management with hands-on skills necessary to thrive in a dynamic environment. The program focuses on student success in five areas: 1) to prepare individuals with the skills, knowledge, and abilities for an administrative career in public service in a public or nonprofit organization; 2) to familiarize students with the social, economic, and political factors that influence administration; 3) to put theory into practice; 4) to provide a flexible and multidisciplinary degree that will broadening students’ perspectives; and 5) to encourage students to seek responsibility for their professional development, assisted by mentorship from program faculty. The MPA is fully accredited by NASPAA since 1983. Learn more at

DELIVERY: On campus

Master of Public Administration Plan B only (non-thesis)

Major Area Coursework - 39 Credit Hours

Concurrent M.P.A. Program with Juris Doctor or Ed.D.

A student can concurrently pursue a Master of Public Administration and a Juris Doctor, counting a maximum of nine credit hours in certain Law courses toward the M.P.A. and nine hours in certain Political Science courses counting toward the Juris Doctor requirements. Students pursuing the Ed.D. may also pursue a concurrent degree with the M.P.A. Additional information available from the respective program coordinators upon request.

General Application Requirements

  1. Completed application
  2. $35 application fee
  3. Official transcripts*
  4. Letters of recommendation*
  5. Statement of purpose
  6. Resume/CV*

*Requirements for admission vary by program and may require different documentation and have different deadlines. This list is not all-inclusive, to view specific program requirements and submission deadlines, follow the  “Admissions Information” hyperlink at the top of this page OR visit the specific program/dept. page found here:

State Authorization - It Matters Where You Live

If your learning placement course (internship, externship, clinical, rotation, practicum, independent study, study away, etc.) or your online course will be taken outside South Dakota, please reference USD’s State Authorization webpage.

State Authorization


Department of Political Science
605-658-6755 |​ |

Graduate Admissions 
605-658-6140 |  |