Master of Public Policy & Administration (MPPA)

The Department of Political Science and Public Administration offers the Master of Public Policy and Administration (MPPA) degree in two separate program formats, the first is a traditional face-to-face on campus setting and the second is an entirely online format. When applying to the MPPA program students choose which program format they wish to pursue. Admission criteria is the same for both program formats.

Students admitted to the traditional face-to-face on campus program format will complete the entire program in person.  Students admitted to the Online MPPA program will complete the entire program online. The Online MPPA program modality delivers courses in a synchronous format, meaning that while courses are online/virtual they are conducted at the same time each week via WebEx, Zoom, or other similar video conferencing platforms. Online MPPA classes typically meet Monday-Thursday evenings from 6-8:50 pm (CST).

Students admitted to the MPPA program are not permitted to switch between the two program formats.

The MPPA degree program has a favorable faculty-to-student ratio that permits students to have close contact with faculty. The 6-member program faculty maintains a broad research agenda, and several faculty possess governmental service experience. We enroll approximately 35-50 students from all regions of Mississippi as well as from many other states. The MPPA program is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). As our Mission states, the Master of Public Policy and Administration program strives to professionalize and diversify state and local government in Mississippi and the region. The program prepares persons to serve effectively as public administrators at the national, state and local levels of government.

After completing the NASPAA accredited MPPA program at Mississippi State University students will demonstrate competency in the following areas:

  • To lead and manage in the public interest
  • To participate in, and contribute to, the policy process
  • To analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems and make evidence-informed decisions in a complex and dynamic environment
  • To articulate, apply, and advance a public service perspective
  • To communicate and interact productively and in culturally responsive ways with a diverse and changing workforce and society at large

Program of Study & Completion Requirements

The Master of Public Policy and Administration 42-hour program consists of three facets:

Core Courses — 27 hours

These are courses that provide broad training in public policy and administration. These courses cover the fundamental competencies essential for professional practice in the field of public policy and administration.

PPA 8103 Seminar in Public Administration 3
PPA 8703 Government Organization and Administrative Theory 3
PPA 8713 Public Personnel Management 3
PPA 8723 Public Budgeting and Financial Management 3
PPA 8733 Public Program Evaluation 3
PPA 8743 Administrative Law 3
PPA 8803 Research Methods for Public Affairs 3
PPA 8903 Public Policy 3
PPA 8983 Integrative Capstone* 3


*Integrative Capstone can only be completed during a student’s final semester/graduating semester.

Elective Courses — 12 hours

Each student must complete a 12-hour elective concentration to augment knowledge, skills and abilities acquired in required courses. These courses are tailored to the student’s career objective.

Internship — 3 hours

Each student completes an internship in a public or nonprofit agency. The internship maybe waived for students possessing at least one year of full-time public sector or non-profit work experience.

Unsatisfactory Performance

A student in the MPPA program will be dismissed if he or she receives grades of C or lower in six or more credits of graduate work.

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