Public Administration

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program prepares students for leadership positions in public and nonprofit organizations through a program of study that emphasizes the development of strong analytical and communication skills and integrates the theory and practice of public administration.

As the only program focused on preparing students for management careers in local government and community-based nonprofits, an MPA degree is ideal for students who are committed to public service, would like to be leaders, and want to make a positive difference in the world.

While many of our MPA students concentrate their studies on local government or nonprofit management, the interests of our students are diverse. The flexibility of our MPA curriculum enables students to tailor programs of study to fit their needs. In addition to working in local government and community-based nonprofits, graduates of our program have pursued a wide range of professional careers such as working for federal and state governments.

Our MPA program also provides a tremendous value for the money. Binghamton University is ranked among the elite public universities in the nation for challenging students academically, not financially.

Department faculty serve on numerous professional and community boards and provide technical assistance and research services to many regional and national organizations. We draw students from across New York state and beyond, including Asia, South America, Africa and Europe.

Our MPA students gain a broad skill set that prepares them to work in a variety of management positions in the public and nonprofit sector.

Our graduates are prepared to:

  • think critically, creatively and ethically;
  • possess analytical and technical skills to be creative problem-solvers;
  • adapt to changing political and social environments;
  • remain actively involved in professional and community service; and
  • become leaders in public service.


Our mission is to develop individual and institutional capacity for community-based public service.


Our vision is to become a nationally recognized leader on community-based public affairs through integrated research, education and practice.

Public Service Values

A number of public service values guided the development of the mission above, are implicitly reflected in this mission statement, and explicitly inform how program applies the mission to make decisions. The most crucial public service values in the context of our mission are:

  • democratic processes/community engagement;
  • accountability;
  • equity;
  • transparency; and
  • sustainability,

This is not to say that other values (such as efficiency or effectiveness) are unimportant or not taught, but rather that the five values identified are what we emphasize in the context of our unique mission.

The value of democratic processes/community engagement is reflected in the idea that our students, graduates and faculty are expected to work with individuals and institutions in the community, not to study them from the outside or impose decisions on them. Accountability is reflected in the idea that individuals and institutions will be responsive to and accountable to the public for the decisions. Equity is reflected in the idea that all members of the community have capacities that can be developed and perspectives and needs that must be considered. Transparency is reflected in that we work with community partners in an open manner, rather than behind the scenes. Finally, sustainability is important as it relates to capacity (if the capacities are not sustainable, they are not truly capacities) and to the broad definition of the public (which includes future generations of community residents).

Delivery Modality

Our program is typically a "face-to-face" program with just a few courses offered in an online or hybrid format. 

The fall 2020 schedule includes four scheduling scenarios students, faculty and staff should become familiar with. Please review the course schedule key to better understand the course scheduling options.