Public Administration (MPA)

The Public Administration program at Roger Williams University prepares students for careers in the education, nonprofit, government, for-profit, private and public sector management or consulting, environmental agencies, healthcare, policy analysis, homeland security and more. Uniquely set in the School of Justice Studies, RWU’s MPA program emphasizes accountability, transparency, ethics, privacy and participation -- values that will define your management career in government or nonprofits.


Hybrid (Providence)

Synchronous online


Evenings meeting every other week

Credits Required


Time Commitment

2 to 4 years





Ways to Save

15% discount for first responders, active duty military, and veterans

Apply By

January 1 for Spring

May 1 for Summer

August 1 for Fall


Master of Public Administration

The Master of Public Administration program (MPA) is a 36-credit hour program designed for individuals employed or interested in service in federal, state, local, regional, and international government, non-profits, and non-governmental organizations. Non-profit organizations include museums, membership associations, and other 501 (c) (3) institutions, as well as hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes. The curriculum is based on the standards of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). The MPA Program seeks to create competencies for the student in line with those of NASPAA.

Students in the program tackle critical social issues affecting people around the world as well as close to home and work to find solutions. Courses focus on management areas such as financial administration and organizational management as well as larger concepts like ethics and global awareness. Graduates go on to employment in a broad range of organizations from local municipalities and state agencies to working as government policy analysts and fundraisers.

At the completion of the degree students should be competent to:

  1. manage in public organizations
  2. participate in and contribute to the policy process
  3. analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems, and make decisions
  4. communicate and interact with diverse groups and in diverse settings

The degree program will also emphasis the following public service values:

  1. Accountability
  2. Transparency
  3. Respect for citizen privacy
  4. Ethical actions and values
  5. Participatory process

Courses within the curriculum are grouped into four areas: core courses, areas of concentration, research/internship, and capstone experience. The six-course core sequence provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to become effective public managers. Students then pursue a greater depth of study in a four course concentration in either public management or health care administration. Following the core course sequence and the chosen concentration, students complete either an internship (pre-service students) or a research course (in-service students). The 36-credit hour curriculum is completed with a capstone project of the student’s own design guided by faculty advisement. As students’ progress through the Program they are encouraged to draw on the full array of research opportunities available through the MPA and allied resources as they consider their capstone project.


To be considered for admission to the Master of Public Administration degree program, applicants must hold an earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. To apply, submit the following:

  1. Completed application form accompanied by the $50 application fee
  2. Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework
  3. Letter of Intent (two double-spaced pages maximum) describing your interest in Public Administration/Management, career goals, and anticipated contributions to the M.P.A. program at Roger Williams University
  4. Two letters of recommendation attesting to your potential to succeed in graduate school
  5. A current resume
  6. If your first language is not English, an official report of TOEFL or IELTS results

It is recommended that students present at least a 3.0 cumulative undergraduate GPA in order to be considered for admission to the M.P.A. program. Students with relevant work experience who do not meet minimum GPA standards may be considered.

Please note: The GRE is not required for admission.

Preferred Application Deadline

August 1 for Fall, January 1 for Spring, May 1 for Summer

If you are applying after these dates, we may still be able to accommodate your application. Please contact the Office of Graduate Admission at or 401-254-6200 for more information. 

International applicants should also read through the international student requirements.

All documents to be mailed should be sent directly to:

Office of Graduate Admission
1 Old Ferry Rd.
Bristol, RI 02809

For more information or if you have questions about the application process, please contact us at any time.

RWU is the home of the Rhode Island Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration


View photos from the 11th Annual Public Service and Leadership Conference held at RWU on May 4, 2022.  

Course Schedules

Fall 2023 MPA and Leadership Course Schedule

Search current course offerings

Headshot of Dorca Paulino

Supporting Judicial Diversity

Dorca M. Paulino, RWU Class of 2017
Public Administration (MPA)

Growing up, Dorca M. Paulino never imagined she would one day work for the Rhode Island Supreme Court. Now, she serves as the Diversity Director of our state’s judicial branch of government.

Read full story

Some Employers of our M.P.A. Graduates  ​​​​​

The ALS Association 

RI Dept. of Health 

American Heart Association 

RI Dept. of Human Services 

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of RI 

RI Dept. of State 

Brown University 


Care New England 

State of Connecticut 

City of Providence 

Town of Dennis (MA) 

Junior Achievement of Rhode Island 

United Healthcare 

Lawrence & Memorial Hospital 

United Way of Rhode Island 

Portsmouth Fire Department 

U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs 

Providence Community Health Center 

Wrentham (MA) Police

Tuition Discounts for First Responders, Active Duty Military, and Veterans

If you are a first responder (police/fire/EMS), active duty U.S. service member, or a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, you qualify for a 15 percent tuition discount on graduate programs in the School of Justices Studies.