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.

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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.

Open Houses

Open Houses in Providence are informal, offering you the opportunity to drop in at any time between 4:00pm and 6:00pm to meet representatives from Graduate Admission as well as staff and faculty from your intended program. Some events will even allow you to sit in on a class. All Providence events are held at our Metro Campus at 1 Empire Plaza in Providence, RI.

Covid-19 Update: All Open Houses have been moved virtual for the foreseeable future. 

Please visit for the most current information on Open Houses and Virtual Sessions.

Virtual Information Sessions

Short on time or just want to learn more about us from the comfort of your home, school, or office? Join us for a Virtual Information Session.

Please visit for the most current information on Open Houses and Virtual Sessions.

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

Class Format

  • Hybrid - 15 weeks (alternating every other week in class)
  • Online - 15 weeks

Sample Employment

  • Director of Emergency Management
  • Director of Statewide Health Alliances, American Heart Association
  • Social Care Coordinator, United Healthcare
  • Mayor, City of Warwick
  • Assistant Commissioner, State Human Resource Department
  • Brown University
  • City of Providence
  • Government Relations, RWU
  • COO, YWCA Northern RI


  • Delivery Method: Hybrid, Online (15 weeks)
  • Start Term: Fall, Spring, or Summer
  • Course Load: Full-time or Part-time
  • Tuition: $648/credit (2020-2021 rate)
  • Admission Deadline: Rolling

    MPA and Leadership Course Schedules

    Application Requirements

    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

    Please note: The GRE is not required for admission.

    Preferred Application Deadline:
    August 1 for Fall, December 15 for Spring, April 15 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.