Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Effective 1 June 2023 through 31 May 2024

Please see the Graduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.

This program is offered by the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology. It is available online via both asynchronous and synchronous (Live Virtual) modalities and at select U.S. and international campuses, but it is not available at the St. Louis main campus. Please see the Campus Locations and Offerings section of this catalog for a list of campuses where this program is offered.

Program Description

The master of public administration (MPA) is designed to provide an inter-sectoral developmental framework for those interested in leadership and management in the public service. The program examines the public and non-profit sectors of society in relation to the private sector, with an analysis of management techniques and the leadership experience used in application to public policy decision-making globally. The curriculum seeks to examine in depth the nature of public servants, the tools at their disposal, and various roles in public service organizations. 

acbsp logoThe MPA is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

Learning Outcomes

  • Evaluate the foundations of public administration globally. 
  • Compare the public sector to the nonprofit and private sectors. 
  • Integrate leadership and management practices to public service. 
  • Analyze ethical and legal underpinnings of public governance.
  • Assess transparency and accountability of public entities. 
  • Debate sustainable, inclusive and civically engaged global societies. 


The 36 credit hours required for the master of public administration (MPA) must include the following courses:

  • BUSN 5000 Business* (3 hours)
  • NPLR 5000 Nonprofit Organizations (3 hours)
  • PADM 5000 Public Administration (3 hours)
  • PADM 5800 Public Management and Leadership (3 hours)
  • PADM 5820 Public Research Design and Analysis (3 hours)
  • PADM 5830 Public Law and Ethics (3 hours)
  • PADM 5840 Public Budget and Finance (3 hours)
  • PADM 5850 Public Data Design and Analysis (3 hours)
  • PADM 5870 Public Human Resource Management (3 hours)
  • PADM 5890 Public Policy (3 hours)
  • PADM 6000 Integrated Studies in Public Administration (3 hours)
    or PADM 9950 Travel in Public Administration (3 hours)

Electives (3-6 hours)

*Students with a previous ACBSP (or equivalent) accredited degree or students who pass a waiver may substitute an elective for BUSN 5000.

It is recommended that "Pre-Service" students with less than one year of post-baccalaureate work experience enroll in PADM 6500 Public Service Internship (3 hours). Pre-Service or In-Service students may utilize PADM 6500 as an MPA elective after completing at least 12 credit hours and holding a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. 

Areas of Emphasis

Requirements for an area of emphasis in the MPA program include the MPA required coursework (33 credit hours) and additional course requirements as identified below for each individual area of emphasis. If BUSN 5000 has been waived, the required hours are reduced by 3 credits and the BUSN 5000 course does not require a substitution.

Areas of emphasis for the MPA degree are:

Not all areas of emphasis are offered at every Webster University location. The student should consult individual campuses to verify the areas of emphasis offered. 

MPA with an Emphasis in Cybersecurity 

42 to 45 Credit Hours

The MPA with an emphasis in cybersecurity must include the following courses:

  • CSSS 5000 Introduction to Cybersecurity (3 hours)
  • CSSS 5120 Cybersecurity Infrastructures (3 hours)
  • CSSS 5210 Cybersecurity Law and Policy (3 hours)
  • CSSS 5220 Cybersecurity Threat Detection (3 hours)

See also:

MPA with an Emphasis in Digital Marketing Management

42 to 45 Credit Hours

The MPA with an emphasis in digital marketing management must include the following courses:

  • MRKT 5740 Management of Digital Marketing (3 hours)
  • MRKT 5895 Marketing Analytics (3 hours)
  • MRKT 5750 Management of Social Media (3 hours)
  • MRKT 5790 Digital Marketing Strategy (3 hours)

See also:


See the Admission section of this catalog for general admission requirements. Students interested in applying must submit their application online at Transcripts should be sent from your institution electronically to If this service is not available, send transcripts to:

Office of Admission
Webster University
470 E. Lockwood Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63119 

Advancement to Candidacy

Students are admitted to their graduate program upon completion of all admission requirements. Students are advanced to candidacy status after successfully completing 12 credit hours with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. In specialized programs, courses required as prerequisites to the program do not count toward the 12 credit hours required for advancement.