Political Science (MPA)
Degree: Master of Public Administration
Major: Public Administration
Total Hours: 36
The Department of Political Science offers a program of study leading to the Master of Public Administration degree. The MPA Degree is designed to prepare students for productive and rewarding careers in public service. MPA students at Lamar University come from all walks of life and academic backgrounds, but they share an interest in becoming leaders for positive change. Students come to the program with the desire to make a difference for people, organizations, and communities, and the program gives them the practical knowledge and skills to be successful. The format of the program accommodates students currently employed in the public sector as well as students seeking entry-level positions. The MPA Program is designed to complement any undergraduate degree. When students graduate with an MPA, they have the tools necessary to be competitive in the job market of their choice—whether they pursue government, nonprofit or policy-development careers. Persons seeking admission must meet the following requirements.
MPA Admissions Requirements
All students seeking admission to the public administration degree program must first meet the required standards of the College of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also have the approval of the Department of Political Science.
To apply to the program, students must submit the following documents for the approval of the College of Graduate Studies:
- completed application form (U.S. or international)
- official transcript from each college or university attended
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.
- All applicants must meet the university's GRE and GPA standards according to the formula:
- (GPA x 50) + (GRE Verbal + Quantitative) >/= 428
- (Old (GPA x 200)+ (GRE Verbal + Quantitative) >/=1350)
(GRE waivers may be granted at the request of the department following the College of Graduate Studies guidelines)
A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university in political science, public administration, emergency management, or the equivalent. Applicants with degrees in other fields are required to have taken the prerequisite American Government Course. Applicants who do not meet the degree type requirements and have not taken an American Government course may be admitted but must complete POLS 2302 Intro/American Government II during the first semester, alone or concurrently with up to six graduate credits, to continue in the program.
MPA Thesis Option
Students may earn six of the 36 semester hours required of graduate work by successfully completing a Master’s thesis. The thesis option includes completion of POLS 5390 Thesis I (Thesis) in which the student constructs and presents a research design; undertakes a plan to complete research; and begins writing their thesis, and POLS 5391 Thesis II during which the student completes the research, writing and defense of their Master’s thesis.