Public Administration


Why study Public Administration?

The Master’s in Public Administration program at the University of Cincinnati is a social justice focused program (MPA SJ). Students are able to pursue their passion for public policy and social innovation, and prepare themselves to meet the increasing need for leaders in the public sector. In addition to the traditional core competencies, this program centers social justice and equity in all levels of government and nonprofit organizations. The MPA SJ offers students the opportunity to: study with renowned faculty, gain skills necessary to become effective agents for change, learn through interdisciplinary curricula in areas including Sociology and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. The program also offers students the unique opportunity to connect with a network of professionals currently working for social justice in the fields of public and non-profit administration.

MPA SJ Mission Statement

The Masters of Public Administration uses a social justice perspective to develop students to be transformative and ethical leaders in the public and non-profit sectors who work to create a more equitable society, through culturally responsive pedagogy, community-partnered research, and action-oriented strategies.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for the MPA SJ:

  • Two letters of recommendation (ideally at least one from a former professor)
  • Minimum undergraduate of 3.0
  • Respond to an essay prompt (between 500 and 750 words)
  • Resume
  • Optional materials – third letter of recommendation, writing sample, any other information to strengthen student’s application
  • NO GRE is required.

The MPA SJ program operationalizes success as students gaining the knowledge and skills related to the development and implementation of equitable public policy. Students will learn to effectively engage with stakeholders, including but not limited to: community residents, nonprofit leaders, politicians, grassroots organizers, and business leaders to advance fair and just policies. Students will be equity champions and thoughtful allies in the pursuit of equitable outcomes for all citizens.

Graduates of the MPA SJ program will be able to engage in any number of diverse career opportunities, including but not limited to working in local, state, and national governments, nonprofit agencies, grassroots/community-based organizations, etc.

All incoming and current students should seek to meet with their academic advisor once per semester. Student-Advisor interactions are designed to open the lines of communication and ensure students are making adequate progress toward graduation. It is encouraged for students to be open and forthright regarding any challenges s/he/they may have that may affect full engagement in the program.

The intentionality for which social justice and equity are integrated throughout the curriculum seeks to prepare students to be change agents helping to move government and nonprofit organizations to be more mindful of and responsive to the diverse needs of all constituents. Students in the MPA SJ program will have numerous opportunities to work alongside community residents, grassroots organizations, nonprofit and government agencies on a variety of projects, including but not limited to: research, engagement, data collection, and analysis, etc.

MPA SJ students will confirm with their academic advisor they have met all the criteria for completion of the degree.

It is encouraged for students to consult with the Graduate School Student Handbook for the most up-to-date policies and procedures:


Students interested in transferring to UC should consult with the UC requirements identified here:

Interested students should contact the Program Director to discuss the specific requirements related to the program. As per the Graduate School Handbook, up to 1/3 of program credits may be transferred from another program. For the MPA SJ program specifically, this equates to accepting no more than 13 credits.


International students interested in the MPA SJ program should consult with the UC requirements identified here:

Students are encouraged to contact the program director to gain additional insights about program specifics.

Application Deadlines

Currently, the MPA SJ program is only admitting students for the fall semester. All students are encouraged to submit the strongest application possible to admissions consideration. Prospective students interested in funding should submit all application materials no later than January 15th.

Prospective students not interested in funding can apply to the MPA SJ program until June 30th for fall admissions.

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

The MPA SJ program enters candidacy for Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) accreditation in Fall 2023.

Contact Information

Dr. Kimberly Conger
Room 5110 Clifton Court Hall
2800 Clifton Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0375
(513) 556-1182

Find related programs in the following interest areas:

Program Code: 15MAS-PBAD-MPA