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The Master of Public Administration Program at the University of Vermont joins vigorous study of the foundations of public administration with the practice of public administration in the real world. 


UVM's nationally-accredited MPA Program has earned the U.S. News and World Report distinction of 100 best public affairs graduate programs in the country.

Vermont's small size, open local and state government, and wealth of nonprofit organizations make for an ideal environment in which to directly engage with the public administration field. Our MPA program is a professional interdisciplinary degree that appeals to and accomodates the demands of both full-time students and professionals. The program prepares pre and in-service leaders, managers and policy analysts by combining the theoretical and practical foundations of public administration, focusing on the complexity of governance systems and the democratic, collaborative traditions that are a hallmark of Vermont communities.

Read more about the MPA Program's mission, traditions, and vision.

Current UVM undergrad interested in the MPA Program? 

Check out the Accelerated MPA Program



Core Courses

PA 6010 Foundations of Public Administration (Fall)
This course is an analysis of major elements of management in the public sector (organization, personnel, budgeting) with special attention to problems arising from political imperatives generated by a democratic society.

PA 6020 Organizational Theory and Behavior (Spring)
(Formerly titled "Public Sector Organizations.") This course focuses on organizational culture, organizational learning, conflict resolution, leadership-followership, and motivation in decision making and brainstorming for alternative solutions by a competent and diverse work force. Specific skill sets are included for each topic, as well as outcomes assessment.

PA 6030 Research and Evaluation Methods (Fall & Summer) 
Data analyses and communication of statistical information for management decision making. Methods of modeling relationships, comparing strategies, and assessing probabilities. Instruction in computer use. Additional lab required.

PA 6050 Public and Non-Profit Financial Budgeting (Fall)
(Financial Resource Management) This course is an introductory survey of public budgeting and financial management. The purpose of this course is to explore fundamental ideas, concepts, and theories that contribute to understanding public sector revenue and expenditure decisions and to examine basic practices and techniques of modern financial administration, budget preparation, and performance measurement. The course will rely on readings, discussions and case studies that focus on state and local governments and non-profit organizations as examples. An effort will be made to cover federal budget systems as well.

PA 6060 Policy Systems (Spring)
(Formerly titled "Introduction to Public Policy.") This course helps students develop an understanding of the stages in the policy process and an understanding of the development of public policy in the intergovernmental system. Participants also study the analytical methods of effective policy in complex political and bureaucratic environments. Students become more sensitive to the analytical, political and substantive complexities of policy issues, develop methods of coping with these complexities, and become acquainted with the basic areas of policy formulation, implementation, and analysis.

PA 6260 Community and Economic Development (Spring)
This course looks at how rural and urban communities address poverty, unemployment and other economic problems through job creation and retention, workforce training and support and other development strategies. We look at local economic development constituencies and goal-setting, economic analysis and planning, strategies and projects, resident participation and organizational collaboration, and implementation and evaluation. We address the links among community economic, social and physical development and issues of sustainable development. Burlington, Vermont will serve as the principal case study.

PA 6991 Internship (Fall, Spring, Summer)
The Internship experience is a key opportunity to put into practice the concepts and theories of public administration. It is critical in gaining experience, building credentials and networking for future professional opportunities. A three-credit internship is required of all students, and students may apply up to 6 credits of internship experience toward the degree. Students who work full time may do an "internship in place." 

PA 6750 Capstone (Spring)
The Capstone is designed to provide MPA students with a summative experience, achieved through the development of a final portfolio, that ties learning competencies to evidence drawn from their course of study. Students in their final spring semester of the program are eligible to take this. This course counts as the “comprehensive exam” for the Master of Public Administration at UVM. Examples of final learning portfolios:PDF icon Naa Aku Addo Portfolio.pdf

Additional 12 credits of advisor-approved electives. 

Elective Courses (generally 4-5 electives offered each year)

         PA 6070 Administrative Ethics

         PA 6080 Decision Making Models

         PA 6110 Policy Analysis & Program Evaluation

         PA 6170 Systems Dynamics & Strategic Management for Community Resilience

         PA 6990 Inclusive Science Communication

         PA 5600 Smart Resilient Communities

         PA 319 State Administration

         PA 6200 Local Government Administration

         PA 6230 Nonprofit Administration


Current Internship Openings

To prepare students for a career in public service, the MPA program requires a three-credit internship as part of the core curriculum (students can pursue up to six internship credits).   

Students have interned with nonprofits and NGOs, at the state legislature and with state representatives, in state government working on policy with various agencies, and with town or city office working on municipal issues. 

Please contact Julie Starr to learn more about the MPA internship experience.

Student Internship Placements

  • United Way of Northwest Vermont
  • VT Housing Finance Agency
  • UVM Extension: VT Tourism Research Center
  • VT Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Population Media Center
  • US Attorney's Office, State of Delaware
  • Community Economic Development Office, City of Burlington
  • VT Council on World Affairs
  • VT Agency of Human Services
  • UVM College of Nursing and Health Sciences
  • VT Clean Cities Coalition
  • UVM Larner College of Medicine, Office of Diversity & Inclusion
  • Town of Swanton, VT
  • Town of Shelburne, VT
  • Burlington Parks & Recreation
  • VT Agency of Agriculture, Food, & Markets
  • Essex CHIPS
  • Association for Africans Living in VT
  • UVM Institute for Environmental Diplomacy and Security
  • UVM Office of Supportive Services for Veteran Families
  • Department of Vermont Health Access
  • Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS)
  • VT Department of Taxes
  • Chittenden County Opioid Alliance
  • Intervale Center
  • Office of US Senator Bernie Sanders
  • VT Government Restructuring and Operations Review Commission
  • UVM Custodial Services Department
  • UVM Office of University Relations
  • VT State Dental Society
  • Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity, Mobile Home Program
  • VT Businesses for Social Responsibility
  • VT Agency of Human Services, Medicaid Policy Unit
  • VT Farm Bureau

Graduate Certificates

Graduate certificates can be pursued as an additional credential alongside the MPA degree. In most cases, with sufficient planning, the two degrees can be streamlined so that no additional coursework is needed. Many of the courses double count to both degrees.

Graduate Funding

CDAE offers a variety of funding opportunities for qualified students. Submit MPA Program application by January 15 to be considered for fall funding.

Types of available funding:

  • Graduate Assistantships (one available every 2 years) - stipend + tuition
  • Hourly Teaching Assistant Positions - hourly rate, no tuition
  • Fellowships for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers:

Peace Corps Strategic Campus Recruiter

Coverdell Fellowship

Alumni in the World

As an alum of the MPA graduate program, you will be well-positioned for a career in an array of community development-related fields:

See data on 2019-20 UVM MPA graduates by employment sector.

  • Executive Director, Vermont Housing Finance Agency
  • CEO, United Way of Northwest Vermont
  • Director, Consumer Assistance Program, VT Attorney General
  • Assistant Director of Communications, VT Attorney General
  • Communications Director, NY State Senator Andrew Gounardes
  • Financial Director, Central Office Fiscal Operations, VT Agency of Human Services
  • Program Manager, Population Media Center
  • Deputy Assistant Secretary, Administration for Children & Families, US Department of Health & Human Services
  • Manager of Operations, College for Social Innovation
  • Director of Communications, Marketing & Development, Vermont Food Bank
  • Town Administrator, Town of Waitsfield
  • Development Director, Food Shelf Program, Feeding Chittenden
  • Social Media Strategist & Content Marketer, UVM Medical Center
  • Director, Financial Services, VT Department of Economic Development
  • Director of Planning & Development, City of St. Albans
  • Assistant Dean, UVM College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
  • Project Manager, Innovation Team, Resonance Global


Rolling admissions with fall, spring, or summer enrollment option. Teaching assistant opportunities for qualified full-time students. To be considered for a TA position, apply by January 15. 

Admissions Requirements

Meet the Students

MPA Candidates have vast experience in public policy, governance, nonprofit administration, startups, and more.

Meet the MPA Cohort

Certified Public Managers Program