Publication Date

Spring 2018

Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Urban and Regional Planning

First Advisor

Frances Edwards


MPA degree programs, enrollment status, graduation rates


Statement of the Problem

The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) is an international association of universities and colleges that grant professional master’s degrees in public policy, affairs and administration. In the academic year 2017-18 there were 301 member schools (NASPAA, 2017). NASPAA’s mission is to advocate for quality education in the field of public service (Kellough, 2014). NASPAA promotes the global standard in public service education by ensuring the quality of master’s degree programs in policy, administration, and public affairs of their member schools. This is evidenced by the association incorporating standards in their mission-based accreditation process (NASPAA, 2018a).

The Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) degree program is designed to prepare students for a career in public service. Graduates of the program find careers in public sector management, healthcare, policy analysis, and in local, state and federal government organizations. NASPAA has noticed a decline in public service degree program applications and is concerned about retaining top-quality students to pursue careers in public service (Cheng, 2017).

Research Question

What is the correlation between part-time and full-time enrollment status and graduation rates for the MPA degree programs in NASPAA accredited schools?