Master of Public Administration


The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program is located within the Department of Government in the College of Arts and Sciences on the main campus of New Mexico State University. The MPA degree addresses the specific needs of those pursuing a career in governmental or non-profit administration, and provides preparation for those interested in doctoral level study. With most courses offered in the evenings, the program is designed for both individuals who recently completed undergraduate degrees and returning students. It is structured to foster public service leadership by teaching students how to confront theory with practice and practice with theory.

The MPA is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), a distinction enjoyed by only about one-fourth of all Master’s programs in public administration in the United States .

The MPA is a two-year professional degree. All MPA students complete a common set of six core courses in public management and policy. A minimum of 42 credit hours, which includes either an internship or thesis, and a final oral examination, are required for the MPA. The program is designed in such a way that full-time students who enter in the fall semester can receive their degree in two years or five semesters.

The MPA faculty brings a variety of perspectives to the program and endeavors to share the latest scholarship and the most pressing issues with students through courses and projects. The faculty encourages MPA students to think critically and creatively in addressing public concerns and problems. Case studies and practical exercises provide students opportunities to apply and revise knowledge developed by others. The small size of the program encourages close interaction among MPA students and between faculty and students.

The MPA program also offers joint degrees with the Department of Criminal Justice and the Department of History. For more information on those joint degree programs, see the links below.

Prospective students are encouraged to review the program requirements in the NMSU Graduate Catalog. For additional information, contact the MPA Director, Dr. Christina A. Medina, at 575-646-4935 or

MPA Application Deadlines:

March 1, 2020 for Fall 2021 admission
October 1, 2021 for Spring 2022 admission
*** Applications submitted after Priority Deadline are not guaranteed review for assistantships.

MPA Graduation Rates

The following data indicate the cohort’s initial enrollment numbers of the current annual report year (ARY) for 2019-2020 – 5 years (students entering the MPA program in summer 2014, fall 2014, and/or spring 2015) and the length of time it took to graduate. The NMSU MPA program defines its program length as 5 semesters or 2.5 years of full-time study (the completion of a minimum of 42 credit hours is required)

ARY-5 data indicate how those enrolled graduated within the program design length of 2 or 2.5 years, within 3 or 3.5 years, and 4-years of program design length. Note that the numbers in each successive column are cumulative, meaning that the number of students in the column for 4-years of degree length include the numbers of students from the 3 or 3.5 years column, plus those that graduated within 3-4 years of program length. For example, if 15 students initially enrolled, 10 graduated in 2-years, 2 graduated in 3-years and 1 graduated in 4-years, data would be reported as: 15; 10; 12; 13. NOT 15; 10; 2; 1.

MPA Graduation Rates for the 2014-2015 Matriculating Cohort

2014-2015 Matriculating Cohort
Initially Enrolled Graduated within 2 or 2.5 years; 4 or 5 semesters (100% of the degree program length) Graduated within 3 or 3.5 years; 6 or 7 semesters (150% of the degree program length)  Graduated within 4 years or 8 semesters (200% of the degree program length)  Total Students Graduated and Persisting to Graduation
Total number of Students in the ARY-5 Cohort 12 5 6 8 8

MPA Job Placement Statistics

Below are the job placement statistics (numbers) for students who completed the MPA program in 2018-2019. These statistics reflect the numbers of students who were employed in the “profession” within six months of graduation, by employment sector.

Employment Placement By Sector for the 2018-2019 MPA Graduating Class

National or central government in the same country as the program = 3

State, provincial or regional government in the same country as the program = 5

City, County, or other local government in the same country as the program = 1

Nonprofit domestic-oriented = 1

Obtaining further education = 1

Unemployed (not seeking employment) = 0

Unemployed (seeking employment) = 0

Total = 11

Summer 2019 and Summer 2020 MPA Internships

2020 (8)

Education Policy Analyst for Senate District 31 Democratic Challenger

New Mexico Department of Education

Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office

Las Cruces Fire Department

Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Training & Certification

New Mexico State University Human Resources

Capitan, New Mexico County Clerk’s Office

New Mexico State University Office of Inclusion and Equity (OIE)

2019 (7)

New Mexico State University Aggie Cupboard

Isleta Tribal Council, New Mexico

Education Nonprofit in Ghana

Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)

League of Women Voters of Southern New Mexico

City of Las Cruces Volunteer Services

City of Las Cruces

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