Indiana Chamber

If you already have a bachelor’s degree and want to prepare for a career in public management at a government agency or nonprofit organization, then a master of public administration (MPA) is the right choice for you. Our program blends the study of politics and administration with the techniques of modern management.

Five interdisciplinary concentrations allow you to design a course of study targeted to your career goals:

  • criminal justice
  • community and economic development
  • emergency management and homeland security
  • information and communication technology
  • customized course of study

What You Will Learn

Learning outcomes include:

  • a theoretical understanding and practical awareness of public policy
  • a grasp of the principles of management and administration in the public sector
  • an understanding of the techniques of modern management

Program Benefits

Choose a course of study that best fits your interests and goals with our five concentrations and an optional thesis.

If you attend full time, you can complete the program in two academic years.

Evening classes allow working professionals to attend classes on a part-time basis.

A hallmark of Ball State programs, our hands-on learning opportunities include a robust internship program, immersive learning projects, and independent study for course credit.

Our 14-full-time faculty specialize in:

  • public administration and policy
  • American government and politics
  • political theory
  • international relations
  • comparative politics

The Bowen Center for Public Affairs features opportunities for:

  • civic engagement
  • public management training
  • election administration
  • experience in state and local politics and public opinion

Program Requirements

Five concentrations are offered in collaboration with other departments on campus and allow you to gain substantive training in one of four policy areas.

Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice Concentration

The Criminal Justice concentration will prepare you for a leadership role in criminal justice or law enforcement.

If you currently work in a criminal justice profession and would like to further develop your skills and knowledge to advance in your field—or if you are currently an undergraduate wishing to pursue graduate study in criminal justice and public administration—this program is a perfect fit for you.

Total Credits

36-39

Courses

A few of the classes you will take include:

  • CJC 650 Criminal Justice Administration
  • CJC 651 Interpersonal Relations in Criminal Justice
  • CJC 652 Philosophical Aspects of Criminal Justice Practice
  • CJC 690 Independent Study in Criminal Justice

For a complete list of all classes you will take and their descriptions, please see our Course Catalog.

View Catalog

Community and Economic Development Concentration

The Community and Economic Development concentration prepares students for a career with public agencies or nonprofit organizations concerned with community development. Students will learn to promote the public interest by working to make communities more sustainable, affordable, and livable.

Total Credits

37-40

Courses

A few of the classes you will take include:

  • PLAN 512 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems for Urban Planning
  • PLAN 586 Methods of Public Interest Development
  • PLAN 620 Human Impact Analysis
  • PLAN 696 Planning Capstone Research Methods

For a complete list of all classes you will take and their descriptions, please see our Course Catalog.

View Catalog

Information Technology and Communication Concentration

The Information Technology and Communication concentration prepares students for IT careers in the public sector or with organizations concerned with technology policy. By blending a strong understanding of technology with practical management and problem-solving skills, this track will empower students to master challenges in information networking, wireless communication, and other advanced technologies.

Total Credits

38-41

Courses

A few of the classes you will take include:

  • ICS 620 Telecom Technologies, Standards, and Lab
  • ICS 621 Information Movement, Management, Storage Technologies, Standards, and Lab
  • ICS 645 Evolving Database Systems
  • CS 639 Seminar in Computer Science

For a complete list of all classes you will take and their descriptions, please see our Course Catalog.

View Catalog

Emergency Management and Homeland Security Concentration

The Emergency Management and Homeland Security concentration is a natural fit for students interested in pursuing careers in public administration, criminal justice, forensic science, nursing, and military science. With a strong emphasis on the principles of leadership, problem solving, and collaboration, this track will help qualify you for a career in public, private, and nonprofit organizations concerned with security policy.

Total Credits

36-39 credits

Courses

A few of the classes you will take include:

  • EMHS 552 Science of WMDs and Technological Hazards
  • EMHS 555 International Domestic Terrorism
  • EMHS 589 WMD Awareness and Response
  • POLS 694 Terrorism and Homeland Security

For a complete list of all classes you will take and their descriptions, please see our Course Catalog.

View Catalog

Customized Course of Study

This option lets students design a custom course of study by selecting elective courses in political science or other fields. This track is ideal for students whose needs are not met by the other concentrations, as well as those who are still in the process of figuring out what career path they would like to pursue.

Total Credits

36-39

Courses

A few of the classes you will take include:

  • POLS 648 Policy Design and Advocacy
  • POLS 650 Introduction to Public and Nonprofit Administration
  • POLS 651 Managing Organizations for Public Service
  • POLS 652 Managing Human Resources for Public Services

For a complete list of all classes you will take and their descriptions, please see our Course Catalog.

View Catalog

Start with a Graduate Certificate

If you would like to pursue graduate study in public administration, but are not sure if you want to commit to a full master's degree, then you should consider our 12-hour public administration graduate certificate, based on our MPA curriculum. Learn more.

What Can You Do With a Master of Public Administration?

Earning a master of public administration (MPA) at Ball State will prepare you for a long list of career opportunities. You will be prepared for a career in any of the following areas:

  • federal, state, or local government
  • nonprofit organizations
  • government relations in the private sector

Paying for Your Education

Department Graduate Assistantships

A graduate assistantship is an excellent opportunity to gain meaningful professional experience while helping cover the costs of your degree. Learn more.

Ready to Apply?

Are you interested in pursuing a master of public administration? The first step is to apply as a graduate student to Ball State University. Begin the journey today.

More Information

Do you want to learn more about this program or have questions about the application process or options for funding your education? You may complete our online form to request more information. Or if you would rather speak to someone directly, please feel free to email MPA Advisor Brandon Waite.