Master of Public Administration

Strengthen the theoretical knowledge and practical skills you need to manage current public issues and plan for the future.

This program engages learners in an interdisciplinary curriculum that presents a theoretical and practical foundation of the field, as well as competencies in policy development and regulatory oversight. Develop the skills to collaborate with diverse populations; manage resources; formulate appropriate responses to public issues; and maintain professional ethics and integrity.

Outcome goals and graduates' proficiency levels

These results show recent Capella graduates' proficiency levels in the expected learning outcomes for this program. Faculty make this assessment in the capstone course—the final course in which Capella students demonstrate what they’ve learned

2012-2013 Demonstration of Program Outcomes Master of Public Administration

  • Non-Performance
  • Basic
  • Proficient
  • Distinguished

  • 0%
  • 20%
  • 40%
  • 60%
  • 80%
  • 100%

Use effective academic and professional writing and communication skills through a capstone project. 20%.
Create strategies to expand and enhance services for diverse populations.
Evaluate social and professional ethics.
Develop and implement public administration policies and administrative processes.
Develop effective solutions to public administration issues in an informed manner. 20%.


Outcome Demonstrations
Source: Aggregated outcome assessment results from Q32012 – Q22013 capstone courses



Master of Public Administration (MPA) specialization

  • General Public Administration

Quality and Professional Relevance

  • The MPA program was designed around national public administration curriculum standards.
  • Students will learn from faculty experts that bring both academic and professional experience into the courseroom from public administration and across the public service segments.

School of Public Service Leadership Master's Degree Graduates

Data from graduates across all Public Service Leadership masters programs have been combined for these Career Outcomes results.

Master's degree graduates from Capella's School of Public Service leadership report satisfaction with their tasks and responsibilities. The majority (70%) of graduates are employed in healthcare, non-profit, social/community services, P-12, or government/public sector settings.

Satisfaction with Capella Public Service Leadership Master's Guide

Percentage of respondents who answered "satisfied" or "very satisfied"
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q3 2012 – Q2 2013.

Many of our Public Service Leadership master's degree alumni report receiving a salary increase or assuming a leadership role.

Improvement in Skills & Abilities Public Service Leadership Master's Graduates

Percentage of respondents who indicated they had accomplished each item
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q3 2012 – Q2 2013.

School of Public Service Leadership Master's Degree Graduates

Data from graduates across all Public Service Leadership masters programs have been combined for these Student Experience results.

Most graduates of the School of Public Service Leadership master's degree programs report that earning a master's degree has helped them meet program and career goals. They are likely to recommend Capella to friends and family.

Satisfaction with Capella Public Service Leadership Master's Guide

Percentage of respondents who answered affirmatively
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q3 2012 – Q2 2013.

School of Public Service Leadership master's degree graduates say that they gained valuable skills and abilities which are applicable in a range of professional settings.

Improvement in Skills & Abilities Public Service Leadership Master's Graduates

Percentage of respondents who rated themselves as "proficient" or "distinguished" on ability to demonstrate the skill or ability on the job.
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q3 2012 – Q2 2013.

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Capella believes in being clear about the real cost, time, and value of a Capella degree The Gainful Employment disclosures, required by the US Department of Education (DOE) (under 34 CFR 688.6 ), provide some information about completion, expenses and occupations based on learners who graduated between July 2012 and June 2013. Most of our students are part-time so they might not take a full course load or attend all 4 quarters each year. We took that into account in calculating these data. For example, we define program length for certificates and master's and doctoral degrees as the number of calendar quarters it takes a typical student to complete a program. The DOE has defined time to complete for a Bachelor's degree as 4 years. Program cost is based on the specific pricing structure for each program which is either a cost per credit or a cost per active quarter.

Other related information may be found on the Learning Outcomes, Career Outcomes, and Student Experience tabs on this page.

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Learn more about these values and how they are calculated»

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Alumni Success Story Quote

Photo of Jeffrey Fenne, MS Jeffrey Fenne, MS

"The greatest reward to me is the ability to look at the big picture and influence the direction of the organization."

Read Jeffrey's story »