Master of Public Administration

The online Master of Public Administration (MPA) program at Sam Houston State University is a 36-credit graduate program. The core MPA curriculum, combined with the disaster and emergency management concentration, deliver the knowledge public and non-profit professionals need to advance their careers and to make meaningful contributions to their communities. Our courses enable students to develop competencies related to public management, ethics, budgeting, human resources, program evaluation, decision making, community resilience, and disaster politics. Students enrolled in the MPA program receive the attention and flexibility they need to meet their academic, professional, and personal responsibilities. Our alumni serve in leadership positions as city and fire service managers, emergency management coordinators, law enforcement officers, directors of county agencies, and managers of nonprofit organizations throughout Texas and the United States. We invite individuals with professional experience, as well as those interested in starting their public or non-profit careers, to join us.

We appreciate your interest in our Public Administration M.P.A. degree. To learn more about the program, please submit the form below.

Alumni Testimonials

Stan Stanridge

Stan Standridge
Chief of Police
City of San Marcos

I have served in professional policing for 26 years, and I am now the police chief in my second agency. Sam Houston's MPA program better equipped me for the many human resource issues that I face daily, along with giving me a comprehensive understanding of responsible stewardship of public and nonprofit agencies. To prove my sincerity, I kept every assignment and PowerPoint handout, and I review them frequently as I apply academics to real-world administration.


Eloy Vega
Fire District Chief
The City of Laredo

Graduating from the MPA program has opened so many doors for me as an emergency services professional. The quality of instruction by the faculty has undoubtedly helped me improve as an administrator by preparing me to contribute to the field of public service.

Towanda Cordon

Towanda Cordon
Airport Operations Chief
Austin-Bergstrom Int'l Airport

I was drawn to the MPA program at SHSU because of its concentration in emergency management. This program has challenged me to think critically, strategically and see the "big picture" when dealing with complex issues in airport management and emergency operations. The most valuable aspects of this program are the practical tools, techniques, working knowledge and experience I learned from SHSU faculty and the diverse group of students I had the pleasure to meet. Completing the MPA program at SHSU has been one of the most important investments in my career.

Additional Information

  • Financial Aid

    Sam Houston State University can assist prospective and current graduate students secure financial aid for graduate school. To qualify for financial aid, graduate students must be enrolled as a half-time student, attend all courses, and make satisfactory academic progress towards the completion of their degree. Additional information about how to apply for financial aid for graduate school can be found on the graduate checklist. Questions about financial aid can be directed to the Office of Financial Aid at 936.294.1774.

  • Scholarships

    All newly admitted MPA students are considered for scholarships award by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Additionally, MPA students are encouraged to apply for the General Graduate Scholarship which is supported by the Graduate School. Visit the General Graduate Scholarship website for more information on the application process. During the academic year, MPA students receive information about scholarship and grant opportunities. MPA faculty support students who seek internal and external scholarships and grants.

  • ASPIRE Program

    Applicants to the MPA program are encouraged to explore the ASPIRE Program. Run by the SHSU Graduate & Professional School, the ASPIRE program provides graduate students with networking, mentoring, and academic success programming to promote professional development and strengthen their graduate school experience. It offers students workshops, networking opportunities, career planning services, and mentoring services, and program recipients are awarded scholarships that support tuition and textbooks. For additional information on how to apply, visit the ASPIRE program website.

  • Texas Peace Officer and Firefighters Exemption

    Texas Peace Officers or Firefighters enrolled in MPA programs may qualify for the Peace Officers and Firefighters Tuition Exemption Program. Additional information about the program, including employment requirements, application deadlines, and the application process can be found at the Exemptions Information website. The Texas Peace Officers and Firefighters Tuition Exemption Program is managed SHSU’s Office of the Registrar. Questions about this program can be directed to the Office of the Registrar at 936.294.1040.