Master of Public Administration

Lamar University offers the Master of Public Administration to graduate students interested in one of a broad spectrum of careers in public service - from management of public agencies to administration of non-profit organizations.  Available programs of study prepare you with the professional training, knowledge, skills and experience needed to successfully become an integral part of the efficient and responsive operation of the government. The program is designed so that practitioners can apply the knowledge gained to their daily activities of management and administration in a public organization as well as advising elected officials.

A Fast Track program is also available for exceptional undergraduate students who wish to complete their bachelors degree and masters degree in 5 years.

Many Lamar graduate students establish professional careers in federal, state, or local government agencies.  Alumni include city managers, city planners, nonprofit managers, legislative staff and a wide range of other public service careers, while some have completed doctoral degrees in areas of public administration, public management, and public planning.

Within the Department of Political Science at Lamar University, the Center for Public Policy Study works in conjunction with undergraduate research and the Fast Track BS/MPA degree to advance policy research that is of interest to the community and you in order to help solve the problems the community and local government faces through grant applications and internship coordination.

Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.)
Dr. Brian D. Williams, Director
Social and Behavioral Science Building, Room 201E
Phone: (409) 880-8110


Brian Williams MPA Director

Bachelor of Science and Master of Public Administration Fast Track Program

The Fast Track BS/MPA allows exceptional undergraduate political science majors to earn dual-credit for graduate courses taken during the senior year, and successful students will meet all department and university requirements for both degrees in five years.  Students admitted to the Fast Track Program take the graduate version of four cross-listed courses during their senior year, and students who successfully complete these courses will receive both the undergraduate credit and institutionally awarded graduate credit.  This affords Fast Track students the opportunity to complete their MPA degree in one year including some summer work.

In order to continue in the program, Fast Track students must maintain a GPA of 3.3 throughout the program, meet all requirements of both the BS and MPA degrees, and take no less than four graduate courses having no undergraduate counter-part.

Political science majors interested in applying to the Fast Track Program should meet with the Department Chair or Department Academic Advisor early in their junior year to discuss the application requirements

MPA Degree Requirements

To successfully earn the M.P.A. degree, students must complete 36 hours of graduate work. These hours include 15 hours of core coursework. The non-thesis track includes 21 hours of supporting coursework. The thesis track includes 15 hours of supporting coursework and 6 hours of thesis coursework.

Core Courses (15 Hours)
POLS 5330 Public Administration: Theory and Methods
POLS 5331 Public Organizations
POLS 5332 Ethics and Morality in Public Administration
POLS 5340 Public Policy
POLS 5355 Applied Research Methods

Supporting Courses (21 Hours)
POLS 5333 Leadership in Public Administration and Nonprofits
POLS 5334 Constitutional Law for Public Administration
POLS 5335 State Institutions
POLS 5336 Public – Private Partnerships
POLS 5337 Disaster and Hazard Management for Public Admin
POLS 5341 State Law and Policy
POLS 5342 Disaster Policy

Thesis Track (6 Hours plus 15 Hours of Supporting Courses)
POLS 5390 Thesis I
POLS 5391 Thesis II

* Students must achieve a GPA of 3.0 or higher for all core courses.
** Students must achieve a GPA of 3.0 or higher for the program to graduate.
*** Students must also successfully complete written comprehensive examinations after completing core course work but before completing 33 hours of course work.
**** No more than 6 hours of supporting course work may be transferred in and must be approved by the Department Chair. However, all core courses are mandatory as they will provide the base knowledge to pass the comprehensive examinations.

*See course descriptions.