The Master of Public Administration program (MPA) in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at The University of Georgia (UGA) is collaborating with the College of Environment + Design’s Master of Urban Planning and Design program (MUPD) to offer a dual MPA/MUPD degree. This academic program will allow a student to earn both degrees in three years, eliminating approximately one year of academic work.

For more information, please contact Sam Cannon, MPA Advising & Recruitment Assistant at [email protected] / (706)542-2961 or the Master of Urban Planning and Design program (

Program of Study

Applicants must be considered for and receive admission to each program separately.  Applicants must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Admissions decisions are made by faculty committees in each program and approved by the Graduate School.

MPA/MUPD students choose between two academic sequences.

  1. MPA-MUPD-Split: Students spend their first year in the MPA program, their second in the MUPD program, and their third year finishing up requirements in both academic units.
  2. MUPD-MPA-Split: Students complete their first year in the MUPD program, their second year in the MPA program, and their third year finishing up requirements in both academic units.

If a MPA/MUPD student is on assistantship with the Department of Public Administration and Policy, s/he is eligible to receive the tuition waiver benefit for the academic terms in which s/he is enrolled solely in MPA coursework.  For applicants interested in applying for an assistantship with either the MPA program or the MUPD program, please contact both offices for more information.

During the first year of MPA coursework, the student will enroll in 25 hours of required courses for the MPA degree. This includes eight courses plus the one-credit, three-day Orientation held every August.  The first year of MUPD coursework consists of 28 credit hours. The final year will be split between the both the MPA and MUPD programs and consist of 27 hours of coursework. Those earning the dual MPA/MUPD degrees complete 32 hours of coursework in MPA program (a total of 10 courses and an Orientation/Socialization) and 43 credit hours in the MUPD program.  When completing your MPA program of study in your final semester, EDES 6270, EDES 6540, and PLAN 6210 from the MUPD program replace three of the six required electives.

Internship Requirement

The MPA program requires an internship for students who have not had significant public management experience.  The internship must be completed at a public sector government agency or nonprofit organization with a minimum duration of 300 hours at the same agency.  Students will not receive course credit for completing an internship and cannot count as an internship any experience for which they received course credit.

Usefulness of the degree

There is a need for individuals that have both knowledge and training in public policy and urban development in all levels of government. In order to be effective, city planners need to be conversant with authorities and jurisdictions of different governmental entities; intergovernmental politics and practices; rules governing installation, repair, and replacement of public infrastructure; and multiple other facets of public administration and policy-making. In the same vein, successful public mangers and policy experts who are responsible for public well-being and quality of life can be more effective if they understand the principles of the built environment and physical planning.