Advance your career with a
Master of Public Administration

Online Program, study at your own pace.

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  • Public AdministrationPublic Administration
  • Human Resource Management Human Resource Management
  • Budgeting and Finance Budgeting and Finance
  • Organizational Theory Organizational Theory
  • Policy AnalysisPolicy Analysis
  • Nonprofit Administration and Public ServiceNonprofit Administration and Public Service

Public Administration

"The University of Montana MPA program has allowed me to think critically about of-the-moment issues and refine my professional writing while engaging with my peers and professors in meaningful debate. One of the elements that I value most about UM's MPA program is its intimate nature and its fostering of student-student and faculty-student networks." -Christina Barsky, current UM MPA student

Human Resource Management

"In my Public Human Resource Management class, my UM MPA instructor breaks up the monotony of typical online classes by adding structure to the weekly schedule and diversity to assignments along with high professorial engagement. For those students looking for quality graduate education in public administration, consider the online MPA courses." -Lisa Upson, current UM MPA student

Budgeting and Finance

"For me, getting a master’s degree was a lifelong personal goal. However, it was also clear that this milestone was necessary to increase my competitive advantage in the job market. The MPA program at the University of Montana helped me achieve both. It was built for working professionals looking to advance their careers. It provided online, in person, and evening classes, and the department was dedicated to helping students get a degree as quickly as possible."  -Tara Jensen, Co-Director of Montana's Budget and Policy Center

Organizational Theory

"Organization Theory grounded my knowledge of the history and growth of organizational structures.  We were instructed to find the most relevant and effective characteristics of previously defined organizational theory and apply it to a general theory of organizational excellence." -Beckie Christiaens, Director of Fiscal and Personnel Services at University of Montana

Policy Analysis

"The MPA has been a cornerstone of my developing career.  It not only opened doors to leadership positions, it gave me the grounding to speak knowledgably on a wide array of topics.  And in my current position-- leading an organization of 4,500 employees inside a large county government, it comes into play every day.  My time at UM readied me for the challenge." -Rob Gannon, Deputy General Manager for Employee and Internal Services for King County Metro Transit.

Nonprofit Administration and Public Service

"When I decided to stay home with my daughters for a few years, I was looking for a graduate program that would further my career and fit into my busy schedule. The UM MPA program was a perfect fit with its online courses and nonprofit administration-specific courses." -Gabrielle Eklund Rowley, current UM MPA student

Complete your degree
while working full-time

Flexible program requirements with custom coursework

Ranked Top 10 in the nation
in nonprofit administration specialization

Affordable tuition rate

Out-of-state and online international students can complete a degree for $15,500

Full-time faculty
teach online classes

Low student-to-teacher ratios encourage strong peer and mentor networks

Network of 1,000 alumni
employed around the globe:

  • University of Montana
  • City of Missoula
  • Lake County
  • State of Montana
  • World Affairs Council of Montana
  • Townsquare Media
  • King County Metro Transit
  • U.S. Senate
  • USAID
  • UNICEF
  • UNHCR
  • U.S. Department of State

Meet your faculty

Dr. Sara Rinfret - Director of the MPA program Professor Rinfret has over 10 years of experience examining the role of agencies that make policy via administrative rulemaking. She is a recent recipient for the Fulbright Specialist Roster in public administration and policy. Her most recent work, U.S. Environmental Policy in Action: Practice and Implementation, focuses on the implementation of environmental policy and the relationships between regulators and the regulated community across the U.S.

Dr. Jeffrey Greene - Professor Greene has over 20 years of experience in the areas of public budgeting and is a well-known, national scholar in his work surrounding privatization. One of his most recent and notable works, Public Administration in the New Century, is used in public administration programs across the nation.

Dr. Anthony Johnstone - Anthony Johnstone is an Associate Professor at the University of Montana School of Law. He teaches and writes about Federal and State Constitutional Law, Election Law, Legislation, and related subjects. Before joining the School of Law, Professor Johnstone served as the Solicitor for the State of Montana, practiced litigation as an associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York, New York, and clerked for the Honorable Sidney R. Thomas, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He holds a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. with honors from the University of Chicago Law School.

Dr. Andrea Vernon - Professor Vernon has over 15 years of experience in nonprofit administration and is best known for her work as the Director of the University of Montana's Office of Civic Engagement. Because of her expertise, she is able to provide students with service learning opportunities with nonprofit organizations across Montana and the U.S.

Dr. Lisa Upson - Professor Upson has more than a decade of nonprofit administration and local government service. She currently services as Executive Director of a Montana conservation nonprofit and brings a background in law, organizational development, city commission and state agency board work to the program. Professor Upson has a J.D. and has been a professional mediator for 12 years in nonprofit and state court settings.