4+1 BS or BA and MPA

UM MPA and Wildlife Biology

Recognizing an increasing demand for careers in wildlife biology and public and nonprofit administration, the University of Montana’s Master of Public Administration and Wildlife Biology programs created a joint degree. The program is the first of its kind in the country.

The program, referred to as a  “4+1” program, allows UM students to earn both a four-year Bachelor of Science degree in wildlife biology and a two-year master’s degree in public administration at an accelerated pace of just five years  ̶  instead of the usual six.

Wildlife biology students in the field

  • Junior Status (apply spring of Junior Year)
  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or higher (GRE not required)
  • 3 Letters of Reference
  • Resume
  • 500-word letter of interest (why you are interested in pursuing degree)
  • Required undergraduate classes
    • NRSM Natural Resource Policy & Administration or WILD 410 Wildlife Policy & Biopolitics
    • FOR 250 Intro to GIS for Forest Management

Fall Semester Senior Year

6 MPA credits (online or in person), plus 12 Wildlife Bio undergraduate credits, three of which would count toward MPA (must be at 400-level with graduate-level increment)

Alternatively, some of the MPA credits could count toward the Wildlife Bio BS, in which case the total load might be 15 credits.

Spring Semester Senior Year

6 MPA credits (online or in person), plus 12 Wildlife Bio undergraduate credits, three of which would count toward MPA (must be 400-level with graduate-level increment)

Alternatively, some of the MPA credits could count toward the Wildlife Bio degree, in which case the total load might be 15 credits.

Summer After Graduation

6 PUAD credits (online or in person)

Fall Semester UM MPA

9 PUAD classes (online or in person)

Spring Semester UM MPA

6-9 PUAD classes (online or in person) and portfolio/exit interview

Summer Semester UM MPA

3 PUAD classes (if needed)

Wildlife Bio classes that could count towards MPA include NRSM 422 (Natural Resource Policy & Adm), NRSM 379 Collab in Natural Resource Decisionmaking, NRSM 427 Advanced Water Policy, WILD 410 Wildlife Policy & Biopolitics, WILD 480 Applied Wildlife Management.  Courses outside of these two require approval from the MPA Director.

Contact the MPA director at sara.rinfret@umontana.edu or Wildlife Biology director Chad Bishop at chad.bishop@umontana.edu with any questions.

UM MPA and Carroll College Political Science

Carroll student

The University of Montana MPA Program has partnered with Carroll College's Department of Political Science to offer the first-ever 4+1 of its kind in the state of Montana. This program allows students to complete a Bachelor of Arts degree in poltical science and a master’s degree in public administration in five years. Students work with Prof. Rinfret at UM and Prof. Street at Carroll College to process their applications.

  • Junior status (apply spring of junior year)
  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or higher (GRE not required)
  • Required undergraduate classes:
    • PO 104 American National Government
    • PO 230 Montana State Politics
    • PO 306 Political Research Methods

Fall Semester Senior Year

6 MPA credits (online) 

12 Carroll undergraduate credits, three of which would count toward MPA (must be at 500-level)

Alternatively, some of the MPA credits could count toward the Carroll BA degree, in which case the total credit load might be 15 credits.

Spring Semester Senior Year

6 MPA credits (online)

12 Carroll undergraduate credits, three of which would count toward MPA (must be at 500-level)

Alternatively: some of the MPA credits could count toward the Carroll BA degree, in which case the total credit load might be 15 credits

Summer After Graduation

6 PUAD credits (online or in person)

Fall Semester UM MPA

9 PUAD classes (online or in person)

Spring Semester UM MPA

6 to 9 PUAD classes (online or in person) and portfolio/exit interview

Summer Semester UM MPA

3 PUAD classes (if needed)

To apply, please submit the required application form online (with a $60 application fee) via the University of Montana’s Graduate College website. If you have already been admitted to the School of Law within the last year, the application fee is $20. 

Please submit the following documents directly with your application to the Graduate College:

  • Official transcript(s) of previous college work
  • Three (3) letters of reference. The official evaluation form is available from the Graduate School website
  • 50-word letter of interest (why you are interested in pursuing degree)
  • Resume

 Contact the MPA director at sara.rinfret@umontana.edu with any questions.