Public Administration Program

Master's Degree in Public Administration (MPA)

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jjThe Public Administration Program (PUBA) offers students a comprehensive foundation in public administration that is designed to build leadership in public service in Hawai'i, the mainland USA and the Asia-Pacific region. Located in the College of Social Sciences, it offers a 39-credit master's degree and a 15-credit certificate. The program's format emphasizes interdisciplinary learning, collaborative teaching, and a learning community experience that is designed to help students gain knowledge, learn skills and the values that are important towards reaching the goal of building public service leadership. The classes create an environment in which many of the complex issues facing those with public responsibilities are addressed while also giving participants specific skills useful to their work in the public and private sectors. The program emphasizes teamwork and collaboration so students can practice effectively in a multicultural and global society. PUBA also offers a certificate in public administration with a track in public leadership as well as one with a focus on nonprofit management. It offers a part-time program designed to assist students who are working full time and an 18-month MPA for students who wish to accelerate their program.

The master's degree consists of 8 required courses (24 credits hours); two electives (6 credits), a practicum experience and a year long capstone project. The capstone must be taken as the final requirement in the program and serves as the culminating experience of the Masters degree. Admissions are in the fall only.

The below curriculum only applies to those who are admitted starting in Fall 2015. For those admitted in earlier years, please view the requirements for your year of admission in the corresponding UHM catalog.

Suggested curriculum plans, all courses and schedules are designed to meet the needs of students through consultation with faculty advisors, and all plans are pending approval and resources:

Plan I: 3 Year Plan (Part Time)
  Fall Spring Summer
Year 1 Intro to PA Communications  
  Organizations Research Methods  
Year 2 Leadership Human Resource Mgmt  
  Public Policy Budgeting Practicum*
Year 3 Capstone Planning Capstone  
  Elective Elective  


Plan II: 2 Year Plan (Full Time)
  Fall Spring Summer
Year 1 Intro to PA Communications Practicum*
  Organizations Research Methods  
  Leadership Human Resource Mgmt  
Year 2 Public Policy Budgeting  
  Capstone Planning Capstone  
  Elective Elective  


Plan III: 18 Month Plan (Accelerated)
  Fall Spring Summer
Year 1 Intro to PA Communications Capstone planning
  Organizations Research Methods Practicum
  Leadership Human Resource Mgmt Elective**
    Budgeting Elective**
Year 2 Capstone    
  Public Policy    


MPA Requirements sheet

Concentration Form

* The Practicum can be taken any semester or in the summer.

**The two electives can be taken any semester or in the summer.

Intro to PA, Communications, Organizations, Leadership, and one PUBA elective is required for the PA Certificate (15 Credits).

Non‐profit Management, Non‐profit Management: Practices and Tools and two electives (1 must be from PUBA) are required for the Non-Profit Management Certificate (15 Credits).

Don't forget to apply for graduation within the first two weeks of the semester in which you plan to graduate! The form is listed on the graduate division website under 'forms.'


Apply for the MPA Program

We are accepting applications for Fall 2018 (GRE is not required).

Guide to Applying


Submit to the Public Administration Program:

Intent to apply Survey

Writing sample


Statement of objectives

2 letters of recommendation - one letter of recommendation should be academic (from one of your former professors).

We would prefer that you send the writing sample, resume and statement of objectives in one email ( .pdf format) to Your references can also send their recommendations to this email address (with scanned signed reference cover sheet) Reference cover sheet


Submit to the UHM Office of Graduate Education:


Original transcripts


PUBA scholarships/fellowships

Chandler Fellowship (New, incoming students).

Graduate Achievement Scholarship (New, incoming students).

The Herman S. Doi Memorial Fellowship (Returning students)

D. William Wood Pacific Island Health Administrators Endowed Scholarship (Returning students)