Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

About Us

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) Program is designed to provide widely varied educational opportunities in the fields of public and not-for-profit management. Graduate study opportunities are available for those currently employed as well as for recent graduates seeking a career in the public service. Both full-time and part-time study programs are available on a degree and non-degree basis.

Students are encouraged to become aware of the public service environment, the values that guide public service and the critical and analytical skills necessary to formulate, implement and evaluate public service decisions.

Program faculty, all of whom hold doctoral degrees and have public service management experience, have been selected from the several academic areas most pertinent to public sector applications. Adjunct faculty are highly trained, qualified and experienced academics and practitioners.

NASPAA logoThe MPA Program is accredited by the NASPAA Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation and listed on the Annual Roster of Accredited Programs in conformity with NASPAA standards.

For further information or questions, please contact Courtney Jensen at 509.828.1231 or


Frequently Asked Questions

There are a wide variety of public service careers into which our graduates go.

Most often they embark into the management of public service organizations — including government agencies, nonprofit agencies, and even for-profit companies (e.g. as the government relations person for a company).

No. Any bachelor’s degree will do. We do, however, have some background requirements we expect you to either have upon entry or to obtain during the program.

No, but many of our students have had work experience — some in public service careers.

Part of the energy in the classroom that is a valuable part of this program derives from the discussions which include a variety of viewpoints, including experienced public service professionals, people right out of their bachelor’s degree programs, business people, social workers, bureaucrats, law enforcement personnel, etc.

The MPA program provides both in person and online classes.

Our in person classes are offered in the evenings (classes start at 5:30pm) and meet one night a week (Monday-Thursday nights) over the quarter.

Our online classes are strictly online, except for the PADM 601 capstone which is a hybrid class to serve both the in person and online students.

Yes.  Every year we offer half our classes online, half in person and then the next year they flip (so what was offered online will now be in person and vice versa).  A student could go through the program exclusively online, exclusively in person or choose to mix online and in person classes

Yes. Most of our students work full time. Our classes are offered online and in the evenings Monday-Thursday to accommodate our students working schedules.

That, of course, depends on how many credits you take per quarter and whether or not you take classes during the summer quarter.

The program is designed to be completed in 18 months for full-time students. 20-25% of our students complete the program on that timeline.

Many of our students, however, have full-time jobs that make a full course load impractical. 50% complete the program within 36 months.

Students may take up to six years to complete the program.

No, but it is an option for up to 8 of the 20 credits in electives. We do not normally recommend internships until a student has completed about half of the program (30 credits).

In recent quarters, MPA students have held internships at organizations like:

  • Institute for Public Policy and Economic Analysis, Eastern Washington University
  • Spokane Community College, Office of Global Education
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation
  • City of Spokane Park, Urban Forestry Program
  • West Central Episcopal Mission

Yes. With the agreement of the MPA director, any graduate course that makes sense as part of an MPA degree may be counted as an elective.

No. Students complete a comprehensive exam and submit a reflective portfolio.

A dual degree program is one in which the student can obtain two separate masters degrees for fewer credits than is normally required if the degrees were obtained separately. Each program works a little differently, but we allow some credits in each program to also count toward the elective course credits of the other and that reduces the total number of credits required.

There are two separate admissions processes and students must be admitted to both programs.

Eastern’s MPA program has dual degree programs with social work, and urban and regional planning.

For more information, please consult Graduate Tuition & Aid.

Some financial aid is available. The MPA program usually has one in-state tuition waiver for a graduate assistant.

See our Admissions page.

Call the secretary, Lisa Denker, at 509.828.1218 or the director, Courtney Jensen, at 509.828.1231.