Public Administration and Urban Studies

About Us

Welcome to the virtual home of the Department of Public Administration and Urban Studies (PAUS) at The University of Akron. The goal of the department is to enhance the quality of public service through civic education, training and research. To meet that goal we offer a variety of degree programs, certificates, courses, seminars and workshops. If you are interested in furthering your career, providing better services to the public, or developing a broader civic perspective, we may have events, programs and degrees that fit your needs. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Public Administration and Urban Studies

How long does it take to apply?

A significant period of time is involved in the transmission of official documents (transcripts, exam scores, and letters of recommendation). When all documentation is received, the review process begins by the faculty and the graduate school. The review process time varies depending on the time of year and semester. It usually requires less than a month to complete the review process.

When is the admissions deadline?

The department uses rolling admissions. There is no single deadline.

What is the difference between the MA and MPA degree program?

The Master of Arts in Urban Studies (MA) focuses on applied policy. In the 33-credit program, students take an 18-credit set of core courses that focus on analytical methods and organizational skills. Students then follow their interests through specializations in health policy and aging.

The MPA prepares students for careers in public and non-profit management and administration. Students take 30 core credit hours, three hours internship, plus 15 hours in a specialization of personal interest: emergency management, non-profit management, program evaluation or urban management.

How many units or credits are required for the MA and MPA degrees?

The MA degree is a minimum of 33 credits.

The MPA degree is a minimum of 48 credits.

How many years does it usually take to earn the MA, MPA, ?

The MA and the MPA, on a full-time basis and year round, would require at least 18 months of continuous enrollment. More commonly, it would take 2 years. Full-time graduate course work is set at a minimum of 9 units per semester.

What financial assistance is available?

Full-time graduate students may be eligible for graduate assistantships, which are awarded competitively.

Part-time students are not eligible for financial aid, but all students may be eligible for funding from outside sources.

Information is available through the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Is there a minimum GPA for each program?

MA and MPA require a 2.8 overall undergraduate or a 3.05 in the last 60 units. Provisional admission may be granted for GPA from 2.50 – 2.79. A standardized test (GRE, GMAT, LSAT) will be required of applicants with less than a 3.00 GPA.

Is there a GPA requirement to receive financial assistance?

All students must remain in good standing with the university to receive financial assistance. This includes maintaining a 3.0 GPA.

What can you do with each of the degrees?

MPA and MA graduates currently work in state, county, and local governments; a number of federal agencies; non-profit organizations and foundations; international bodies; and for research groups and consulting firms. Several have achieved elective office.

The JD/MPA degree is designed to prepare students for careers in government or non-profit organizations who plan to combine law with public service.

Is there diversity participation in the program?

The faculty and students of the department and university are diverse culturally and ethnically. This includes significant international representation.

Can I apply before I graduate?

Students are encouraged to begin the application process before graduating from the qualifying undergraduate or graduate program in which you may be currently attending. Admission may be granted provisionally, subject to the completion of the required qualifying degree program.

Is there a language requirement?

However, some research and programming coursework may be applied to these requirements.

Who will need to take the TOFEL?

Students for whom English is not a primary language must pass the TOFEL. This requirement may be waived if an undergraduate or graduate degree has previously been earned at a US American university or college.

When do I need to submit my documentation and to whom?

The official application is completed online to the graduate school. Official transcripts, official test scores, and letters of recommendation must be mailed directly to the department. Other documents may be mailed or submitted in person. When all documents have been assembled and approved by the department, these are sent to the graduate school by the department for processing.