Master of Public Administration requirements


The Master of Public Administration degree requires that students complete 39 credits and, if necessary, a three-credit internship. Coursework for the degree includes 10 core courses (30 credits) and three elective courses (nine credits) in a concentration.

There are four components to the M.P.A. program:

  • Core curriculum (30 credits, 10 courses)
  • Concentration component (nine credits, three courses)
  • Comprehensive examination
  • Internship (three credits, one course) (if required)

Current students are encouraged to download and refer to the M.P.A. Student Handbook . It is an excellent resource as you progress through the program and can answer many of your questions. Please keep in mind that this is an informational document and may change from year to year. The Wayne State University Graduate Bulletin is the document that provides the definitive requirements.

Note: Use the bulletin for the year in which you entered the M.P.A. program (e.g.,, if you entered in fall 2016, use that year's bulletin).

There are three forms you are required to submit to the program director upon completion of 12 credits. These are fillable forms and it is preferable you submit them electronically at the same time. If you do not submit the requisite forms, a hold will be placed on your account.

Comprehensive examination

Students are required to take and pass a written comprehensive examination. The exam is five hours in length. Study questions are distributed before the exam. The exam is given three times a year. Ordinarily, students take the exam after they have finished taking courses in the core curriculum.

Transfer of credit

Students who have completed some graduate work at another university, but have not completed a graduate degree with that coursework, may be able to transfer some or all of their graduate credit hours to Wayne State University.

However, a minimum of 24 hours of graduate work must be taken in residence at Wayne State University. A student wishing to receive transfer creditafter beginning degree work at Wayne Statemust submit a petition for transfer of graduate credit.

Download the Petition For Transfer of Graduate Credit form

Send the completed form to

Other requirements

Visit the Graduate Bulletin for the complete program requirements.