The MPA is offered weekends, online, and evenings to accommodate the schedules of working professionals. No weekday classes begin prior to 4:30 PM. Saturday classes are scheduled in the morning. Summer and J-Term courses are offered online.
MPA classes are supported by SUNY Buffalo State's Learning Management System (Blackboard), with most of our classes offered as "hybrid" (some classroom time replaced with online activities such as discussion boards and quizzes). The availability of hybrid classes enables students to enroll in two classes per evening.
It has long been recognized that public and nonprofit managers need specialized training in public administration. This is particularly true in Western New York—where the State of New York is the region's largest single employer and where a sizable voluntary and nonprofit sector exists.
With 11 full-time faculty and three full-time faculty from other departments (Economics & Finance, Geography & Planning) who offer courses in the MPA program, MPA students can be assured that Buffalo State's MPA is a generously staffed graduate program with faculty on site during daytime and evening hours available to work with our students. The majority of our MPA classes are taught by full-time faculty. In addition, our adjunct professors are experienced practitioners who teach courses in their specialization, all of whom have earned at a minimum a Master's degree, and several with the PhD.
SUNY Buffalo State's MPA Program is a Member of the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). NASPAA is the global standard in public service education. It is the membership organization of graduate education programs in public policy, public affairs, public administration, and public & nonprofit management. Its nearly 300 members - located across the U.S. and in 14 countries around the globe - award MPA, MPP, MPAff, and similar degrees.
Despite being a relatively new MPA program (approved by SUNY and the NYS Education Department in June 2011), U.S. News and World Report ranked SUNY Buffalo State in the top 50% (tied with several programs for #135) of the 282 graduate programs in public affairs offered at US college and universities for 2018-2019.
Our MPA offers three specialized tracks - public administration, nonprofit management, and international public management.
For students who contemplate earning the MPA in three semesters, we offer a 17-month Cohort MPA. See Dr. Ceesay for more details.
Buffalo State undergraduates can begin taking MPA classes in their senior year by applying to and gaining admission to our 4 + 1 accelerated pathway program.
Internships are available in both the public and nonprofit sectors for pre-service students (students coming to the program directly from undergraduate studies).
Class sizes are small, averaging ten students.
With its emphasis on research, statistics, human resource management, strategic planning, and administrative processes, the MPA prepares students for management positions in all sectors. Our MPA alumni work in federal, state, and local government; nonprofit agencies; consulting firms; private foundations; and, in the business sector.
The MPA program includes a capstone experience (MPA project or MPA thesis). In PAD 690, Master's Project, students conduct their own applied research over the course of one semester and defend their paper to an audience of faculty and MPA students. This course is typically taught on Wednesday evenings.
In PAD 695, Master's Thesis, students work under the supervision of a full-time member of faculty for two semesters - the first being intensive background research (literature review) and development of the research design and methodology (independent study taken as a track elective) - followed by data collection and analysis in the second semester.
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