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MPNA Program -FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. What factors are considered in admissions decisions? Is a minimum GPA required for admission?
  2. Does the MPNA Program require GMAT for admission?
  3. How much work experience is required to be eligible for admission to the MPNA Program?
  4. Are requirements different for international students?
  5. How long does it usually take from the time I submit my application until I find out if I have been accepted into the program?
  6. How much does this program cost and how does it compare in price with other programs available in the Twin Cities Area?
  7. Does the MPNA Program provide assistance to students seeking internship and job opportunites?
  8. How large is the MPNA Program?
  9. Who teaches in the MPNA Program?
  10. How many courses are required to complete the MPNA Program?
  11. How long does it take to finish the MPNA Program?
  12. Are there any special features of the MPNA curriculum that may distinguish it from similar graduate programs?
  13. If I am unsure about which sector I want to pursue, can courses be taken in both the public administration and nonprofit management tracks?
  14. When are classes offered?
  15. What kind of student mix will I find in MPNA classes?
  16. What kinds of careers will the MPNA degree prepare me for?

1. What factors are considered in admissions decisions? Is a minimum GPA required for admission?

The Graduate Admissions Committee consists of three faculty members. With help from our staff, they review your application, statement of academic objectives, undergraduate transcripts, and your letters of reference  (two are required). All of these are taken into account in reaching a decision. There is no minimum GPA required, although good academic performance is certainly a positive factor. But we also recognize that for some applicants, the undergraduate GPA may no longer be a reliable indicator of either career or academic potential. Applicants have an opportunity to explain the circumstances of their previous academic performance in the required personal statement.

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2. Does the MPNA Program require GMAT for admission?

No, it does not, although this requirement existed until the 1999-2000 school year. We now require that all incoming students take the University's own placement assessments in writing and math. If students do not achieve acceptable scores on the assessments, they can retake the assessment once, or take developmental courses in the appropriate areas to satisfy this requirement. For example, if a student is admitted, but does not pass the math exam, there are several course options available, and an extra course beyond the regular MPNA program coursework will be required. These courses must be taken prior to beginning the program. If you are unable for distance or other reasons to travel to campus for the assessments, you may take the GMAT instead. Sometimes, we can also arrange to have students at a distance take the assessments in their home area under a proctor’s supervision.

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3. How much work experience is required to be eligible for admission to the MPNA Program?

We recommend one year of professional experience, although they do not have to be in the public or nonprofit sectors. We also take into account internship, volunteer and community experience in lieu of or in addition to paid professional experience. If we feel that a student has the academic ability, but lacks sufficient work experience, we may require that they complete an internship early in their graduate program.

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4. Are requirements different for international students?

Yes, in several ways. For more information on International Student requirements click here.

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5. How long does it usually take from the time I submit my application until I find out if I have been accepted into the program?

Once all of your materials are in, including the application, resume, personal statement, reference letters, assessment scores and official undergraduate transcripts, it usually takes only a few weeks until a decision is made and you are notified.

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6. How much does this program cost and how does it compare in price with other programs available in the Twin Cities Area?

The MPNA program offers the best value for graduate education in Minnesota. The program costs just under $16,000 for classroom students and approximately $18,000 for online students. This includes tuition and fees and excludes any assessments-related courses that might be required). That is approximately half of what it costs for any similar degree from other institutions in the Twin Cities Area. Quality has not in any way been compromised to achieve this price level. Rather, the value is a reflection of both state public policy, which aims to make Metropolitan State University programs accessible to the broadest possible population in the region, and reflects the efficiencies that can be achieved in a University dedicated almost exclusively to meeting the needs of adult learners with a strong community faculty base.

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7. Does the MPNA Program provide assistance to students seeking internship and job opportunites?

Career services are an important feature at Metropolitan State University. Resources at both the University-wide level help students with their job or internship search. The faculty of the MPNA Program, who have extensive networks in the region's government and nonprofit sectors, are also available to provide career advice and direction.

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8. How large is the MPNA Program?

Our program is the fastest growing public administration and nonprofit administration program in the State of Minnesota. In the past five years, the program has achieved growth that tripled its size and it now has almost 150 graduate students. We have accommodated this rapid growth by hiring outstanding new faculty members and adding a growing variety of course selections.

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9. Who teaches in the MPNA Program?

We have an outstanding faculty of scholar/practitioners who serve in significant leadership roles in the public and nonprofit sectors, and who also have extensive experience teaching adult learners. Professor Roger Israel teaches in the program, coordinates activities, advises students, and provides career services as needed. Professor Frank Schweigert, the other full-time resident faculty member, helps coordinate the nonprofit curriculum and also teaches in the program. The strong base of resident and community faculty members brings current, practical knowledge into the classroom, which is especially important when we serve so many working professionals. 

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10. How many courses are required to complete the MPNA Program?

It varies. Students must complete eight four-credit courses, one two-credit course, and six credits of electives in the MPNA Program, plus any additional courses that may be required as a result of the assessments process noted above in the answer to Question #2. Depending upon how the elective requirement is satisfied, students will take either eleven or twelve courses to complete the program.

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11. How long does it take to finish the MPNA Program?

It varies considerably, but the average is about three years. Some students only take one course per semester, some take summer classes and others do not, and some students take two or more classes per semester, depending upon their individual circumstances. This is something that you can work out with your advisor, who can help you plan a completion schedule that is realistic for you and achievable given when courses are scheduled.

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12. Are there any special features of the MPNA curriculum that may distinguish it from similar graduate programs?

Yes. Because the MPNA is located in Metropolitan State's College of Management with both graduate business and management information systems degree programs, there is the opportunity to offer students a learning experience that bridges the public, nonprofit and private sectors. We believe that this environment is increasingly valuable in a world in which boundaries across the sectors are collapsing, and at a time when many people are pursuing careers in more than one sector. Two of the required MPNA courses include students from all three sectors, five include students from both the public and nonprofit sectors, and three are focused on just one sector chosen by the student. This is different from most other masters programs and we believe that it is of great value to our students.

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13. If I am unsure about which sector I want to pursue, can I take courses in both the public administration and nonprofit management tracks?

Yes. This kind of issue should be discussed with your advisor.

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14. When are classes offered?

Most classes are offered in the evening and meet once a week from 6 to 9:20 p.m. We also offer all required courses in fully online format, so students can choose the particular mix of classroom and online courses that best meet their needs.  Some classroom courses are also offered in web-enhanced format, which involves classroom meetings every other week and online study and interaction in between. For busy working professionals, expanding these options for course delivery is very attractive and we are positioning ourselves as a leader in technologically enhanced higher education.

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15. What kinds of students mix will I find in MPNA classes?

You will be in classes with a very diverse group of students in every respect, and most will be working adults going back to school because they realize that a graduate education is becoming more and more important to career success. They may also want the intellectual stimulation that a program like ours can provide in mid-career.

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16. What kinds of careers will the MPNA degree prepare me for?

Many of our incoming students are already well into their careers, but some are relatively young and inexperienced and others are thinking about or in the process of changing career directions. Generally, the MPNA degree is designed to give public administration and nonprofit professionals a broad-based education so they can pursue the widest range of opportunities in their chosen field. For some this will be in a leadership or management role; for others it may be a direct service or staff type role. The major advantage of a degree like this is its versatility. And in a world where people are increasingly expected to make multiple job changes during their careers, this degree is a very practical choice for many.

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