Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Marist MPA graduate program accredited by NASPAA?
Yes, the MPA program is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA).

Can I enroll in the MPA for Law Enforcement course sections in Queens or Albany although I am not a law enforcement employee or organizational partnership member?
Yes, while course sections for the MPA are offered in Albany and Queens (NYC) to accommodate city and state law enforcement, the sections are available to any student. Please contact Graduate Admission for more information.

Must I have an undergraduate degree in a specific area to pursue my MPA at Marist College?
No. We designed the Marist MPA degree to accommodate the academic needs of working professionals with undergraduate degrees in many areas.

Who should apply for the MPA program?
Individuals interested in gaining the skill sets necessary to lead in today's global marketplace should apply. A specific bachelor's degree in public administration is not a requirement for admission to the program.

How long does it take to complete the MPA program?
People studying part-time generally take 5 to 6 classes per year (using summer classes) and generally complete the MPA program in less than three years. People pursuing full-time studies can complete the program in no more than 2 years.

How often do on-site courses meet?
Classes meet one night per week.

How many online classes can I take at one time?
Students enrolled part-time take one class per round; thus, two per semester.

Can I complete the entire MPA program online?
Yes! You can complete your entire MPA degree from the comfort of your own keyboard. Of course, if you wish to have a personal meeting with your professor, you are most welcome to do so although they are available in weekly online chats and by phone and email.

How long is each MPA course?
The MPA is 42 or 39 credits (depending on waiver of pre-service internship). Each course is three (3) credit hours and delivered in 8-week sessions. Students may complete their MPA program 100% online, or in an on-ground hybrid format at our locations in Poughkeepsie (main campus), Albany or NYC (Queens).

How are the MPA courses structured?
Online and classroom-based courses are organized and presented in much the same way. Lectures, readings, and class assignments are issued or posted at regular intervals throughout the course. Assignments and exams are time sensitive in that they are due on a specific date. Online students simply submit work electronically on the date it's due.

How do online MPA courses work?
The communications capabilities are at the heart of the online MPA program and become seamless as you progress through the course. All work in the online classroom is completed and submitted online. You submit written work as an email attachment, such as a Word document or Excel spreadsheet. There is no on-campus requirement nor is everyone expected to be online at the same time. As with a traditional class, you are expected to read any textbook material or outside reading material prior to a certain due date specified in the course syllabus and course calendar. Usually, there are a number of discussion questions or problems due with each assignment that requires you to answer and/or participate in class discussion. For example, your professor may ask you to express your views about the ethical aspects of public policy. The professor expects each student to contribute their ideas in the conference room at their convenience by the due date and, where appropriate, to discuss alternative viewpoints with their classmates. Everyone participates!

Are there specific technical skills or computer system requirements needed to pursue my MPA degree online?
No. The only computer skills required are a familiarity with Windows, the Internet, and Microsoft Office. Technical support is available to online students through the Marist Help Desk.

What type of support services are offered for students in the MPA program?
The following support services will be offered:

  • Students will be assigned an academic advisor.
  • Students will have access to the Office of Academic Technology and the Marist Help Desk for technical assistance.
  • Writing tutors are available to proofread papers through the Academic Learning Center.

Are internships offered through the MPA program?
The internship is not a part of the MPA program. However, faculty and staff will work with students to secure non-credit experience as a way to enhance the student experience beyond the standard MPA curriculum.

Can international students apply for the Master of Public Administration program?
Yes. Since this a fully online program, students located in any part of the world can enroll in this program. In addition, because the program is asynchronous, students can access the course materials and join chat room discussions at any time regardless of the time zone they are in.

How do I obtain my books if I am completing an online program or course?
Textbooks can be ordered online and shipped through the Marist College Bookstore.

Are there services to help me find a job?
The Marist College Office of Career Services provides students with assistance in job placement throughout the course of their enrollment in the program and upon graduation from the program. FoxQuest is a fully online job and internship search tool which allows students to search for and apply for positions from any location. Additionally, the School of Management maintains a listing of internships and employment opportunities that eligible students and alumni may apply for.

Are there any types of financial aid available for prospective students?

Assistance for graduate students at Marist is available in many forms, including low-interest loans, merit scholarships, and need-based grants. It is recommended that students file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at as soon as possible. Financial packages will be sent to students upon acceptance to Marist. For more information on financial aid opportunities and deadlines, visit

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