About Public Administration in Public and Nonprofit Management
With its emphasis on research, statistics, human resource management, strategic planning, and administrative processes, a master’s in public administration (M.P.A.) prepares students for management positions with federal, state, and local government entities, nonprofit agencies, consulting firms, private foundations, and businesses.
The program offers three tracks:
- Public Administration (government): Preparing students for a career in public service.
- Nonprofit Management: Preparing students to lead nonprofit programs.
- International Public Management: Preparing students for careers with international organizations and government agencies working in the international arena.
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. This means graduates of our program are in a prime position to get hired in a meaningful, well-paying job.
Buffalo State’s M.P.A. degree prepares you for public administration and public policy jobs within government, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector:
- City management
- Community development
- Government relations
- Nonprofit management
- Program evaluation
- Project management
- Public finance
- Public policy administration
If you choose to work for a nonprofit organization, you’ll be in good company. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonprofits represent about 10 percent of the private sector employment in the U.S., and roughly 25 percent of those with a public administration and policy background go on to work for nonprofit organizations.
While the majority of these jobs are within the health and social services sectors, there are plenty of nonprofit jobs working in such growing areas as environmental policy, urban planning, transportation, and international development.
Our recent graduates have been hired at a number of well-known nonprofit organizations, government entities and institutions of higher learning:
- Buffalo Speech and Hearing Center
- Buffalo State College
- Catholic Health
- City of Buffalo
- Erie County Department of Social Services
- New York Department of Education
- New York State Commission for the Blind
- People Inc.
- University at Buffalo
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Buffalo State’s M.P.A. includes a local internship experience for those students lacking professional experience in a public or nonprofit agency and who seek to gain experience in the public or nonprofit sectors prior to embarking on the MPA project.
More than 50 percent of our M.P.A. classes are taught by full-time faculty. In addition, M.P.A. students are instructed by full-time faculty in the disciplines of economics, political science, and urban planning.
Small Class Size
Classes within the program are small, average 10 students. This allows for individualized attention and free, open dialogue.
Buffalo State is a member of the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), which is the global standard in public service education. Its nearly 300 members, located across the U.S. and in 14 countries around the globe, award MPA, MPP, and similar degrees.
U.S. News and World Report ranked SUNY Buffalo State in the top 50 percent of the public affairs graduate programs offered at U.S. colleges and universities for 2018-2019.
Buffalo State’s M.P.A. and graduate certificate in public management programs are offered in the evenings, on weekends, and online. For students who would like to earn their M.P.A. in just three semesters, Buffalo State offers a 17-month cohort.
“Upon graduation I will seek a position as the executive director of a nonprofit focused on aid for immigrants and refugees. The knowledge I’m gaining in Buffalo State’s M.P.A. program has helped me feel even more confident in my career choice.”
“My favorite thing about teaching in the MPA program is my exposure to such a wide variety of students from different cultural backgrounds, ideological points of view, and life ambitions.”