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University of Massachusetts Lowell

Lowell , Massachusetts ,United States

Master of Public Administration

Under the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program, students develop the strong managerial, communication, and analytical skills that public and not-for-profit organizations are seeking. At UMass Lowell, a highly ranked research university, close partnerships with such organizations provide learning experiences that emphasize an ethic of public service, while faculty from several disciplines bring their expertise, and various perspectives, to the program.

Students may attend full- or part-time, and the program offers both on-campus and online courses.

UMass Lowell’s MPA program can help students transition to nonprofit management ranks from the for-profit sector, advance within a nonprofit or public agency or Non-Governmental Organization, or start a new job with the credentials - and depth of knowledge - necessary to advance.

Campus Information


UMass Lowell is located in historic mill city of Lowell, Mass., 45-minutes north of Boston, at the intersections of Routes 495, 93 and 3. The birthplace of Jack Kerouac and the Industrial Revolution, Lowell's history echoes all around you. Former mill buildings and cobblestone streets now add charm to a bustling downtown, steps away from the UMass Lowell campus, which boasts a thriving arts scene, a population rich in cultural diversity, and a flair for festivals.


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Application Processing Time in Days: 30

Minimum English Language Requirements

English Level Description IELTS (1.0 -9.0) TOEFL IBT (0-120) TOEFL CBT (0-300) PTE (10-90)
Expert 9 120 297-300 86-90
Very Good 8.5 115-119 280-293 83-86
Very Good 8 110-114 270-280 79-83
Good 7.5 102-109 253-267 73-79
Good 7 94-101 240-253 65-73
Competent 6.5 79-93 213-233 58-65
Competent 6 60-78 170-210 50-58
Modest 5.5 46-59 133-210 43-50
Modest 5 35-45 107-133 36-43
Limited 4 32-34 97-103 30-36
Extremely Limited < 4 < 31 < 93 < 30

Job Opportunity Potential

Alumni of the program include city managers, municipal department heads, health and human service workers, music and art educators, state government administrators, and founders of non-profit community based organizations.

Three areas of concentration prepare students well for nonprofit sectors that offer plentiful job opportunities:

  • Human Services Management prepares students to assume managerial roles in public and nonprofit organizations that are focused on addressing the social, health, and mental health needs of a range of populations, with a particular focus on immigrant communities, the elderly, and the underserved.
  • Justice Administration prepares students for careers in court administration, correctional systems (both community and institutional), law enforcement agencies, community-based agencies serving justice-involved populations, and policy research organizations focused on justice-related issues.   
  • Public Humanities and the Arts prepares students for management careers within cultural institutions, including those related to visual arts, theater, music, museums, and historic preservation.

PSW Opportunity

3 Years of PSW

Admission Requirement / Eligibility Criteria

  • Prior study in public administration or another related field
  • Relevant work experience
  • Official transcript from previously earned degrees
  • Official score from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) - waivers may be available for UMass Lowell alumni who graduated in the past five years with a 3.0 GPA or higher and are interested in applying to the MPA program
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose

International Applicants

  • For applicants who earned their degree outside of the U.S., you do not need to have your transcript evaluated by a credentialing service such as WES or CED.
  • English proficiency testing
    • TOEFL minimum 79
    • IELTS minimum 6.5

Statement of Purpose

In a separate document, submit a brief statement indicating your immediate and long-range goals, relevant work history, academic honors/awards received, any teaching experience and/or research conducted/published that may be pertinent to your graduate program. Two pages recommended maximum.

Letters of Recommendation

You are required to submit three (3) letters of recommendation. You will be asked to provide (names and email addresses) referees during the application process and an automated request will be sent out after the completion of your application. 

Official Transcripts

Provide a complete and official transcript from the institution that awarded or will award you a bachelor’s degree. You may also include transcripts from other institutions at which you have taken relevant coursework. Please note that waiting for additional transcripts may delay review of your application.