Holistic Education Promoting Service to Diverse Communities

Advance your career in local, state, or federal government or the nonprofit sector

The Institute of Public Service offers three options for public service professionals seeking to enter or advance their careers in local, state, or federal government or the nonprofit sector.

You will receive a holistic education that promotes service to diverse communities, and prepares you with knowledge and skills in:

  • critical thinking,
  • analysis,
  • administration,
  • management,
  • policy, and
  • research.

Almost 85% of our students work full-time. For students not employed or seeking to explore another field or sector of interest, the Seattle University public administration programs offer hands on learning and service opportunities in the heart of an urban community. Internships include: The Washington State Budget & Policy Center, United Way of King County, King County Council, Swedish Health Services, and more.

“The coursework helped me advance in my career by teaching me theories and skills beyond what was offered by my employer. Classes challenged me to stretch my thinking and question my assumptions. This led directly to my development into a stronger candidate for a promotion at work.”

Andrew Chin, MPA '14 District Manager, Washington State Department of Social and Health Services

What makes our programs unique?

  • We focus on social justice and the empowerment of diverse communities
  • Service and research with faculty who are active scholars and practitioners
  • We collaborate with a network of experienced students

Master of Public Administration

  • 57 credits
  • Evening and weekend classes
  • Most students complete in 2-1/2 years
  • Government and nonprofit tracks
  • Appropriate for individuals who are currently working or seeking employment at management levels in the public or nonprofit sectors
  • Start any quarter

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Certificate in Public Administration

  • 12 credits
  • Hybrid blend of on-campus meetings and online instruction
  • Certificate can be completed in one year
  • Appropriate for indiviudals who are currently working or seeking employment in the public or nonprofit sectors
  • Program starts in spring 2018

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Joint Degree with the School of Law

  • Earn a joint MPA/JD degree in less time that it would take to pursue each degree separately.
  • You must be admitted to both the Seattle University School of Law and the College of Arts and Sciences.

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Events and Information Sessions


      Claude DaCorsi, MPA '11

      With more than 30 years of experience, he found his degree invaluable when elected to the Auburn City Council and appointed to the Washington State Affordable Housing Advisory Committee.

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      Laura Crandall, MPA '16

      First MPA alum to be named a Local Fellow with the City/County Management Association (ICMA).

      Read More about

    Graduate Programs in Public Administration