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Department of Public Policy and Administration
College of Liberal Arts


PPAD is the historically principal unit at Jackson State University which educates persons primarily for careers in the fields of public management and policy analysis and for service in public, non-profit and “quasi-public” organizations. Concomitantly, it is also the mission of the Department to serve as a resource to the Jackson State community, the State of Mississippi, the nation and developing areas throughout the world.

Master of Public Policy and Administration

The Master of Public Policy and Administration Program is designed to provide practical career-oriented training for persons seeking public service careers or for persons already employed in the many branches of public service. The curriculum is designed to equip students with the necessary skills of contemporary public management as well as to give them a broad understanding of the role of administration in the decision making process.


MPPA Mission Statement

The MPPA program seeks to prepare students for significant professional and managerial positions in the public and non-profit sectors.  The curriculum is designed to equip students with the necessary skills of contemporary public management, provide a broad understanding of the role of administration in the policy process, and provide a sound foundation in ethics.  Thus, our MPPA program seeks to:

  1. Provide a cadre of highly trained individuals who are committed to the notion of public service in a variety of organizational settings;
  2. Develop advanced educational opportunities for students of public administration in an urban environment where a multiplicity of governmental opportunities, interactions and practices can be observed;
  3. Fill the need for public, quasi-governmental, and non-profit high-level executive management which exists in the State of Mississippi, the nation, and the world, particularly as this need relates to minorities and women; and
  4. Serve as a resource to the greater community.

NASPAA Universal Required Competencies

  • To lead and manage in the public interest;
  • To participate in, and contribute to, the public policy process;
  • To analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems and make evidence-informed decisions in a complex and dynamic environment;
  • To articulate, apply, and advance a public service perspective;
  • To communicate and interact productively and in culturally responsive ways with a diverse and changing workforce and society at large.

MPPA Admission Requirements

Students may apply for admission in the Fall, Spring, and Summer sessions. Application deadlines are March 1 for Fall, March 15 for Summer, and October 15 for Spring. In order to apply for the MPPA Program, students are required to have all the following information submitted by the designated deadlines:

  1. Evidence through official academic transcripts of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a grade point average of 3.0 as evidenced by official transcripts
  2. For international students a minimum score of 550 on the paper-based or 69 on IBT TOEFL test; 6.5 on IELTS test and 53 on PTE-A test.
  3. Three letters of recommendation
  4. Application for admission to JSU Graduate School
  5. Professional/career essay

No student will be considered for admission into the MPPA Program unless they have been admitted by the Division of Graduate Studies.

Concentration Area

In addition to the core course offerings, students in the MPPA program identify a concentration area in which they take 12 hours of coursework. Available concentration include:

  • Public Finance
  • State and Local Government Administration
  • Judicial Administration
  • Environmental Management, Policy, and Planning
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Human Resource Management
  • Economic and Community Development
  • General Management

Conditional Admittance

As clearly articulated in the Graduate School policies, a student admitted under conditional admission must obtain a GPA of 3.0 by the end of their first 12 hours of graduate-level courses in the MPPA Program (transfer hours or hours obtained in another degree program will not apply). At the end of 12 hours, the student must submit an official transcript to the Master of Public Policy and Administration Program Director with a request for regular admission provided that such student has maintained a 3.0 GPA. At a minimum, the student will be required to take PPAD 505 ‘Principles of Public Administration” and any leveling courses which the admissions committee may determine to be necessary.

Alternate Admissions Track

Students who have not met the Division of Graduate Studies requirement for conditional admission, have a GPA less than 2.5 and who are seeking admission to the MPPA Program must meet the following criteria:

  • Have graduated at least three years prior to admission.
  • Have a full-time employment history of at least three (3) years.
  • Provide a rationale in writing, as a part of the career goals essay which demonstrates to the Admissions Committee that the applicant’s prior history in academia is not indicative of their graduate potential.
  • Enroll in nine hours of MPPA core/concentration courses, after three hours of enhancement courses in one semester and obtain a 3.00 GPA.
  • Attend a personal interview if requested by the Admissions’ Committee.


Admission Information for Graduate Students:

Division of Graduate Studies Application Form:


MPPA Degree Requirements

The Master of Public Policy and Public Administration Program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). In order to earn the MPPA degree, students must maintain an overall 3.0 GPA (based on a 4.0 scale) and successfully complete one of the following options:

Thesis Option: 39 hours minimum

■          18 hours of public administration core courses

■          12 hours of concentration courses

■          3 hours of internship (or an additional 3-hour course if the student is in service)

■          6 hours of thesis (write and orally defend thesis)

■          3-hour MPPA Capstone course (PPAD 595: MPPA Capstone)

Non-Thesis Option: 45 hours minimum

■          18 hours of public administration core courses

■          12 hours of concentration courses

■          3 hours of an elective

■          6 hours of internship (in-service persons may be assigned special projects with current agency)

■          3 hours in skill-based or research methods course (PPAD 508 or PPAD 707)

■          3 hours of an advanced course in concentration

■          3-hour MPPA Capstone Course (PPAD 595: MPPA Course)







Student Organizations




For more information, please contact us at (601) 979-8783.  We look forward to meeting with you and seeing how our program can help you achieve your goals.



Dept. of Public Policy and Administration
College of Public Service
Jackson State University
101 W. Capitol St. 
Jackson, MS 39201


(601) 979-8783 or
Gloria Billingsley, Associate Professor @ 601-979-8784 or
Johnny B. Gilleylen, Sr.Dept. Chair @ 601-979-8786