Master of Public Administration, Policy and Civic Engagement - Early Entry

Make a difference through public service, sooner.

Westfield State University is offering exceptional undergraduate students an accelerated pathway to complete their bachelor’s and master’s degree in as little as 5 years. Students accepted into this Early Entry Master of Public Administration program will enroll in graduate-level courses during their senior year with 6-credits counting toward both their related major’s bachelor’s degree and their master’s degree in public administration. By obtaining graduate-level credits sooner, students earn both degrees in less time than it would take to earn separately.  An MPA prepares students for careers as leaders in government and non-profit organizations.  WSU offers concentrations in Public Management, Public Healthcare Administration, Non-Profit Management, and Criminal Justice Administration.

Application is due by February 15th of the student’s junior year.

Students will be notified of acceptance into the program by March 1st.

Why Choose an Early Entry MPA?

An MPA is a government and nonprofit equivalent to an MBA for business.  Students who pursue an MPA develop the leadership and management skills essential to a successful career in local, state, or national public service.  This includes learning how to effectively: lead employees and volunteers; navigate political systems to obtain agency support from elected officials; interact with government, nonprofit and private partners; engage diverse populations.  At Westfield State, MPA students develop relationships with faculty and students who are active in their communities, helping them to build a professional network that will last throughout their careers. Our students come from a variety of personal and professional backgrounds which contribute to engaging classroom and online discussions that enrich the learning environment.

Why Choose Westfield?

Do you want to further your education and professional experience with a master’s degree? Are you overwhelmed with options when applying to graduate schools? Get a Master of Public Administration degree sooner, on a campus you know and with faculty you trust.

You will benefit from:

  • A reduction of the master’s degree credit requirement by 6 credits, accelerating completion of a master’s degree in Public Administration.
  • A smooth transition between undergraduate and graduate programs.
  • Waived GRE/MAT score requirements and application fees.
  • Experienced faculty dedicated to helping you become leaders in the public sector.

How does the Early Entry Program work?

During their senior year, students will take 6 credits designated by the public administration graduate program administrator, 3 credits in fall, and 3 credits in spring, in addition to their undergraduate courses. The 6 credits will be applied to their undergraduate studies and will count towards their master’s degree, with a grade of B or better. Students will fully enroll in the MPA program the summer after senior year.

Am I Eligible?

Students apply by February 15th in their junior year after completing 75-undergraduate credits, with a minimum of 30 credits earned at Westfield State by the end of their junior year.

To be eligible for this Early Entry program, you must:
  • Have an overall GPA of 3.2
  • Apply by February 15th in the junior year after completing 75-undergraduate credits
  • Complete the application form and accompanying materials for the graduate application including:
    • Statement of interest (narrative statement)
    • Two letters of recommendation
    • Transcripts of all undergraduate work
  • Approval from their undergraduate academic advisor or department chair

What are the costs?

Current undergraduate and graduate tuition and fees can be found on the main Westfield State website at Costs of courses taken at the graduate level differ from undergraduate tuition.

Once a student is enrolled in the graduate Public Administration program, the College of Graduate and Continuing Education offers a limited number of graduate assistantships that can help with the cost of graduate courses.  


The most important thing that I’ve learned here at Westfield State that I can actually take along with me no matter where I go in my career path is leadership skills that I can put in my toolbox.

MPA program student Farah Rodriguez

Farah Rodriguez

Class of 2019


Have questions? We're here for you.

For questions about the Early Entry M.P.A. program contact:

Dr. Charles DiStefano, Program Director

For questions about applying to Westfield State University:

Undergraduate Admissions

Graduate Admissions