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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.

Our MPA offers two specialized tracks - public administration and nonprofit management.  A new thematic track  - International Public Management - has been designed to train students who are interested in working in INGOS, IGOS, and in international policy and management in government agencies. We are awaiting SUNY and New York State Education approval.  In the meantime, students can apply to the public administration track where they can select from several international public management courses including international public service, INGOs and International Development, Comparative and International Public Administration, Migration Policy, and Human Rights and Humanitarian Policy.

Our MPA program includes a capstone experience that includes one-on-one mentoring with a project adviser.  For students who contemplate earning the MPA in three semesters, we offer a 17-month Cohort MPA.   Buffalo State undergraduates can begin taking MPA classes in their senior year by applying to and gaining admission to our 4 + 1 program.  Internships are available in both the public and nonprofit sectors.

Class sizes are small, averaging ten students.

Buffalo State is a member of NASPAA - the gold standard of public service education.  

Purpose and Goals

SUNY Buffalo State's Master of Public Administration in Public and Nonprofit Management (MPA) program provides an advanced course of study concentrating on the conceptual, technical, and professional education skills required for administrative and leadership positions.

Special emphasis is placed on the research and data analysis tools needed for modern management in the public and nonprofit sectors.  Skills are demonstrated in the capstone project.


The core program combines the theory and practice of public administration, public finance, management, quantitative and qualitative research, and a thorough grounding in intergovernmental relations.

The Public Administration Track, with courses in administrative law, comparative public administration, public policy, and other topical courses, is designed to prepare students for careers in public service.

The Nonprofit Administration Track prepares students to effectively plan, develop, manage, evaluate, and lead nonprofit programs

Class Schedules

Scheduling is flexible to meet the needs of working professionals. Courses are offered via three formats: in-class after 4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday and on Saturdays; hybrid (combination of in-class and online), and online (many of the MPA core courses, except PAD 699, Data Analysis & Presentation, are offered in the online format at least once in the calendar year, some elective courses are also available online). In PAD 690, Master's Project, students meet with their MPA project advisor on an individual basis or with their group and advisor (in the case of group MPA projects).  Students may not, however, take more than 18 credit hours (over 1/2) of their 36 credits online in accordance with SUNY requirements.  (Our MPA is not certified as an online program.)

Public Administration

Buffalo State •  1300 Elmwood Ave  •  B218 Classroom Building
Buffalo, NY 14222  •  Phone: (716) 878-6116 •  Fax: (716) 878-3369