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  • Accelerated
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Erie, Pennsylvania

Public Administration


  • Program Overview

    Public administration focuses on the delivery of public goods and services, the implementation of public policy, and the execution of laws and rules.  Its studies, however, are much broader to include the functioning and leading of large and complex organizations.  By definition and necessity, public administration is both science and art:  science in that it is a study of how bureaucracies function and art in that it is a study of how to steer and manage organizations.

    Political appointees of the past are rapidly being replaced by a new type of public sector managers, more similar to executives, engineers, and accountants of the private sector.  Governments, agencies, foundations, and authorities are seeking highly motivated individuals with communication, critical analysis, public budgeting and human resources management skills, strategic planning abilities, grant-writing experience, program development capabilities, organizational skills, and the ability to solve problems creatively.

    Our central location to city, county, state, and federal government offices makes Gannon a virtual public administration laboratory.  Our close proximity allows for continuous interaction with government and agency leaders who visit classes on a regular basis and often serve as instructors themselves.  This is a program in which real world case studies are often the focus of seminar deliberations and class projects.  In addition, internship opportunities abound.  This practical experience adds balance to academic life.

    Mission Statement

    Gannon’s MPA program prepares its graduates to be competent administrators, professionals and leaders in public and nonprofit organizations, domestically and internationally. The program educates socially responsible world citizens through civic and community engagement and innovation and develops a worldview by infusing international perspectives and activities into the curriculum. The program is dedicated to emphasizing public service values such as public interest, efficiency, effectiveness, democratic representation and participation, equity, diversity, sustainability, and accountability.

    Alumni Profiles

    Bader Alalhareth

    Bader Alalhareth

    "Obtaining my Master's degree in Public Administration from Gannon University was one of the best decisions of my life. It was such an eye-opening experience for me to learn from highly qualified professors and study with students from all around the world. Gannon University's Master of Public Administration Program helped me to improve my skills in communication, decision making, leadership.

    It has opened many doors with opportunities for me and has helped me excel in my career in public service. The best characteristic of the program is that it puts you at a distinctive competitive advantage across the private, public and non-profit sectors."

    Jezree Friend

    Jezree Friend

    "Gannon University's MPA program provided both a theoretical framework and real-world application of Public Administration. The program networked me around the world and was able to learn first-hand from leaders who have successfully implemented public policy. After graduating in 2015, Gannon's MPA program has equipped me for my role as the Senior Director of Public Affairs at the Manufacturer & Business Association to effectively advocate and create guardrails to implement public policy."

    Rebecca Styn

    Rebecca  Styn

    "I entered the MPA program with a different background than most as my undergraduate work was in music (piano performance). In the beginning, I took interest in non-profit administration as it related to my background in arts and music. Over time though, through varying classes and experiences, these interests evolved into other social service and community initiatives. As a result of my experience, I have had the opportunity to serve in several leadership positions in charitable organizations throughout our community and own my own business. In 2012, I went back to Gannon and this past May I graduated with my Ph.D. in Organizational Learning and Leadership. Today, I also serve as an adjunct at the University. To say my experience was priceless would be an understatement. The knowledge from the MPA program has been an invaluable asset throughout my career."

    Shelia Sterrett

    Shelia Sterrett

    I grew up in Erie, PA and graduated from Iroquois High School. Since I was a kid, I have always interested in government and politics. After high school I pursed a degree in communication and political science from Clarion University. After returning to Erie, I started working for a local PA House of Representative. I decided, at that point, the best way to achieve my career goals was to obtain a graduate degree.

    I chose Gannon University, Master's in Public Administration because I felt that it would give me the best opportunity to continue to work full-time while I obtain by degree and education goals. The program offered the flexibility, offering evening, weekend and summer course. Most notable was my favorite course, called Canadian Studies. I not only learned about other countries government structure but got to travel to another county for a week.

    My degree from Gannon has helped me secure a job as the government affairs director for a local business trade association. And my current position at the northwest regional manager for U.S. Senator Pat Toomey.

    On a professional level my degree from Gannon continues to open many doors for me. It has provided opportunity to me to work with local non-profit boards, local municipality boards, as well as the ability, to be an adjunct teacher in public administration.

    I would definitely encourage a student who is considering a master degree to consider it in public administration. Regardless if you plan to work for a non-profit, government entity or in a corporate setting this program can offer the education you need to enhance your career goals.