With a strong emphasis on social responsibility and civic engagement, the master of arts in public service administration is a graduate degree program that gives you the skills necessary to effectively and compassionately confront the challenges of today's metropolitan environment and its diverse populations. Unique to the program is its focus on social justice, public policy and regulation in urban governmental environments.

Jim Otepka"I was offered a position at an ambitious nonprofit charter school just a month after I completed the master's program. My experience definitely gave me a real sense of confidence navigating through the operational issues we face as a startup nonprofit - be they managerial, legal, financial or human capital in nature."

Jim Otepka '07, Dean of Students, Carmen High School of Science and Technology, Milwaukee

Learning Outcomes

  • Apply public service concepts to a community issue.
  • Identify ethical issues and apply ethical principles, values, theories or frameworks to public service practice.
  • Demonstrate the cultural and communication skills necessary to interact in a reciprocal exchange that honors the human dignity of all persons.
  • Apply theory and principles of group dynamics that assist in solving complex urban problems.
  • Apply quantitative and qualitative research methods to issues in public service.

Course Work

  • Students must complete a minimum of 36 credit hours (12 classes), including:

    • 12 credit hours (four classes) of required core course work.
    • three credit hours (one class) of elective core course work.
    • 15 credit hours (five classes) of specialization course work.
    • one of three six-credit-hour integrated learning options - a professional project, a research article of publishable quality or additional course work followed by a comprehensive exam.
  • Students must choose one of the five specializations offered.
  • In addition to class time, students spend an average of 12 hours a week on course work outside of class for every three-credit course.
  • Full-time students taking three classes a semester can complete the program in as few as two years. Part-time students, on average, complete the program in three to four years. Students must complete the program in six years.


As a graduate student in public service, you'll have access to:

  • Professors and instructors who are experts in their fields and can give you career guidance and offer real-world application of the information you learned in class.
  • An academic adviser who specializes in graduate education and will work with you to tailor a curricular plan that meets your needs and goals.
  • Writing assistance to help review papers and help you succeed as a writer.
  • Access to more than 1.7 million volumes of books and bound journals, 22,000 journals and other serials in digital format, laptops for checkout, and extensive special collections. The Raynor Memorial Libraries are open evenings and weekends.
  • Remote computer access to campus-only resources through our VPN.
  • Marquette University Career Service Center providing free access to networking, career counseling, and job searching counselors and seminars.



Student profiles

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Contact College of Professional Studies

Email the college

Marquette University College of Professional Studies
707 Building, Room 403
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee WI 53201-1881
Phone: (414) 288-3153 or (800) 793-6450, extension 2
FAX: (414) 288-3298