There are two schools that offer public administration programs in New Mexico and are accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA).
Both opportunities reside at the bigger institutions - The University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and New Mexico State University at Las Cruces.
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Online MPA Programs in New Mexico
While there are no exclusive ways to receive a Master of Public Administration online through a university in New Mexico, both of them do have online course availability.
University of New Mexico MPA
At the University of New Mexico, a majority of PADM courses utilize Zoom, a cloud video conferencing platform that is used through the UNM Learn management system. Students have the ability to interact during class discussions and connect with other students and faculty members.
All courses are offered synchronously, meaning that there are fixed times that students have to log in. Only a few courses that are available each semester have a requirement to meet on campus, leaving plenty of flexibility for working professionals to complete the program.
New Mexico State University MPA
At New Mexico State University, some MPA and Master of Criminal Justice courses are offered in an online or hybrid format, and they all have the same objectives and coursework as the traditional setting. Related graduate certificates are in Public Health and Public Utility Regulation and Economics.
NMSU utilizes the Canvas learning management system and students should anticipate between 7-10 hours per week on each course. Some online courses and certifications are offered at system campuses in Alamogordo, Carlsbad, Dona Ana, and Grants, along with their main campus at Las Cruces.
Campus Based MPA Option at The University of New Mexico
The School of Public Administration offers a Master of Public Administration that must be completed on-campus, but has a number of online course opportunities. Topics include budgeting, public management, and research methods. There are four different concentrations to choose from, which consist of 21 of 43 credit hours that is needed to complete the program: Public Management, Human Resources Management, Health Policy and Administration, and Public Budgeting and Financial Management.
Culminating the program, a capstone project, professional paper, or thesis is required to finish. A professional paper or thesis is essentially a 30-page, well-documented report. To be administered into the program, prospective students should submit an application with fee, resume, letter of intent, unofficial or official transcripts, and three letters of recommendation. Students can join the program in the spring or fall semesters. Students can also enroll into a dual degree into the School of Law for those interested in legal careers, or a Master of Community and Regional Planning, educating those in observing, analyzing, and resolving issues in public needs.
Campus Based MPA in Las Cruces at New Mexico State University
The Department of Government offers a two-year Master of Public Administration degree on the main campus in Las Cruces. There are 42 credit hours needed to complete the program, divided up into six required courses, various electives, and a thesis project and/or an internship for those that do not have professional experience. Most courses are available in the evening and some are offered online. The following core courses are required:
- Research Methods in Government
- Public Budgeting
- Public Sector Human Resource Management
- Public Policy Analysis
- Government Organizations
- Ethics in Government
There are two different joint degrees that students can pursue. A Master of Criminal Justice prepares those that are looking for a legal position, or a Master of Arts with a specialization in Public History. Based on students enrolled in the 2012-13 academic year, 81.2 percent of students were able to complete the program within four or five semesters, and all students were finished within three and a half years. Most of these graduates moved on to a role in state government.