It’s a common assumption that the MBA is offered at just about every graduate school. That’s why I’ve gotten accustomed to the odd looks when I tell people we don’t offer one. Some even argue with me. I find those discussions pretty funny, and eventually lead the conversation to another topic. But typically, I ask the inquirer what his/her career objectives are. Those with an interest in non-profit, the public or private sector, or working for the government are often surprised when I tell them that a Master of Public Administration (MPA) will serve them better than an MBA.
Both MPA and MBA programs train you in management, finance, marketing and planning, but they train you for totally different industries. Graduates of MPA programs typically work in “nonprofit, government, private and public sector, management or consulting, education, environment, healthcare, policy analysis, homeland security, and much more” (Go Public Service). As with the MBA, MPA programs typically offer areas of specialized study. For example, we offer three areas: arts management, nonprofit administration, and metropolitan public service administration. In this program, students:
- Understand and, critically evaluate multiple ethical obligations
- Understand the diverse policy tools employed by public sector employees.
- Develop relevant professional competencies
Still not sure what alumni do? Take a look at what some of our 350+ alumni are doing now. Or visit other MPA networks like the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, and the College of Charleston’s MPA Student Association (MPASA) website and Facebook page.