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UM earns Montana’s first nationally accredited MPA program

Friday, August 2, 2019  
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The University of Montana's Alexander Blewett III School of Law has become the first institution in Montana to earn national accreditation for a master’s degree in public administration program.

UM’s Department of Public Administration and Policy’s MPA program recently received accreditation for the first time in program history. The University’s MPA Program is accredited by the NASPAA Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation and listed on the Annual Roster of Accredited Programs in conformity with NASPAA standards.

The curriculum allows students to customize their degree by specializing in nonprofit administration or seek a joint degree in law or public health. Many students elect to add a certificate in public policy, nonprofit administration or natural resource conflict resolution.

In addition to being Montana’s only accredited MPA program, UM’s MPA degree is the nation’s only accredited one positioned within a law school.

UM’s MPA program is housed within UM’s law school under the Max S. Baucus Institute.

“We are thrilled to be the only law school in America with a nationally accredited MPA program,” said Paul Kirgis, dean of the Alexander Blewett III School of Law. “The MPA complements our strong emphasis on public service in our law school, while creating new opportunities for collaborations among faculty and joint programming for students.”

Dr. Sara Rinfret, chair of the Department of Public Administration and Policy and MPA director, said the accreditation allows UM to elevate its commitment of excellence in law, policy and public service.

“We are fortunate to have dedicated faculty and staff to continue to find new approaches to advance the quality and rigor of our MPA program through the accreditation process,” Rinfret said.

Established in 1976, UM’s MPA program is offered both as an online or on-campus program.


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