Public Administration, MPA

Graduate Admissions
Bridgewater State University
Maxwell Library, Room 019
10 Shaw Road
Bridgewater, MA 02325

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The MPA program accommodates the needs of both pre-career students and in-career professionals by offering alternative program requirements that take into account the student's academic and professional background. Most students are balancing coursework and full-time employment and complete the program in an average of three to four years. Up to six hours of appropriate graduate course work taken elsewhere may be transferred into the degree program. 

Mission Statement

The Master of Public Administration Program at Bridgewater State University provides rigorous graduate public education, developing core competencies in leadership and service in the public and nonprofit sectors. Consistent with the mission of the University, the Program also uses its resources to engage and advance the economic, cultural, civic, and political life of southeastern Massachusetts, other domestic communities, and our global community.

The MPA Program embraces three guiding principles:

  1. Public and community service
  2. Integration of theory and practice
  3. Ethical and accountable practice

Key Features of the program:

  • Prepares students for leadership roles in public service and public affairs
  • Accommodates both pre-career students and in-career professionals
  • Schedules courses primarily evenings and weekends to meet needs of working professionals
  • Offers professional development modules each semester (usually on Saturdays) on topics of special relevance to public service
  • Facilitates internship experiences in professional settings
  • Helps to meet the needs of residents of Southeastern Massachusetts with an ideal location

Program Highlights:

The MPA program teaches essential managerial and analytic skills that can be applied immediately in either entry or mid-level positions at local, state and federal agencies, as well as at nonprofit organizations that interact with government or private corporations that deal with public policy.

Bridgewater is one of only four institutions in the state of Massachusetts that has earned NASPAA accreditation. Of these four, Bridgewater is one of two public universities to hold this accreditation.

The MPA program offers:

  • A comprehensive approach to developing leadership and administrative skills within the context of today's challenging political, legal, ethical, economic and social climate.
  • Full- and part-time program options
  • Full-time program is 2 years
  • Evening and weekend courses to accommodate work schedules
  • Diverse faculty with extensive experience in a variety of public service and public affairs settings
  • Professional development modules addressing timely public service issues
  • Small classes facilitating a more personalized learning experience
  • A wide range of internship opportunities in professional settings
  • Affordable tuition, whether you live in state or out of state
  • There are approximately 25 students in the program

Graduate Program Coordinator: Dr. Kevin Donnelly


Admissions Requirements

  • Online application and $50 application fee
  • Resume 
  • Transcripts - Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate course work
  • Minimum GPA - Minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75
  • *GRE - A composite score of 290 or greater on the quantitative and verbal parts of the GRE for clear admit.  To receive conditional acceptance, MPA applicants must have a composite score of 260 on the quantitative and verbal parts of the GRE. 
  • Letters of Recommendation - Three letters of recommendation should come from professors or practitioners familiar with the student's academic ability
  • Personal Statement - Prepare a brief, but careful statement regarding the reasons you want to pursue graduate work in this field, your specific interest and experiences in this field, and your career goals
  • Interview - An interview with the MPA program faculty

The MPA graduate coordinator may waive the GRE requirement for qualified political science majors in their senior year who meet the following criteria:

  • graduation at the end of the term from BSU or another college or university that has an articulation agreement with the BSU Political Science Department;
  • a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher and a GPA in the Political Science major of 3.50 or higher; and
  • successful completion of POLI 279 - Introduction to Public Administration (or equivalent) with a minimum grade of “B”.

Application Deadlines

Fall Semester: April 1
Spring Semester: October 1
Summer Sessions: February 1


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Core Courses
POLI 501- Foundations of Public Administration
POLI 515- Data Analysis and Presentation for Public Administration
POLI 514- Organizational Planning & Assessment OR
POLI 516- Techniques of Policy Analysis
POLI 518- Public Policy for Public Administration
POLI 521- Public Finance
POLI 531- Leadership in Human Resource Management
POLI 532- Organizational Theory and Behavior for Public and Nonprofit Institutions
POLI 541- Legislative - Executive Relations OR
POLI 542- Administrative Law and Regulation
POLI 591- Capstone Seminar in Public Administration

As part of the 12 credits required in electives, each student must take three one-credit professional development modules (POLI 506). At least two of three modules must address elements of information management, technology applications and policy. The remaining 9 credits in electives must be selected, with adviser approval, from the 500-level Political Science (POLI) course offerings.

Credit hours
Student’s with a bachelor’s degree and no professional work experience are expected to complete a 45-credit-hour degree program (including six hours of professional internship).  Students with some professional experience, but less than three years’ full-time managerial experience are expected to complete a 42-credit-hour degree program (including an additional three-credit elective or a three-credit internship), while in-career professionals are expected to complete a 39-credit-hour program.  

Students with a bachelor's degree and no professional work experience must complete a six credit internship in addition to the requirements above.

Students can elect to pursue a Generalist track or the Civic and Nonprofit Leadership and Administration concentration.

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Funding Opportunities

The College of Graduate Studies provides various opportunities for graduate students to receive funding while working towards their degrees. Appointments are competitive and are determined by undergraduate and/or graduate grade point averages, pertinent experience, educational preparation and interviews.  For information on assistantships, fellowships and conference funding awards, please visit our Graduate Funding Opportunities page.

The Master of Public Administration is eligible for unsubsidized student loans and applicants are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. For more specific questions, please visit the Financial Aid Office website or contact them directly at

MPA Coordinator
Kevin Donnelly

Kevin Donnelly
(508) 531-2442

B.S., Providence College

M.A., University of Rhode Island

Ph.D., Northeastern University

Dr. Kevin Donnelly is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Administration, and Coordinator of the Master of Public Administration Program.  He also serves as the Graduate Internship Coordinator.  Dr. Donnelly is also the 2015 recipient of the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching.  He teaches courses in American Government, state and local government, and public policy.  His research interests are in the areas of language in politics, and health and social welfare policy.  Dr. Donnelly co-authored a book titled Foreign Remedies: What the Experience of Other Nations Can Tell Us about Next Steps in Reforming U.S. Health Care with David Rochefort.  He has also published in Polity, the Journal of Policy History, Harvard Health Policy Review, and Medicine and Health Rhode Island, authored a number of book chapters, and frequently presents his work at professional conferences.  Dr. Donnelly's current research focuses on the language of political actors involved in advancing policy ideas and interests.

MPA Assessment Coordinator
Melinda Tarsi
(508) 531-2404

B.A., Western Connecticut State University
M.A., University of Massachusetts Amherst
Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Amherst
Melinda R. Tarsi specializes in the field of American politics, with research interests in veterans’ benefits policies and politics; American political development; race and ethnicity in political behavior and representation; public opinion; and public administration. Dr. Tarsi is also a Research Fellow with the Center for Democratic Governance and Leadership, a Faculty Fellow with the Institute for Policy Analysis and Regional Engagement, and a Fellow with the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society. Her work has appeared in the journals Journalism Practice; Armed Forces and Society; Politics, Groups, and Identities; Social Science Quarterly; and the Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics. Her research has also been featured in the media on,, and the Washington Post’s blog, “The Monkey Cage.” Her book project, which focuses on the politics of veterans' benefit policies in the twentieth century, has been supported by the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation's Harry Middleton Fellowship in Presidential Studies, the Roosevelt Institute, the Gerald R. Ford Foundation, and the Harry S. Truman Library Institute.  Dr. Tarsi teaches courses on American politics, public policy, and public administration. In addition to her academic work, she is also a board member for a local nonprofit animal shelter, as well as an appointed member of her town’s finance committee.

Brian Frederick

Brian Frederick
Dr. Brian Frederick's CV
(508) 531-2445

B.S., MacMurray College
M.A., University of Illinois at Springfield
Ph.D., Northern Illinois University

Professor Frederick currently serves as the Chair of the BSU Political Science Department. He specializes in the field of American politics. He teaches classes in campaigns and elections, public opinion, political parties and interest groups, political psychology, women and politics, undergraduate research methods and data analysis for public administration. His research focuses on the U.S. Congress, gender in politics and campaigns and elections. He is author of the books: Congressional Representation and Constituents: The Case for Increasing the House of Representatives and American Presidential Spouses: The Public's Perspective. His research has appeared in Political Research Quarterly, Public Opinion Quarterly, Political Behavior, American Politics Research, Social Science Quarterly, State Politics and Policy Quarterly, PS: Political Science and Politics, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Congress and the Presidency, Politics Groups and Identities, Women, Politics and Policy, Judicature, Justice System Journal, Politics and Policy, American Review of Politics, Social Science Journal and numerous edited volumes. Professor Frederick also serves as a Research Fellow with the BSU Center for Democratic Governance and Leadership.

Full-Time Faculty
Mark Kemper

Mark Kemper
(508) 531-2796

B.A., Northern Illinois University
M.A., Ohio State University

Ph.D., Ohio State University

Professor Kemper teaches courses on American Politics, Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Legal Theory and Process, Model United States Senate, and Mock Trial and Moot Court. He serves as a pre-law advisor for Bridgewater State University and as the faculty advisor to the BSU Pre-Law Club. In 2004 Professor Kemper was recognized as the University's Advisor of the Year. In addition, Dr. Kemper is the Assistant Director of the Center for Democratic Governance and Leadership and co-hosts the Center's monthly cable television public affairs show, Commonwealth Politics. Professor Kemper's current research agenda focuses on the selection of state and federal judges, affirmative action policies in higher education admissions, the impact of courts on bureaucracies, and the historical evolution of free speech doctrine in the United States. Dr. Kemper has presented numerous papers at professional conferences, published an article in The Journal of Politics, and authored several book chapters and encyclopedia entries.

Inkyoung Kim

Inkyoung Kim
(508) 531-2316

B.A., SungKyunKwan University Seoul, South Korea
M.A., Seoul National University Seoul, South Korea
Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Amherst
Inkyoung Kim joins Political Science Department as an assistant professor in August 2016. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Before coming to BSU, she taught at Clark University and Reed College. She is teaching POLI 275, Comparative Government, POLI 488, Politics in the Developing World, and POLI 475, Global Environmental Politics in fall 2016. Her research interests include regional environmental cooperation, transboundary pollution, regionalism, government and politics in East Asia, and sustainable consumption patterns. She is a contributor to journals such as International Relations of the Asia-Pacific and International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics. She loves playing tennis and the piano. 

Seth J. Meyer

Phone: 508-531-2950
B.A., University of Rochester
MSSW, Columbia University School of Social Work
Ph.D., Rutgers University - Newark

Dr. Seth J. Meyer is an Assistant Professor of Political Science, with a focus on nonprofit management.  He received a BA from the University of Rochester, an MSSW from Columbia University School of Social Work, and a PhD from Rutgers University - Newark.  Dr. Meyer's research focuses on the organizational behavior of national nonprofit organizations as well as the management of and relationships between South Africa nonprofits.  His work has appeared in the Journal of Social Work and Journal of Social Service Research.  Dr. Meyer is an active member of the NASW and has written for their Administration and Supervision newsletter.  He teaches courses on Organizational Theory and Behavior, Nonprofit Management, and Introduction to Public Administration.

Na Sai

Na Sai
(508) 531-2457

B.A., Peking University (China, People's Republic of)
M.A., Duke University
Ph.D., Georgia State University & Georgia Institute of Technology (Joint Program)

Dr. Na Sai specializes in the field of public management and public policy. She also conducts research in nonprofit management. Her current research is focused on human resource management and education policy. She has published in Review of Public Personnel Administration, Social Science Quarterly, and Educational Policy and has also presented a series of articles at professional conferences.   
Dr. Na Sai is currently teaching POLI 521: Public Finance and POLI 501: Foundations of Public Administration for the MPA program, and is also teaching POLI 172: Introduction to American Government and POLI 390: Public Finance for undergraduate students.

George Serra
(508) 531-2417

B.A., M.A., State University of New York, Stony Brook

Ph.D., State University of New York, Stony Brook

Professor Serra is the director of the Center for Democratic Governance and Leadership and coordinator of the interdisciplinary civic education and community leadership minor. He served as department chairman from 2004-2014.  His teaching and research interests focus on legislative and electoral behavior, congressional representation of minority interests, presidency and executive politics, and policy implementation. Dr. Serra is a 2003-2004 American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow and has published articles in leading political science journals, including The Journal of Politics, Political Research Quarterly, American Politics Research,  Legislative Studies Quarterly, Party Politics, The Journal of Legislative Studies, Congress and the Presidency, and Electoral Studies .

Part-Time Faculty
Larry Azer

Larry Azer
B.A., Tufts University
MPA, Bridgewater State University

Larry Azer is a part-time Senior Instructor in the Political Science Department and will be teaching a one-credit course on Public Budgeting (POLI 597) at BSU's Cape Cod campus. Larry is the Director of Finance and Operations for the Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School District since January 2011, where he is responsible for all aspects of financial management and ancillary services including budget development, capital planning, food services, student transportation, and facilities management. He is a member of the Massachusetts Association of School Business Officials (MASBO) and is a Massachusetts Certified Public Purchasing Officer (MCPPO).

While working towards his MPA degree at Bridgewater State University, Larry was actively involved with the Institute for Policy Analysis and Regional Engagement (IPARE), creating and presenting a module on public budgeting. He was also the 2013 winner of the Guy Clifford Scholarship for his scholastic achievement and commitment to public service. As a capstone assignment, Larry had his book review of "Trapped Under the Sea" by Neil Swidey published in The Public Manager in the winter of 2014.

Larry also served an an elected member of the Randolph School Committee from 2003 to 2012, including three years as the board's chair, as well as creating and chairing the budget sub-committee. He was a very active member of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees (MASC) and he led the school district's effort in passing a $5.5 million operational override of Proposition 2 1/2 in 2008, what is believed to be the largest such override in the history of Massachusetts.

Jodie Drapal Koretski

Jodie Drapal Koretski
(508) 531-2814

B.S., University of Nebraska Lincoln/Omaha
M.P.A. & Doctoral Studies, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Ph.D. Candidate, Walden University

Program Director, Certified Public Managers Program, Bridgewater State University
Visiting Lecturer, Political Science Department, Bridgewater State University

Jodie Drapal Koretski’s main research interests include public and nonprofit organizations, citizen engagement, informal associations, and organizational behavior.  She has presented her work at both national and international public and nonprofit sector conferences and has published research articles in Public Administration Review, and Administrative Theory & Practice. She has created articles for Public Manager, Bridgewater Review and PA Times and has been a reviewer for Public Administration Review, Policy and Politics, Oxford University Press, Nonprofit Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Voluntas, and Flat World Knowledge.  She also served as the editorial assistant, copy writer, and network administrator for Administrative Theory & Praxis. Drapal Kluver has served over 25 years within the nonprofit sector in a variety of roles and with a myriad of organizations. Within her academic career, she has served as a core faculty member teaching courses in public and nonprofit management and is currently serving as the program director of the Massachusetts Certified Public Managers program at Bridgewater State University.  Over the past several years she has been actively involved with service learning communities on campus, served on the National Service Learning Conference planning committee, and incorporates service learning/experiential learning within her classroom design. She has also been actively involved in the greater community as an educational consultant with a number of nonprofit and governmental organizations, as an instructor/presenter for nonprofit education programs, and as a director of development for a local arts and culture organization. 


Paula Montgomery

Paula Montgomery
(508) 531-1387

A.A., Bristol Community College
B.S., Emerson College
M.P.A., Bridgewater State University
Paula Montgomery currently serves as the Campaign Manager for the Campaign to Re-Elect Jon Mitchell, Mayor of New Bedford, Mass. Paula is a part-time instructor for the Certified Public Manager Program teaching a one-credit course on Change Management. Paula received her M.P.A. degree from Bridgewater State University in 2011.
Paula has spent 17 years in leadership and management roles with national non-profits. Prior to joining Mayor Mitchell's re-election campaign she was the Executive Director for the American Red Cross Rhode Island chapter. Paula also served as the Rhode Island Regional Director for Make-A-Wish Mass. and Rhode Island. Prior to that role, she served in a number of capacities with the American Cancer Society, where her last position was State Vice President of Development.
Paula's undergraduate degrees from Emerson College and Bristol Community College are in Communications and Broadcast Journalism. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Rhode Island chapter where she has served as co-chair of National Philanthropy Day in 2010, 2014 and 2015. Paula was nominated for a Cable Ace by the National Academy of Cable Program as a producer of a 3 part series titled Heroin: Back on the Streets in 1998.

Staff Member

Stephanie Churchill
Graduate Programs Administrator


Career Services 2016-2018

National or central government in the same country as program: 0

State, provincial or regional government in the same country as the program: 13% (1)

City, County, or other local government in the same country as the program: 13% (1)

Foreign government (all levels) or international quasi-governmental: 0

Nonprofit domestic-oriented: 0

Nonprofit/NGOs internationally-oriented: 0

Private Sector - Research/Consulting: 0

Private Sector but not research/consulting: 13% (1)

Military: 13% (1)

Obtaining further education: 0

Unemployed seeking employment: 13% (1)

Unemployed not seeking employment: 0

Status Unknown: 38% (3)

Total Number of Graduates: 8

Pre 2009 - Present

National or central government in the same country as program: 4% (2)

State, provincial or regional government in the same country as the program: 19% (10)

City, County, or other local government in the same country as the program: 27% (14)

Foreign government (all levels) or international quasi-governmental: 0

Nonprofit domestic-oriented: 19% (10)

Nonprofit/NGOs internationally-oriented: 6% (3)

Private Sector - Research/Consulting: 0

Private Sector but not research/consulting: 6% (3)

Military: 2% (1)

Obtaining further education: 0

Unemployed seeking employment: 4% (2)

Unemployed not seeking employment: 0

Status Unknown: 13% (7)

Total Number of Graduates: 52

Internship Placements

Bridgewater, MA, Fire Department

BSU's Institute for Policy Analysis and Regional Engagement

Brockton, MA, Housing Authority

City of Brockton, MA, Mayor's Office

Greater Boston Community Health Network

Carver, MA, Town Administrator's Office

Fall River, MA, Police Department

Hanover, MA, Town Administrator's Office

Old Colony Planning Council

Plymouth, MA, County Commissioners Office

Southeast Regional Planning Committee

Whitman, MA

Program Completion - Fall 2018-Spring 2019 MPA Cohort (Full and Part-time Students)

Initially Enrolled: 10 students

Graduated within 2 years: 10% (1)

Graduated within 3 years: 50% (5)

Graduated within 4 years: 90% (9)