Department of Political Science

5-Year Accelerated BA/MPA


This BA/MPA Program will provide an opportunity for AU’s most talented undergraduates in the public administration major to complete graduate training in a reduced time frame. Many of these students in their senior years meet or exceed the standards for the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program.

This program attracts outstanding graduate students to the AU MPA program. By offering this opportunity to our best undergraduates, we attract highly qualified students to the MPA program. This improves the quality of classes and the learning experiences of all students. In addition, it aids the development of high-performing students into public servants.

  1. Have completed at least 45 credit hours but no more than 96 credit hours, including advanced placement credits;
  2. Have completed at least 24 credit hours at Auburn University;
  3. Have a minimum GPA of 3.4 overall;
  4. Have been admitted into the PA major and completed at least 12 credit hours in the major, including POLI-1090 American Government in a Multicultural World and POLI-3250 Introduction to Public Administration.
  5. Receive a minimum grade of B in POLI-1090 and POLI-3250.
  1. Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.4;
  2. Receive a grade of B or better in the four double-counted courses (POLI-7350, POLI-7000, POLI-7150, and POLI-7360);
  3. Follow the Plan of Study for the four required courses:
    Fall semester
    POLI-7350 Seminar in Public Administration
    POLI-7000 Seminar in Research Methods
    Spring semester
    POLI-7150 Seminar in Public Personnel Administration
    POLI-7360 Seminar in Policy and Administration
  4. To be admitted to the MPA program, the student must complete the BA in public administration, be recommended for admission by the MPA Admissions Committee, and be admitted to the Graduate School.
  5. Once a student enters the MPA program, he or she must graduate within five semesters (excluding Summer terms) or the four seminars that were taken for undergraduate credit cannot be counted toward the MPA.

Students typically explore the BA/MPA option in the Fall or Spring of their junior year To apply, a student must fill out the application form and submit a short letter of interest indicating why he or she wishes to participate in the program to the MPA Program Director. After making sure that all minimum qualifications are met, she will circulate the file to the MPA Admissions Committee. In addition to the minimum requirements, the Admissions Committee may consider other relevant factors, such as work experience, level of maturity, and recommendations from faculty members. The MPA Director will notify the student of the Admissions Committee’s decision. For those accepted, a Letter of Acceptance to the Accelerated Program will be sent to student, with copies to the student’s CLA advisor and the Graduate Dean.

Students selected will complete their undergraduate degree in the following academic year. Upon successful completion of the Fall semester, they will apply to the MPA program under the same standards as other applicants.

Students are selected for the program in the Spring of their junior year. They then complete their undergraduate degree during the next academic year. Because the students have to take two graduate seminars each semester, they will only be allowed to take a maximum of 16 credits per semester.

Assuming a successful completion of the undergraduate part of the program and admission to the MPA program, the student will begin their graduate studies the following year. To receive an MPA, they must complete the other four required seminars, four elective courses, and a six-credit internship or research project. They will have two options. First, they can take 12 credits in the Fall and Spring semesters and graduate after doing their internship or research project in the summer. Alternatively, they can take 9 credits each semester during their first academic year, do the internship in the Summer, and graduate the following Fall.

Once accepted to the program, the student will schedule a meeting with the MPA Director to discuss their schedule for the upcoming year and other requirements. The MPA Director will continue to serve as her or his advisor through both the undergraduate and graduate portions of the program.

To receive their BA, students in the Accelerated Program must complete all the requirements for the undergraduate degree. The 4 graduate level courses the students take in their senior year will be credited toward both the BA and the MPA.

Required Fall Seminars

POLI-7350, Seminar in Public Administration. For the undergraduate program this can be used as one of the two classes for the Group 2 requirement (Government and Administration) because it has a heavy focus on American institutions and the role of the public administrator within and across these institutions.

POLI-7000, Research Methods. For the undergraduate program this can be used to fulfill the Group 1 (Quantitative Methods) requirement.

Required Spring Seminars

POLI-7360, Policy and Administration. For the undergraduate program this can be used to fulfill the requirement to take POLI-3270, the Policy Process, in the Core because it contains overlapping and more extensive material than POLI-3270. If a student has already taken POLI-3270, POLI-7360 can be used as one of the two classes for the Group 2 requirement (Government and Administration).

POLI-7150, Seminar in Public Personnel. For the undergraduate program this can be used to fulfill the requirement to take POLI-4160, Public Personnel Administration, in the Core because it contains overlapping and more extensive material than POLI-4160. If a student has already taken POLI-4160, POLI-7150 can be used as one of the two classes for the Group 2 requirement (Government and Administration).

At any point in the senior year, students may choose to remove themselves from the Accelerated Degree Program, continuing the undergraduate curriculum in the Spring semester. The graduate courses will be included as credit toward the undergraduate major; and students will graduate as normal with their undergraduate degree. Students wishing to withdraw from the program must notify the MPA Director and the Dean of the Graduate School in writing.

Students who withdraw from the program, either voluntarily or because they fail to meet program requirements, will not be awarded graduate credit for the double-counted courses.

For more information

Bridgett King

Dr. Bridgett King

MPA Program Director and Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science
Auburn University, AL 36849
8030-C Haley Center

Last Updated: February 09, 2016