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IU Northwest to offer accelerated master’s degree in Public Affairs

Hybrid program of online and on-campus courses cuts completion time in half for working professionals

Thursday Jul 06, 2017

Beginning this fall, Indiana University Northwest will offer an accelerated program for the master of public affairs (MPA) degree.

The new option, through the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA), can be completed in just two years, or half the time it typically takes students to complete the traditional MPA program. Students will have the opportunity to choose one of four concentrations: criminal justice, health services administration, public management, or non-profit management.

“IU Northwest’s traditional MPA program requires more credit hours than other programs because of the degree’s level of specialization,” said Dawn Samson, assistant to the director of graduate programs and outreach. “While this makes an IU Northwest MPA a highly sought-after credential, it can also make it difficult for working professionals to complete their degree in a timely manner.”

In order to meet the needs of these students, the traditional 16-week program will be broken down into two eight-week sessions per semester. Students will complete two courses during each eight-week period, for a total of four-courses per semester. The other difference is that students will be required to be on-campus for three hours of classroom instruction per week, with the remaining time comprised on online learning—enabling full-time students to complete the program within four semesters.

Students who enroll in the program for the Fall 2017 semester and follow the cohort schedule will complete the program no later than the spring of 2019. 

Students who find they need to take things a little slower and complete the program in more than four semesters will have that option, but the courses will still be accelerated. 

In order to be admitted into the accelerated MPA program, students must have earned a bachelor’s degree and maintained at least a 3.0 grade point average. Those with less than a 3.0 GPA must submit official graduate record examination (GRE) scores for consideration. The application also requires letters of reference, resume, transcripts, letter of intent, writing sample and a $40 application fee.

All IU SPEA programs are highly rated nationally. In fact, they received a number one ranking out of 272 programs nationwide by U.S. News and World Report in 2017. IU Northwest’s SPEA program is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy (NASPAA).

Depending on the student’s chosen concentration, the MPA program prepares them to work in a managerial or administrative role in the following settings: civil service, government, public or private sectors, law enforcement, probations, corrections, hospitals and healthcare organizations, non-profit organizations, as well as areas that focus on policy implementation. 

For more information, contact Dawn Samson at (219) 981-5668 or

About Indiana University Northwest

As one of seven Indiana University campuses, IU Northwest leads the region as the premier, urban campus dedicated to serving the needs of nearly 6,000 students from the state’s most diverse and industrialized region. Committed to helping its local Northwest Indiana communities thrive, IU Northwest is best-known for providing a personal, quality and affordable education close to home.  IU Northwest positions its students to be leaders with more than 70 undergraduate, graduate and pre-professional degree options available from the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Health and Human Services, the School of Business and Economics, and the School of Education. The campus is also host to IU School of Medicine-Northwest, which actively involves students in research and local healthcare needs through its four-year medical doctorate program. For more information, please visit

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