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Public Administration Program



  • What are the mission/goals/objectives of the department?

The mission of the Public Administration Program is to equip those with public and community responsibilities in Hawaii, the Mainland, and the Asia-Pacific region with knowledge and skills to adapt to changing public service environments and to work collaboratively to solve problems. 

The Program does this in a manner informed by the traditions, cultural sensitivity, and inclusiveness special to Hawaii, enabling our graduates to provide leadership and improve communities wherever they serve. Through teaching, research and service, the Program aims to give current and future public service professionals the knowledge and 
skills they need to be effective leaders in a diverse and globalizing world.

Information regarding the value of the MPA degree from our future accreditor, the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA)

  • PUBA’s Core Competencies by course

See link on classes page on pub website:


  • Where can I get a detailed overview of the University of Hawaii at Manoa?

UHM Catalog: Students will be expected to follow the guidelines and policies as printed in the UHM catalog.

  • Where can I get a detailed overview of the program?

Check out our handbook: or our flyer on our homepage




  • How long does it take to get the MPA?

The average is 1.95 years, with the maximum being 3 years.  We have 3 schedules:
Part time: 3 years
Full time: 2 years
Accelerated: 18 months (per special permission of advisor and faculty resources- see PUBA handbook for policies and details)
Degree Map:

  • How many credits do I need for the MPA?

39 (42 if choosing the thesis option)
For more detail, visit:  Track your progress using this form:

  • What are the modes of delivery? 

Students must be present to take classes in the MPA program, though we do usually offer one online class per semester.  All  in person-classes are located on the University of Hawaii at Manoa main campus.

  • What class should I take? 

Speak to your advisor before making course choices to ensure a smooth path through the program.  An advisor will be assigned to you at the beginning of the fall.  To contact an advisor before then, visit:

  • How do I register and view the class schedule?

To view the class schedule, visit:

Registration guide:

  • Where can I find important forms to transfer credits, take a leave of absence, and other important functions?

Important graduate forms:

  • How much is tuition?

To see the rates of tuition and fees, click here

  • How do I find out about graduate assistantships and other funding support?

Visit the UH Manoa financial aid site:
Scholarship information:
PUBA only has one graduate assistantship per year but you can apply for a position in other departments:  (Student id needed- you will receive an ID# when you apply)
PUBA has some scholarship fellowships- learn more here:

  • Career Services

UH Manoa has a career center which can help you find a job while you are in school and has resources that will help you find a job once you graduate:  See statistics regarding alum placements at the end of this document.

  • How do I find out about joint degrees?

If you are already enrolled in one program and wish to apply for a joint degree, submit a concurrent graduate certificate program application form

  • What Certificates are offered by the Public Administration Program?
    • The track in public service leadership consists of 15 credits. There are four required courses (PUBA 602 Introduction to Public Administration, PUBA 603 Organizations, PUBA 604 Leadership and Ethics, and PUBA 605 Effective Communication in Public Administration), which are also required courses for the MPA. Certificate students may then choose an elective selected from any course taught in PUBA.
    • The Nonprofit Management Track is made up of two 3-credit required courses (PUBA 630 Nonprofit Management and PUBA 631 Nonprofit Practices and Tools) that provide an overview of issues in the field; 6 credits of electives; and a 3-credit practicum. Students take two electives: at least one elective must be a PUBA courses. The student, in consultation with his or her advisor, selects these courses.

For more information visit:

  • How do I complete my practicum?

The practicum is a 120-hour applied experience, and will be arranged in collaboration with your advisor. See PUBA Handbook for detailed information about the Practicum:

  • Examples of recent practicum sites:

Cambodia Development Resource Institute (CDRI) Hawaii State

Legislature Hawaii State Senate National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA)

Native Hawaiian Education Association

Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA)

Papakōlea Community Development Corporation

  • How do I complete the Capstone?

The capstone project is a two-semester group project.  In the spring before your final year of the program, you will be asked about your general research and policy interests. These will be used by the faculty to assign you to a capstone group and advisor for your capstone project.  You will know who your advisor is and who is in your group before the start of the fall semester of your final year.  Capstone groups will be made up of 3-5 students who share similar policy and research interests.   
The capstone project consists of a final paper and a poster presentation and other requirements as assigned.  For detailed information on the capstone, view the PUBA handbook at:

  • Examples of recent capstones:

“Attitudes Toward the Poor and the Effect on Giving.”

“Hawaii Charter Schools as Nonprofit Organizations: Possible Implications for the State, Charter Schools, & Students.”

“Measuring & Exploring UH Manoa Students' Perceptions of State Government Employment Attractiveness to Develop Recommendations for Process Improvement. “

“Civic Dialogue: Exploring Strategies for Civic Engagement in Honolulu and The Future of Renewable Energy in Hawaii.”

“Emergency Preparedness at the University of Hawaii at Manoa Student Residential Housing.”

  • How many students are enrolled in the MPA?

We accept about 25 to 30 new students into the program each year.   The program takes an average of 1.95 years to complete. During the academic year, approximately 48 students are enrolled.
For a more detailed timeline, visit:

  • How many students are enrolled in the GCERT?

There are two GCERT tracks: Public Administration and Nonprofit Management.  There are usually 1-2 enrolled in the PA certificate and 8-9 enrolled in the Nonprofit Management certificate.
For more details, visit:

  • What is the retention rate for Public Administration’s MPA program?

74.5% of those who start the program graduate.

  • What is the ratio of student to professor in the MPA program?

1:8, One professor for every 8 students. We have five full time faculty and one part time faculty member in the PUBA department.
Learn more about our faculty and view their CV’s and publications at:

  • Where can I view the organizational chart for PUBA?

              These organizational charts show the Organizational Relationship between the program and the University of Hawai’i at Manoa:

  • What must I do to notify the University ahead of time that I'm ready to graduate? 

If you are ready to graduate, you must apply online to notify the Graduate School that you are planning to graduate in the upcoming semester.  Watch the deadlines carefully and also for the information on purchasing your cap and gown.
Application to graduate: (Due the first 2 weeks of the semester in which you plan to graduate):


PUBA application, student and alumni Statistics


PUBA Average GPA of applicants



PUBA Enrollment and degrees awarded- note that it takes an average of two years to complete the PUBA program therefore the number that graduate per year is about half of the total enrolled. Our graduation rate is 74.5%. 


Enrollments in the MPA and GCERT programs



Age distribution of PUBA students


Geography of Enrolled Students


An average of:
71% of are students are Hawaii residents
16% are from the mainland
13% are international


Gender of enrolled PUBA Students


Ethnic Breakdown of Enrolled PUBA students


See chart






Faculty Diversity by Ethnicity


Faculty Diversity By Gender



Home countries and territories for PUBA international students, 2006-2016:
American Samoa
Federated States of Micronesia
Marshall Islands
Papua New Guinea
Solomon Islands
South Korea
Sri Lanka


Our internship [Practicum] distribution reflects our mission in that the majority of our students complete their internship in the State of Hawaii, for a Federal, State, City agency or nonprofit organization. 79% percent of Practicum placements were located here in Hawaii. Again it is typical that roughly 75% of internships are placed here. The other students either complete their practicum in their home country or on the mainland (e.g. Washington, D.C.)

Each practicum is based on the students' learning outcomes, financial ability and time needed to complete the practicum. When selecting a Practicum site, students are asked to identify several learning outcomes that will help them in their careers or that will help them be more effective in their community, which aligns with our mission to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to provide leadership in the communities they serve. When the student is unable to complete their Practicum in the community they serve (i.e. an international or mainland student), Practicum are selected so that the knowledge gained from the experience can be adapted to the community to which they return.

Examples of internship placements:
Bishop Museum (Honolulu, HI)
State of Hawaii Office of Information Practices (Honolulu, HI)
State of Hawaii Legislature (Honolulu, HI)
Hawaii Association of Nonprofit Organizations (Honolulu, HI)
Center for Disability in Development (Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Hawaii State Energy Office (Honolulu, HI)
City & County of Honolulu Department of Emergency Management (Honolulu, HI)
Polynesian Voyaging Society (Honolulu, HI)
Making Cents International (Washington, DC)
Center for Excellence: DMHA (Ford Island, HI)
Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL) (Honolulu, HI)
Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility (Kailua, HI)
City of Seattle Office of Emergency Management (Seattle, WA)
Ministry of Health (Koror, Republic of Palau)


Alumni Information (2014)


Sampling of alumni employment –




PUBA 2016 Brochure!




Newsletter 2016