Admission to the Public and Nonprofit Administration Programs

Public Administration and Nonprofit Management are inter-disciplinary fields. Admission is therefore not limited to those with a particular undergraduate major; good students from a variety of backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Prior coursework in microeconomics and statistics is particularly useful. Admission requires a Bachelor's degree and a 3.00 grade point average (4 point scale) or higher is preferred.

Application Deadline

Applications are considered on a rolling admissions basis, although we suggest that a completed portfolio be submitted at least 6-8 weeks prior to the beginning of the starting semester.

Applicants should keep in mind that applications for various University fellowships are typically due in January. If you are planning to apply for financial aid, all application materials must be submitted by March 1 of each year.

Access for Mid-Career and Part-Time Students

These programs are designed to accommodate students who are currently employed and must take courses during the evening hours. Virtually all courses (including all required courses) begin after 4:30 p.m., and all courses meet once a week. Neither program is offered in a completely online format, but several courses within the curriculum are offered online.

Students can complete the coursework by taking one to two courses per semester (courses are also available in the summer). Alternatively, students may elect to take up to three or four courses per semester and complete the Program in two years.

Financial Aid

Students are eligible to apply for various Graduate School Fellowships. The Advanced Opportunity Program provides special fellowship funds for minority students. Most of these grants or assistantships require that the student be enrolled full-time. The programs can also assist students with obtaining paid internships with government and nonprofit organizations.


M.S. in Nonprofit Management and Masters in Public Administration

Submission requirements are as follows:

  • Application for admission
    • Complete the UWM Graduate School application form on-line at: http://apply.wisconsin.edu.
    • Your online application should include your rationale for graduate study and pursuit of a professional degree. Your reasons statement should reflect why you are interested in pursuing this particular program and how your career interests fit with the degree.
  • Evidence of a bachelor’s degree
    • One official transcript sent directly to the Graduate School from each undergraduate and graduate school attended. If you attended UWM as an undergraduate, the Graduate School will obtain transcripts from the UWM Undergraduate Records Office. Official transcripts must be sent directly to:
      UWM Graduate School
      Admissions - 261 Mitchell Hall
      3203 N. Downer Avenue
      P.O. Box 340
      Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201-0340
      (414) 229-6332
      e-mail: gradschool@uwm.edu
  • GRE or GMAT Scores
    • Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) sent directly to the UWM Graduate School (mandatory). Visit the GRE website for more information about registration and preparation: www.gre.org. There is no minimum score requirement for admission, but preferred scores are at or above the 50th percentile for each section of the exam. The MPA Admissions Committee will also accept GMAT in lieu of GRE scores.
    • (GRE Institution Code: 1473)
  • Scores from Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) (if applicable)
  • Three letters of recommendation
    • Applicants are required to submit three letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with your academic and/or professional work. Any combination of academic and employer references is fine. Letters should be sent to the following address:
      Department of Public and Nonprofit Administration
      University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
      P.O. Box 413
      Milwaukee, WI 53201

Applicants should provide their references with the following forms:


Certificate in Nonprofit Management

  • Application for admission
    • Complete the UWM Graduate School application form on-line at: http://apply.wisconsin.edu.
    • Your online application should include your rationale for graduate study and pursuit of a professional degree. Your reasons statement should reflect why you are interested in pursuing this particular program and how your career interests fit with the degree.
  • Evidence of a bachelor’s degree
    • One official transcript sent directly to the Graduate School from each undergraduate and graduate school attended. If you attended UWM as an undergraduate, the Graduate School will obtain transcripts from the UWM Undergraduate Records Office. Official transcripts must be sent directly to:
      UWM Graduate School
      Admissions - 261 Mitchell Hall
      3203 N. Downer Avenue
      P.O. Box 340
      Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201-0340
      (414) 229-6332
      e-mail: gradschool@uwm.edu
  • Declaration of Intent
    • A Declaration of Intent (pdf) to complete the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management must be completed by the student and sent to:
      Department of Public and Nonprofit Administration
      University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
      P.O. Box 413
      Milwaukee, WI 53201

Program Contacts

Interested students should contact the Program Directors for more information.

Public Administration Program:

John Bohte
Director, Master of Public Administration
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Mitchell Hall 225
P.O. Box 413
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201
(414) 229-4328
e-mail: jbohte@uwm.edu
Fax: (414) 229-3354

Nonprofit Management Program:

Douglas Ihrke
Executive Director, Helen Bader Institute for Nonprofit Management
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Alumni House Room 390
P.O. Box 413
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201
(414) 229-4732
e-mail: dihrke@uwm.edu
Fax: (414) 229-2353