Texas A&M Bush School to Offer Online Master’s Degree

November 11, 2015

Two students sitting at the computerBeginning in summer 2016, the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University will offer an Executive Master of Public Service and Administration (EMPSA) degree, a 39-hour graduate non-thesis degree program that will be offered online and supplemented by a two-week residency at the university’s College Station campus. 

Designed for individuals working in full-time professional careers, the new executive program will deliver high-quality and high-impact coursework and help students develop in-depth, advanced skills in public service leadership; critical investigative and evaluative proficiencies; and the decision-making expertise essential for public sector careers. Applicants must have at least five years of professional experience, preferably in one of the two curricular track areas of Homeland Security or Nonprofit Management.

“This will be a tremendous opportunity for professionals who have an accredited bachelor’s degree and five years of professional experience,” said Lisa Brown, director of the Bush School’s Office of Extended Education. “We anticipate that this degree will enable those professionals already in public service to make decisions that are better informed and strategically sound in a complex and interconnected world and that serve the public good.”

In addition to a common set of courses that provide foundational knowledge in management, leadership, policy analysis and research methods, students will complete coursework in either the Homeland Security or Nonprofit Management track.  Their coursework will also include a required capstone project in which students work collaboratively on a public service and administration project in conjunction with a government agency, a private firm or a nonprofit organization. 

Online classes are held in 15-week fall and spring classes and 10-week summer classes. Two one-week residencies will occur, one week in July each summer. Students who have completed graduate certificates offered through the Bush School in Homeland Security or Nonprofit Management will be able to transfer up to 12 credit hours toward their EMPSA degree. Depending on the student’s schedule, students will be able to complete the degree program in two to three years.

“Like many professionals, public servants often are unable to attend traditional residence master’s programs due to job and time constraints,” said Leonard Bright, assistant dean of graduate education in the school’s Department of Public Service and Administration. “By providing this online option, we are able to offer those individuals the same high-quality educational experience our students enjoy on campus.”

Graduates of the EMPSA program are eligible for the benefits any other former student of Texas A&M University receives such as an Aggie Ring and membership in the Association of Former Students.

For more information about the online executive master of public administration degree, visit

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