MISSOULA – The University of Montana’s Alexander Blewett III School of Law now offers the state’s only nationally accredited master’s degree in public administration.

UM’s Department of Public Administration and Policy’s MPA program recently received accreditation for the first time in program history. The University’s MPA Program is accredited by the NASPAA Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation and listed on the Annual Roster of Accredited Programs in conformity with NASPAA standards.

UM’s MPA program is housed within UM’s law school under the Max S. Baucus Institute.

Dr. Sara Rinfret, chair of the Department of Public Administration and Policy and MPA director, said the accreditation allows UM to elevate its commitment of excellence in law, policy and public service.

“We are fortunate to have dedicated faculty and staff to continue to find new approaches to advance the quality and rigor of our MPA program through the accreditation process,” Rinfret said.

Established in 1976, UM’s MPA program offers students the ability to complete their degree online or in person, providing flexibility for public and nonprofit professionals to advance their careers.

The curriculum allows students to customize their degree by specializing in nonprofit administration or seek a joint degree in law or public health. Many students elect to add a certificate in public policy, nonprofit administration or natural resource conflict resolution.

In addition to being Montana’s only accredited MPA program, UM’s MPA degree is the nation’s only accredited one positioned within a law school.

“We are thrilled to be the only law school in America with a nationally accredited MPA program,” said Paul Kirgis, dean of UM’s Alexander Blewett III School of Law. “The MPA complements our strong emphasis on public service in our law school, while creating new opportunities for collaborations among faculty and joint programming for students.”

The University’s MPA program has enjoyed enrollment growth since 2017, with more than 100 students.

“Our enrollment increase is because of our department’s dedication to student success, flexibility in course delivery and cutting-edge curriculum for public service professionals,” Rinfret said.

To learn more about UM’s MPA program visit

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