Masters in Public Administration Programs in the State of New Mexico

Cole Neder

Cole Neder

Updated & Fact Checked: 05.13.2024


Attending an MPA graduate program in New Mexico provides a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich cultural and natural beauty of the state. Las Cruces, located in the southern part of the state, offers a blend of outdoor activities and cultural experiences. The nearby Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument provides stunning hiking trails with panoramic views of the desert landscape. The city itself is known for its vibrant arts scene, with numerous galleries and museums showcasing local and regional artists. Las Cruces is also famous for its New Mexican cuisine, which blends Mexican, Native American, and Spanish flavors. Be sure to try local favorites like green chile stew and stuffed sopapillas.

Albuquerque, the largest city in New Mexico, offers even more opportunities for exploration and discovery. The city’s historic Old Town is a must-visit, with its adobe buildings and traditional Southwestern architecture. Albuquerque is also home to a number of world-class museums, including the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History and the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, which provide insight into the state’s Native American heritage. For outdoor enthusiasts, the Sandia Mountains offer hiking and biking trails with breathtaking views of the city below. Albuquerque is also known for its annual International Balloon Fiesta, the largest hot air balloon festival in the world, which takes place every October and attracts thousands of visitors from around the globe.

Further north, the town of Las Vegas offers a different perspective on New Mexico’s history and culture. The town is home to numerous historic buildings and sites, including the Plaza Park, which is surrounded by well-preserved adobe buildings dating back to the 19th century. Las Vegas also offers easy access to the nearby Santa Fe National Forest, where you can explore hiking trails and take in the stunning mountain scenery.

Overall, attending an MPA graduate program in New Mexico provides a unique opportunity to experience the state’s rich cultural heritage and natural beauty. Whether you’re exploring the historic streets of Las Vegas, hiking in the Sandia Mountains near Albuquerque, or sampling the local cuisine in Las Cruces, New Mexico offers a diverse range of experiences that are sure to enrich your graduate school experience.

MPA Programs in New Mexico

Overall, there are three educational institutions in the state of New Mexico that offer MPA programs, both in on-campus and online formats. Two of these programs are accredited by NASPAA. An overview of each of these three programs- including accreditation, location, credit hours, and modality- can be found here:

NASPAA-accredited MPA Programs

NASPAA accreditation is important for MPA programs in New Mexico as it helps to ensure program quality, enhances program reputation, and provides students with assurance of a high-quality education that meets established standards of excellence in public administration education.

New Mexico State University

  • Las Cruces, NM
  • Campus

Accreditation: NASPAA, NCACSHLC

Modality: On-Campus

Credit Hours: 42

GRE: Not required

Resident Tuition: $12,087 (TTL)

Non-Resident Tuition: $38,098 (TTL)

Program Overview:
Offering evening courses, the program accommodates recent graduates and returning students, emphasizing practical leadership skills and the integration of theory and practice. Accredited by NASPAA, the MPA program is completed in two years with a common core curriculum and options for internships or theses. The faculty, diverse in expertise, fosters critical thinking and creative problem-solving, promoting close interactions among students and faculty.

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The University of New Mexico

  • Albuquerque, NM
  • Online + Campus

Accreditation: NASPAA, NCACSHLC

Modality: Online/On-Campus

Credit Hours: 42

GRE: Not required

Resident Tuition: $11,126 (TTL)

Non-Resident Tuition: $34,045 (TTL)

Program Overview:
The MPA program is designed to equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge for leadership and management roles in various sectors including government, nonprofits, and international agencies. The program focuses on addressing ethical, equity, and managerial challenges in a diverse world. It offers flexible course formats, including evening and Saturday classes, as well as options for face-to-face and Zoom attendance, to accommodate mid-career professionals.

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Online MPA Programs

For pre-professional students, online programs provide flexibility and convenience, allowing them to pursue their degree without having to relocate or disrupt their current commitments. This can be particularly beneficial for students who may have family or work obligations that make attending traditional on-campus classes difficult. An overview of the additional non-accredited MPA program in the state can be found here:

New Mexico Highlands University

  • Las Vegas, NM
  • Online + Campus

Accreditation: NACSHLC

Modality: Online/On-Campus

Credit Hours: 36

GRE: Not required

Resident Tuition: $3,852 (PSR)

Non-Resident Tuition: $6,240 (PSR)

Program Overview:
The graduate program in sociology is part of an interdisciplinary Master of Arts degree program in public affairs. It offers a comprehensive curriculum covering political theory, social theory, human culture, and economic theory. Students choose a concentration in either political and governmental processes or applied sociology. The program is flexible, offering distance learning options in addition to traditional face-to-face classes on the Las Vegas campus.

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Accelerated MPA Programs

Accelerated MPA programs are designed to allow students to complete their Master of Public Administration degree in a shorter amount of time compared to traditional programs. These programs typically condense the coursework and may offer more intensive schedules, such as evening or weekend classes, to accommodate the accelerated pace.

The University of New Mexico offers a shared credit option for their Master of Public Administration (MPA) program. This option allows undergraduate students to take up to 12 credit hours of graduate-level coursework that can be applied towards both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Affordable MPA Programs

In New Mexico, MPA programs offer competitive tuition rates, especially for in-state residents, making them affordable options for students seeking advanced degrees in public administration. For in-state residents, both New Mexico State University ($12,087) and the University of Mexico ($11,126) have the best total tuition costs. Additionally, for those who don’t qualify for in-state tuition rates, many programs offer financial aid, scholarships, and assistantships to help offset costs for students.

All MPA Programs in New Mexico

School NameDegree Program NameStateCityNASPAA AccreditedOnline DegreeProgram Link
New Mexico State UniversityMaster Of Public AdministrationNew MexicoLas CrucesNoYes
The University of New MexicoMaster Of Public AdministrationNew MexicoAlbuquerqueNoYes

What Types of Careers Can I Pursue With an MPA Degree in New Mexico?

In New Mexico, an MPA degree opens up a range of career opportunities in public administration, nonprofit management, and policy analysis. The state’s unique cultural and environmental challenges make MPA graduates particularly well-suited for roles that address these issues. 

Some unique MPA jobs in New Mexico include Tribal Program Manager, focusing on managing programs and services for Native American tribes; Water Resource Planner, responsible for managing water resources and conservation efforts; and Border Affairs Coordinator, dealing with cross-border issues and collaboration with neighboring states and countries. 

Notable leaders in New Mexico with MPA degrees include Maggie Hart Stebbins, a Bernalillo County Commissioner; and Stephanie Garcia Richard, the State Land Commissioner, highlighting the impact MPA graduates can have in state and local government.

MPA Programs in Other States