Top 10 Public Administration Scholarships

Whether you’re planning to work for the government or the non-profit sector, a Masters in Public Administration (MPA) degree can help get you started in your public-service career. Working in public administration is extremely rewarding, but the advanced schooling required for this career path can be expensive. Fortunately, you don’t need to drown in student loan debt; there are many scholarships available for qualified students pursuing a degree in public administration. Let’s look at 10 great scholarship opportunities for graduate students in MPA programs.

1. The Herbert Roback Scholarship

Administered by the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA), this scholarship awards $7,500 to a student admitted to or currently enrolled in full-time graduate study of public administration, public service or political science. In addition to the monetary award, the recipient also receives an invitation to the annual meeting of the NAPA.

2. University of Alaska – Anchorage American Society of Public Administration Scholarship

Academically distinguished students at the University of Alaska Anchorage and University of Alaska Southeast are invited to apply for scholarships. The amount of the award is a minimum of $250 per academic year; incoming students in the Master of Public Administration program need a 3.0 GPA to apply, while currently enrolled students require a 3.5.

3. Oregon Chapter Public Works Association Michael Lindberg Scholarship

This scholarship is open to students enrolled in the Public Administration or Urban Studies programs at Portland State University. The $2000 award is granted on the basis of academic achievement and demonstrated financial need. While the scholarship is open to all graduate students in the programs, women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

4. Alfred M. Pelham Scholarship Endowment Fund

Students at Wayne State University can apply for this $500 award; faculty can also nominate deserving students. Traditionally underrepresented groups in public administration, including women and minorities, are given preference in the selection process.

5. Harry S. Truman Scholarship Program

This highly competitive scholarship program is open to college juniors and seniors who are planning to obtain a master’s degree in public administration. Students themselves can’t apply for this scholarship, but must be nominated by a Truman Scholarship Faculty Representative from their college. Recipients of the scholarships participate in prestigious leadership programs and receive opportunities for government internships and employment.

6. The George A. Nielsen Public Investor Scholarship

In a scholarship program administered by the Colorado Government Finance Officers Association (CGFOA), a $2,500 award is granted to a student employed by the government or other public entity. The student must be enrolled in a master’s degree program in public finance, finance, or business administration, and needs to be a member of the CGFOA in good standing.

7. American University Scholarships

At American University in Washington D.C., multiple donor-funded scholarships are available for students working toward a Masters in Public Administration. The Anita F. Alpern Scholarship Fund, Bernard H. Ross Public Administration Scholarship and Susan Dweck Scholarship are just a few examples of the available awards; each of these is worth $2,000. While the exact criteria for these awards vary, the scholarships are generally awarded based on academic achievement, financial need, and demonstrated public service.

8. Daniel B. Goldberg Scholarship

Funded by the Girard Miller Foundation and administered by the Government Finance Officers’ Association of the U.S. and Canada (GFOA), this prestigious $10,000 scholarship is awarded to one graduate student each year. In addition to the monetary assistance, the recipient receives an all-expenses paid trip to the GFOA’s annual conference, where they will be presented with their award.

9. Minorities in Government Finance Scholarship

Another scholarship administered by the GFOA is the Minorities in Government Finance Scholarship. The award of $5,000 is granted to an outstanding graduate student who belongs to one of the following groups: Black/African American, American Indian, Asian, native Hawaiian or other Pacific islander, Hispanic or Latino. Like the Daniel B. Goldberg Scholarship, this award comes with a paid trip to the annual GFOA conference.

10. Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship

This highly selective fellowship is financed by the U.S. Department of State, and seeks to attract students interested in a Foreign Service career with the Department. Fellows receive an award of up to $40,000 per year, covering their tuition, room and board, and books; however, recipients are contractually obligated to work as a Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State for at least five years after completing their fellowship. Fellows must also obtain worldwide medical clearance from the Department of State as well as top-secret security clearance.