News Ticker

Master of Public Administration Program to Start in 2018

Students will have the option to major in nonprofit or emergency management

Sacred Heart University will launch a new master of public administration (MPA) program in fall 2018 through its Department of Government, Politics and Global Studies.

“The master of public administration is a professional degree that will prepare individuals for careers in the public sector, government agencies, human service organizations and nonprofits,” says Lesley A. DeNardis, program director.

Students will be able to concentrate in either nonprofit management or emergency management, both of which project significant job growth. A third option will enable students to pursue a self-designed concentration tailored to their professional needs and interests. Courses will provide students with the professional and technical skills necessary for 21st-century leadership roles in governance. Proficiencies will include analyzing data, harnessing information technology and communicating strategically.

As Sacred Heart is committed to providing students with valuable, hands-on experience, MPA students will be placed with local nonprofit and government organizations as part of their course of study.

“The MPA program aligns with SHU’s mission by developing ethical and dynamic leaders who are responsive to their social and civic obligations,” says DeNardis. As the daughter of a public servant, DeNardis holds this concept close to her heart; she has served on Hamden’s Planning and Zoning Commission, Legislative Council and Board of Education. She states that her academic and professional pursuits have centered on, “the core belief that greater efficiency and effectiveness in the public sector can solve common problems and enhance the quality of life for members of the community.”

Having taught in MPA programs at various higher education institutions, DeNardis is enthusiastic about educating and commissioning more problem-solvers into the world. “I still firmly believe that, despite the current discord and strife in government and politics, now more than ever we need graduates who have a desire to foster the betterment of society through public service,” she says.

“I am pleased that Sacred Heart University has decided to offer a new MPA program. It demonstrates the university’s ongoing commitment to serve the community by training the next generation of leaders,” says Gary MacNamara, chief of police for Fairfield. “The public and nonprofit sector needs individuals who are ready to lead organizations through these challenging times. Sacred Heart’s MPA will prepare them well for such leadership roles.”

Applicants with a bachelor’s degree and minimum GPA of 3.0 from an accredited college or university may apply to this 36-credit program, which can be completed in one year of full-time study or two years, part-time.

To learn more about the MPA program, visit or contact Lesley DeNardis directly at