Welcome to the School of Public Administration

Welcome to the School of Public Administration (SPA) at the University of New Mexico. Founded in 1969 under the leadership of former UNM president, Dr. Ferrel Heady, the school provides a solid academic foundation to prepare students for leadership and management positions in the public and non-profit sectors. From public management and organizational behavior, to public policy evaluation and health policy and management - our faculty provide insights into the numerous challenges facing our society and government and how they can best be managed.

SPA’s students come from diverse backgrounds - some from years of professional work experience, some are recent college graduates, and others are mid-career professionals interested in advancing in their current positions or exploring new career opportunities. Our students pride themselves in fostering debate on important issues, encouraging one another, and creating a vibrant learning environment. 

We invite you to explore our website and learn about our professional administration programs.


SPA Spotlights

OCAC Awards Dr. Bruce Perlman as a Fall 2016 Certificate Recipient for PADM Course

For the first time, Regents’ Professor, Dr. Bruce Perlman, is a Fall 2016 recipient of the Online Course Advisory Best Practices Certificate for PADM 522 Program Evaluation. 

Dr. Bruce PerlmanDr. Perlman was certified through a course review process led by three peer instructors who have taught online and were selected by the Online Course Advisory Council (OCAC). PADM 522 Program Evaluation was reviewed to meet the UNM Online Best Practices Rubric standards in 5 Categories: Course Overview and Introduction, Instructional Elements, Interaction and Collaboration, Assessment and Feedback, and Course Evaluation.

The UNM rubric was developed at the direction of the Provost by faculty members serving on the Online Course Advisory Council and approved by the Faculty Senate Teaching Enhancement Committee.

Dr. León-Moreta Recently Published with One of the Top Journals in the PA Field

Dr. Agustin Leon-MoretaDr. Agustín León-Moreta published an article in the American Review of Public Administration (ARPA) entitled “Functional Responsibilities of Municipal Governments.” 

ARPA is one of the elite scholarly peer-reviewed journals in public administration and public affairs. ARPA  focuses on public administration broadly defined, encompassing organization and management studies, leadership, performance measurement and management systems, budgeting and financial management, network governance, and nonprofit management, among other topics.

Dr. León-Moreta's article examines the assignment of functional responsibilities to municipalities, contributing conceptualization and measurement for the analysis of breadth of those responsibilities across the American states. The main findings are that a diverse scope of functional responsibilities is prevalent across American municipalities and that the institutional environment of municipalities influences those diverse functional responsibilities.

Congratulations to Dr. León-Moreta for another successful publication!

Two MPA Students Nominated for the 2016 Sarah Belle Brown Community Service Award

Sarah Belle Brown NomineesAt UNM’s School of Public Administration, Shruthi Nadig and Sarah Wilkinson, have been recognized for their dedication to the service of others with a nomination for the 2016 Sarah Belle Brown Community Service Award.

This award recognizes one faculty member, one staff member and one student who serve as examples of social responsiveness and who have, over an extended period of time, donated considerable personal time and effort. Nominations are expected to be for service beyond the general scope of one’s professional or academic assignment at UNM.

While Ms. Nadig nor Ms. Wilkinson are not receiving the award, it is apparent from the quality of this year’s nominees that the University of New Mexico is fortunate to have so many individuals who exemplify UNM’s mission of community service. 

Please join us in congratulating Shruthi and Sarah on this wonderful recognition!

NSF has Awarded UNM Team Led by Professors Ibarra, Weissmann, and Rivera $1.25 Million in Grant Funds to UNM Over Five Years

Dr. Mario RiveraThe National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced that Regents' Professor Mario Rivera (UNM School of Public Administration) and Postdoctoral student Dr. Rebecca Beals (UNM Institute for Social Research) are lead evaluator and co-evaluator respectively for an external assessment of the Western Alliance to Expand Student Opportunities/Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (WAESO/LSAMP) program at Arizona State University. The WAESO program seeks to foster a strong, diverse, and inclusive scientific and technological workforce through efforts at recruiting, retaining, and graduating scientists and engineers from historically underrepresented populations. There are project activities in student research, establishing peer networks, faculty as well as peer mentoring, research on the social context of science, and developing a culture of professionalism among undergraduate students interested in pursuing advanced degrees and academic careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

The UNM evaluation team will also assess a social science and education research study required by NSF to be included as part of proposed activities funded ten or more years. That research study, designed and implemented by UNM researchers Dr. Roberto Ibarra (Sociology), Dr. Gary Weissmann (Earth and Planetary Sciences), and graduate student Michael Howland-Davis (Sociology), will be testing and documenting a widely-cited 'Context Diversity' learning/pedagogical model developed by Dr. Ibarra that could be used by similar programs nationwide.  Dr. Rivera, Dr. Ibarra, and Dr. Weissmann are designated Principal Investigators for this combined NSF subaward for the research and evaluation studies, which is to bring approximately $1.25 million in grant funds to UNM over five years.

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Feel free to learn more about our non-degree policy and petition to enroll into some of our core MPA classes! 


SPA Course Schedules

View Master of Public Administration and Master of Health Administration course schedules for the upcoming Spring semester:

MPA Spring 2017

MHA Spring 2017

NASPAA congratulates SPA for "stand-out practices for diversity."

NASPAA Accredited