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Mission Statement

To advance knowledge in support of professional education for public service, through the integration of interdisciplinary research, teaching, and service in order to address the management challenges of an increasingly complex and diverse global environment.


1970 Class Photo

In 1969, the University of New Mexico, under the leadership of former President Ferrel Heady, established the Division of Public Administration. In 1992, the university reconstructed the division as the School of Public Administration (SPA).  

The School of Public Administration has provided a solid academic foundation for students preparing to enter leadership and management positions in the public and non-profit sectors in the state of New Mexico and the nation for over 40 years.

Since 1969, approximately 1,600 individuals have received Master's degrees in Public Administration (MPA). Most continue to serve the public in federal, state, local, tribal and nonprofit agencies in managerial, policymaking and other leadership roles. The picture above and to the right is of our first graduating class in 1970.

SPA is proud of the contributions to communities throughout New Mexico and looks forward to the future with confidence. 

SPA Historic Timeline


Albuquerque, located along historic Route 66, is a multicultural city with a population of over 700,000. The region is home to some of the top research laboratories in the world and is a center for opportunities and development. The city is full of exciting attractions and events, from historic Old Town, where Albuquerque was founded in 1706, to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. The rugged Sandia Mountains, so named for their watermelon-like coloring at sunset, border Albuquerque on its east side. New Mexico is truly the land of enchantment, offering mountains to ski, rivers to raft, and trails to hike. All within a short distance of Albuquerque.