Mission Statement

The School of Public Administration (SPA) advances professional education for public and health administration at the University of New Mexico. Faculty members conduct sophisticated research that integrates interdisciplinary perspectives and methodologies to address managerial, ethical, and equity challenges in public and health institutions in a complex and diverse world. SPA offers up-to-date courses in the theory, application, and implementation of management principles for professionals working or planning to work in public and health systems. The wider community is effectively served by the School’s formal and informal collaboration with public and health organizations through student internships, shared pedagogical programs, and civic forums.


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. 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.

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.