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Degrees Offered

Discover Ways You Can Make a Change

The Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas offers two graduate degree options. Both programs are designed to equip students interested in impacting their communities with the leadership skills and tools they need to enact change across a broad range of sectors and career paths.

The Master of Public Service (MPS) degree program is a full-time, in-person program that was the first in the nation to integrate field service as an academic credit.

Clinton School Online (CSO) is designed for professionals already working in their desired careers. CSO is formatted through online courses and bookended by on-campus experiences at the beginning and conclusion of the program. 

Degree Overviews

Master of Public Service

The two-year MPS degree is a 40-credit-hour program (Beginning in Fall 2023, the MPS degree program will increase to 46 credit hours) that blends core classes, field service projects, and elective courses to help students become knowledgeable, effective leaders and changemakers in their communities. The program is grounded in distinct principles but flexes to match individual interests and pursuits. 

While completing coursework, students will participate in three for-credit public service projects – the Practicum (group), the International Public Service Project, and the Capstone – that they can tailor according to their desired careers.

The MPS program doesn’t elevate one academic discipline over another: We balance rigorous public policy analysis with effective communication and intensive relationship-building. Your studies and field experiences intentionally build on one another—a reflection of the program’s interdisciplinary design and small class sizes. The program provides a firm grounding in critical analysis, policy formulation, and problem-solving, as well as an opportunity for immersion in outstanding service organizations so students can gain competency in the principles and nuances of public service and social issues.

The MPS prepares you to lead more responsive, resilient communities and organizations, whether they’re domestic or international, within a government agency, nonprofit management, or criminal justice in the public sector.

We also offer four concurrent degree options in collaboration with other graduate-level schools in the University of Arkansas system. The first of their kind, these concurrent degrees add a dimension to your studies that give you a more versatile professional toolkit and equip you for a career in both the public sector and private sector:

  • MPS/Juris Doctor, UA Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law
  • MPS/Master of Business Administration, UA Fayetteville Sam M. Walton College of Business
  • MPS/Master of Public Health, UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health
  • MPS/Master of Social Work, UA Little Rock School of Social Work

What's the Difference? Master of Public Service vs. Master of Public Administration

The Master of Public Service at Clinton School differs from Master of Public Administration (MPA) programs in its emphasis on field service and wide range of real-world applications. Most MPA graduates leave their programs with extensive classroom knowledge on public affairs, but lack the intentional, real-world experience that the Clinton School’s fieldwork provides.

Clinton School MPS graduates experience broader career opportunities and leave the program fully equipped for work in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors, as well as in government agencies. Fieldwork through the MPS provides unique, project-based learning opportunities that focus on community engagement and long-term impact. Fieldwork at the Clinton School comprises a greater percentage of a student’s academic curriculum and creates more in-depth educational experiences.

In addition to the emphasis on fieldwork, our concurrent degree options prepare students to create new career paths while rooting themselves in a public service mindset that will help them serve others

Learn More: MPS

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Clinton School Online

Clinton School Online is a two-year, 36-hour program that gives public service professionals the enhanced knowledge, skills, and network they need to advance their careers without relocating or disrupting their personal lives. 

Clinton School Online is a distance program, formatted through online courses and bookended by on-campus experiences at the start and conclusion of the program. Grounded in critical analysis and the formulation of program and policy options, the online program teaches students to build stronger communities by understanding, engaging, and transforming complex systems to ensure equity and create positive social change.

Learn More: CSO

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Start Your CSO Application

The Admissions Process

Admission to the MPS and CSO degree programs is determined by several factors including academic background, public service experience, and personal vision for future public service contributions. The Clinton School is test-optional and there is no application fee.

All applicants should meet the minimum criteria for graduate studies at the University of Arkansas, which includes a 2.85 undergraduate GPA. The Clinton School is a non-partisan graduate institution that welcomes academically and experientially qualified applicants of all ideologies, backgrounds, ages, and life experiences.

For more information on the admissions process, contact the Office of Admissions at admissions@clintonschool.uasys.edu or by calling 501-683-5228.

Are You Ready to Make An Impact?

You can request more information on the master's degree in public service or Clinton School Online, schedule a video chat with the admissions team, or start your application. We look forward to hearing from you.