Criminal Justice AB/Public Administration MPA(non-thesis)

The Double Dawgs program will give high-achieving undergraduate students the opportunity to earn their MPA with a top-ranked program (4th in the U.S. News and World Report’s 2016 rankings of more than 250 Public Affairs master's programs nationwide). In the program, they will learn both the theoretical and practical aspects of public management and policy in order to prepare them for careers in public service with government agencies and nonprofit organizations. The MPA degree greatly expands the employment outlook for graduates, with over 96% of UGA MPA alumni finding employment within 6 months of graduation. Furthermore, many government positions now prefer and even require a master’s degree for entry, and graduates from MPA programs nationwide have increased earning potential by $18,000 per year over those who only possess a bachelor’s degree.

While the academic opportunities within the program are unmatched, the professional relationships that Double Dawgs students will be able to forge outside the classroom cannot be underestimated. Students will interact and network with employers and public sector professionals through UGA MPA alumni events, internships, as well as with the department’s cosponsor, the Carl Vinson Institute of Government.

While most students seek the MPA as their final professional degree, the Double Dawgs Program will also allow students to earn their MPA with the ability of later entering PhD or other advanced degree programs and pursuing careers in academia.

Admission to Program

We expect that most students meeting the admission requirements will apply for the program in the fall semester of their third year at UGA. To be approved, a preliminary plan of study must be approved by the undergraduate advisor and the departmental graduate coordinator.

To be admitted into the dual degree pathway, students must have completed at least 60 hours of resident credit at UGA and have at least a 3.5 UGA GPA at the time of application.


Graduate-level courses that may be used to satisfy undergraduate and graduate program requirements.

The Criminal Justice AB curriculum requires 25 hours of Core/Required Courses, 15 hours of Major Electives, and 20-22 credit hours of General Electives. The dual degree program will allow students to take up to 12 credit hours of graduate Public Administration and Policy courses. Up to 9 credits can be counted toward the 40 hours of Required Courses and Major Electives and the remaining hours will count toward the 20-22 credit hours of General Electives required by the major.

Criminal Justice students can take PADP 7110 Research Methods in Public Administration instead of the required undergraduate Research Methods in Criminal Justice course (POLS(SOCI) 3700). In addition, the dual degree students can take graduate-level Public Administration courses instead of the undergraduate courses so that up to six hours from the list below would be counted as Major Electives under Section III courses:

PADP 6910 Public Administration and Democracy
PADP 6920 Public Personnel Administration
PADP 6960 Public Management
PADP 7520 Urban Policy
PADP 7930 Human Services Administration in Government

Students who take PADP 7110 in lieu of POLS(SOCI) 3700 can take an additional 3 credit course from the above list that will count toward the required 20-22 credits of General Electives. Students who take POLS(SOCI) 3700 and not PADP 7110 can take two additional 3 credit courses from the above list to count toward the required 20-22 credits of General Electives.

This plan protects the integrity of both degrees by counting 6-9 credits of graduate-level Public Administration courses (depending on whether the student takes the undergraduate or graduate research methods course) instead of undergraduate courses with the same content or focus. Current Criminal Justice AB students can take 6 credits of Public Administration and Policy undergraduate courses towards the 15 hours of Major Electives. The remaining 3-6 credits of the 12 credit hours of graduate coursework that would count toward the AB would be taken as part of the 20-22 hours of General Electives.

Additional requirements that are unique to this Double Dawgs program:

Dual degree students will be required to complete separate internship requirements. For the undergraduate internship requirement, the student must complete full-time work over an entire semester (typically the spring semester of their fourth year) in a way that satisfies the MPA graduate internship requiring 300 hours of internship experience within one agency and a paper. Previous Criminal Justice AB students doing the Honors program AB/MPA have been able to extend the duration of a spring internship into the summer term to satisfy both degree requirements.

Admission to Graduate Program

Students will apply to the MPA program during the summer or fall after their junior year so that they are admitted and dual enrolled as both an AB/MPA student before the spring of their 4th year at UGA. Students will follow the same guidelines and procedures as required for the current MPA students ( The admission application requires completing a Graduate School application that includes a resume, statement of purpose (conveying how this program is a good fit with career and educational goals), and three letters of recommendation. The application also requires students to submit their transcripts and Official GRE general test score report. TOEFL scores will also be required from any applicant whose primary language is not English.

Program Advisor

  • Name: Kristin Lawrence
  • Email:
  • Phone: 706-542-3510
  • Address: Baldwin Hall 207

Undergraduate Major Information

  • Major: Criminal Justice A.B.
  • Department/College: Franklin College of Arts and Sciences

Advising Contact

  • Name: Lindsay Dickerson
  • Email:
  • Phone: 706-542-7079
  • Address: 221 Baldwin Hall

Graduate Major Information

  • Major: Public Administration M.P.A.
  • Department/College: Public Administration and Policy

Advising Contact

  • Name: Kristin Lawrence
  • Email:
  • Phone: 706-542-3510
  • Address: Baldwin Hall 207