Geography AB/Public Administration MPA

This Double Dawgs program will give high-achieving undergraduate students the opportunity to earn their M.P.A. with a top-ranked program (6th in the U.S. News and World Report’s 2020 rankings of more than 250 public affairs masters 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 M.P.A. degree greatly expands the employment outlook for graduates, with over 96% of UGA M.P.A. 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 M.P.A. 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 M.P.A. alumni events, internships, as well as with the department’s cosponsor, the Carl Vinson Institute of Government. While most students seek the M.P.A. as their final professional degree, the Double Dawgs program will also allow students to earn their M.P.A. with the ability of later entering a Ph.D. or other advanced degree programs and pursuing careers in academia.


Admission to Program

Students will apply to the pathway after completing 60-75 hours of undergraduate coursework. This includes 2 upper-division GEOG courses with an average GPA of 3.7 or higher in the courses. Students should also have an overall GPA of 3.5 or higher at the time of application. 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 Geography undergraduate coordinator and the Public Administration and Public Policy graduate coordinator.


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

Although both programs have an interest in similar social themes and issues, they provide complementary rather than overlapping knowledge and skills. Courses in the Master of Public Administration program are not equivalent in content or focus to the required geography courses. To complete the bachelor’s degree in Geography (A.B.), students will need to satisfy required courses (25-27 credit hours) in geography and take 12 credit hours in graduate-level public administration courses which would count toward the 33-35 credit hours of general electives required by the major. Any four 3-hour 6000- or 7000-level graduate courses may be used to satisfy the undergraduate general elective requirements, but at least two of the four courses must be from the following list of the public management core courses:

PADP 6910, Public Administration and Democracy
PADP 6920, Public Personnel Administration
PADP 6930, Public Financial Administration
PADP 6950, Economic Foundations of Policy Analysis
PADP 6960, Public Management

Additional requirements that are unique to this Double Dawgs program:

To complete the 120 credit hour bachelor’s degree in Geography and the 41 credit hour Master in Public Administration degree in 5 years, students will either have to dually enroll in the spring semester of their 4th year and/or take M.P.A. courses during the summer of their 4th or 5th year.

Students may also count up to three graduate-level geography courses, based on their substantive academic interests and intended career trajectory, as electives in the Master of Public Administration program of study. Students seeking to use geography courses as electives must receive prior approval from the Master of Public Administration advisor.

Admission to Graduate Program

Students will apply to the M.P.A. program during the summer of their sophomore year or the fall of their junior year so that they are admitted and enrolled as both an A.B./M.P.A. student before the spring of their 4th year at UGA. Students will follow the same guidelines and procedures as required for the current M.P.A. students ( The admission application requires completing a Graduate School application that includes a resume, a statement of purpose conveying how this program is a good fit with the student's career and educational goals, and three letters of recommendation. The application also requires the student 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: 207 Baldwin Hall

Undergraduate Major Information

  • Major: Geography A.B.
  • Department/College: Geography

Advising Contact

  • Name: Jerry Shannon
  • Email:
  • Phone: 7065421656
  • Address: Room 112 Geography/Geology Building

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: 207 Baldwin Hall