UM Creates New Department of Public Administration and Policy

March 08, 2019

MISSOULA – The University of Montana just launched its Department of Public Administration and Policy, a new academic unit located in the Alexander Blewett III School of Law’s Max S. Baucus Institute. The Montana University System Board of Regents finalized the creation of the new department with a vote on Friday, March 8.

The DPAP provides a new home and platform for increased enrollment for UM’s Master in Public Administration program, which includes three graduate degree tracks and a public administration certificate, nonprofit certificate and nonprofit minor. The MPA program prepares pre-career and mid-career professionals for dynamic and impactful work in the public and nonprofit sectors by developing a core set of skills, scholarly knowledge and applied and basic research.

Housing DPAP in the Baucus Institute provides unique learning experiences for students and faculty, including the Baucus Leaders Program, the Summer Indian Law Program, study abroad in China and the Public Service Academy.

The MPA program has a long history with the Blewett School of Law, including a joint MPA/JD degree, and this new department strengthens the program and generates new opportunities for students.

“The addition of this department to the institute is a perfect complement to our existing programs,” said Sam Panarella, director of the Max S. Baucus Institute. “It’s also a fitting tribute to the passion for public service personified by Max’s 40-year-plus career as a distinguished public servant.”

UM students participating in DPAP’s programming will be part of a nationally unique model for the integration of law, policy and public service, according to Sara Rinfret, DPAP chair and MPA director. The creation of the new program marks an important moment in the University’s history.

For more information about the UM’s MPA program, visit


Contact: Sara Rinfret, UM Master in Public Administration Program director, 406-243-4702,; Sara Kryder, marketing director, UM Alexander Blewett III School of Law, 406-243-5730,