CoBPA Alumnus Accepted into Highest Ranked MPA Program in the Country


Averi Haugesag

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

College of Business & Public Administration


University of North Dakota College of Business and Public Administration Alumnus, Max Tucker, a man originally from a town in South Dakota with a population of fewer than 500 people, was recently accepted into what UND’s MPA Director, Dana Harsell calls the highest ranked MPA program in the country. “It’s really a big deal,” says Harsell.

Not only was Tucker accepted into the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, he knows once he graduates with his Master’s in Public Administration and International relations degrees, he is guaranteed a job with the federal government for at least three years.

While applying for graduate school at Syracuse, Tucker was awarded the prestigious Robertson Fellowship. Robertson fellows typically complete a two-year joint master’s program for which they receive full tuition support, a living stipend, health insurance, and summer internship assistance. Aside from graduating with their degrees, Robertson fellows are also expected to have proficiency in a foreign-language at the time of graduation. Tucker is one of two or three selected each year. “They identify who they believe to be future leaders in the United States government in areas of national security, international affairs and foreign policy,” says Tucker, “When I found out I had been selected I was elated…it’s really a vote of confidence that people see who I am, and what I’m doing, and think I’m on the right track.”

Harsell says he is certainly one of those people who believes Tucker is on the right track. “The first time I met Max was in my Political Science 116 class and it was an entry level, sort of big lecture class and he stood out right away because he and the friend he was there with would always ask good questions. Over the next few years I had a lot of other classes with Max. He consistently earned the highest grades on assignments so he’s always stood out,” says Harsell. Tucker says he originally came to UND for the university’s ROTC program. Following graduation in 2011, he was commissioned to the Army. For the past three years, he served as an infantry officer in Hawaii.

While Tucker does not yet know what his, “dream job,” is, he says he does know he would like to pursue a career in either the FBI or the state department. “I think Max is perfectly suited for federal service, for giving back, says Harsell, “He’s a really good citizen and he’s always had a desire to give back to society and I think he really will make a difference.”