Incoming students must have completed one undergraduate American government course and one undergraduate statistics course. Each must have been completed with a “C” grade or better. Students may complete these prerequisites during their first semester in the MPA Program.
The program requires the completion of 39 hours of graduate coursework. Students complete the program in three stages: (1) core coursework, (2) elective/concentration coursework, and (3) the research requirement. These must be completed in order for a student to be awarded the MPA degree.
Among the core issues students study are political and legal institutions and their processes, economic forces and social systems, organizational and managerial skills and practices, concepts and techniques of financial administration, and analytic techniques using computers and statistics to improve decision making.
Of the 39 credit hours of graduate work required for the degree, a maximum of six (6) hours earned prior to admission to the graduate program may be applied to the program requirements, subject to the approval of the MPA Director. Each student must also complete a professional field experience requirement. This requirement may be filled with either an approved internship or other professional involvement (see examples of Professional Involvement and Internships below). In addition to course work, each student must complete a project on a topic of significance.
University policy requires that no course listed on a master’s student’s candidacy form be older than six years at the time of graduation. This policy is in place because of the University’s interest in a degree being current when it is awarded. Courses that exceed this time limit must be revalidated or retaken, whichever the graduate program decides necessary, if they are to count in a degree program. Depending on how many courses per semester a student is able to take will determine how long it takes to complete the degree.
Students must complete each of the following core courses with a “B” grade or better. Students are not permitted to take the research courses (MPAD 6187, 6188, 6800, 6801) until all core courses are successfully completed.
- MPAD 6102 Foundation in Public Administration
- MPAD 6104 Public Organizations and Management
- MPAD 6125 Quantitative Research Methods in Public Administration
- MPAD 6126 Data Analysis in Decision Making (prerequisite: MPAD 6125)
- MPAD 6131 Public Budgeting and Finance
- MPAD 6134 Human Resource Management
Students must complete 15 credit hours of elective coursework. Students may choose to follow one of the MPA Program’s concentrations, but doing so is not necessary. With the approval of the MPA Director, students may take courses from other departments/programs as electives. (See the MPA Handbook for more detailed information regarding the concentrations.)
After successfully completing all their core coursework students are eligible to take their research courses. Two options are available to students:
Option 1: Research Applications
MPAD 6187 Advanced Seminar in Public Management Problem Solving
This course requires the class to work as an evaluation team on a real world project using the skills they developed in the Program. A professional report is produced and presented to the relevant government or nonprofit body.
MPAD 6188 Research Application in Public Administration
This course requires students to work on an individual research project using the skills they developed in the Program. Students produce a professional research report and present their findings in a profession manner to MPA faculty.
Option 2: Directed Study (Thesis)
Students selecting this option need take only 12 credits of elective coursework. MPAD 6187 Advanced Seminar in Public Management Problem Solving
(see Option 1 above for a description) MPAD 6800 Directed Study Proposal
For this course students must select three faculty members to serve as their thesis committee. Students must produce a research proposal and defend it before their committee. MPAD 6801 Directed Study Project
Students must complete their thesis and defend it before their committee.