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Master of
Public Administration


The MPA degree program requires 39 graduate credits (3 credits per course): 21 credits in core courses, 12 credits in electives, 3 credits for a capstone course, and a 3-credit, 150-hour internship. An internship is required of students who do not have relevant work experience, which consists of supervisory, managerial, or professional administrative work relevant to serving the public. The internship is waived for students with this experience before they enter the program or who gain it by working full-time or part-time during their enrollment in the program. If this occurs, students must apply for the internship waiver.

In addition, a 3-credit (150 hours) internship is required of students who do not have at least two years of full-time relevant work experience that consists of supervisory, managerial, or professional work. 

Core course topics include:

  • research methods
  • organizational behavior
  • governmental fiscal decision-making
  • public organization and management
  • human resources in the public and nonprofit sector
  • intro to policy analysis

Students accepted into the program may begin their course work during any academic semester. The typical student course load is expected to be three to four courses per year. At this rate, the MPA degree program can be completed in three to five years of study.

Collaborative Experience, Practical Applications

The master's degree curriculum uses a blend of web technology, print, and other media to maximize flexibility without sacrificing professor and student interaction. Communication tools including bulletin boards and email are used to foster a collaborative environment, providing you with the opportunity to learn from one another. The curriculum and course format can help you develop practical applications of the topics you study. Learn online when it is convenient for you, and immediately apply to your job what you've learned.

Course List — Master of Public Administration

Required Courses (21 credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Foundations of Public Administration PADM 800 Development of basic concepts and issues in public administration; administrative theory and public policy processes. 3 credits
Governmental Fiscal Decision Making PADM 502 Nature, function, and technique of governmental budgeting viewed as mechanism for allocating resources among alternative public uses.

Prerequisite: P ADM 500
3 credits
Research Design PADM 503 Examination of research methodologies relevant to administration, planning, and public policy. 3 credits

Data Analysis for Policy and Administration

PADM 504

This course is intended to prepare students to conduct independent research in policy analysis, program evaluation, and public management. 3 credits
Human Resources in the Public and Nonprofit Sectors PADM 505 Concepts and approaches contributing to effective use of human resources in public and non-profit organizations; legal issues and requirements. 3 credits
Introduction to Public Policy Analysis PADM 507 Introduction to the analysis of public policy within its organizational and political contexts, including an emphasis on an economic perspective. 3 credits
Organizational Behavior PADM 510 Examination of concepts of human behavior in formal organizations, systems analysis, conceptual models, and decision processes. 3 credits
Culminating Experience (3 credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Research Topics PADM 594 Supervised student activities on research projects identified on an individual or small-group basis.

Prerequisite: PADM 503
3 credits
Internship (3 credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Internship PADM 595* Supervised off-campus, nongroup instruction, including field experiences, practicums, or internships. Written and oral critique of activity required.

*Required for students who have less than two years of relevant work experience.

Prerequisite: PADM 503
3 credits
Elective Courses (choose 12 credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Organizational Change and Development PADM 511 Theory of organizational change and development; case analysis of applications in actual situations.

Prerequisite: HADM 510 or PADM 510
3 credits
Strategic Planning PADM 516 A survey of strategic planning purposes, approaches and methods, and expected outcomes in small and large organizations. 3 credits
Nonprofit Organizations: Management and Leadership PADM 518 A study of the theoretical and practical issues involved in management and leadership of nonprofit organizations. 3 credits
Nonprofit Organizations: Resource Development and Management PADM 519 This course will examine theory, strategies, and practices for securing and managing resources for a nonprofit organization. The course will be offered every third semester.  3 credits
Performance Measurement and Management PADM 521 This course is designed to enhance students’ ability to develop and use performance measurement systems in the public sector.

Prerequisite: PADM 500
3 credits
Government Financial Management PADM 522 Theories and techniques of financial planning and control, with emphasis on their application in government and nonprofit agencies.

Prerequisite: PADM 502
3 credits
Governmental and Nonprofit Accounting PADM 523 Accounting, reporting, and auditing principles and procedures for public sector agencies and nonprofit organizations.

Prerequisite: PADM 502
3 credits
Strategic Planning and Organizational Imperatives in Homeland Defense and Security PADM 803 The Homeland Security framework depends on strategic planning and organization. This course examines the key issues associated with these.

Prerequisite: P ADM 401
3 credits

Note: Students may customize a focus area by choosing courses that are of special interest to their career. Focus areas are not required and will not appear on a transcript, but may be noted on a resume.

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

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