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Master of
Public Administration

Courses

Master of Public Administration degree program requirements 

39 graduate credits (3 credits per course), which includes:

  • 21 credits in core courses
  • 12 credits in electives
  • 3 credits for a capstone course
  • 3-credit internship

The range of the core courses is balanced in the areas of managing organizations, making evidence-informed decisions, analyzing policy, and applying analytical methods to understand the dynamics of economic, organizational, political, and societal environments.

The elective course selections can be customized based on the students’ interests, including human resources, nonprofit management, policy analytics and evaluation, public budgeting and financial management, and state-local government and administration.

The capstone course offers students the opportunity to demonstrate competencies in problem identification, problem-solving, professional writing, oral presentation, group research, and presentation skills.

A 3-credit/150-hour 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 relevant to serving the public and nonprofit organizations. 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.

Core course topics include:

  • research methods
  • organizational behavior
  • governmental fiscal decision-making
  • public organization and management
  • human resources in the public and nonprofit sectors
  • 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.

Core Courses (21 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Nature, function, and technique of governmental budgeting viewed as mechanism for allocating resources among alternative public uses.

  • 3
    credits

    Examination of research methodologies relevant to administration, planning, and public policy.

  • 3
    credits

    Conduct independent research in policy analysis, program evaluation, and public management.

  • 3
    credits

    Concepts and approaches contributing to effective use of human resources in public and nonprofit organizations; legal issues and requirements.

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to the analysis of public policy within its organizational and political contexts, including an emphasis on an economic perspective.

  • 3
    credits

    Examination of concepts of human behavior in formal organizations, systems analysis, conceptual models, and decision processes.

  • 3
    credits

    Development of basic concepts and issues in public administration; administrative theory and public policy processes.

Capstone Course (3 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Supervised student activities on research projects identified on an individual or small-group basis.

    • Prerequisite

      PADM 503

Internship (3 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Supervised off-campus, nongroup instruction, including field experiences, practicums, or internships. Written and oral critique of activity required.

    • Prerequisite

      PADM 503

    • Note

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

Elective Courses (select 12 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Theory of organizational change and development; case analysis of applications in actual situations.

    • Prerequisite

      HADM 510 or PADM 510

  • 3
    credits

    A survey of strategic planning purposes, approaches and methods, and expected outcomes in small and large organizations.

  • 3
    credits

    A study of the theoretical and practical issues involved in management and leadership of nonprofit organizations.

  • 3
    credits

    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

    This course is designed to enhance students’ ability to develop and use performance measurement systems in the public sector.

    • Prerequisite

      PADM 800

  • 3
    credits

    Theories and techniques of financial planning and control, with emphasis on their application in government and nonprofit agencies.

    • Prerequisite

      PADM 502

  • 3
    credits

    Accounting, reporting, and auditing principles and procedures for public sector agencies and nonprofit organizations.

    • Prerequisite

      PADM 502

  • 3
    credits

    The course covers the essential concepts of planning for the response to all hazards incidents.

    • Prerequisite

      HLS 811

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 résumé.

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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