Extended Studies

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The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program serves the needs of pre-service students who wish to begin a career in the management of public or nonprofit organizations, of mid-career public or nonprofit sector professionals who wish to enhance their potential for career advancement, and of people from the private sector who intend to move into the public or nonprofit sectors.

The MPA is a broadly recognized credential for public service management at all levels of government and in many nonprofit organizations. It also serves as a foundation for doctoral work in the field of public administration.

Course Description

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program expertly blends educational theory and practice. Most faculty hold the highest degree (Ph.D.) in their respective fields and research extensively. Respected government officials and public and nonprofit administrators share their management expertise and perspectives on public policies.

Many SPA students, already established in the public sector in mid-level management, bring a stimulating real-world perspective to the classroom. In addition to a solid core curriculum covering essential problem-solving and decision-making skills and diverse elective choices, students with less professional experience participate in internships with government agencies and/or explore strategies for public-private sector partnerships.

The program's balanced theoretical and practical mix fully prepares individuals for the complex challenges facing today's public and nonprofit leaders in the state, region and nation. Courses hone the skills and knowledge needed for effective organizational management or to formulate and implement policy. Students can attend classes on campus or enroll in online classes to meet their specific career and academic needs. Most courses are offered in the late afternoon and evening or on the weekend to accommodate those with busy schedules.

Course Curriculum

The program requires 39-42 credit hours:
Core Courses (18 Hours):
  • PAD 5001 Introduction to Public Administration and Public Service
  • PAD 5002 Organizational Management and Behavior
  • PAD 5003 Research and Analytic Methods
  • PAD 5004 Economics and Public Finance
  • PAD 5005 The Policy Process and Democracy
  • PAD 5006 Ethics and Leadership
Elective Courses (15 Hours):
  • Electives should be selected in consultation with advisor.
Internship (3 Hours):
  • PAD 6910 Field Study in Public Administration
Required of those students lacking significant public or nonprofit administrative experience.
Capstone OR Thesis (3-6 Hours)
  • PAD 5361 CAPSTONE Seminar
  • PAD 6950 Master's THESIS
Contact academic advisor for more information.

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