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Department of Public Administration & Policy

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Master of Public Administration (M.P.A)

The Master of Public Administration program provides students the knowledge, skills, and values for functioning with distinction throughout their careers at different levels of responsibility within the U.S. constitutional context and abroad.

Admission to the Program

Applicants must meet the minimum university requirements for graduate study. Admission decisions are based on each applicant’s academic record, two letters of recommendation, test scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), and an essay written by the applicant on his or her background and career interests. Applicants may substitute test scores from similar tests, such as the GMAT or LSAT, for the GRE where appropriate. Applicants who received their undergraduate degree more than eight years prior to their date of application may waive the requirement for test scores by submitting a statement describing their professional experience. The department values applicants who have acquired practical experience before beginning their professional degree program. Admission decisions are based on each applicant’s total record and not on any single strength or deficiency.

Degree Requirements

• 42 credit hours of approved graduate work

A student who has performed successfully for over 3 years as a manger in a supervisory role in a government agency or a nonprofit organization before admission to the M.P.A. program may apply to have the total program reduced by up to 6 credit hours. A request, addressed to the MPA Program Director, should be emailed to the MPA Academic Advisor, who will forward it to the MPA Program Director. It must be submitted so as to permit evaluation prior to the commencement of the 13th credit of course work. The request must include a resume and a cover letter specifying relevant responsibilities. Waiver of the full 6 credit hours is reserved for students at the GS-13 level or its equivalent who exercised significant responsibilities for supervision and program management, including personnel management, financial management, performance evaluation and other responsibilities (at least 5 years). A 3-credit waiver may be granted to students with significant responsibilities for supervision or program management (at least 3 years). The MPA Program Director has the discretion to grant the waiver after consideration of the applicant’s request, based on this policy and judgment of the applicant’s experience. If a waiver of 3 credits is granted, it will take the place of the internship/elective requirement. If a waiver of 6 credits is granted, it will take the place of the internship/elective requirement plus one concentration course. Tier 1 and Tier II courses will not be waived based on work experience. Credit earned as part of an internship may not count toward the total degree requirement of any student receiving such a reduction.

Due to a special arrangement, students admitted to the M.P.A. program may utilize qualifying courses offered by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Executive Management Training Centers toward the credit hours required to earn the degree. Qualifying courses from these two institutions have been certified for college credit by the American Council on Education (ACE).

Students who successfully complete the SPA Key Executive Leadership Development Program may apply to reduce the overall degree requirement for the 42-credit hour M.P.A. by up to an additional 6 credit hours. Students who avail themselves of this provision remain eligible to request the 3 or 6 credit hour waiver for prior professional experience as noted above. At least 30 credit hours must be earned in this residence for the M.P.A.

Up to 6 credit hours may be waived for qualifying courses and/or transfer credit from another academic institution, and up to 6 credit hours may be waived for significant management experience, for a total not to exceed 12 credit hours. Students who avail themselves of this provision will be encouraged to take advanced level work in designated areas as a consequence.

• Comprehensive examination including an exercise in management analysis and a reflective essay
• The research requirement is satisfied by completing two of the following courses with grades B or better:
PUAD-605 Quantitative Methods for Public Managers
download sample syllabus
or
PUAD-601 Quantitative Methods for Policy Analysis I
download sample syllabus
PUAD-610 Management Analysis
download sample syllabus
PUAD-616 Legal Basis of Public Administration
download sample syllabus
PUAD-630 Public Managerial Economics
download sample syllabus

Course Requirements

• PUAD-605 Quantitative Methods for Public Managers (3)
download sample syllabus
or
  PUAD-601 Quantitative Methods for Policy Analysis I (3)
download sample syllabus
• PUAD-610 Management Analysis (3)
download sample syllabus
• PUAD-612 Introduction to Public Administration and the Policy Process (3)
download sample syllabus
• PUAD-616 Legal Basis of Public Administration (3)
download sample syllabus
or
PUAD-608 Comparative Administrative Systems (3) (for international students returning to countries without Anglo-American or European legal traditions, with permission of the academic advisor)
• PUAD-630 Public Managerial Economics (3)
download sample syllabus
• PUAD-684 Organizational Analysis (3)
download sample syllabus
• Two courses from the following:
   PUAD-602 Quantitative Methods for Policy Analysis II
  download sample syllabus
   PUAD-615 Public-Private Partnerships (3)
  download sample syllabus
   PUAD-617 Project Management (3)
  download sample syllabus
   PUAD-650 Leadership in a Changing Workplace (3)
  download sample syllabus
   PUAD-652 Facilitation and Team Development (3)
  download sample syllabus
   PUAD-665 Managing Human Capital Assets (3)
  download sample syllabus
   PUAD-696 Managing in the Information Age
  download sample syllabus

• One course in public finance, financial management, or government budgeting from the following:
   PUAD-631 Financing Government Services
  download sample syllabus
   PUAD-633 Budgeting and Financial Management (3)
  download sample syllabus
• PUAD-691 Internship (3) Pre-service students about to begin their career participate in a supervised internship)

Area of Concentration (12 credit hours)

• 12 credit hours in an area of concentration
• Nonprofit Management
  download concentration description
   • Arts Management Focus
• International Management
  download concentration description
• Public Management
  download concentration description
   • Management Consulting Focus
   • Human Resources Focus
• State and Local Administration
  download concentration description
• Public Financial Management
  download concentration description
• Policy Analysis
  download concentration description
• Policy and Management
  download concentration description
   • Social Policy Focus
   • Health Policy Focus
   • Environmental Policy Focus
   • Science and Technology Focus
• Applied Politics
  download concentration description

Director's Welcome

Amirkhanyan

Welcome message from MPA Director Anna Amirkhanyan

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