Academic Catalog

Public Administration

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) is a professional degree designed to prepare students for their public service careers in local government public management and administration as well as the management of non-profit organizations. The program of study consists of a core of 27 credit hours, 12 credits hours of electives, and three credit hours of internship. Students with sufficient professional work experience in the public sector may petition for a waiver of the internship requirement.

Admission Requirements

Admission is open to students who have completed a bachelor’s degree. No specific field or undergraduate major is required for admission. The GPA requirements for consideration for full admission is an overall bachelor GPA of 2.8 or greater or 3.05 for the last 60 credit hours. Provisional admission may be granted for those with an overall GPA between 2.5 and 2.79. Additionally, applicants must submit the following:

  • For students who have an overall GPA below 3.0 a standardized test score from the GRE, GMAT, or LSAT.
  • A copy of their current resume (especially important for in-service students to ascertain their professional experience).
  • A personal essay explaining why the study and completion of a MPA degree will help with their personal or professional goals.

Admission decisions are made by the department committee considering the entire application file.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis; however, all application materials should be received by the department three weeks before the start date of the term for the department to make admission decisions for that term.

For those students seeking a graduate assistantship there are additional application materials, and all of these must be received by July 1 for fall enrollment, November 15 for spring enrollment, and April 1 for summer enrollment.

Degree Requirements

Satisfactory completion of a minimum 42 credit hours of graduate study, including 27 credit hours of core classes, 12 credit hours of elective courses, and three credit hours of internship. Students with sufficient professional work experience may petition for a waiver of the internship requirement, and those students that are granted an internship waiver have a minimum of 39 credit hours for the degree. Procedures for an internship waiver are included in the student handbook. For more program detials students should refer to the Public Administration and Urban Studies Master’s Degree handbook that is available online.

Core requirements - 27 credit hours

  • 3980:516 Personnel Management in the Public Sector (3 credits)
  • 3980:600 Basic Quantitative Research (3 credits)
  • 3980:605 Orientation to the Master of Public Administration (0 credits)
  • 3980:606 Foundations of Urban Public Administration and Policy (3 credits)
  • 3980:610 Legal Foundations of Public Administration (3 credits)
  • 3980:614 Ethics & Public Service  (3 credits)
  • 3980:615 Public Organization Theory (3 credits)
  • 3980:642 Public Budgeting (3 credits)
  • 3980:688 Capstone Seminar in Public Administration (3 credits)

And one course from the following:

  • 3980:601 Advanced Research & Statistical Methods (3 credits)
  • 3980:640 Fiscal Analysis (3 credits)
  • 3980:671 Program Evaluation in Urban Studies (3 credits)

Electives requirement - 12 credit hours

The selection of electives is a way s student can develop a program of study that addresses the student’s career and academic interests. There is guidance in the Public Administration and Urban Studies Master’s Degree Handbook regarding what classes would be helpful in different career goals, but there are no designated specializations for the program. A student may work with his or her adviser to craft a program of study with elective courses that fit his or her needs and interests.

Internship requirement - 3 credit hours

  • 3980:695 Internship in Public Administration & Urban Studies (3 credits)
    Students with sufficient work experience can petition for a waiver of this requirement.

J.D./Master of Public Administration

The University offers a joint J.D. and Public Administration program (JD/MPA). The MPA is a professional degree designed to prepare students for their public service careers in local government public management and administration as well as the management of non-profit organizations. One benefit of the JD/MPA is to prepare students for careers in the public sector what a law degree is useful. This program reduces the total existing credit hours of the School of Law from 88 to 77 and Public Administration from 42 to 33.

Admission Requirements

To be accepted into the program a student must meet the admission requirements of the School of Law, the Graduate School, and the Department of Public Administration and Urban Studies. The Public Administration admission requirements for this program are the same as for the MPA degree. Students must be admitted as a joint degree student by both programs.

Degree Requirements

Seventy-seven credits in law and 30 credits in public administration plus a three credit internship.

Under this program a student must take 43 credits of required law courses, 32 credits of law electives, 24 credits of required public administration courses, six credits of public administration electives, a three credit internship course, and a zero credit orientation. The required MPA courses for this program differ from the MPA.

Core requirements - 24 credit hours

  • 3980:516 Personnel Management in the Public Sector (3 credits)
  • 3980:600 Basic Quantitative Research (3 credits)
  • 3980:605 Orientation to the Master of Public Administration (0 credits)
  • 3980:606 Foundations of Urban Public Administration and Policy (3 credits)
  • 3980:614 Ethics & Public Service (3 credits)
  • 3980:615 Public Organization Theory (3 credits)
  • 3980:642 Public Budgeting (3 credits)
  • 3980:688 Capstone Seminar in Public Administration (3 credits)

And one course from the following:

  • 3980:601 Advanced Research & Statistical Methods (3 credits)
  • 3980:640 Fiscal Analysis (3 credits)
  • 3980:671 Program Evaluation in Urban Studies (3 credits)

Electives requirement - 6 credit hours

See the Public Administration and Urban Studies Master’s Degree Handbook regarding what classes would be helpful in different career goals. A student may work with his or her adviser to determine what elective courses best fit his or her needs and interests.

Internship requirement - 3 credit hours

  • 3980:695 Internship in Public Administration & Urban Studies (3 credits)
    Students with sufficient work experience can petition for a waiver of this requirement.