Curriculum Information

The Department of Political Science offers a Master's degree in Public Administration through the graduate school.  The program is intensive, rigorous, and aimed at educating effective public managers.  Courses are designed to provide students with the analytical skills and managerial competencies required for planning and implementing public policy at all levels.  The objectives of the M.P.A. program are the development of individuals who are able to:

  1. to use educated judgment for decision-making in the context of current theories of management
  2. to assume leadership and management roles in analyzing, formulating, and executing public policies and programs
  3. to master a body of knowledge and set of skills which guide the use of management concepts
  4. to understand the "public" nature of the profession

All M.P.A. candidates are required to complete 36 to 48 credits at the graduate level, depending on government management experience and academic preparation.  Pre-serviced students are required to complete 30 credits of core courses (includes internship), and 18 specialized track credits, with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (out of 4.0).   Specialization courses are selected in consultation with the student's academic advisor in light of the student's career goals and interests.  An option exists for those students who wish to complete in five years their Bachelor's degree and a Master of Public Administration.  Click here for more info on the 5 year program

Core Curriculum & Detailed Course Description

Introduction to Graduate Public Administration
POL 622

Introduction to concepts, issues, problems, theories and process in the field 
of public administration and/or public management.

Budget and Financial Management and Administration
POL 601

Role of the budget in shaping public policy; managing public revenues; budgetary theory, politics, and fiscal management. Examples from state, municipal and federal governments.

Political Analysis
POL 610

Introduction to the tools used to investigate empirical questions relevant to p olitics, policy and public administration. Students apply statistical concepts to contemporary social phenomena. Examines the impact of minority-majority redistricting, the fairness of the butterfly ballot, and the sources of political realignment.

Personnel Administration
POL 647

Modern personnel administration: job analysis and design, evaluation and appraisal, recruitment and interviewing, training and development, wages and benefits, and health and safety. Unionization, regulation of wages, hours and working conditions, financial security for workers, and job anti-discrimination legislation. Manpower planning.

Seminar in Administration
POL 606

Examination of theory and behavior in public and nonprofit organizations. Focus on the importance of understanding the behavior, motivations, and actions of individuals in public service and on the distinctiveness of management and leadership in public organizations.

Public Policy Analysis and Administration
POL 646

Examination of public policy issue areas including education, health, welfare, urban mass transit. Limits to effectiveness of federal, state and local governments in providing services. Techniques for analyzing the effectiveness of public policies; research techniques for the assessment of future policy alternatives.

Political Environment of Business
POL 671

Examines government-business-society relations with emphasis on the social, economic, political, technological, ethical, and ecological environment.

Productivity Improvement in Public and Nonprofit Organizations
POL 651

Definitions and measures of productivity. Evaluation of government programs, and methods of productivity improvement.

Public Service Internship
POL 656

  click here to download the internship information document