Program Requirements

Traditional MPA

To graduate with a Master of Public Administration degree, you will be required to complete a total of 39 hours.

Degree requirements (minimum of 39 hrs)

  1. Required Core:

    Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
    PLS 673 Policy Analysis 3 hrs
    PLS 676 Quantitative Methods of Political Science and Public Policy 3 hrs
    PLS 752 Public Personnel Management 3 hrs
    PLS 753  Management Techniques and Organizational Behavior 3 hrs
    PLS 756 Financial Management for State and Local Government 3 hrs
    PLS 771 Seminar in Public Administration 3 hrs
    PLS 778 Ethics and Leadership in the Public Sector 3 hrs
      Total Core 21 hrs

    Note:  If the student has taken a 500-level required course for undergraduate credit, he/she shall substitute   a 600 or 700-level course selected with the approval of the advisor and the department for the course already taken.

  2. Internship:  (PLS 781 In-Service Training in Public Administration).  In-service training in an approved local, county, state, federal, non-profit or other approved agency (unless waived for candidate with adequate experience). 0-3 hrs
  3. Research:
    1. Non-thesis option.  Complete required core courses and up to 18 hours of courses in student’s chosen area of concentration (see #4 below).
    2. Thesis option.  Complete required core courses, PLS 799 Thesis (6 hours), and up to 12 hours of courses in student’s chosen area of concentration (see #5 below).
  4. Areas of Concentration:  The MPA student will take the required courses in his/her area of concentration and will select other courses to fill out the elective requirements depending on whether the internship is waived and which research option is selected. Required area of concentration courses:  9-18 hrs
    1. Local Government Management:

      Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
      PLS 776 Local Public Service Delivery 3 hrs
      PLS 777 Local Government and Politics and Administration 3 hrs
    2. Public Policy:

      Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
      PLS 762 Public Policy and Program Evaluation 3 hrs
      PLS 763 The Policy Process 3 hrs
    3. Public Safety:

      Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
      PLS 772 Introduction to Public Safety Services 3 hrs
      PLS 773 Hazard Analysis, Mitigation, and Preparedness 3 hrs
        Total 39 hrs

    Within each area of concentration, students may use the additional course(s) to pursue more specialized interests.

  5. Comprehensive Examination.  The Director of the MPA Program will prepare and administer a written comprehensive examination covering the general field of public administration, reflected in the required core courses offered.  All students except those who choose a thesis option and successfully complete a master’s thesis will be required to take and pass a written comprehensive examination.  Students who do not perform at satisfactory level on their comprehensive examination will be required to pass an oral examination.

Accelerated MPA

To graduate with a Master of Public Administration degree through the accelerated program, you will be required to complete a total of 39 hours.

As an undergraduate major in the College of Humanities and Public Affairs, you may be able to count up to 12 hours of specific political science classes toward both your undergraduate and graduate degrees. Students wishing to enroll in the accelerated MPA program are required to have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 and a GPA in the political science or public administration curriculum of 3.5.

During your junior year, you should apply for admission to the Master of Public Administration program. Admission to the accelerated MPA program also requires a sponsorship letter from a political science faculty member, to the MPA director, recommending you to the program. You must then be accepted into the accelerated program and receive prior approval from the MPA graduate program director, department head to the undergraduate program and the dean of the Graduate College.