The requirements for the MPA degree consist of 36 hours of coursework.
First, completion of a set of core courses presents an understanding of essential components of the discipline. Then, with the approval of an advisor, the student creates a degree emphasis in one of three ways:
- by selecting a specific concentration in either Public Management or State and Local Government;
- by selecting a set of general elective courses; or
- by selecting a set of cognate courses focused on a particular subject area.
Using this last method, MPA students have developed emphases in such areas as Planning and Land Use, Health Administration, and Recreation Management by incorporating courses from other departments, again with the approval of an advisor.
Advisors may make substitutions to the course requirements to fit the student's focus and the availability of course work.
The pre-service student will also complete an internship of 3 hours (PSC 795) in place of an elective course. Before enrollment in PSC 796, Applied Research in Public Administration, a student, in conjunction with their advisor and faculty, develop an approved research topic for the Applied Research Project. The student will present his or her project as part of the PSC 796 course guidelines.
Admission Requirements, Retention & Termination Standards
- An undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.8 (on a 4.0 scale).
- A minimum of 18 undergraduate hours in social science.
- Evidence of successful completion of an undergraduate statistics or research methods course.
- An essay (two or three pages, double-spaced) including a discussion of the applicant's professional goals and how completion of the program will facilitate his or her achievement of those goals. This essay replaces the written statement requested as part of the application to the College of Graduate Studies.
- Three letters of recommendation from former professors or professionals in the field of public service that attest to the applicant's potential to succeed in the program.
- If the applicant is an international student for whom English is not the first language, a score of 550 on the written-based (or 213 on the computer-based) Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOFEL).
- Per university policy, conditional admission may be considered for applicants with backgrounds or grade point averages that do not meet these requirements. Courses taken to meet these requirements may not be counted toward graduate degree requirements. Regular admission status should be requested upon completion of all conditional requirements.
- Up to 9 semester hours of graduate credit may be transferred from another institution with approval of the advisor and the dean of the College of Graduate Studies.