The requirements for the MPA degree consist of 37 hours of coursework.
First, completion of a set of nine 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 two ways:
- by selecting a specific concentration in either Nonprofit Management or State and Local Government; or
- by selecting a set of generalized courses with the General Concentration.
Advisors may make substitutions to the course requirements to fit the student's focus and the availability of course work. However, students can only take up to 6 hours of credit at the 500 level, and for the entire program students can only take 9 hours of credit outside of PSC or PAD.
The pre-service student will also complete an internship of 3 hours (PAD 795) in place of an elective course.
Before enrollment in PAD 730 Public Service Competencies, students will consult with their advisor to determine the date(s) of their public service competency assessment.
Admission Requirements, Retention & Termination Standards
1. An undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.8 (on a 4.0 point scale).
2. Evidence of successful completion of an undergraduate statistics, research methods or economics course is required.
3. 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 Graduate Studies.
4. Three letters of recommendation from former professors, professionals in the field of public service, or alumni of the MPA program, that attest to the applicant's potential to succeed in the program.
5. A current resume.
6. 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 (TOEFL).
7. 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.
8. Up to 9 semester hours of graduate credit may be transferred from another institution with approval of the advisor and the Vice President/Dean of the Office of Research and Graduate Studies.