St Joseph Hall

Our Curriculum

Our core (required) and elective courses are listed below.

Core Courses

MPA Students are required to take the following courses.

MPA 500 - Introduction to Public Administration (3 sem. hrs.)

Study of administrative organization, systems, processes and methods as applied to government programs and operations, with a comparison of structural and behavioral approaches.

MPA 504 - State and Local Government (3 sem. hrs.)

An in-depth examination of particular state-local institutional relationships with emphasis upon current issues.
OR
MPA 551 - Introduction to Public Policy  (3 sem. hrs.)

This course is designed to introduce students to the study of public policy and public policymaking. The central concerns of the course involve competing models of the policy process, the policymaking process in the United States, the interplay between the political and economic systems in policymaking, and the processes of policy analysis and evaluation.

MPA 510 - Quantitative Methods in Public Administration (3 sem. hrs.)

Introduction to research techniques involving quantitative methods and analysis applicable to the formation and implementation of public programs. Emphasis on basic statistics and research methodology. Aimed at understanding appropriate application and interpretation of quantitative methods rather than competence in practical or scholarly use.

MPA 511 - Applied Research Techniques (3 sem. hrs.)

Introduction to statistical computing techniques, review of research design and inferential statistics, Ordinary Least Square techniques, violations of assumptions, multi-level modeling, and other topics. Prerequisite(s): MPA 510

MPA 520 - Organization Theory (3 sem. hrs.)

Survey of current literature and research on the theory of complex organizations. Rationality in decision making; problems of authority; behavioral, political, and technical influences on organization.

MPA 524 - Ethics in Public Administration (3 sem. hrs.)

This course stimulates an awareness of the moral dimension of public sector problems and decision making contexts. It provides students the tools and techniques they can use to meet demands for ethical judgments and decisive action in their public management careers.
OR
MPA 526 - Leadership in Building Communities  (3 sem. hrs.)

Seminar class where teams are formed to learn about the processes of building a neighborhood and recommending supportive public policy and other strategic interventions. Participants will be encouraged to refine their notions of community and leadership and to recommend strategies which capitalize on neighborhood assets, improve outcomes, and build community.

MPA 530 - Fiscal Administration (3 sem. hrs.)

Study of governmental expenditures and revenues, budgetary and financial reporting, fiscal policy, and other areas of fiscal management, with emphasis on current practices and problems.

MPA 540 - Public Sector Human Resource Management (3 sem. hrs.)

A broad-based study of people management ranging from the development and integration of organizational policy, through the many personnel administrative processes, and the human and regulatory aspects affecting the contemporary public sector workforce.

MPA 599 - Public Administration Capstone (3 sem. hrs)
Seminar course integrating professional development, critical analysis of current topics and trends, finalization of student portfolio, reflective essay, and integrative presentation to faculty panel.

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Elective Courses

The following courses are optional courses taken by MPA students to fulfill remaining credit hours beyond the core course requirements.


MPA 504 - State and Local Government (3 sem. hrs.)

An in-depth examination of particular state-local institutional relationships with emphasis upon current issues.

MPA 508 - Contemporary Issues (3 sem. hrs.)

An in-depth examination of a current management issue supported by recent literature in public administration and relevant to surrounding local governments. Analysis of root causes of the problem issue. Exploration of management approaches available to local governments. May be repeated once when course focus changes.

MPA 513 - Geographic Information Systems for Public Administration (3 sem. hrs.)
Concepts and implementation of project design and analysis in geographic information systems (GIS). Students will learn the practice of GIS as a tool for spatial analysis, and as it applies in public administration. The course will stress database design and present skills for data input, query analysis, and data output using GIS 

MPA 514 - Government Planning (3 sem. hrs.)

Consideration of the planning function in the administrative process and the role of planning agencies in decision-making and problem solving. Evaluation of trends and changing planning characteristics in the United States.

MPA 515 - Disaster Policy and Administration (3 sem. hrs)
Explores policy approaches and administrative response strategies related to various phases of disasters and security crises in the U.S. and international settings with attention to human rights issues.

MPA 524 - Ethics in Public Administration (3 sem. hrs.)
This course stimulates an awareness of the moral dimension of public sector problems and decision making contexts. It provides students the tools and techniques they can use to meet demands for ethical judgments and decisive action in their public management careers.

MPA 526 - Leadership in Building Communities  (3 sem. hrs.)

Seminar class where teams are formed to learn about the processes of building a neighborhood and recommending supportive public policy and other strategic interventions. Participants will be encouraged to refine their notions of community and leadership and to recommend strategies which capitalize on neighborhood assets, improve outcomes, and build community.

MPA 551 - Introduction to Public Policy  (3 sem. hrs.)

This course is designed to introduce students to the study of public policy and public policymaking. The central concerns of the course involve competing models of the policy process, the policymaking process in the United States, the interplay between the political and economic systems in policymaking, and the processes of policy analysis and evaluation.

MPA 555 - Selected Topics in Public Policy (3 sem. hrs.)

Policy process, policy outcomes, and policy impact in an area or areas of public policy varying among such topics as transportation, education, welfare, national defense, science, civil rights, and urban and community development. May be repeated when topic changes.

MPA 556 - Environmental Policy (3 sem. hrs.)
Examines environmental policymaking and implementation in the U.S. and analyzes government responses to particular environmental issues.

MPA 561 - Introduction to Nonprofit Organizations (3 sem. hrs.)

This course surveys the generalized body of knowledge common to all nonprofit organizations, distinguishing them from governmental and for-profit entities. Emphasis placed upon an overall understanding of the nonprofit sector and its emerging role in society.

MPA 562 - Strategic Planning for Nonprofit and Community Organizations (3 sem. hrs.)
For nonprofit and community organizations to stay relevant and competitive in an increasingly complex environment, such organizations must continually vision, plan, develop, and implement long-range strategic plans. This course explores and analyzes, step-by-step, the various requirements, components, and challenges in developing a strategic plan for nonprofit and community organizations.

MPA 563 - NGO Management and Development (3 sem. hrs.)
This course examines the management and function of non-governmental organizations with human-rights advocacy, humanitarian, and/or development missions.

MPA 564 - Overview of Grant Funding (1 sem. hr.)
This course explores the grant writing environment that nonprofit and community organizations work in. Topics for discussion include an understanding of fundraising efforts and the grant writing continuum.

MPA 565 - Grantwriting (2 sem. hrs.)
Explores the entire continuum of grant writing including the core components of a grant proposal, writing persuasive grant proposals, and proper formatting and submission of grant proposals.

MPA 566 - Nonprofit Community Relations (1 sem. hr.)
This course examines how nonprofit organizations build and maintain relationships with a wide network of stakeholders including governments, other nonprofits, private sector, citizens and clients.

MPA 567 - Building the Nonprofit Network (1 sem. hr.)
Networks are vital to nonprofit organizations' survival using tactics and techniques that include social media to reach volunteers, board members and donors. This course examines strategies for coalition building and advocacy through partnerships, collaboration and mergers.

MPA 568 - The Responsive Nonprofit (1 sem. hr)
An examination of how nonprofits' communications respond to internal organizational changes and innovations in data availability.

MPA 571 - Administrative Law (3 sem. hrs.)

Study of the judicial function and activities of federal agencies; formal and informal processes in administrative hearings; basic principles of administrative law; judicial interpretation; the question of increased judicialization of the administrative process.

MPA 591 - Seminar in Public Administration (3 sem. hrs.)

Seminar on selected problems in public administration. Students are expected (as individuals or team members) to produce a research manuscript suitable for professional dissemination. May be repeated when topic changes.

MPA 593 - Independent Study (3-6 sem. hrs.)
Intensive independent research under the direction of a faculty member. Research paper. May be repeated when topic changes. Prior approval of formal project proposal required.

MPA 595 - Internship (1-6 sem. hrs.)
Assignment to appropriate government agencies or units for the purpose of gaining wide experience with the administrative system through a program of work experiences. Internship includes a related academic requirement. 

MPA 597 - Public Service Project (3 sem. hrs.) 

For students seeking experience with public or nonprofit organizations. Completion of an applied written project for an organization that relates theories and information from the field of public administration. Prior approval of formal project proposal required.

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