Core Curriculum

The core courses in the MPA Online program provide a thorough background in each of the major areas of public administration. MPA students must complete the following eleven (11) core courses:

  • PUB 500: Environment and Practice of Public Administration (3)
    Prerequisite: None required. **MPA students admitted prior to Fall 2021 will adhere to old prerequisites as listed in the academic catalog.
    A study of the history and development of the field of public administration, the context of operations, and the functions of management. The practice of management will focus on the political environment, management theory, planning, organizational structure, resources, decision-making and policy analysis.

  • PUB 501: Public Management (3)
    Prerequisite: None required.
    This course is designed to provide an overview of the functioning and skill requirements of the contemporary public sector manager. The focus of this course will be on the management of programs and people in a public sector environment. Emphasis will be given to the management responsibilities of planning, organizing and controlling.

  • PUB 502: Administrative Theory and Behavior (3)
    Prerequisites: None required. (Spring only course)
    Historical overview of organizational theory and public administrative theory and analysis of the theoretical perspectives that have characterized these fields; discussion of various theories, concepts, and models that can be used to analyze organizations and improve organizational effectiveness.

  • PUB 503: Introduction to Research Methods in Public Administration (3)
    Prerequisite: None required. **New course for MPA students starting in the Fall 2021 or later semesters.
    This course serves as an introduction to empirical research design in the social sciences, and public administration in particular. Students will learn to assess the use of both qualitative and quantitative research in social sciences and discuss the epistemological principles that underlie different approaches to research.

  • PUB 504: Quantitative Methods in Public Administration I (3)
    Prerequisite: None required. **MPA students admitted prior to Fall 2021 will adhere to old prerequisites as listed in the academic catalog.
    The first course in a two-course sequence on quantitative methodology in Public Administration (the subsequent course is PUB 505). The goal of these two-course sequence is to explore a variety of statistical methods that are useful for managerial planning, decision-making, and public policy analysis with a special emphasis on statistics program Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (IBM SPSS).

  • PUB 505: Quantitative Methods in Public Administration II (3)
    Prerequisites: PUB 504 **New course for MPA students starting in Fall 2021 or later.
    This course will assist students in interpreting and evaluating information that is developed by data analysis professionals that routinely employ these statistical tools, and to interpret their work critically and intelligently. Also, for some students, this course will lay the groundwork for more advanced studies in the science of statistics.

  • PUB 506: Administration and Public Policy Analysis (3)
    Prerequisites: PUB 505. **MPA students admitted prior to Fall 2021 will adhere to old prerequisites as listed in the academic catalog. (Fall 1 only course)
    Application of analytical tools to the solution of public management problems, introduction to general models of policy analysis, integration of solutions into administrative processes in government; policy studies cases.

  • PUB 508 Seminar: Public Human Resource Management (3)
    Prerequisite: PUB 500 Managing the human resources of a public agency with emphasis on selected activities of recruiting, staffing, evaluating, compensating, motivating and training the work force. Procedures and legal requirements for collective bargaining, affirmative action, and equal opportunity will be explored.

  • PUB 510: Public Budgeting (3)
    Prerequisite: None required. **MPA students admitted prior to Fall 2021 will adhere to old prerequisites as listed in the academic catalog. (Fall 2 only course)
    Examination of methods, processes and problems in the administration and budgeting of public revenues, revenue generation, forecasting, cost control, financial management cases.

  • PUB 512: Foundations of Ethical Administration (3)
    Prerequisite: PUB 500 is recommended.
    Examination of the foundations of ethical administration, including evaluation and application of ethical theories to public sector issues. Course provides opportunities for students to think reflectively, recognize ethical problems, and gain skills to effectively deal with political and administrative problems.

  • PUB 592: Capstone: Integrative Seminar in Public Administration (3)
    Prerequisite: Completion of all MPA core courses.
    Integrative course that emphasizes the interrelationships between the academic field of public administration and administrative practice. Course includes case study analysis and individual and group integrative projects.


  • PUB 599: Honors Thesis (3)
    Prerequisites: Special permission from Assistant Dean and a grade point average greater than 3.80.
    Thesis relating to public administration. CR/NC grading.

Students must complete additional elective credit hours to satisfy the MPA degree requirements. Please click here to view the concentration descriptions. Concentration course requirements encourage the development of individualized programs of study. Students may use concentration courses to pursue a specialized focus in public administration or to strengthen general public managerial competencies. Students may elect to transfer credit from other programs upon approval from the Assistant Dean.

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