Core Curriculum

The core courses in the MPA Online program are designed to provide a thorough background in each of the major areas of public administration. MPA students must complete the following nine (9) courses for the core component:

  • PUB 500: Environment and Practice of Public Administration (3) 
    Prerequisite: PUB 495 Fundamentals of Public Administration or approved equivalent course (2) 
    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.
    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 504: Quantitative Methods in Public Administration (3) 
    Prerequisites: PUB 495 Applied Statistics in Public Administration; PUB 500 
    Quantitative methods used in decision-making with special emphasis on the public sector.
  • PUB 506: Administration and Public Policy Analysis (3) 
    Prerequisites: PUB 502; PUB 504 
    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: PUB 495 Fundamentals of Financial Resource Administration; PUB 502; PUB 504
    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 MPA department 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. Elective course requirements are designed to encourage the development of individualized programs of study. Students may use elective courses to pursue a specialized focus in public administration or to strengthen general public managerial competencies. Elective courses may be selected in consultation with the MPA program coordinator.

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