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The Applied Research Project

The Applied Research Project (ARP) is completed over two courses. In PA 5397, the student completes a literature review and prospectus guideline for their ARP. Before enrolling in PA 5398, the course during which students write the applied research paper, the student should have completed 33 to 36 hours of MPA coursework, including both PA 5390 and PA 5397.

Please note that the supervising professor must be contacted by the student prior to registering for 5397 and 5398. Currently, these courses are taught as follows:

Fall Semesters

PA 5397 : Dr. Shields and Dr. Rangarajan

PA 5398 : Dr. Shields and Dr. Tajalli

Spring Semesters

PA 5397 : Dr. Longoria and Dr. Tajalli

PA 5398 : Dr. Shields and Dr. Rangarajan

Summer Semester

PA 5398 : Dr. Longoria


ARP Expectations and Requirements

Students registering for PA 5398 will be expected to accomplish a major research paper (ARP) for the professor supervising their work. The student and the professor will meet at hours to be arranged.
Professors will establish their own deadlines and procedures for submission of the research paper at the beginning of each semester. As a general rule, students should be prepared to turn in their paper in final form by the last day of classes for that semester. If a student fails to turn in an acceptable first draft of the paper, he/she will be advised to drop the course and re-register the following semester. Failure to drop by the required deadline could result in a grade of “F” for the course.

Three copies of the final draft should be prepared for the committee review. If the student submits an acceptable first draft but fails to complete an approved final draft before the established end-of-the-semester deadline, the student may receive a grade of “I” for the course. Students must complete the applied research project in 12 months or the “I” grade will revert to an automatic ”F.”

The Applied Research Project (ARP) requires the review and signature of two committee members. The committee is assigned during the semester the student is enrolled in PA 5398. Click here for a list of faculty and their expertise.

The paper should contain an extensive bibliography, appropriate citations, and normally be formatted according to The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition.

The student must turn in one copy of the paper in final form to the supervising professor. Upon approval of the paper, the professor will assign a letter grade to the student. The student will submit one electronic copy and one bound copy (this copy is turned into the office) that will be cataloged and placed in the Texas State library. The electronic copy may be included in the Texas State institutional repository also known as e-commons. To view papers on e-commons see