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Program Requirements

Degree Audit 

The DegreeWorks report provides the official course of study and includes the listing of all courses that must be completed to obtain the MPA degree.

As soon as a student is admitted to the MPA Program, a proposed degree outline is prepared in consultation with the graduate advisor. The proposed degree outline is then submitted by the department to the Dean of the Graduate College for approval. The DegreeWorks system is to be used by the student to determine which courses to select for each semester's registration. Any course taken outside of the DegreeWorks degree plan is taken at the student's risk as the courses completed may not count toward the degree requirements. Students should seek the approval of the MPA director before considering courses outside of the degree plan. 

Outline Changes 

Any changes in the degree outline must be requested in writing on the official Degree Audit Change Form, and a justification of the requested change must be stated. Any DegreeWorks plan change request should be completed prior to the student's registering for a course that is not included in the degree outline. Students should consult with the MPA program director to request changes to the degree plan. Any courses taken without an approved degree outline change request is taken at the student's own risk and may not count toward the degree. 


Course Work 

MPA program coursework consists of background courses, core courses and elective courses. 

Background Course 

Students without public or non-profit administrative experience will be required to take PA 5389, Internship in Government, within the first 24 hours of the program. In order for the internship requirement to be waived, a letter from an employer or past employer briefly documenting the student's administrative experience needs to be sent to the director of the MPA Program. 

Core Courses (24 Hours + an addition 6 Hours depending on pathway) 

The MPA core consists of 24 hours of public administration courses (PA 5300, PA 5310, PA 5320, PA 5330, PA 5340, PA 5350, PA 5370 and PA 5390) 
If a student chooses the ARP or Thesis pathway to graduation, then there are two additional courses as part of the core (PA 5399A and PA 5399B for the Thesis track and PA 5397 and PA 5398 for the Applied Research Project track).  

Courses range across many different areas in public administration and management (public finance, organization theory, public personnel administration, research methodology, and public law). For a comprehensive listing of courses, review the curriculum outlines contained in these guidelines and in the Graduate Catalog

Students can choose 9 hours from 18 different elective courses if they wish to pursue the ARP or Thesis pathway to graduation. If students wish to pursue the non-Thesis route, then they take 15 hours of electives. [If a student has not made a B or better in an undergraduate statistics courses no more than five years before enrollment into the MPA program, then one of the electives in the MPA program must be PA 5311 (Introduction to Statistics).] Through these electives, students can gain expertise in human resources, non-profit management, public law, and public policy. There are also courses which develop technical skills such as program evaluation, performance management and information technology. For a comprehensive list of courses, see Course Offerings or the Graduate Catalog