The MPA curriculum consists of a “common core of knowledge” set of courses that all students in the program must complete; a set of required, colloquia and elective courses in one of four areas of specialization; an internship or special problems policy course; and a capstone research project.
The six-course, 18-credit common core consists of:
56:834:501 Foundations of Policy Analysis
56:834:503 Law and Public Policy
56:834:515 Introduction to Public Budgeting and Finance
56:834:525 Public Management
56:834:535 Research Methods
56:834:536 Public Information Systems
Students take six more courses in one of five areas of concentration within the MPA degree. Click on the links for more information about each specialization:
- The Community Development concentration provides students with a grounding in theories of power, policy, advocacy, and resource allocation, and applied aspects of domestic and international urban public policy and administration.
- The Educational Policy and Leadership concentration prepares students for roles in public education as administrators or policy specialists. This track emphasizes changes in education and how to lead through change.
- The Public Management concentration prepares professionals for careers in government, nonprofit organizations, and business in roles relating to public issues. Most graduates serve in state, local, and federal government or community service agencies within the region. Some work in foundations, corporations, or other public policy settings.
- The International Public Service and Development concentration prepares students for overseas service with the U.S. Peace Corps or other international organizations, and ultimately for careers in international development or community development in the U.S. Our graduates work in nonprofit, government, philanthropic, educational, and other settings.
- The Executive MPA concentration is ideal for mid- to upper-level managers possessing at least five years of administrative and/or managerial experience for executive leadership positions.
In the second year, all students must register for 56:834:675 Research Workshop which provides guidance in the writing of a capstone research paper. For information about internships, see here. Full course descriptions may be found here.