Each course is three credits unless noted otherwise.
Common Core of Knowledge
56:834:501 Foundations of Policy Analysis (3)
The logic of action, decision making, and belief; epistemological issues underlying scientific and policy research; causality, probability, statistics, and public policy; the role of problem definition, description, theory, model building, explanation, and prediction in policy research and decision making. Reviews major substantive theories of public choice and public policymaking and critically examines them from a logical and theoretical perspective.
56:834:503 Law and Public Policy (3)
The place of law in the formulation, articulation, and enforcement of public policy; legal sources, such as constitutions, statutes, cases, administrative rulings, and agency practices; federal, state, and local sources and materials examined for policy inconsistencies, contradictions, and overlap; the effectiveness of fees, taxes, licenses, labeling, injunctions, and other legal sanctions.
56:834:515 Introduction to Public Budgeting and Finance (3)
Combines readings with the development of a budget for a hypothetical city to demonstrate budget formats, the politics of budgeting, and methods of projecting expenditures and revenues. Administration and criteria for selecting taxes.
56:834:525 Public and Nonprofit Management (3)
Contemporary management approaches, techniques, and skills for managing various kinds of public organizations. Decision-making, administrative leadership, planning, implementation, evaluation, ethics, and budgeting are key topics.
56:834:557 Human Resource Management (3)
The relationship between employers, employees, and their labor relations organizations in government, health, and human services, the nonprofit sector; leadership and direction of employees; the impact of collective negotiations on critical issues of public policy; civil service organizations.
56:834:535 Research Methods (3)
Examines research and methodology as a practical skill for public administrators. Topics include research design, descriptive and differential statistics, regression, and qualitative research. Students should enroll in this course one semester before taking the Research Workshop (capstone).
56:834:675 Research Workshop (Capstone) (3)
Guides students in formulating, researching, and writing a capstone research paper. Integrates the skills and concepts from the core courses as students use quantitative and qualitative methods to analyze a selected policy or administrative problem. Students must have completed 21 M.P.A. credits. Prerequisites: 56:834:501, 503, 515, 525, 535, 536.
Specialization and Elective Courses
56:834:505 Organizational Behavior (3)
Examines organizational behavior of individuals and groups/teams and the organizational context in which that behavior takes place. Organizational theories, as well as behavioral theories and approaches, are discussed, including seminal historical works and more current treatments.
56:834:531 Germany Learning Abroad (3)
The intellectual component of the course will focus on the urban change that has been taking place across Germany and the impact that has had on neighborhoods, the economy, the people, and the many forms of resistance in response. Students will ponder gentrification, social movements, and the extensive use of the arts as public expression. The experiential component will teach practical and applicable tools to navigate “foreign” space, communicate with locals as confident and humble global citizens, and enhance leadership and team-building skills.
56:834:536 Public Management Information Systems (3)
Management-oriented computer methods include personal productivity systems and office automation; database management; and the analysis, supervision, and coordination of the management information systems department within the larger organizational culture.
56:834:539 Race and Public Administration (3)
This seminar examines race and public administration in the United States. To understand the complexity of these multifaceted phenomena, coursework involves exploration, deep critique, and broad analysis of new and emerging theories on the edge of the study and practice of race and public administration.
56:834:541 Internship I (3)
Direct experience with public agencies; individual internships, under faculty supervision, in policymaking agencies.
56:834:553 Financial Management of Public Programs (3)
Examines budgetary processes, municipal bonds, cash management, and intergovernmental fiscal relations as they apply to the financial management of public programs. Topics include cost-benefit, cost-revenue, and cost-effectiveness analyses, as well as contemporary issues such as privatization and liability insurance.
56:834:558 Executive Leadership and Communication (3)
Strengths and limitations of various leadership theories. Awareness of personal learning, leadership, influence, and communication styles. Develops leadership skills through interpersonal exercises and course projects involving current managerial and political issues. Communication skills involving writing, speaking, meetings, media relations, and strategic planning are emphasized.
56:834:559 Ethics in the Public Sector (3)
Study of the federal, state, and local laws governing the conduct of public officials and ethical standards beyond the boundaries of the law. Relates professional standards of public administration to ethical problems in government.
56:834:570 Labor-Management Relations in the Private and Public Sectors (3)
Analysis of the structure and development of labor-management relationships in the United States and abroad, focusing on both private industry and governmental organizations. Explores the history and the surrounding law while focusing on the negotiation and administration of collective bargaining agreements, related micro-and macroeconomic problems, and issues that accompany the growth of the nonunion sector in both private and public sectors.
56:834:556 International Negotiations (3)
This course will examine both the substance and the process of international negotiations – principally negotiations between or among governments. In the initial phase of the course, students will study the analysis of negotiations. They will identify issues, interests, and positions of the parties, analyze the environment and structure of negotiations and the trade-offs among issues, the concepts of principled negotiations, and the use of power in bi-lateral and multi-lateral negotiations.
56:834:601 Writing for Public Policy and Administration (3)
The writing course will familiarize students with common public policy writing expectations. Furthermore, the course will also expound upon the traditional academic writing experience through the public policy issue brief.
56:834:603 History and Practice of Community Development (3)
The course is an overview designed to acquaint students with the history and practices of Community Development. The course will include Economic Development, Education, Housing, Public Policy, Urban Redevelopment, Community Organizing, Capacity Building, and Community Engagement. While the focus of the class is centered on domestic CD, a review of some case studies of International CD will be included as well. The course seeks to cover these issues: 1) What is Community? 2) What is development? 3) Role of Public Policy, Government and Bureaucracy; 4) Role of Nonprofits and other Institutions; and 5) Role of Private Sector Investment.
56:834:604: Alternative Development Strategies (3)
A critical examination of alternative community and economic development strategies for distressed cities. Special attention will be paid to the following: the conflict between older strategies that emerged from deindustrialization and more democratic forms of community development; the problem of scale; market-conforming “pragmatic” approaches to solving problems of poverty versus efforts aimed at a broader political transformation in values; and cooperation versus competition in structuring incentive
56:834:606 Poverty Alleviation Strategies (3)
Evaluation of various strategies for poverty alleviation at the community level in the United States and developing countries. Assesses the fundamental causes of poverty and the tools the poor possess for survival, as well as income-generating strategies ranging from encouraging entrepreneurship (microfinance, skills training) to participation in the global economy through manufacturing work.
56:834:607 Planning Markets and Community Development (3)
56:834:608 Geographic Information Systems for the Public Sector (3)
An introductory geographic information systems (GIS) course, with an emphasis on application; training primarily uses open-source GIS software. Students will be able to produce maps and conduct basic research using geographical data in any discipline that uses such data, e.g., public policy and administration, sociology, criminology, and public health/epidemiology.
56:834:609 Politics of Community Development (3)
This course will help students integrate a critical perspective on the theoretical and empirical literature on community development; as a field of practice, community development is critiqued from a power perspective. The course uses historical and contemporary case studies of community conflict and collective struggles for a “right to the city” to analyze the political drivers of local economic disinvestment and development.
56:834:610 Regional Economic Development (3)
This is a weekly seminar designed to expose students to the academic literature on urban and regional economic development policy and politics in the U.S. The goal of the class is to help students understand the complexity of economic development, including the many problems governments face in pursuing economic growth, the diversity of actors involved, variation in approaches to development and the theoretical underpinnings of those approaches, consequences for vulnerable populations, and the hope that well-planned economic development offers communities.
56:834:612 Local Knowledge: City Policy (3)
Critically analyzes questions of local participation in the policy process through the use of case studies and primary sources representing the local perspective
56:834:613 Immigrants and Community Development (3)
Investigates the unique needs of immigrant communities and focuses on the community development efforts that have been developed to address those needs in the United States. We will work from the understanding that immigration politics and policy greatly influence both immigrants’ needs and the resources that are made available to meet those needs. As such, we will treat politics and policy as an integral part of the community development story and spend significant portions of the class studying these topics.
56:834:615 Housing Policy (3)
Explores housing policy in the United States. Provides an overview of the complexities of federal housing policy in the United States, with special attention to how it has been implemented in urban areas, to situate existing housing issues and problems in a historical context.
56:834:616 International Economic Development (3)
This course will investigate what is meant by “development.” How is it attained? Who is responsible to make sure it happens? What should the international donor community do? What shouldn’t it do? We will look at competing ideas about how to understand, measure, and address international poverty. We begin by examining theories of what determines international poverty, how “advanced” Western states developed, and then trace how approaches to development have changed over time. We will end by exploring some of the central contemporary debates in the field. Topics studied include micro-lending, the role of NGOs, debates about the efficacy of aid, and approaches used to address urbanization and environmental change. Throughout, we will pay particular attention to how concepts drive policy and what tools are used to assess the relative success of development initiatives.
56:834:617 Comparative Public Policy (3)
How does public policy differ across countries, and why does it diverge? This course focuses on variation in national policy patterns, to understand how and why nations differ in their social and public policies and what countries can learn from one another. We will examine contemporary approaches to policy formation and issues across a wide range of countries, and in different fields, such as health, education, poverty alleviation, and the environment; and analyze the comparative policy process, including policy design, evaluation, and reform.
56:834:619 Practicum in Sustainable Community Development (3)
The practicum is an applied research field experience course at the community development level in the Delaware Valley region or beyond. Students may work with a community-based client, for example, a nonprofit organization or municipal government agency, under the supervision of a faculty member to develop and implement a concrete research project that can be completed in one semester.
56:834:620 Inequality and Segregation (3)
This course examines the dimensions of inequality, including economic inequality and poverty, residential segregation by race and class, and the concentration of poverty. The focus is primarily on the United States, but comparisons with other industrialized nations will also be discussed. The course will address questions of definition and measurement, historical and current trends, causes and consequences, and policy responses. Students will be expected to work with official data to calculate measures of poverty, inequality, and segregation; to understand the main theoretical and empirical debates, and to understand the role of public policy in addressing or exacerbating these problems.
56:834:650 Special Problems in Public Policy and Administration (3)
Special Problems courses vary by semester and fulfill MPA requirements. Please see the schedule of classes for options.
56:834:653 Data Visualization (3)
Data visualization is an integral part of data science. It is also perhaps the most rewarding part as it produces insight, “aha moments.” It is also perhaps the only part of data science that involves art–designing graphics. We will use Python, especially Matplotlib module and others that built on it. We will also cover online visualization from within Python. Some data management will be covered as necessary to process data for visualization using Pandas module. Course is relevant for all social science fields, quantitative/digital humanities, and many natural sciences. There are no prerequisites, but familiarity with Python or programming is useful, and learning programming ability is necessary.
56:834:670 International Conflict and Conflict Resolution (3)
In this course, students analyze emerging trends and patterns in global conflict and consider the prospects for peace in evolving world order. Explores the causes and prevention of war, ethnic conflict, and terrorism, and issues of security, identity, and equity to better understand the critical dimensions of conflict.
56:834:521: Directed Study (3)
Pre-approval by the MPA Director is required, and written agreement of faculty member supervising the internship or project.
56:834:676 International Public Service Internship and Directed Study (3)
Guides, integrates, and assesses the lessons of the overseas field placement through a system of advising, discussions, and written reports, which require students to document and assess their international experiences. This web-based course enhances proficiency through the analysis of a specific project, program, or policy relevant to the international placement. It offers the opportunity to apply program management tools in real-life situations. Covers topics such as needs assessment; stakeholder analysis; participatory strategies; feasibility studies; SWOT analysis; program/project design including objectives and logical framework; implementation strategies; monitoring and evaluation; lessons learned; and recommendations for program or policy change. Prerequisite: Permission of MPA Director.
56:834:800 Matriculation Continued (0)
Continuous registration may be accomplished by enrolling for at least 3 credits in standard course offerings, including research courses, or by enrolling in this course for 0 credits. Students actively engaged in studying toward their degree who are using university facilities and faculty time are expected to enroll for the appropriate credits.