Course Descriptions

511W Graduate Writing & Research (non-credit)
A practical study of academic and professional writing and research for adult learners, focusing on the mastery of the communication skills needed for success in graduate school

Note: This will be a required workshop for all provisionally accepted MPA Program students whose undergraduate degree cumulative grade point average (GPA) is below 3.5 or for those who have been out of school for more than four years.. This workshop must be taken in the student’s first term and must be successfully completed with a passing grade ("Pass/Fail" grading) to proceed as fully accepted in the MPA program.

501 Introduction to Public Administration (3)
This course introduces the history and practice of public administration in the United States at the national, state, and local levels. Topics include public policy, organizational theory, budgeting procedures, intergovernmental administration, human resources, the ethics of public service, and the impact of the information age.

Note: This will be a required course for all provisionally accepted students who begin the MPA program with undergraduate degrees outside Public Administration. This course must be taken in the student's first term and must be successfully completed with a final grade of "B" or better to proceed as fully accepted in the MPA program.

503 Theories, Principles, and Practice of Public Administration (3)
The course will focus on the classic writings that have framed the foundation of public administration over the past 120 years. The subject matter will be taught with application to current public administration practice as its principle
objective.

535 Research Methodologies (3)
This course provides an opportunity for students to explore research that relate to administrative and technical processes using various research techniques. Students undertake an in-depth review and critical investigation using qualitative and quantitative analysis. Students will be exposed to various tools and techniques appropriate to applied research and will develop a research design based on an instructor-approved topic. The research design may be used as a foundation for the capstone project.

545 Values and Ethics in Public Administration (3)
This course is designed to create an awareness and sensitivity to the values and ethical issues inherent in public administration decisions. The importance of ethics in maintaining public trust in the context of representative democracies will be emphasized. Classic moral philosophies will be studied as the basis for the values and ethical practices in government today. In addition the legal requirements for complying with legislated ethical standards will be studied.

605 Public Policy Analysis and Evaluation (3)
Program analysis and evaluation is a seminar designed to examine the theory and practice of public program analysis as it is conducted in complex political environments.

609 Seminar In Public Financial Administration (3)
This course presents the principles of financial management in the public sector. Topics include public sector operating and capital budgets, expenditures and revenues, and financial reporting and analysis at the federal, state, and local level as well as the role of financial administration in promoting the common good.

611 Seminar in Public Human Resources Administration (3)
This course presents the principles of public personnel management and human resource administration and examines the balance between organizational and individual needs. Topics includes the functional and technical aspects of human resources, strategic and operational concerns, the history of the civil service, constitutional/legal issues., employee benefits, recruiting/hiring/developing/ retaining high quality employees, and labor union/management relations.

613 Philanthropy and Fundraising for Nonprofit Organizations (3)
This course will address historical philanthropic perspectives in the nonprofit sector, purposes and principles behind philanthropic behavior, the philanthropic relationship between donors and nonprofits, and the differences between philanthropists and the casual donor and how this distinction informs nonprofit financial development programs. Informed by philanthropic/donor behavior, this course will address how to develop a financial development plan and fundraising methods including, special events, annual giving, major gift campaigns, direct mail campaigns, grants management, and marketing.

616 Human Resources for Nonprofit Organizations (3)
Informed by the unique governance structure of nonprofit organizations this course will cover essentials in nonprofit human resources including the principles and practices of volunteer management, recruiting and retaining paid and nonpaid staff, relationship building and challenges between paid executive staff and the organization's board of directors, and the board of directors responsibilities, ethical principles, practices, accountabilities and duties.

622 Non-Profit Administration (3)
This course provides the student with an understanding of the role of non-profit organizations in the scope of public-private purposes. It examines the role of boards and staff, vision and mission, funding and accountability, excellence in operations and sustainability.

623 Productivity Improvement in the Public Sector (3)
This course examines techniques for measuring and improving productivity in public organizations. Current and historical public management theories will be taught and analyzed.

635 Leadership in Public Purpose Organizations (3)
Leadership is essential in any organization for it to be effective. This course will review the very special characteristics of leadership in public purpose organizations. Issues such as the impact of the political process on leadership, navigating media storms, leading and empowering employees, and maintaining a focus on public purpose will be addressed.

641 Strategic Planning and Budgeting for Nonprofit Organizations (3)
This course will cover the essential principles and practices in the development of a nonprofit strategic plan and strategic action plan including identifying strategic nonprofit organizational challenges, how to assess an organization's strengths and weaknesses, the importance of an effective mission and vision to the strategic planning process, and how the effective implementation of strategic plans and action plans and their utilization by paid and unpaid staff will inform the creation of an organization wide and specific program budget, including income and expense reporting, and annual financial reporting to organization stakeholders, the general public, and the IRS.

645 Nonprofit Program Evaluation (3)
As nonprofit organizations are under increased scrutiny from grantors, contractors, and donors, both government and private, to accurately report on program expenses and related outcomes, this course will inform nonprofit program evaluation techniques to meet those reporting requirements, including how to develop an outcomes based evaluation instrument, the challenges in measuring nonprofit organizational effectiveness, the principles of organizational learning and how program evaluation can be used to determine allocation of resources and can inform strategic change.

647 Public Law and Administration (3)
The role of public administrative law and procedure will be taught as it applies to both public and private decision-making. The effects of public administrative law and rule making will be presented along with the oversight provided by legislatures and public policy processes inherent in making and sustaining public policy.

650 Public/Private Enterprise (3)
This course will review the scope of public/private enterprise structures in the United States. Further, it will review the scope of public purchasing, public/private partnerships, privatization of public services and contracting for public services from the private sector.

660 Public Policy and the Administrative Process (3)
Classic confrontation between "politics" and "administration" will be examined in this course. The historical context of the "Good Government Movement" of the Nineteenth Century; the rise of the professions in public management; the issues of responsiveness and patronage will be taught and application made to current state and local government administrative practice. The political process and public policy making will be examined.

670 Public Planning and Growth Management (3)
The classic management function of planning will be reviewed in its state and local government contexts. Emphasis will be placed on planning for change management applications to social equity and on strategic planning in public decision making.

699 Capstone: Applied Project (3)
The Applied Project is a supervised capstone for the master's program. It is an independent, web-supported study with a graduate faculty mentor/instructor and a professional in the field to guide relevance to current public administration practice. The project is designed to build from knowledge gained during the program and to make connections between academic and professional work.