Academic Affairs
Graduate Catalog 2008-09

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Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Political Science

Brad E. Lockerbie, Chairperson, A-124 Brewster Building
Robert Thompson, Director of Graduate Studies, A-101 Brewster Building


The master of public administration program is designed to provide students with basic administrative skills which can be utilized in a variety of administrative careers. It is based on a core curriculum of required public administration and quantitative analysis courses with a variety of related electives that will provide students with a choice of emphases depending upon career objectives.

All students applying for the MPA program are expected to take the GRE. Requests for exceptions will be considered only if the student presents recent acceptable scores on a comparable standardized entrance exam.

Students may transfer up to 15 s.h. from an institution accredited by a regional accrediting organization with the approval of the director of the MPA program and the dean of the Graduate School. Requests for transfer credit should be made at the time of admission.

Students may earn the MPA degree by completing 45 s.h. as follows: 24 s.h. in core public administration and quantitative analysis courses, 3 s.h. of internship work for pre-service students, 15 s.h. elective credit in an area of emphasis to be approved by the director of the MPA program, and 3 s.h. for the MPA professional paper.

Public administration required core courses: PADM 6100, 6110, 6120, 6140, 6160, 6161, 6230, 6260 - 24 s.h.

Internship -3 s.h.

Pre-service students seeking the MPA are required to complete a 3 s.h. internship in a local, state, federal, or approved not-for-profit agency. Students with relevant work experience in excess of one year may apply to the director of the MPA program for exemption from this requirement. Those students who are exempted from this requirement will complete 42 s.h. instead of 45 s.h. However, no academic credit will be awarded for work experience.

MPA professional paper - 3 s.h.

All students must enroll in PADM 6900 and complete an MPA professional paper in which they identify a public management problem or policy issue and develop a problem-resolution strategy. The completed paper must be defended successfully before a three-member committee of MPA faculty members (one member may be from outside the MPA faculty upon approval of the director of the MPA program).

Electives (MPA) - 15 s.h.

  1. Students may elect to complete PADM 6198 or 6199 for a maximum of 6 s.h. of independent study. The independent courses must be completed under the supervision of a public administration instructor in the Department of Political Science; these courses are open only to students who have completed a minimum of 12 s.h.
  2. For a planning emphasis, students must complete electives approved jointly by the graduate coordinator of the urban and regional planning program and the director of the MPA program.
  3. For an emphasis in community health administration, students with a subfield in health administration should seek counseling from the graduate director of the community health program regarding requirements for certification beyond the formal MPA and Graduate School requirements. See Section 7, College of Allied Health Sciences, Department of Community Health, for requirements.
Recommended elective courses: BIOS 5010; COHE 6000, 6502; EHST 6010; JUST 6502; POLS 6155, 6345, 6382; PADM 6111, 6123, 6150, 6163, 6170, 6187, 6188, 6198, 6199; PLAN 6000, 6010, 6015, 6020; PSYC 6343, 6421, 6422; REHB 5793, 5795.
Other courses may be substituted if approved by the director of the MPA program.

Certificate in Security Studies

Jalil Roshandel, Director, Brewster A-124

Through the Division of Academic Affairs, the university offers the interdisciplinary graduate certificate in Security Studies. This program provides students with an understanding of national and international threats posed by non-state actors such as terrorist networks, and the landscape of response coordination required to meet challenges posed by such threats. The goal of the certificate program is to develop new thinking towards security within a changing environment. Countering and responding to the new threats requires integration of traditional military strategies with criminal justice systems and investigation, intelligence gathering, policy development, emergency planning and response, and interagency cooperation at multiple levels of government and between governments.

Applicants seeking admission must be graduate students or non-degree students holding a baccalaureate degree. All applicants must complete the certificate application and have it approved by the program coordinator.

Choose five of the six following courses (15 s.h.) in consultation with the certificate coordinator: EHST 6010, JUST 6502, PADM 6170, PLAN 6015; POLS 6155, 6382.