The Master of Public Administration (MPA) offers you the knowledge often required to handle the difficult administrative environment that is government service today. This online degree program is ideal if you are currently in public management or public service, or are looking to enter this field from a different discipline. Your classmates will bring their own wealth of knowledge from many fields, and through the use of case studies, facilitated discussion, and other exercises, we build on this shared experience. This MPA degree promotes the core values of service, ethics, knowledge, competence, and diversity. Working across silos, networking among and between agencies and stakeholders, and strategically addressing the issues at hand is a fundamental theme of this online master’s program. The culminating goal is to teach you how to competently tackle hard questions, creatively solve them, and communicate your solutions through diverse public, private, and nonprofit networks.

Degree Program Objectives

In addition to the institutional and degree level learning objectives, graduates of this program are expected to achieve these learning outcomes:

  • Assess the leading approaches to managing public organizations
  • Evaluate the moral, legal, and ethical aspects of decision-making in the public sector
  • Evaluate the government budgeting process and funding of government programs and organizations
  • Appraise the role of government organizations in public policy development and implementation
  • Develop solutions to a public issue that take into account multiple stakeholders and decision-makers
  • Implement the core concept of public service by providing evidence of service to the public or nonprofit sector
  • Critique a difficult political situation and offer creative and innovative solutions that take into account multiple stakeholders and decision-makers
  • Assess the part diversity, or lack thereof, plays in public administration

Degree at a Glance

Core Requirements18
Major Requirements6
Select one of the following Concentrations:9
Final Program Requirements3
Total Semester Hours36

Degree Program Requirements

Core Requirements (18 semester hours)

Core Requirements
PADM520Public Administration in Society 13
MAPP502Public Writing3
PADM505Ethics in Government3
PADM530Public Policy3
PADM610Public Management3
PADM612Public Finance3
Total Semester Hours18

Major Requirements (6 semester hours)

Select 2 courses from the following:6
Administrative Theory
Law and Public Policy
Program Appraisal
Local Political Administration
Total Semester Hours6

Students must choose a concentration for this degree program and may select from a Concentration in Coaching and Conflict Resolution, Concentration in Disaster Management, Concentration in Environmental Policy, Concentration in Health Policy, Concentration in Human Resources, Concentration in National Security, Concentration in Organizational Management, Concentration in Public Policy, or Concentration in Security Management.

Concentration in Coaching and Conflict Resolution (9 semester hours)

Introduces the concepts and methods of coaching and conflict resolution necessary to successfully manage a diverse, global workforce. Topics include conflict analysis, negotiation (individual, across sectors and internationally) and mediation along with skills, methods and strategies required to be an effective coach. This concentration requires a high degree of interaction and role play.

Concentration Requirements (9 semester hours)

Select 3 courses from the following:9
Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
Foundations of Coaching
Emotional Intelligence and Coaching Assessments
Coaching Groups and Teams
International Negotiation
Conflict Analysis and Resolution: Theory and Practice
Total Semester Hours9

Concentration in Disaster Management (9 semester hours)

Introduces the concepts of emergency management. Topics covered include the history of the field, hazard analysis, mitigation, planning, communication, and terrorism. Looks at the interaction, coordination, and facilitation between federal, state, and local agencies during preparation, response, and recovery operations. An historical viewpoint of emergency response organizational development is also covered.

Concentration Requirements (9 semester hours)

Select 3 courses from the following:9
Emergency and Disaster Theory
Emergency and Disaster Planning and Management
Interagency Disaster Management
Economics of Disaster
Total Semester Hours9

Concentration in Environmental Policy (9 semester hours)

Evaluates the major legal, regulatory, and policy framework that encompasses environmental programs and projects in the U.S. and with international political, commercial, and non-governmental institutions. Examines global environmental change, potential impacts on environmental policy and society, and the public and private economic costs and effects of environmental programs.

Concentration Requirements (9 semester hours)

Select 3 courses from the following:9
Environmental Management
Environmental Economics
Environmental Policy, Regulation, and Law
Global Environmental Change
Total Semester Hours9

Concentration in Health Policy (9 semester hours)

Introduces the role of public health systems in America, including federal, state, and local public health agencies, as well as current political, environmental, epidemiologic, legal, and ethical issues impacting the public health field. Covers the skills often required to be an effective health care administrator.

Concentration Requirements (9 semester hours)

PBHE501Public Health in America3
PBHE502Health Policy3
PBHE601Health Care Administration3
Total Semester Hours9

Concentration in Human Resources (9 semester hours)

Offers an advanced study of human resource management with particular emphasis on the strategic planning process. Explores current practices in the workplace, including policy development with an emphasis on the interdependence of human resource and organizational operating functions. Additional topics include employment law, discrimination in the workplace, and practices used by companies to leverage their human capital.

Concentration Requirements (9 semester hours)

Select 3 courses from the following:9
Human Resource Management
Employment Law and Labor Relations
Human Resource Policy
Strategic Human Resource Management Practices
Total Semester Hours9

Concentration in National Security (9 semester hours)

Assesses the major concepts of strategic thinking that underpin the national security decision-making process in the U.S, including current challenges to national security interests, especially terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. Also examines contemporary globalization, its links to emergent threats, and potential U.S. responses, as well as the implications of rising worldwide economic interdependence upon national security policy.

Concentration Requirements (9 semester hours)

Select 3 courses from the following:9
Institutions of National Security
U.S. National Security
National Security and Globalization
National Security and Diplomacy
Current and Emerging Threats to U.S. National Security
Total Semester Hours9

Concentration in Organizational Management (9 semester hours)

Focuses on the concepts and methods of managing an organization, including techniques for structuring and resolving managerial problems in public and private organizations. Topics include human behavior principles in individual, group/team, and organizational settings; interpersonal relations, motivation, and decision-making in organizations; and the variables involved in crisis planning, communication, and management.

Concentration Requirements (9 semester hours)

Select 3 courses from the following:9
Organizational Management
Organizational Behavior
Organizational Development
Organizational Crisis Management
Total Semester Hours9

Concentration in Public Policy (9 semester hours)

This concentration is designed to provide you with a comprehensive overview of essential leadership skills required for sound research and data analysis, judgment, communication, action, and creative and critical thinking. This concentration helps prepare you to solve real-world problems at local, state, and national levels. Knowledge gained can be useful for those interested in senior-level management positions in government agencies, corporations, research institutes, advocacy or non-profit organizations, and other associations where the ability to analyze and evaluate information is a required skill.


Upon successful completion of this concentration, the student will be able to:

  • Evaluate the multi-disciplinary nature of the major theories underlying the discipline of public policy.

  • Extrapolate the processes by which public policies are designed, implemented, and evaluated.

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of existing (or the impact of proposed) public policies.

  • Demonstrate appropriate analytical skills to analyze contemporary policy issues.

  • Design public policies to solve strategic or social problems.

  • Deconstruct contemporary policy case studies using an ethical framework.

  • Communicate policy recommendations to diverse audiences.

Concentration Requirements (9 semester hours)

Select 3 courses from the following:9
Foundations of Governance and Policy
Judicial Politics, Process, and Policy Making
Digital Government
Economics and Public Policy
Law and Public Policy
Total Semester Hours9

Concentration in Security Management (9 semester hours)

Probes contemporary issues in security management, such as background checks, budgeting, security liability, human resources issues, and equal opportunity rights. Topics include: the 9/11 Commission Report on terrorist attacks upon the U.S.; relevant security programs in the public and private sectors; and the tools necessary to effectively plan for, implement, monitor, and administer a security organization.

Concentration Requirements (9 semester hours)

Select 3 courses from the following:9
Assets Protection & Loss Prevention Management
Evaluation of Security Programs
Contemporary Issues in Security Management
Security Program Administration
Total Semester Hours9

Final Program Requirements (3 semester hours)

PADM697Creative Project Capstone in Public Administration 13
Total Semester Hours3