Division of Public Administration
The M.P.A. degree normally requires the completion of 39-50 semester hours of approved graduate study. The student must complete a minimum of 39 semester hours of course work exclusive of internship hours. The distribution of hours is as follows:
27 semester hours of core courses (required of everyone)
12 semester hours within an area of specialization (required of everyone)
3-8 semester hours of PSPA 695: Internship in Public Administration (required of those without "appropriate professional experience")
4-12 semester hours of PSPA 699: Public Sector Research - hours awarded toward completion of the capstone paper
For more details, please refer to MPA Student Handbook.
Each M.P.A. student is required to pass a written comprehensive examination which is offered in March and October of each year. The examination is scheduled for two two-hour periods in one day. The exam will consist of two parts, theory and practice. The theory part will emphasize conceptual and analytical knowledge garnered from the core courses in the MPA curriculum. The practice part will emphasize problem solving and knowledge application employing a situation scenario or examples based on the student's experience.
An information session will be conducted several weeks prior to the administration of the examination. Students who submit a Request to Sit for Comprehensive Examination form by the specified dates will be notified by mail regarding the time and place of the information session, the exact dates for the examination, and any other information concerning the examination.
The capstone course is intended to reinforce and further develop the overall objectives of the master in public administration program core courses. Serving as a culmination of a student’s coursework for a master’s degree in public administration, the capstone paper is an analytical exercise that is expected to be of superior quality. The project expects an MPA student to tie together their learning experiences into a coherent, focused product that effectively blends theory and practice.
The learning outcomes are the improved development of analytical skills, engagement of students in a collaborative environment to foster leadership, problem-solving abilities, and teamwork skills, improvement of students’ understanding of research ethics, development of a greater understanding of accountability, and improvement of technological skills.