Program Curriculum

The MPA curriculum consists of 36-39 semester hours, including 27 hours of required core courses and 9 hours of elective courses.

In order to ensure that graduates of the program have professional experience in the field, students without substantive full-time administrative experience in a public service organization complete at least 3 hours of internship work. Students with substantive full-time administrative experience in a public service organization may waive the internship requirement with approval of the MPA Coordinator. The program can be completed in two years by taking 2 courses per semester, including the summers semester. Courses are offered in an asynchronous online format in back-to-back 7 week sessions.

MPA Program Core Courses (27 hours)

All students are required to complete the following 9 courses.

PADM 60371 Graduate Introduction to Public Administration

This course is designed to introduce students in the MPA program to the theory and study of public administration. Topics include: evolution and characteristics of the modern nation state, the critical role that public bureaucracies play in any nation-state, intergovernmental relations, formal and informal groups and their role in policy, legal-regulatory processes, historical evolution of public administration as an academic field, major paradigms in public organizational theory, and internal organization dynamics. This course has no prerequisites and does not assume any previous knowledge of the subject matter.

PADM 60375 Public Personnel Administration

This course provides a foundation for leading and managing people in public organizations. This includes an examination of public personnel systems, and the public service values that underlie these systems. The emphasis is on skill development and techniques for public personnel managers, which include recruitment and selection, motivation, performance appraisal, diversity management, and cultural competence.

PADM 60377 Public Budgeting and Financial Management

This course focuses on two aspects of public finance: budgeting and financial management. Relative to budgeting, students are taught about budgets as mechanisms for resource control and allocations, as legal documents, different formats and cross-walking of formats, budget preparation, legislative review, budget implementation, and auditing. Relative to financial management, students are taught budget analysis, debt management, fund accounting, and forecasting.

PADM 60379 Program Evaluation

Introduction to evaluation of government programs. Emphasis on familiarizing students with the theory and, specifically, the techniques utilized under different evaluation formats.

PADM 60381 Methods in Public Administration

This course is a graduate-level introduction to statistical methods and their use in public administration.

PADM 60574 Strategic Planning

This course is designed to introduce students to the practice of strategic planning as it relates to program design and implementation by public and nonprofit organizations. Consideration is given to concepts, frameworks, and methods of program/policy analysis; as well as understanding the institutional context, agency-environment linkages, and internal dynamics of organizations.

PADM 60470 Personal Accountability in the Public Service

This course is concerned with basic issues of morality and ethics associated with public service roles in a democratic society. The focus is on students internalizing their role in the public sector as stewards of the public trust. Topics covered include the dimensions of stewardship, maintaining personal honor, protecting the dignity and liberty of citizens, the dimensions of justice, anti-corruption devices and incorporating these dimensions as managers in their personal decision-making and throughout the organization.

PADM 60386 Public Sector IT Management

This course focuses on the management of information technology (IT) systems in public sector agencies. Specific topics covered include: planning and acquisition of hardware and software and networks, organizational governance and implementation, information security and privacy legal issues surrounding IT management, service delivery and emerging enterprise technologies.

PADM 60475 Capstone Seminar

Taken in the last semester of study, the capstone course is a decision-making exercise in which students demonstrate their ability to integrate what they have learned in the MPA program in order to make administrative decisions that reflect a public service orientation. The course is offered over a 7 week format, and consists of a problem statement; a literature review and guiding framework; recommendations; and an implementation plan that addresses actions steps, timeline, personnel and budgetary issues, legal and ethical concerns, and a methodology for assessing the effectiveness of the proposal. At the conclusion of the course, students present their work electronically via web-conferencing technology.

MPA Internship Requirement (3 hours)

PADM 60392 Internship in Public Administration

Required of all students without prior full-time administrative experience in public or nonprofit organizations (pre-service students). Formal field placement of 300 hours in government or nonprofit agency setting. Provides opportunity for students to gain professional experience and apply coursework via direct exposure to management and policy processes. Students with substantive full-time administrative experience in a public service organization (in-service students) are waived from this requirement with permission of the MPA Coordinator.

MPA Electives (9 hours)

Students choose 3 of the following elective courses in consultation with their advisor. With prior approval of the MPA Coordinator, students may also choose appropriate elective courses from other university departments.

PADM 60376 Labor Management Relations in the Public Sector

This course focuses on issues peculiar to public sector labor relations, including the impact of public employee unionism on traditional merit systems and personnel policy decision processes. Prerequisite: PADM 60375

PADM 60382 Seminar in Public Administration

Study of selected problem areas in public service organizations with emphasis on understanding the factors contributing to them, their solution and literature bearing on the problems.

PADM 60387 Electronic Governance

An introduction to electronic governance with an emphasis on public administration. Examines the implications of information and communication technology in public organizations with regard to democracy, civic engagement, and performance improvement. Through case studies from the United States and across the world, students will become familiar with the factors and issues surrounding the implementation of electronic governance on a comparative basis.

PADM 60471 Nonprofit Law

Introduction to legal issues for nonprofit organizations in the United States, including types of IRS tax-exempt status; basic requirements for establishing/operating nonprofit organizations specifically in Ohio.

PADM 60472 Nonprofit Board Executive Relationships

Key aspects of effective nonprofit governance, major roles of nonprofit board members and their responsibilities, and governance structures.

PADM 60477 Nonprofit Financial Resource Development

Successful strategies for fundraising and resource development for nonprofit organizations. Students will be exposed to fundraising in practice and will write a resource development plan.

PADM 60310 Leadership in the Nonprofit and Public Sector 

This course teaches students theory, practice, and skills for leading non-profit and public organizations. Topics include: organizational theory and behavior; organizational culture; integrity and ethics; group dynamics; conflict management; and creating an environment that promotes diversity and inclusion.

PADM 60200 Nonprofit Advocacy 

This course explores the U.S. public-policy making process as it applies to nonprofit organizations. Nonprofits influence policy making or “advocacy” through a variety of methods, such as lobbying, campaigning, protesting, and policy monitoring. The course explores how nonprofit organizations both shape and are shaped by public policy.