Jul 15, 2024  
2024-2025 Catalog 
2024-2025 Catalog

Public Administration, M.P.A.

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The College of Arts and Sciences  offers graduate study in public administration leading to the degree of Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.). The MPA program prepares students to serve as effective managers in nonprofit, local, county, state, and federal organizations. The MPA program provides a high quality education to a diverse student body while engaging in scholarly activities and community service. We empower our students with an ethical perspective and with the critical thinking and decision making skills to effectively manage a public entity.

The Public Administration faculty recognizes that these governments are complex systems designed for the purpose of realizing American ideals, of which there are several, and among which there are inherent tensions and partial contradictions. Accordingly, the primary emphasis of the M.P.A. program is to imbue the students with an understanding and respect for the normative, ethical, and political environment within which American public administration is conducted and the ability to apply sound reasoning (critical thinking) to develop viable solutions to problems within this environment. The program also teaches specific concepts, techniques, and skills of management in the public sector.

Program Expected Student Outcomes

Upon completion of the MA in Public Administration, students will be able to:

1. Lead and manage in public governance.

2. Participate in and contribute to the policy process.

3. Analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems and make decisions.

4. Articulate and apply a public service perspective.

5. Communicate and interact with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry.

Special Admission Requirements

In addition to university admission requirements, applicants must submit the following documents as part of their application package:

  1. all official transcripts showing evidence of a 3.0 cumulative G.P.A. on a 4.0 scale (G.P.A. calculated from the last 60 credit hours);
  2. two confidential letters of recommendation from professional references (e.g. current or former college faculty member, current or former work supervisor, or community leader;
  3. a two page, double spaced statement of intent which discusses personal short and long term career goals and reasons for pursuing a MPA degree at this time and what about this particular program is going to help reach those goals. Please give specific personal examples of leadership and provide other pertinent information to help the committee select candidates who can benefit from and contribute to the program. The statement of intent offers applicants the opportunity to demonstrate writing and communication skills and supports your candidacy for the MPA;
  4. a current resume; and
  5. applicants with an extensive work history in the field who have not met the minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 in their last 60 hours of undergraduate courses, may be offered conditional admission, based upon Program Admission Committee recommendation. Conditional admission requires enrollment in PADM - 7100 Political and Legal Frameworks for Public Administration (3)  and PADM - 6700 Data Analysis for Public and Non-Profit Administration (3) . Students who earn a minimum grade of B in both courses will be granted admission to the program. 

Final Project Options: Master’s Research Paper or Capstone Course

As part of this degree program, students must choose one of the following options to complete the MPA program (grade “B” or higher required):

PADM - 8900 Problems in Applied Public Management (3)  


PADM - 8990 Master’s Research Paper (3)  

In the Capstone Course PADM-8900 , students demonstrate their cumulative knowledge and skills through the completion of case studies and a research paper.

Before registering for PADM-8900  students must:

  1. complete 39 hours of required courses including PADM-8600;
  2. be in final term of program; and
  3. obtain permission from the CBPA Advising Office.

The Master’s Research Paper PADM-8990  involves a demonstration of the student’s knowledge and skills through the development of a major research paper approved by a committee of three faculty members

Before registering for PADM-8990  students must:

  1. complete all required courses;
  2. select a committee and have the chairperson approved by the dean; and
  3. complete a written proposal approved by their committee and chairperson.

Further information, instructions, and forms are available through the CBPA Academic Advising Office.

Candidacy Requirement

After admission as a degree-seeking student, a student also must apply for candidacy. Application forms are available in the Academic Advising Office. To qualify for candidacy, a student must:

  1. satisfy all conditions of admission;
  2. maintain an overall G.P.A. of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) for all coursework completed at Governors State university as a graduate student;
  3. satisfy the written communication proficiency requirement;
  4. apply for candidacy after earning a minimum of 9 and a maximum of 12 graduate credit-hours (beyond preparatory coursework). Students who complete more than 15 hours of degree requirements before attaining candidacy status may be required to complete up to 18 additional hours, approved by the Dean, as a candidate before being approved for graduation by the college; and

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