Master of Public Administration Courses

Course descriptions for public administration courses beyond the core courses are available in the University Bulletin.

Nine core courses (25 credits) are required in the MPA program. 

These courses cover an essential nucleus of material that everyone earning an MPA degree must master.

PPPA 6000 Perspectives on Public Values (1 credit)
This intensively participatory course looks at the underpinnings and skills necessary for a functioning democratic society. Primary emphasis is placed on empathy and the ability to have civil discourse in order to create, analyze, pass, implement and evaluate policy and programs. Specific sub-topics may include privilege, diversity, inclusion, immigration, marketplace of ideas, etc. Primary resources for the course may include literary fiction, narrative non-fiction and ‘live’ resources around D.C.

PPPA 6001 Introduction to Public Service and Administration (3 credits)
Introduction to the discipline of public administration.  The intellectual traditions and theoretical frames of reference that inform public administration as a field of professional practice and study.  Current and continuing challenges and controversies.

PPPA 6002 Research Methods and Applied Statistics (3 credits)
Development of skills and knowledge for conducting original research and critically evaluating empirical studies.  Various research designs and data collection techniques are examined.  Focus on computerizing data sets for quantitative analysis, analyzing strength of relationships, selecting appropriate statistical techniques, and testing statistical hypotheses.

PPPA 6003 Economics for Public Decision Making (3 credits)
The basic tools and concepts in microeconomic analysis; how these tools can be useful in public decision making.

PPPA 6004 Leadership in Public Administration and Public Policy (3 credits)
An examination of current ideas about leadership and management from both theoretical and operational perspectives, including the values, ethics, skills, knowledge and practices needed for success.  Prerequisite: PPPA 6001 or equivalent.

PPPA 6005 Public Budgeting, Revenue, and Expenditure Analysis (3 credits)
Survey course that focuses on the institutions and analytical tools associated with raising revenue and allocating/managing resources at all levels of government.  Hands-on budgeting skills and communication of analysis to decision makers.  Prerequisite: PPPA 6003 or equivalent.

PPPA 6006 Policy Analysis (3 credits)
Development of skills in conducting and critiquing policy analyses.  Application of methodologies used in analyzing possible consequences of specified alternatives as applied in the public policy decision-making process.  Appropriate applications and limitations of policy analysis and its relationship to politics and the policy process.

PPPA 6009 Capstone Seminar (3 credits)
Synthesizes, analyzes and integrates concepts and issues relating to the ethical, political, economic, managerial, and personal values in the field.  Open only to MPA degree candidates in their final semester of study.

PPPA 6016: Public and Nonprofit Program Evaluation (3 credits)
Theory and practice of program evaluation and evaluative research.  Exploration of scope and limitations of current practice in evaluation, considering economic, political, social and administrative factors.  Examination of methodological considerations for design, data collection, analysis and dissemination.

Additionally, students complete field courses (9-12 credits) in their Field of Study.