The 36-credit curriculum is divided into core subjects, areas of specialization, an internship and a writing assignment. The core curriculum deals with ideas and concepts related to the field of public administration, human resources management, public financial management, management decision making, quantitative analysis, information technology for public managers, organizational leadership, administrative/employment law, and public economics.
Specialization areas include Nonprofit Management, Public Management, and Policy and Program Development. Within these broad specializations, students focus in a topic area such as state/local management, educational policy, environmental and energy management, planning and infrastructure, international affairs, public policy analysis, financial management, and health policy and management. With the approval of their academic advisor and the MPA program director, students may design their own area of specialization.
Students must research, write and defend a management or policy brief under the direction of a faculty committee. With the approval of the MPA Program Director, qualified practitioners may also participate on these committees.
All MPA candidates must complete a professional-level internship (unless it is waived by the Internship Coordinator). Typically, internships are with governmental agencies, community organizations, advocacy groups, nonprofit institutions, or for-profit organization engaged in the public good. Upon approval of the faculty, students may pursue a thesis in lieu of an internship.