Public Administration

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Graduate programs

Master of Public Administration

David E A Johnson, MPA Program Director

Strong Hall, Room 328; Phone 417-836-6956
DavidEAJohnson@missouristate.edu
http://politicalscience.missouristate.edu/mpa

Program description

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program is a 36 credit hour program designed to prepare students for careers in public services and to provide professional development for administrators of public agencies and non-profit organizations.  Our mission is to: (1) develop well-educated students for professional careers in public service; (2) prepare students to excel in public and non-profit governance through a curriculum focused on theoretical, practical, and analytical instruction; and (3) foster an environment that strengthens the profession of public administration.  In conjunction with the University’s state-wide mission in public affairs, our aim is to produce graduates who are culturally competent, understand the importance of civic and community engagement, and value the role of ethical leadership in public service:

  1. are culturally competent and understand the importance of civic engagement and the role of ethical  leadership in public service;
  2. have an understanding of the role that public service plays in democratic society; and
  3. are prepared to pursue advanced study in public administration.

All students with demonstrated academic competence, interested in pursuing a career in public service, and who meet the entrance requirements of the MPA program will be welcomed into the program. The program is designed to give students the opportunity to pursue specializations the supplement a solid core in public administration.  These specializations are offered as certificates.  The student can choose from one of the following areas:  1) public safely, 2) local government management, 3)public policy, 4) economic development.  Students must complete both the core and one certificate to earn the MPA.

Entrance requirements

  1. 3.00 GPA (on a 4.00 scale) in undergraduate degree from an accredited institution.
  2. Three strong letters of recommendation from undergraduate professors and/or persons well acquainted with the applicant's education and abilities.  
  3. Applicants with a GPA between 2.75 and 2.99 may be admitted to the program on a provisional status at the discretion of the MPA director.  A personal interview may be required.
  4. Foreign students applying for admission to the MPA program who do not have an undergraduate degree from an American university must have completed the equivalent of an undergraduate degree at an accredited university. They must also demonstrate graduate-level proficiency in English by either having achieved a score of 550 on the paper-based, or a comparable score of 79 on the IBT or internet- based TOEFL, or by other equivalent means.

Graduate assistantships

All graduate assistants in Political Science are required to take 9 hours of course work per semester.

Advisement

  1. The MPA director may waive the internship requirement for students who have appropriate and sufficient prior work experience in public or not-for-profit organizations.  Students with prior work experience in the public or not-for-profit sector should submit a letter to the MPA director requesting a waiver in the internship requirement along with a copy of his/her resume.  Students for whom an internship requirement is waived must still take a three hour course to substitute for the internship.
  2. All MPA students in consultation with the MPA director will select an area of concentration (cognate field) within the MPA degree.  Students shall take elective courses from the list of courses for the area of concentration he/she has selected.  Exceptions may be granted at the discretion of the MPA director.
  3. All MPA students should work closely with the MPA director in completing their required and elective courses, internship, Advisor Approved Program of Study, and comprehensive examination.
  4. Students interested in pursuing a thesis option should establish a thesis committee consisting of three graduate faculty members and select one of the members to serve as chair of the thesis committee.  The chair of the committee will guide the student through the entire thesis process.

Degree requirements (minimum of 36 hrs)

  1. Required Core:
     
    Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
    PLS 673 Policy Analysis 3 hrs
    PLS 676 Quantitative Methods of Political Science and Public Policy 3 hrs
    PLS 752 Public Personnel Management 3 hrs
    PLS 753  Management Techniques and Organizational Behavior 3 hrs
    PLS 756 Financial Management for State and Local Government 3 hrs
    PLS 771 Seminar in Public Administration 3 hrs
    PLS 778 Ethics and Leadership in the Public Sector 3 hrs
      Total Core 21 hrs

    Note:  If the student has taken a 500-level required course for undergraduate credit, he/she shall substitute   a 600 or 700-level course selected with the approval of the advisor and the department for the course already taken.

  2. Internship:  (PLS 781 In-Service Training in Public Administration).  In-service training in an approved local, county, state, federal, non-profit or other approved agency (unless waived for candidate with adequate experience). 0-3 hrs
  3. Research:
    1. Non-thesis option.  Complete required core courses and up to 18 hours of courses in student’s chosen area of concentration (see #4 below).
    2. Thesis option.  Complete required core courses, PLS 799 Thesis (6 hours), and up to 12 hours of courses in student’s chosen area of concentration (see #5 below).
  4. Comprehensive Examination.  The Director of the MPA Program will prepare and administer a written comprehensive examination covering the general field of public administration, reflected in the required core courses offered.  All students except those who choose a thesis option and successfully complete a master’s thesis will be required to take and pass a written comprehensive examination.  Students who do not perform at satisfactory level on their comprehensive examination will be required to pass an oral examination.
  5. Areas of Concentration:  The MPA student will take the required courses in his/her area of concentration that will result in earning a certificate to compliment the core courses.  They will also select other courses to fill out the elective requirements depending on whether the internship is waived.  Certificate 12 hrs
Local Government Management Certificate
Required Courses - 12 hours total

Required courses - 6 hours

Course(s) Area of Study Credit Hours
PLS 776 Local Public Service Delivery 3 hrs
PLS 777 Local Government & Politics & Administration 3 hrs

Elective courses - 6 hours

Choose 6 hours from the following courses.

Course(s) Area of Study Credit Hours
PLS 760 Management of Intergovernmental Relations 3 hrs
PLS 774 Municipal Planning and Zoning 3 hrs
ACC 600 Accounting Concepts for Managers 3 hrs
Public Policy certificate
Required Courses - 12 hours total

Required courses - 6 hours

Course(s) Area of Study Credit Hours
PLS 673 Policy Analysis 3 hrs
PLS 762 Public Policy and Program Evational 3 hrs

Elective courses - 6 hours

Choose 6 hours from the following courses.

Course(s) Area of Study Credit Hours
PLS 685 Public Policy for the Global Environment 3 hrs
PLS 754 Seminar in Health Policy 3 hrs
ECO 615 Public Sector Economics 3 hrs
SWK 715 Social Welfare Policy and Services 3 hrs
     
 Public Safety certificate
Required Courses - 12 hours total

Required courses - 6 hours

Course(s) Area of Study Credit Hours
PLS 772 Introduction to Public Safety Services 3 hrs
PLS 773 Hazard Analysis, Mitigation and Preparedness 3 hrs

Elective courses - 6 hours

Choose 6 hours from the following courses.

Course(s) Area of Study Credit Hours
PLS 719 Strategic Planning & Organizational Imperatives in Homeland Security 3 hrs
PLS 717 Multidisciplinary Approaches to Homeland Security 3 hrs
GLG 647 Water Resources 3 hrs
GRY 731 Environmental Assessment 3 hrs
CRM 740 Foundations of Homeland Defense and Security 3 hrs
 Economic Development certificate
Required Courses - 12 hours total

Required courses - 6 hours

Course(s) Area of Study Credit Hours
PLS 775 Economic Development for local and State Government 3 hrs
PLS 774 Municipal Planning and Zoning 3 hrs

Elective courses - 6 hours

Choose 6 hours from the following courses.

Course(s) Area of Study Credit Hours
MKT 772 Marketing Management 3 hrs
ECO 600 Fundamentals of Economics 3 hrs
PLN 671 Land Use Planning 3 hrs

 

Accelerated Master of Public Administration option

Eligible Missouri State University majors in political science may apply for preliminary acceptance into the Master of Public Administration program after admission requirements for the accelerated master’s option have been satisfied.  If accepted, the undergraduate requirements for PLS 673 (Policy Analysis), PLS 676 (Quantitative Methods of Political Science and Public Policy), and PLS 781 (In-service Training in Public Administration) can be counted for both the undergraduate and graduate degrees.

In addition, PLS 771 (Seminar in Public Administration) can be taken during the student’s senior year and can also count toward both degrees.  This option gives exceptional undergraduate students the opportunity to complete their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in ten semesters and a summer.  Contact the Director of the MPA Program for further information and guidelines.

Before enrolling in a course to be counted as both undergraduate and graduate credit and to count the course toward the master’s degree, an undergraduate student must be accepted into the accelerated program and receive prior approval from the graduate program director, department head of the undergraduate program, and the dean of the Graduate College.  Acceptance into the program and all approvals must be completed prior to the end of the Change of Schedule Period for the course(s).  See the Graduate College for further information.

Admission Process for the Accelerated MPA Option

Immediately prior to or during the junior year, the prospective student should discuss the possibility of participating in the Accelerated Master’s Degree program with their undergraduate advisor and Department Head of the Political Science Department.  If the student’s academic record and potential are judged strong, the Head recommends the student to the proposed Accelerated MPA program.  Undergraduate students who enter the Accelerated Master’s Degree program should have a sponsor, i.e., a MPA faculty member who will serve as a mentor to the student throughout the undergraduate and graduate programs.

A student must be admitted into the Accelerated Master’s Degree Program at Missouri State University in order to begin taking graduate course work for dual credit.  Students admitted into the Accelerated Master’s Degree program will not be fully admitted into the Graduate College until completion of their undergraduate degree and fulfillment of all other requirements for admission to the Graduate College (such as the Graduate Record Examination).  Students should be awarded the bachelor’s degree upon completion of a minimum of 125 hours of combined graduate and undergraduate course work and degree specific requirements.

To be admitted into the Master’s of Public Administration program, you must meet specific requirements:

Admission requirements for the accelerated MPA option
  1. Public administration and political science undergraduate students must have at least junior standing and a minimum of 60 credit hours.
  2. Applicants must have a minimum 3.50 GPA in the public administration or political science curriculum and 3.00 overall GPA.
  3. Students in the Accelerated Master’s Degree Program must maintain a 3.50 GPA in the public administration and/or political science curriculums and maintain a 3.00 overall GPA to remain in the program.
  4. Transfer students will be allowed into the Accelerated Master's Degree Program.  Transfer students must have a minimum of 30 graded hours of course work at Missouri State University before they can be accepted into the program.
  5. A maximum of 12 credits of accumulated graduate hours may be applied toward completion of their undergraduate degree requirements.  The following courses will be allowed:

    Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
    PLS 673 Policy Analysis 3 hrs
    PLS 676 Quantitative Methods of Political Science and Public Policy 3 hrs
    PLS 771 Seminar in Public Administration 3 hrs
    PLS 781 In-Service Training in Public Administration 3 hrs