Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Course of Study

Program
Requirements

Complete admission and program requirements are found in the University Catalog.

Core Curriculum

The MPA program is divided into two parts — a core curriculum shared by all students in the program and electives that fulfill one of four concentrations. You will be required to complete 37-40 total semester credit hours depending on whether you take an internship and which concentration you follow.

Twenty-four of those credits come from three-credit core course work and one credit is covered through your capstone course. You will be required to take an additional two required courses and two elective courses in your concentration. See a full list of all available courses

The common core courses are designed to meet the NASPAA Core Curriculum Competencies, which has all students in the program demonstrate their ability to: 

  • Lead and manage in public government
  • Participate in and contribute to the policy process
  • Analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems and make decisions
  • Articulate and apply a public service perspective
  • Communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry

Concentrations

The curriculum allows students to choose a concentration.  You may choose from a concentration in:

  • City and County Leadership and Management
  • Nonprofit Leadership and Management
  • International Development Leadership and Management
  • Health Care Leadership and Management

Additional concentrations may be created depending on demand and faculty availability and expertise. Coursework in some concentrations may be taught in collaboration with faculty and managers at partner colleges, universities and government and nonprofit organizations. Each concentration accounts for 12-13 course credits and, if necessary, a one- to two-credit internship.

City and County Leadership and Management Concentration

The curriculum for students concentrating in City and County Leadership and Management is created to meet the topical requirements of both pre-service and in-service students.

The curriculum is designed to put students on a career path for jobs such as: 

  • City or county manager
  • Department manager in planning, fire, emergency management, police, economic development parks and recreation, public works, management/administrative analyst
  • Human resources manager
  • Budget analyst
  • Financial management director
  • Employee relations specialist
  • Grant writer

Pre-service students are required to take one to two credits of internship. A full list of required courses, electives and descriptions can be found in the program requirements

Concentration Competencies

The coursework is designed to meet the NASPAA Local Government Competencies, which has all students in the concentration demonstrate the application of their knowledge and understanding of the:

  1. Ethics of local government management, emphasizing the role of the professional chief executive.
  2. Roles and relationships among key local and other government elected and appointed officials.
  3. Purposes of and processes for communicating with and engaging citizens in local governance.
  4. The management of local government core services and functions.
  5. The management of local government financial resources.  
  6. The management of local government human resources.

Nonprofit Leadership and Management Concentration

The curriculum for students concentrating in Nonprofit Leadership and Management is created to meet the topical requirements of both pre-service and mid-service students.

The curriculum is designed to put students on a career path for jobs such as: 

  • Executive director
  • Assistant director
  • Department or service manager
  • Evaluator
  • Management/administrative analyst
  • Human resources manager 
  • Financial manager
  • Budget analyst
  • Grant writer

Pre-service students are required to take one to two credits of internship. A full list of required courses, electives and descriptions can be found in the program requirements.

Concentration Competencies

The coursework is designed to meet the NASPAA Nonprofit Competencies, which has all students in the concentration demonstrate the application of their knowledge and understanding of the:

  1. History, values, ethics, governance, and theories and philosophies of the nonprofit sector.
  2. Legal structure of the third sector.
  3. Revenues, budgeting, and resource management of the nonprofit organization.
  4. Human resources and volunteer management.
  5. Accountability, performance measures, and program evaluation.
  6. External relations and inter-organizational and inter-sectorial relations.
  7. Alignment of the nonprofit sector with the environment.  
  8. Applications of quantitative analysis and information technology to nonprofit management and policy.
  9. Policy making processes.

International Development Leadership and Management Concentration

The curriculum for students concentrating in International Development Leadership and Management is created to meet the topical requirements of both pre-service and mid-service students.

The curriculum is designed to put students on a career path for jobs such as: 

  • Agency or program director
  • Financial manager
  • Economic development manager
  • Researcher
  • Grant writer
  • Business and facility manager
  • Visitor center manager
  • Information officer and director
  • Diplomatic relations officer

Pre-service students are required to take a one or two credit internship. A full list of required courses, electives and descriptions can be found in the program requirements.

Concentration Competencies

The coursework is designed to meet the International DevelopmentCompetencies, which has all students in the concentration demonstrate the application of their knowledge and understanding of the:

  1. Differences between economic, social, and political development and different development paradigms associated with development.
  2. Relationship between economic development, social development, and political development and differences that exist between developed and developing counties and how developing counties become developed countries.
  3. The dynamic aspects (political, financial, societal, environmental, international) of development administration and development management.
  4. Problems and issues associated with management and leadership of development policies and programs, and difficulties surrounding assessment of management and leadership performance.
  5. Role international (nonprofit, corporations, country specific) organizations play in development design and management of change to existing managerial (financial, human, program assessment) and leadership mechanisms.
  6. Role played by international governmental organizations in promoting economic development, promotion of good governance, and nation building.
  7. Context and institutions of corruption, types of corruption, sources of corruption, impacts of corruption on social, cultural, economic, and political settings, and the desirability and ability of institutional strategies to minimize corruption.

Health Care Leadership and Management

The curriculum for students concentrating in Health Care Leadership and Management is created to meet the topical requirements of both pre-career and mid-career students to lead and manage skilled nursing facilities and other extended care amenities that provide rehabilitative and ongoing assistance.

The curriculum is approved by the Minnesota State Board of Nursing Home Administrators (BEHNA) as prerequisites to take the State and National Licensure Examinations and to serve as an administrator of a licensed nursing home in Minnesota. A full list of required courses, electives and descriptions can be found in the program requirements.

Concentration Competencies

The coursework is designed to meet the Health CareCompetencies, which has all students in the concentration demonstrate the application of their knowledge and understanding of:

  1. Role of policy decision makers in formulation, adoption and evaluation of laws, policies, and regulations related to long term care management.
  2. Regulations of client care in long term care facilities within the parameters of regulations;
  3. Laws and legislation that affect guardianship and conservatorship.
  4. Issues in health care vis-a-vis major social, economic and ethical issues.
  5. Role of the long-term-care manager regarding operations and functions of each facility department, program, and the administrative responsibilities embedded.
  6. Importance and purposes of agency budgets and financial management, as well as program, organization wide, capital, cash flow budgets and types/sources of funds: unrestricted, contract, grant, business income, asset generated, contributions and pledges.