The Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) degree program is designed to educate current (in-service) and future (pre-service) public service leaders with ethical behavior and professional competencies that promote public service values extending from UWG’s values of achievement, caring, collaboration, inclusiveness, innovation, integrity, sustainability, and wisdom. The program prepares students with the knowledge and skills to advance the public interest through teaching, research, and service to the community. The M.P.A. program is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA).
Overall Learning Outcomes
Students will be able to:
- Demonstrate effective leadership and management skills.
- Assess the political, economic, and legal nature of the policymaking process and its implications on the work of public managers.
- Synthesize, analyze, and apply theories and principles of public administration and management to solve problems in public and nonprofit organizations.
- Articulate and apply a public service perspective.
- Apply qualitative and quantitative data analysis skills for public and community problem solving and decision-making.
- Communicate and interact effectively in an environment of changing demographics, evolving technology, and diverse perspectives.
All of the MPA courses are available online.
Graduate Assistant positions are available to full time students who qualify.
Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university. Students with any undergraduate major may apply. Those students with no prior public administration education or public service experience will be required to take POLS 5200 - Principles of Public Administration . This course does not count toward the 36 hours required for the degree.
Admission will be based on the M.P.A. Committee’s evaluation of five factors: (1) A minimum 2.5 cumulative grade average (GPA) equivalent on a 4.0 scale is required, (2) Two letters of recommendation from former professors or from job supervisors, (3) A minimum total score of 291 (combining Verbal and Quantitative) on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). However, the following are eligible for a GRE Waiver: a. Applicant with an earned graduate degree from an accredited institution, b. Applicant with an earned undergraduate degree with an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher from an accredited institution, c. Applicant with an earned undergraduate degree with an overall GPA of 2.75 from an accredited institution and at least 3 years professional, full-time, public sector or nonprofit career experience, d. Applicant with a public or nonprofit work experience of at least 7 or more years in a full-time, relevant supervisory position, (4) A personal statement of about 1,000 words that describes the applicant’s work experience, professional goals, the reasons they have chosen this program, why they want to attend UWG, and how the MPA program will help the applicant achieve the goals, and (5) A current resume
Program of Study
The M.P.A. degree is a professional program requiring the completion of 36 semester hours of graduate credit. While an exit paper is required, the program is a non-thesis program. The curriculum for the M.P.A. degree places major emphasis upon courses in the area of public administration and policy. All pre-service students will be required to substitute an internship for 3 hours of the elective track. The program is built on three tiers of course work:
The Professional Core (21 hours):
All students must complete the professional core. The courses in the core are:
The Elective Track (12 hours):
With the approval of the program advisor, each student must select 12 hours beyond the core courses. The track courses may be taken from any graduate program in the University. Generally, electives should form a coherent whole. Examples of track emphasis include, nonprofit management, public management, disaster/emergency management and particular areas of public policy. Those students with no experience in government or non-profit management are required to take a three hour PA internship (POLS 6286 ) in lieu of one elective course.
Comprehensive Research Project (3 hours):
This research project (also called “Exit Paper”) is taken at the completion of the students’ degree program. The exit paper can take several forms, but typically providing an analysis of public administration/policy issues and nonprofit sector issues. Students also may analyze an actual problem which confronts the student’s agency, describe the problem-solving approach taken, and evaluate the supportive evidence for the decision made. Finally, the paper can also evaluate linkages between the internship or work experience, classroom experiences, and public administration literature. Papers may also reflect other research dealing with an issue or problem relating to public administration. An oral defense of the paper before each student’s committee is required.