Master of Public Administration

Course of Study

Master of Public Administration

The curriculum of the Master of Public Administration Program is divided into core courses, specializations, electives and a capstone course for a total of 42 credit hours.

Core Curriculum:
The core courses introduce students to the principles of management and public administration as well as provide a solid foundation in public finance, economics, and research methodology. The core of the MPA curriculum (26 credit hours) is required of all students and consists of the following:

  • UST 600: Foundations in Public Administration
  • UST 601: Applied Quantitative Reasoning I
  • UST 603: Public Sector Economics
  • UST 617: Public Administration & the Political Process
  • UST 630: Public Human Resources Management
  • UST 634: Ethics in the Public Sector
  • UST 636: Public Budgeting & Finance 
  • UST 671: Urban Colloquium
  • UST 672: Urban Simulation OR UST 683 Urban Issues in Action

Areas of Specialization:

All students must complete a minimum of twelve credit hours in an area of specialization. The areas of specialization and related options are listed below. See the Graduate Programs Advisor for specific curriculum plans. The specialization areas are:

  • Public & City Management
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Economic Development
  • Public Financial Management

Elective Credit:
The electives are designed to enhance current skills, to fill gaps in substantive areas, or to develop an additional concentration. For example, students may take additional courses in Human Resources Management, Urban Planning, or Environmental Policy. 

Capstone Requirement (UST 692):
UST 692 is a generalist public administration capstone seminar that provides a final common experience for MPA students. In this course, students integrate learning from the MPA core curriculum with professional practices encountered in public and nonprofit organizations. Students prepare and defend a capstone paper.