Apr 19, 2021  
Graduate Catalog 2019-20 
    
Graduate Catalog 2019-20 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Public Administration


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Advisors:
Dr. Matthew Mingus, Dr. Robert Peters, and Dr. Udaya Wagle.

The mission of the MPA program is to improve the quality of public service by developing professionals and leaders equipped with knowledge and skills in theories, methodology, and innovative practice in the interdisciplinary field of public administration. Our graduates lead and manage a diverse range of government, nonprofit, and health care organizations and make positive impacts on the lives of citizens locally, nationally, and globally.

The MPA Program is modeled around the following core values of public administration.

  1. Plurality of ideas and perspectives
  2. Common good, social justice, and democratic governance
  3. Ethical and competent leadership and decision-making
  4. Efficient, effective, equitable, and transparent practice of public service.

Reflecting the multi-disciplinary nature of the field, the MPA draws upon the diverse talents of academic departments throughout the University in addition to the faculty of the School of Public Affairs and Administration. The MPA is offered on the main campus with concentrations in health care, human resources, nonprofit, and public management with the last two concentrations also offered in a hybrid format in the Lansing regional location.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the MPA program must meet the Graduate College requirements of an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university with an overall grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Students with an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.5 who also demonstrate a record of relevant work experience and professional advancement may be considered for conditional admission.

The following must be submitted in order to be considered for admission:

  1. The completed University online application for Graduate Admission, with paid application fee
  2. An official transcript from each undergraduate and graduate institution attended (except WMU)
  3. A written statement of how the MPA will help you meet your personal and career goals
  4. A current resume including all academic, professional, and volunteer experience
  5. Three letters of recommendation (at least one academic and at least one professional)

Admission decisions are based on undergraduate grade point average, any prior graduate course work, work experience, letters of recommendation, and statement of career goals. MPA admissions decisions are made on an ongoing basis and applicants are usually notified within three weeks of submitting all required application materials. To ensure admissions by the start of the semester or summer session, all admissions materials must be received by August 1 for fall admissions, December 10 for spring admissions, and April 10 for summer admissions, though earlier applications allow for better course availability.

Note: International applicants must follow the process and timing specified by WMU’s international admissions. The School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPPA) usually makes a decision within one week of receiving materials from that office.

MPA Program Requirements (39 hours)


The MPA curriculum provides a foundation in the principles of administration, addresses the practical responsibilities of managers, and reflects on the task of administrative leadership. The 39 credit hour program includes three components: the Core Program, an Area of Concentration, and the Project Paper Seminar. Pre-career students (status determined upon admission based on evidence of significant administrative or managerial experience in a relevant sector) also complete a three credit hour (300 contact hour) professional field experience. The curriculum assumes that candidates already have basic computer literacy and a working knowledge of the American political processes at local, state, and national levels.

1. Core Program (18 hours)


The Core Program includes course work in the theoretical foundation of public management, critical areas of administrative responsibility, and methods of administrative and policy analysis. Students complete each of the following six courses:

2. Area of Concentration (18 credit hours)


In addition to the MPA core, the project paper requirement, and if required, the professional field experience, each MPA student must complete one of the 18-credit hour areas of concentration. Options for the area of concentration are health care administration, human resources administration, nonprofit leadership and administration, and public management. In the event that a student’s needs are not adequately addressed by one of the four areas of concentration, they may, with the MPA advisor’s assistance and approval, design a concentration from the wide array of courses that are offered by the School of Public Affairs and Administration or by other departments in the University. Note: Course offerings from other departments may change each year, and so other courses may occasionally be substituted with MPA advisor permission in advance. Student’s may, with the MPA advisor’s assistance and approval, include non-PADM courses. Students selecting courses from outside SPPA must have the approval of the other department and meet prerequisites if any prerequisites are indicated for the course.

3. PADM 6800- Project Paper Seminar (3 credit hours)


Project Paper Seminar is the capstone course of the MPA program and is required for each student regardless of their area of concentration. It provides an opportunity for students to integrate theory and practice in a significant problem solving exercise. The product of the seminar is a professional analysis of a management problem or an applied scholarly inquiry in the field of public administration. MPA candidates who have completed at least 30 hours of MPA course work, including all MPA core requirements, are eligible to enroll in the Project Paper Seminar. MPA advisors encourage students to enroll in this seminar as their last course, if possible.

4. Professional Field Experience/Internship (3 credit hours)


For pre-career students (status determined upon admission based on evidence of significant administrative or managerial experience in a relevant sector), the fourth major component of the MPA is a planned professional field experience, or internship, equivalent to three credit hours (minimum 300 contact hours). The goal of the internship is to provide candidates with work experience, which will afford realistic exposure to their world of professional administration and to the organizational and bureaucratic environment in which the dynamics of an agency are developed.

Concentrations


Public Management Concentration


The 18 credit hour Public Management Concentration (PM) is composed of three required courses and three elective courses. MPA candidates completing the concentration in addition to all other degree requirements will have “Public Management” noted on their official transcript.

Required Concentration Courses (9 credit hours)


Nonprofit Leadership and Administration Concentration


The 18 credit hour Nonprofit Leadership and Administration (NLA) Concentration is composed of three required course and three elective courses. MPA candidates completing the concentration in addition to all other degree requirements will have “Nonprofit Leadership and Administration” noted on their official transcript.

Human Resources Administration Concentration


The 18 credit hour Human Resources Administration (HRA) Concentration is composed of three required courses and three elective courses. MPA candidates completing the concentration in addition to all other degree requirements will have “Human Resources Administration” noted on their official transcript, beginning with those who graduate in the fall of 2001.

Required Concentration Courses (9 credit hours)


Health Care Administration Concentration


The 18 credit hour Health Care Administration (HCA) concentration composed of four required courses and two elective courses. MPA candidates completing the concentration in addition to all the other degree requirements will have “Health Care Administration” noted on their official transcript.

Required Concentration Courses (12 credit hours)


Elective Concentration Courses (6 credit hours)


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