Sep 26, 2022  
Graduate Catalog 2016-2017 
    
Graduate Catalog 2016-2017 [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 Master of Public Administration (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 in Kalamazoo, and at the University’s locations in Lansing and Battle Creek.

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, and who 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
  4. A current resume
  5. Three letters of recommendation

Admission is based on undergraduate grade point average, work experience, letters of recommendation, and career goals. The MPA Admissions Committee meets in February (Summer I & II admission), February (early decision Fall admission), June (Fall admission), August (late decision Fall admission), and October (Spring admission) to consider applications for the following term.

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) also complete a three credit hour (300 contact hour) internship. 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.

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 courses:

Project Paper Seminar (3 hours)


PADM 6800 - Project Paper Seminar is the capstone course of the MPA program. 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.

Professional Field Experience/Internship (3 hours)


For pre-career students, the fourth major component of the MPA is a planned professional field experience, or internship, equivalent to three credit hours (300 contact hours). The goal of the internship is to provide candidates with a 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.

Area of Concentration (18 hours)


Each Area of Concentration includes 18 hours of courses beyond the MPA core program. Options for the Area of Concentration are health care administration, human resources administration, law, nonprofit leadership and administration, and public management. In the event that a student’s needs are not adequately addressed by one of the five areas of concentration, he or she may, with an advisor’s assistance and approval, design his or her 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.

Health Care Administration Concentration


The 18 credit hour Health Care Administration (HCA) concentration in the MPA is composed of four three-hour required courses and two three-hour elective courses. Candidates may select either PADM 6270 or PADM 6290, but not both courses, for three credit hours toward their required coursework; and they may select either PADM 6780 or PADM 6481, but not both courses, for three credit hours of elective credit. Candidates completing the concentration in addition to all the other degree requirements will have “Health Care Administration” noted on their official transcript.

Elective Courses (6 hours)


Select any two of the following courses, except PADM 6780 and PADM 6481 count as only one course.

Note:

Other courses by permission of the MPA advisor. Non-PADM courses are allowed upon the advice of, and permission from, the student’s MPA advisor and the non-PADM department where indicated. Students selecting courses from non-PADM departments must have the approval of the non-PADM department and meet prerequisites when prerequisites are indicated for a course.

Capstone Project


Students must also complete:

Professional Field Experience


Students admitted to the MPA HCA program in a pre-career status must complete:

Departmental Note

The current curriculum counts PADM 6800 (3 credit hour) as part of a 21-hour HCA concentration. The proposed curriculum still requires completion of the PADM 6800 capstone seminar, but as a separate degree requirement, and not as a component of the concentration.

Human Resources Administration Concentration


The 21 credit hour Human Resources Administration (HRA) Concentration in the MPA is composed of one course from each of Areas I, II, III, and V, and nine credit hours from Area IV. 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.

Area I, Legal Dimensions:


Area II, Budgeting and Finance:


Area III, Human Resources:


Area V, Capstone Project:


Law Concentration


The 21 credit hour Law Concentration is composed of one course from each of Areas I, II, III, IV, and VI, and 6 hours from Area V.  MPA candidates completing the concentration in addition to all other degree requirements will have “Law” noted on their official transcript, beginning with those who graduated Fall of 2002. The Area I required law course and all Area V law electives will be taught by Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School faculty. Students must be admitted to the Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School JD program and complete the Introduction of Law School Online Course (www.cooleylaw.edu) prior to enrolling in any law courses and PADM 6000: Historical and Legal Foundation of American Public Administration, or another appropriate MPA core course. Students are also urged to consult their advisor before pursuing the MPA law concentration.

Area I, Legal Dimensions:


Federal Administrative Law (Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School course)

Area III, Human Resources:


Area IV, Cognate Electives:


Area V, Law Electives:


All Area V Law Electives are offered through Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School

Area VI, Capstone Project:


Nonprofit Leadership and Administration Concentration


The 18 credit hour Nonprofit Leadership and Administration (NLA) Concentration in the MPA is composed of three required course and 9 credit hours of electives. MPA candidates completing the concentration in addition to all other degree requirements will have “Nonprofit Leadership and Administration” noted on their official transcript.

Note:

Other courses by permission of the MPA advisor. Non-PADM courses are allowed upon the advice of, and permission from, the student’s MPA advisor and the non-PADM department where indicated. Students selecting courses from non-PADM departments must have the approval of the non-PADM department and meet prerequisites when prerequisites are indicated for a course.

Capstone Project


Public Management Concentration


The 18 credit hour Public Management Concentration in the MPA is composed of three required courses (9 credit hours) and three elective courses (9 credit hours). MPA candidates completing the concentration in addition to all other degree requirements will have “Public Management” noted on their official transcript.

Electives (9 hours)


Note: Elective PADM courses may be selected from the following list. Non-PADM courses are allowed upon the advice of, and permission from, the student’s MPA advisor and the non-PADM department where indicated. Students selecting courses from non-PADM departments must have the approval of the non-PADM department and meet prerequisites when prerequisites are indicated for a course. Courses, in addition to the courses listed below may be used in the MPA public management program, upon advice of, and permission from the student’s MPA advisor and the non-PADM department where a course is offered.

Capstone Project


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