The MPA program is designed to prepare students for careers in the management of public and nonprofit organizations through a curriculum that emphasizes the study of organizational dynamics, the legal, ethical, and political context of public management, management techniques, and the analysis of public policies. In addition to completing 39 credit hours, students must pass a comprehensive examination which is offered each semester, including summer.
Required Core Courses: 18 hours
1) PS 501 - Methods of Political Inquiry Analysis descriptions of the logic and procedures necessary for valid political inquiry.
2) PS 538 - Ethics and Bureaucracy examines the ethical side of public decision making and the values the American political system is designed to promote and protect.
3) PS 540 - Seminar in Public Sector Organizations explores the behavior and problems of public organizations in democratic environments, and links societal values to administration structure and behavior.
4) PS 541 - Public Personnel Management provides a systematic survey of public personnel administration in the U.S., and discusses the development of modern personnel systems in the public sector while emphasizing contemporary trends at the national, state, and local levels of government.
5) PS 542 - Governmental Financial Management provides a study of the financial administration process of government, with emphasis on local government; subjects covered range from budgeting to risk management.
6) PS 545 - Seminar in Public Policy Analysis Theoretical approaches to the analysis of public policy, policy-making, and policy implementations and to such topics as health and welfare, poverty, education, and urban affairs.
PS 546 - Public Policy Evaluation examines the various approaches and techniques for evaluating public problems.
Electives: 18 credit hours plus 3 hours internship
PS 510 - Problems in National Government includes research, reports, and discussion of selected aspects of national government.
PS 511 - Seminar in State Government explores selected problems of state governments and their sub-units.
PS 512- Kentucky Government and Politics Traces the government and political development of the state from its constitutional beginning to the present. Primary focus is on the major factors and issues in the state's political development within the context of the national government setting.
PS 520- Elements of Public Administration is an introductory survey of governmental administration; emphasizes relationships between political issues and the practice of administration in areas such as organizational structures, personnel and financial management, control and accountability, and ethical issues.
PS 524- Administrative Law involves the study of the development of and trends in administrative law with emphasis on the problems caused by the exercise of quasi legislative judicial powers by administrative agencies, including the rights, duties and liabilities of public officials, relief against administrative action, jurisdiction, conclusiveness and judicial control.
PS 543 - Politics and Administration in Rural Communities is a study of political and administrative institutions, processes and issued associated with local governments in rural communities.
PS 549 - Special Problems in Public Administration provides a seminar approach to contemporary problems in public organizations reflecting political/managerial developments; topics reflect both student and professional needs.
PS 580 - Directed Study allows for faculty guidance of student research in one or more selected fields of political science.
PS 597 - Professional Seminar in Public Administration incorporates principles and techniques in the practice of public administration. Case studies and contact with field professional will be emphasized.
PS 598 - Internship in Public Administration Work experience in a public sector or non-profit agency combined with faculty direction.
PS 505 - Washington Internship and Academic Seminars An individualized internship and/or seminar experience in Washington, D.C. tailored to the student's area of interest. Placement is determined by the department academic advisor in collaboration with Washington professionals.