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Online MPA Sample Courses

Course Availability Subject to Change

*Below are samples of the available online MPA courses. This list is not comprehensive of all School of Public Affairs courses, nor does it include all online School of Public Affairs courses.


PUAD 5001: Introduction to Public Administration and Public Service

Examines fundamental theories, structures, and processes of governance in the United States, including the evolving roles and responsibilities of public, nonprofit, and private sectors. Covers topics including public service values and ethics, cross-sector and intergovernmental partnerships, and comparative public administration.

Semester Hours: 3 to 3

PUAD 5002: Organizational Management and Behavior

This online course provides coverage of those elements which, when combined, create a resilient learning organization. Topics include, but are not limited to,

  • organization theory and design
  • managing human capital
  • group development and performance
  • inter- and intra-group communication
  • information management
  • ethical decision making

These topics are presented within the framework of how to organize people to enhance the delivery of public services.

Semester Hours: 3 to 3

PUAD 5003: Research and Analytic Methods

This online course examines quantitative research methods used to answer questions and test hypotheses in public and non-profit settings. Methods covered include identifying and reviewing scholarly literature; formulating research questions; selecting appropriate design, data collection and sampling strategies; and analyzing data.

Topics include causal and descriptive designs, interview and survey methods, and descriptive and inferential statistics such as chi square and regression.

Semester Hours: 3 to 3

PUAD 5004: Economics and Public Finance

This online course uses economics to explore public and private sector roles, and the allocation of resources in the public sector. You'll cover the concepts of public goods, market failure and externalities. The effects of taxation and subsidies on consumer and firm behavior are analyzed as well as cost benefit analysis and intro to public sector budgeting.

Semester Hours: 3 to 3

PUAD 5005: The Policy Process and Democracy

Introduces theoretical and applied studies of the policy process. Policy process includes how (I) issues are conceptualized and brought forward as problems needing action; (II) policies are designed and selected; and (III) enacted policies are implemented, monitored, evaluated, and revised.

Semester Hours: 3 to 3

PUAD 5006: Public Service Leadership

Provides understanding of the role played by leaders within and across public and nonprofit organizations, and in complex social environments. Examines theories of leadership, skills and processes employed by effective leaders, and ethical conduct of leaders in shaping societal values.

Semester Hours: 3 to 3

PUAD 5115: Effective grant Writing for Nonprofit and Public Sector Managers

This course is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills to perform one of the most critical functions for any public or nonprofit sector agency today: gaining funds through proposals. Students learn how to locate and analyze funding opportunities through public and private funders and how to research, plan and write effective and competitive proposals. The course provides theoretical and practical knowledge about persuasive writing, the proposal submission and review process, building effective relationships with funders and how to proceed after post-funding decisions (positive or negative).

Semester Hours: 3 to 3

PUAD 5140: Nonprofit Financial Management

Financial management is one of the core competencies of effective nonprofit managers. Every nonprofit organization needs money to sustain or advance its mission. This course provides a grounding in financial management for the "non-accountant" by focusing on an array of knowledge and management skill areas necessary for allocating and controlling resources and for analyzing, reporting and protecting the fiscal health of the organization. Topics include key accounting principles, understanding and using financial statements, the budget development process, cash flow analysis, banking relationships, using the audit report, maximizing investment policy and strategy, and understanding the boundaries of tax exemption.

Semester Hours: 3 to 3

PUAD 5250: Intergovernmental Management

Surveys the basic literature of intergovernmental management and examines the interactive role of managers at federal, state, and local levels of government. Emphasis is placed on current intergovernmental issues.

Semester Hours: 3 to 3

PUAD 5271: Managing Conflict and Change

Explores the process of change in organizations, communities, society, and conflicts that arise. Through the use of relevant case studies and role playing exercises, students are provided a practical framework for looking at change and managing conflict associated with change.

Semester Hours: 3 to 3

PUAD 5320: Public Policy Analysis

Provides training in the systematic analysis of policy and program initiatives using an economics orientation and employing a case method. The course covers benefit-cost analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, present values, and the treatment of multiple criteria in public sector program analysis.

Semester Hours: 3 to 3

PUAD 5361: Capstone Seminar

Synthesizes competencies gained throughout the course of study into a client-based research project. Students conduct independent research, complete a final written project demonstrating their qualifications and expertise, and orally present findings to a committee of faculty and public administration professionals.

Semester Hours: 3 to 3


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