Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Would you like to help your community? Do you want to make a difference in people’s lives? Interested in serving your country? The Master’s of Public Administration degree may be an excellent fit for you. The Master’s of Public administration degree at UIU is a practitioner oriented degree that can help you to advance in your career no matter where your starting point. Public administrators operate in many different occupations, including social work, police and fire chiefs, veterinarians, public health officials, scientists, financial analysts, personnel administrators, public works administrators, aviation pilots, etc.. Students of the MPA program learn skills that are useful in today’s public and nonprofit organizations. Importantly, our program stands out because students learn how to operate in the unique political environments of the public and nonprofit sectors. We offer flexible on-line and hybrid formats taught by faculty with real world experience.

Curriculum and Degree Requirements

  • At Upper Iowa University (UIU), the Master of Public Administration degree includes successful completion of 36 semester credits of graduate level course work with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Students can complete their degrees in as little as a year and a half or as long as five years after their initial enrollment in the Program.  If a student does not complete the MPA degree within the five-year time limit, he or she will need to reapply to the Program and the requirements in effect at the time of this reapplication will be used as the student’s new graduation requirements.
  • Students in the program are required to complete 18 credits of core requirements that provide a broad overview of the public administration discipline. 

18 Credits of Core Courses (each course is worth 3 credits)

PA 500:  Writing in Public Administration
PA 501:  Democracy, Public Administration, and Public Policy
PA 502:  Introduction to Program Evaluation
PA 503:  Program Evaluation:  Implementation and Evaluation
PA 504:  Political Economy and Regulatory Policy for Public Administrators
PA 511:  Government and Nonprofit Financial Management and Control 

3 Credits minimum for a final research course that serves as a cumulative demonstration of skills learned in all courses leading up to the MPA degree.  This course is called the Capstone course or project.

PA 590:  Capstone

In addition to the above requirements, students in the MPA program will choose one (1) of the following emphases:

Emergency Management and Homeland Security
Government Administration
Healthcare Management
Nonprofit Management
Public Management
General Studies

Emergency Management and Homeland Security Emphasis
(15 credits total with each course worth 3 credits)

This emphasis area is designed to prepare students for leadership positions in agencies and organizations that exist to protect life, liberty, and property.  Upon successful completion of this emphasis, students will possess the knowledge needed to provide strategic leadership using an All Hazards/ Whole Community approach to emergency events given networked environments within a democratic political system.  

Students in the Emergency Management and Homeland Security Emphasis are asked to choose four (4) of the following courses:

  • PA 508  Terrorism and Politics
  • PA 522  Psychology and Culture of Terrorism
  • PA 523  Emergency Management - Homeland  Security Public Policy
  • PA 524  Leadership Issues with Critical Incidents
  • PA 525  Comparative Strategies of National Security PA
  • PA 526  Emergency Management: Mitigation Recovery, and Continuity
  • PA 535  Counter-Terrorism
  • PA 543  Emergency Management:   Planning and Response
  • PA 555 Critical Infrastructure: Vulnerability Analysis and Protection

Plus, students will choose (1) graduate elective for 3 credits.  This elective can be from any department within Upper Iowa University but should be relevant to the field of public administration.

Government Administration Emphasis
(15 credits total with each course worth 3 credits)

This emphasis area is intended for students who are pursuing leadership positions in a local, county, state, or national level of government.

Government Administration students will choose four (4) of the following courses:

  • PA 507  Ethics of Public Service
  • PA 562  Seminar in Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations
  • PA 563  Administrative Law
  • PA 564  Seminar in State and Local   Government Management
  • PA 565  Advanced Policy Analysis and Evaluation
  • PA 566  Economic Development:   Theory and Practice 

Plus, students will choose (1) graduate elective for 3 credits.  This elective can be from any department within Upper Iowa University but should be relevant to the field of public administration.

Healthcare Management Emphasis
(15 credits total with each course worth 3 credits)

This emphasis area is designed to provide students with specialized knowledge of the issues and challenges facing leaders in healthcare organizations.  Upon successful completion of this emphasis, students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of how to create and maintain a system of continuous quality improvement.

All students in the Healthcare Management emphasis are required to take each of the following courses:

  • PA 537 Healthcare Quality Assessment and Improvement
  • PA 539 Healthcare Informatics Technology Management

In addition, Healthcare Management students will choose three (3) of the following courses:

  • PA 530  Public Policy and Healthcare
  • PA 531  Introduction to the Healthcare Systems
  • PA 534  Healthcare Economics
  • PA 536  Healthcare Law and Ethics PA 538  Healthcare Financial Management

Nonprofit Management Emphasis
(15 credits total with each course worth 3 credits)

This emphasis is designed to prepare students with the unique knowledge and skills necessary to lead nonprofit organizations.  Skills include but are not limited to the creation of effective community and government partnerships, strategic management for nonprofit organizations, board governance, fundraising, and public finance.

Students in the nonprofit emphasis are required to choose four (4) of the following courses:

  • PA 515  Grant Writing and Contract Management
  • PA 541  Nonprofit Philanthropy and Fundraising
  • PA 546  Nonprofit Marketing and Public  Affairs Advocacy
  • PA 547  Volunteer Recruitment and Management
  • PA 567  Board Governance and Strategic Management
  • PA 569  Government and Nonprofit Accounting and Budgeting

Plus, students will choose (1) graduate elective for 3 credits.  This elective can be from any department within Upper Iowa University but should be relevant to the field of public administration.

Public Management Emphasis
(15 credits total with each course worth 3 credits)

The public management emphasis is designed to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully manage complex public organizations from a personnel perspective.  Students will examine classic and contemporary managerial and leadership theories, concepts, and principles  in order to maximize the potential of diverse human talent within public organizations.           

Students in the public management emphasis are required to choose four (4) of the following courses:

  • PA 505  Organizational Behavior
  • PA 509  Theories of Leadership
  • PA 532  Human Resources Management   in Public Organizations
  •  PA 544  Productivity Improvement in Government
  •  PA 545 Labor Relations and Conflict   Resolution in the Public Sector
  • PA 548  Advanced Issues in Public Management

Plus, students will choose (1) graduate elective for 3 credits.  This elective can be from any department within Upper Iowa University but should be relevant to the field of public administration.

General Studies Option
(15 credits total with each course worth 3 credits)

This option allows students, in collaboration with the MPA Program Director, to develop a plan of courses tailored to their individual interests and goals. With this option, at least four (4) of the courses (12 credits) must be MPA courses.

Internships

Internships (PA 594) are encouraged and are preapproved by the Program Director on a case-by-case basis.  Internships are the equivalent to 3 graduate credits.  This means that a student will typically work a full-time paid or unpaid internship position for a period of eight weeks (not less than 320 hours) in a public sector or not-for-profit agency. The internship typically involves the student working on an administrative policy or management issue confronting a public or not-for-profit organization. It is an opportunity for the student to relate her/his academic experience to important community issues. Internship positions are approved and coordinated by the MPA Director and are graded as either pass or fail for transcript purposes. 

MPA Graduate Certificates

A variety of graduate-level certificates are offered within the MPA program. A certificate requires just 15 graduate credits to complete and is often a good choice for students already working in the field who have been newly promoted in to a supervisory position.  Students in a certificate program take courses alongside students seeking the MPA degree.  The admissions process for graduate certificates is also the same as admission to the MPA degree.  Therefore, any course taken within a graduate certificate plan can later count as part of an MPA degree plan if the student later decides to pursue the MPA degree.  Students are required to earn at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA in certification course work.

Within the MPA program, the following graduate-level certificates are offered.:

  • Emergency Management and Homeland Security
  • Healthcare Management
  • Public Management
  • Nonprofit Organizational Management
  • Government Administration

No matter the emphasis chosen, all certificate students are required to take PA 500 – Writing in Public Administration (3 credits).  In addition, the requirements for each certificate emphasis are as follows:

Emergency Management and Homeland Security Certificate                   

Students will select four (4) of the following:

    • PA 508  Terrorism and Politics
    • PA 522  Psychology and Culture of Terrorism
    • PA 523  Emergency Management, Homeland Security, and Public Policy 
    • PA 524  Leadership Issues with Critical Incidents
    • PA 525  Comparative Strategies in National Security
    • PA 526   Emergency Management:  Mitigation, Recovery and Continuity
    • PA 535   Counter-Terrorism
    • PA 543  Emergency Management:  Planning and Response
    • PA 555  Critical Infrastructure:  Vulnerability  Analysis/Protection

Healthcare Management Certificate

Students will take each of the following courses:

    • PA 537  Healthcare Quality Assessment and Improvement
    • PA 539  Healthcare Informatics Technology Management

Plus, Healthcare Management Certificate students will select an additional two (2) courses from the following:

    • PA 530  Public Policy and Healthcare
    • PA 531  Introduction to Healthcare Systems
    • PA 534  Healthcare Economics
    • PA 536  Healthcare Law and Ethics
    • PA 538  Healthcare Financial Management

Public Management Certificate

Students will select four (4) of the following courses:

    • PA 505  Organizational Behavior
    • PA 509  Theories of Leadership
    • PA 532  Human Resources Management in Public Organizations
    • PA 544  Productivity Improvement in Government
    • PA 545  Labor Relations and Conflict Resolution in the Public Sector
    • PA 548  Advanced Issues in Public Management

Nonprofit Organizational Management Certificate

Students will select four (4) of the following courses:

    • PA 515  Grant Writing and Contract Management
    • PA 541  Nonprofit Philanthropy and Fundraising
    • PA 546  Nonprofit Marketing and Public Affairs Advocacy
    • PA 547  Volunteer Recruitment and Management
    • PA 567  Board Governance and Strategic Management
    • PA 569  Government and Nonprofit Accounting and Budgeting

Government Administration Certificate

Students will select four (4) of the following courses:

    • PA 507  Ethics of Public Administration
    • PA 562  Seminar in Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations
    • PA 563  Administrative Law
    • PA 564  Seminar in State and Local Government Management
    • PA 565  Advanced Policy Analysis and Evaluation
    • PA 566  Economic Development: Theory and Practice