2021-2022 Academic Catalog

Political Science

Grant Neeley, Department Chairperson
Joshua Ambrosius, Master of Public Administration Program Director
Grant Neeley, Interim Director of the Nonprofit and Community Leadership Certificate Program

The Department of Political Science offers one graduate degree, the Master of Public Administration. The Master of Public Administration is a professional degree designed to prepare students for administrative careers in contemporary society.


The department offers three graduate assistantships each year. The graduate assistants perform research and administrative tasks for the faculty. Each assistant receives full tuition remission plus stipend. An assistantship, once granted, is renewable for a second year.

Master of Public Administration (PAD)

To receive the Master of Public Administration degree, the student must satisfactorily complete 39 semester hours of coursework with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better.

The 39 hours of coursework must include:

MPA 500Public Administration3
MPA 504State & Local Government3
or MPA 551 Introduction to Public Policy
MPA 510Quantitative Methods in Public Administration3
MPA 511Applied Research Techniques3
MPA 520Organization Theory3
MPA 526Leadership in Building Communities3
or MPA 524 Ethics in Public Administration
MPA 530Public Budgeting3
MPA 540Public Sector Human Resource Management3
MPA 599Public Administration Capstone3

The required courses may be waived for students with appropriate academic backgrounds.

The remainder of the 39 hours must consist of courses selected from the MPA curriculum. Exceptions may be made, on the determination of the program director, if the students career objectives make public management-related courses in other graduate programs particularly useful. No more than 6 semester hours outside the MPA curriculum may be taken.

Within the general requirements listed above, the student may select one of three options:

  1. The student may take 33 to 36 semester hours of academic coursework and three to six semester hours of MPA 595 Government Internship. A student choosing this option is encouraged to begin the internship only after completing 18 semester hours of other courses.
  2. The student, under certain conditions, may take 33 to 36 semester hours of academic coursework and three to six semester hours of MPA 597 Public Service Project. This option is available only to students employed in administrative positions other than internships in public or nonprofit agencies. Students should enroll in MPA 597 only after completing 18 hours of other courses.
  3. The student may take the full 39 semester hours in regular academic courses.

Accelerated BA+MPA Program

UD undergraduate students within the College of Arts and Sciences with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better at the time of application are eligible to participate in the accelerated BA+MPA program leading to a Master of Public Administration degree.

Eligible undergraduate students are required to apply for admission to the accelerated BA+MPA program and to the Graduate School and may do so as early as the second semester of their junior year. At least 75% of the credit hours required for graduation within the student's undergraduate degree program must be completed before graduate admission can be approved.

Applicants who meet the admission requirements (see 1. above) will be conditionally admitted into the MPA degree program and permitted to enroll in graduate courses approved by both the student's undergraduate department and the MPA program.

Although the students in the accelerated BA+MPA program can take several approved graduate courses while enrolled as undergraduates, only two courses (a maximum of six semester hours) may be counted towards both the BA and MPA degrees. These two courses must be explicitly approved in writing by both the student's undergraduate department and the MPA program before they are taken.

Students admitted to the accelerated program will continue to be classified as undergraduate students until they complete all undergraduate degree requirements. These students need to take 12 or more semester hours per term to maintain full-time status, and will be charged the standard tuition and fee rates applicable to undergraduate students. Graduate courses taken for undergraduate credits will be assessed at the standard undergraduate tuition and fee rate. Under no circumstances will a student be charged tuition and fees in excess of the listed full-time tuition and fees amount (unless increased for overload hours as applicable). Upon successful completion of their undergraduate requirements, students will receive their BA degree. 

At the completion of the undergraduate requirements, the accelerated program students may apply for admission into the Graduate School with regular status, after submission of all required admission materials and review by the MPA admission committee. Graduate students within the MPA program need to take a minimum of six semester hours per term to maintain status as full-time students. 

Master's degree students are required to maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of a B (3.0) in all graduate-level coursework, with no more than six semester hours of C. Students who fail to meet these standards are placed on academic probation or dismissed from the program.

The Master of Public Administration will be conferred upon successful completion of all appropriate graduate degree requirements.

Public Administration*

MPA 500Public Administration3
MPA 504State & Local Government3
MPA 510Quantitative Methods in Public Administration3
MPA 511Applied Research Techniques3
MPA 520Organization Theory3
MPA 526Leadership in Building Communities3
or MPA 524 Ethics in Public Administration
MPA 530Public Budgeting3
MPA 540Public Sector Human Resource Management3
MPA 599Public Administration Capstone 3
Four MPA electives selected from the curriculum areas below **
MPA Curriculum
General Administration and Management
Public Administration
Intergovernmental Relations
State & Local Government
Urban Administration
Contemporary Issues
Public Administration Capstone
Analytic Tools
Quantitative Methods in Public Administration
Applied Research Techniques
Computer Applications for Public Administration
Government Planning
Group and Organization Dynamics
Organizational Communication
Conflict Management
Organization Theory
Ethics in Public Administration
Leadership in Building Communities
Fiscal Management
Public Budgeting
Governmental Fund Management & Reporting
Human Resources
Public Sector Human Resource Management
Public Sector Labor Management Relations
Policy Studies
Introduction to Public Policy
Selected Topics in Public Policy
Environmental Policy
The Non-Profit Sector
Ethics in Public Administration
Leadership in Building Communities
Nonprofit & Community Leadership
Strategic Planning for Nonprofit & Community Organizations
NGO Management & Development
Nonprofit Community Relations
Building the Nonprofit Network
The Responsive Nonprofit
Public Law/Bureaucracy
Administrative Law
Topical Seminars/Independent Study
Seminar in Public Administration
Independent Study in Public Administration
Government Internship
Public Service Project


 Certificate in Nonprofit and Community Leadership (NPF)

MPA 561Nonprofit & Community Leadership3
Leadership in Building Communities
Strategic Planning for Nonprofit & Community Organizations
NGO Management & Development
Overview of Grant Funding
Nonprofit Community Relations
Building the Nonprofit Network
The Responsive Nonprofit
Nonprofit Financial Management
Total hours12


MPA 500. Public Administration. 3 Hours

Study of administrative organization, systems, processes and methods as applied to government programs and operations, with a comparison of structural and behavioral approaches.

MPA 504. State & Local Government. 3 Hours

An in-depth examination of particular state-local institutional relationships with emphasis upon current issues.

MPA 508. Contemporary Issues. 3 Hours

An in-depth examination of a current management issue supported by recent literature in public administration and relevant to surrounding local governments. Analysis of root causes of the problem issue. Exploration of management approaches available to local governments. May be repeated once when course focus changes.

MPA 510. Quantitative Methods in Public Administration. 3 Hours

Introduction to research techniques involving quantitative methods and analysis applicable to the formation and implementation of public programs. Emphasis on basic statistics and research methodology. Aimed at understanding appropriate application and interpretation of quantitative methods rather than competence in practical or scholarly use.

MPA 511. Applied Research Techniques. 3 Hours

Introduction to statistical computing techniques, review of research design and inferential statistics, Ordinary Least Square techniques, violations of assumptions, multi-level modeling, and other topics. Prerequisite(s): MPA 510.

MPA 513. Geographic Information Systems for Public Administration. 3 Hours

Concepts and implementation of project design and analysis in geographic information systems (GIS). Students will learn the practice of GIS as a tool for spatial analysis, and as it applies in public administration. The course will stress database design and present skills for data input, query analysis, and data output using GIS.

MPA 514. Government Planning. 3 Hours

Consideration of the planning function in the administrative process and the role of planning agencies in decision-making and problem solving. Evaluation of trends and changing planning characteristics in the United States.

MPA 515. Emergency Management. 3 Hours

Explores policy approaches and administrative response strategies related to various phases of disasters and security crises in the U.S. and international settings with attention to human rights issues.

MPA 520. Organization Theory. 3 Hours

Survey of current literature and research on the theory of complex organizations. Rationality in decision making; problems of authority; behavioral, political, and technical influences on organization.

MPA 524. Ethics in Public Administration. 3 Hours

This course stimulates an awareness of the moral dimension of public sector problems and decision making contexts. It provides students the tools and techniques they can use to meet demands for ethical judgments and decisive action in their public management careers.

MPA 526. Leadership in Building Communities. 3 Hours

Seminar class where teams are formed to learn about the processes of building a neighborhood and recommending supportive public policy and other strategic interventions. Participants will be encouraged to refine their notions of community and leadership and to recommend strategies which capitalize on neighborhood assets, improve outcomes, and build community.

MPA 530. Public Budgeting. 3 Hours

Study of governmental expenditures and revenues, budgetary and financial reporting, fiscal policy, and other areas of fiscal management, with emphasis on current practices and problems.

MPA 540. Public Sector Human Resource Management. 3 Hours

Broad-based study of people management ranging from the development and integration of organizational policy, through the many personnel administrative processes, and the human and regulatory aspects affecting the contemporary public sector workforce.

MPA 551. Introduction to Public Policy. 3 Hours

This course is designed to introduce students to the study of public policy and public policymaking. The central concerns of the course involve competing models of the policy process, the policymaking process in the United States, the interplay between the political and economic systems in policymaking, and the processes of policy analysis and evaluation.

MPA 555. Selected Topics in Public Policy. 3 Hours

Policy process, policy outcomes, and policy impact in an area or areas of public policy varying among such topics as transportation, education, welfare, national defense, science, civil rights, and urban and community development. May be repeated when topic changes.

MPA 556. Environmental Policy. 3 Hours

Examines environmental policymaking and implementation in the U.S. and analyzes government responses to particular environmental issues.

MPA 557. Health Policy. 3 Hours

Health policies are public policies or authoritative decisions that pertain to health or influence the pursuit of health, and affect or influence groups or classes of individuals or organizations. This course introduces the major policy issues impacting healthcare value today at the federal, state and local levels and the influential role of advocates in the process. The course focuses on understanding the basics of health policy, health value, Medicaid, Medicare, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and examines selected public health issues in greater depth along with the current policy and policy opportunities impacting those issues at the federal, the state and local levels.

MPA 561. Nonprofit & Community Leadership. 3 Hours

This course surveys the generalized body of knowledge common to all nonprofit and community organizations, distinguishing them from governmental and for-profit entities. Emphasis placed upon an overall understanding of the nonprofit and community sector and its emerging role in society.

MPA 562. Strategic Planning for Nonprofit & Community Organizations. 3 Hours

For nonprofit and community organizations to stay relevant and competitive in an increasingly complex environment, such organizations must continually vision, plan, develop, and implement long-range strategic plans. This course explores and analyzes, step-by-step, the various requirements, components, and challenges in developing a strategic plan for nonprofit and community organizations. Prerequisite(s): MPA 561.

MPA 563. NGO Management & Development. 3 Hours

This course examines the management and function of non-governmental organizations with human-rights advocacy, humanitarian, and/or development missions.

MPA 565. Grantwriting. 3 Hours

Explores the entire continuum of grant writing including the core components of a grant proposal, writing persuasive grant proposals, and proper formatting and submission of grant proposals.

MPA 566. Nonprofit Community Relations. 3 Hours

This course examines how nonprofit organizations build and maintain relationships with a wide network of stakeholders including governments, other nonprofits, private sector, citizens and clients. Prerequisite(s): MPA 561.

MPA 569. Nonprofit Financial Management. 3 Hours

An introduction to accounting and financial accounting as essential parts of an information system that supports economic and program decision making in nonprofit organizations.

MPA 571. Administrative Law. 3 Hours

Study of the judicial function and activities of federal agencies; formal and informal processes in administrative hearings; basic principles of administrative law; judicial interpretation; the question of increased judicialization of the administrative process.

MPA 591. Seminar in Public Administration. 3 Hours

No description available.

MPA 593. Independent Study in Public Administration. 1-6 Hours

Intensive independent research under the direction of a faculty member. Research paper. May be repeated when topic changes. Prior approval of formal project proposal required.

MPA 595. Government Internship. 1-6 Hours

Assignment to appropriate government agencies or units for the purpose of gaining wide experience with the administrative system through a program of work experiences. Internship includes a related academic requirement.

MPA 597. Public Service Project. 3-6 Hours

For students seeking experience with public or nonprofit organizations. Completion of an applied written project for an organization that relates theories and information from the field of public administration. Prior approval of formal project proposal required.

MPA 599. Public Administration Capstone. 3 Hours

Seminar course integrating professional development, critical analysis of current topics and trends, finalization of student portfolio, reflective essay, and integrative presentation to faculty panel. Prerequisite(s): All MPA core courses. Corequisite(s): may be taken with MPA 511.