College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

Core Courses & Descriptions

Core Courses (24 hours)

The primary educational component of the MPA is the core curriculum:

  • MPA 5100: Theories of Public Administration and Democratic Governance
  • MPA 5010: Public Policy Formulation and Implementation
  • MPA 5020: Public Budgeting and Finance Administration
  • MPA 5030: Public Human Resources Issues and Management
  • MPA 5080: Ethics and Law in Public Administration
  • MPA 6000: Integration of Theory, Methods, and Practices in Public Administration
  • MPA 6950: or MPA 6960 MPA Project or MPA Thesis

Please note that all students must have a "B" average to remain in the MPA program.

Course Descriptions

Course Description
MPA 5100 Theories of Public Administration and Democratic Governance (3)

Socio-economic, political contexts of public administration; role of public administration in the politico! process; social values, ethics and public interest; characteristics of public bureaucracy, theories and practices; role and responsibility in democratic accountability, governance. 

3 hours seminar

MPA 5010 Public Policy Formulation and Implementation (3)

Public policymaking politics, process and execution in the public, public/private and public/not-for-profit context. Emphasis on policy development, planning, implementation strategies, organizational adaptation and assessing consequences for diverse community interests.

3 hours seminar. 

MPA 5020 Public Fiscal Administration (3)

Examines public agency discretionary decision making, administrative controls, agency coordination, rivalry; intergovernmental relations and budgetary process; emphasis on budgetary reform, planning, process, capital and operating budgets, fiscal management, public accounting procedures; integrated financial management systems.

3 hours seminar. 

MPA 5030 Public Human Resources Issues and Management (3)

Public service concepts, institutions; relationship to executive and legislative functions and issues; adult learning theories, group dynamics; human resource issues including workforce diversity, collaboration, conflict; use of volunteers; assessment methods and instruments. 

3 hours seminar. 

MPA 5040 Quantitative Methods for Public Sector Issues (3)

Quantitative methodologies to define, execute, monitor, manage policy, program, projects. Emphasis on problem-solving, actual applications to organizational issues and ethical use of information and analysis in serving diverse community interests. 

3 lectures/problem-solving/ seminars. 

MPA 5080 Ethics and Law in Public Administration (3)

An examination of administrative ethics and administrative law as related subfields of the study of public administration in the United States, with special emphasis on
practical considerations of individual choice, agency structure, public accountability
and the processes of agency action and decision making.

3 hours lecture/discussion.

MPA 6000 Seminar on the Integration of Theories, Methods, and Practices (3)

Integration of major theoretical, methodological and practical subject matter; use of case studies, examination of reports, practitioner assessment; preparation and administration of field interviews; selection and presentation of project topic or master's thesis proposal. 

3 hours seminar. Prerequisites: All core courses should be completed. Unconditional standing required.

MPA 6950Project (3)
MPA 6960 Thesis (3)

MPA 6070 Exam (3)

Independent study and research on a subject chosen by the student with the consultation, approval, and direction of an advisor. 

Course may be repeated. Maximum credit, 8 units. Unconditional standing required.