To function effectively, the public sector needs administrators who recognize that government must be efficient, effective, equitable, and accountable. The MPA degree is designed to give you the knowledge and skills to manage public sector organizations that work responsibly and excel at delivering necessary services.
The primary emphasis of the Master of Public Administration degree is to imbue you with an understanding and respect for the formative, ethical and political environment within which American public administration is conducted. You will learn to apply sound reasoning (critical thinking) to develop viable solutions to problems along with specific concepts, techniques and skills of management in the public sector.
The MPA program prepares you to serve as a professional manager in administrative branches of government – local, county, state and federal – as well as in community, human service and other not-for-profit organizations.
In a survey of city and county managers, 57.7 percent of respondents said having a Master of Public Administration degree would significantly boost a candidate’s chances of being hired at their agency. (Source: 2006 Survey of International City and County Management Association, National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration)
Special Admission Requirements
In addition to university admission requirements, applicants must submit the following documents as part of their application package:
- All official undergraduate transcripts showing successful completion of a bachelor's degree. Normally applicants will be expected to have a 3.0 cumulative G.P.A. (on a 4.0 scale) in their last 60 credit hours;
- Two confidential letters of recommendation from professional references (e. g. current or former college faculty member, current or former work supervisor or community leader);
- A two-page, double-spaced statement of intent which discusses personal short- and long-term career goals, reasons for pursuing an MPA degree at this time and how this particular program is going to help you reach these goals. Please give specific personal examples of leadership and provide other pertinent information to help the committee select candidates who can benefit from and contribute to the program. The statement of intent offers applicants the opportunity to demonstrate writing and communication skills and supports candidacy for the MPA degree; and
- A current resume.
MPA Degree Requirements
I. Required Courses (33 Hours)
MIS 7650 Public Sector Information Management (3)
PADM 7100 Political and Legal Frameworks for Public Administration (3)
PADM 7200 Economic Analysis in Public Administration (3)
PADM 7300 Seminar in Public Human Resource Administration (3)
PADM 7400 Public Organizational Theory and Behavior (3)
PADM 7500 Seminar in Public Budgeting (3)
PADM 7700 Data Analysis for Public and Nonprofit Administration (3)
PADM 8200 Ethics for Public Administrators (3)
PADM 8300 Public Finance (3)
PADM 8400 Seminar in Strategic Public Planning (3)
PADM 8600 Seminar in Research Methods (3)
II. Select three of the following courses (9 Hours)
MGMT 8300 Labor Management Relations (3)
PADM 8000 Advanced Topics in Public Administration (3)
PADM 8100 Seminar in Urban Government (3)
PADM 8500 Seminar in Public Policy (3)
PADM 8880 Internship (3)
POLS 8240 Intergovernmental Relations (3)
Note: at least one course must be a PADM course. Other appropriate graduate classes may be approved by the MPA Program Coordinator.
III. Master's Final Project (3 Hours)
Select one of the following (grade a "B" or higher required to complete MPA program):
PADM 8900 Problems in Applied Public Management (3)
PADM 8990 Master's Research Paper (3)
Total: 45 Graduate Hours
Students are able to take courses scheduled at any location. In addition to the main campus in University Park, the Master of Public Administration program offers classes at:
Illinois State Police District 5 Headquarters
16648 S. Broadway, Lockport, Illinois (convenient to the southwest suburbs)
James R. Thompson Center
100 W Randolph St., Chicago, Illinois (catering to working adults in downtown Chicago)