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Public Administration

School/College: College of Letters and Science and Lubar School of Business

Degrees Conferred:

  • Master of Public Administration (Presented Jointly)

Contents

Overview

The College of Letters and Science and the Lubar School of Business offer and present jointly the Master of Public Administration (MPA).

The program is designed to provide theoretical and practical preparation for careers in public and non-profit administration with three areas of concentration: municipal management, general public administration, and non-profit management.

MPA/MUP Program

A coordinated degree program has been designed to allow students to obtain both the Master of Public Administration and the Master of Urban Planning degrees concurrently.

This program is intended to combine professional training in planning with applied administrative and managerial skills. The MPA/MUP requirements are described later in this section.

Graduate Faculty

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(Professors' home departments appear in parentheses)

Professors
Arnold, Patricia, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, CPA (Business Administration)
Ihrke, Douglas, Ph.D., Northern Illinois University (Public and Nonprofit Administration)
Lee, Mordecai, Ph.D., Syracuse University (Political Science)
Peracchio, Laura, Ph.D., Northwestern University (Business Administration)
Ragins, Belle, Ph.D., University of Tennessee (Business Administration)
Associate Professors
Alwan, Layth C., Ph.D. University of Chicago (Business Administration)
Bohte, John, Ph.D., Texas A&M University (Public and Nonprofit Administration)
Rast, Joel, Ph.D., University of Oregon (Political Science)
Assistant Professor
Grace Chikoto, Ph.D., Georgia State University (Public and Nonprofit Administration)
Andersson, Fredrik, Ph.D., University of Missouri – Kansas City (Public and Nonprofit Administration)

Master of Public Administration

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Admission

An applicant must meet Graduate School requirements and hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university to be considered for admission.

There are no fixed prerequisites in terms of prior academic training; but background in public administration, American governmental institutions, economics, statistics, and computer applications in social science is beneficial. Each student's academic preparation is evaluated at the time of application. A personal interview may be required.

Applicants may be admitted with specific program-defined course deficiencies provided that the deficiencies amount to no more than two courses.

The student is expected to satisfy deficiency requirements within three enrolled semesters. The deficiencies are monitored by the Graduate School and the individual graduate program unit. No course credits earned in making up deficiencies may be counted as program credits required for the degree.

The MPA program requirements to be considered for admission are:

  1. An undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 (4.0 scale).
  2. Three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with applicant's academic ability and achievement.
  3. Submission of scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).

Candidates seeking admission to the MPA/MUP program must apply to and be admitted to both programs. The requirements for admission to the MUP program are detailed in the Urban Planning section of this Bulletin.

Major Professor as Advisor

The student must have a major professor to advise and supervise the student's studies as specified in Graduate School regulations. A student who is not assigned to an advisor at the time of admission should immediately contact the Program Director.

Credits and Courses

The Master of Public Administration degree requires satisfactory completion of 39-42 credits of prescribed graduate study and appropriate coursework.

Minimum Grade Requirements in the Core Courses

In order to demonstrate mastery of the critical Core Course material, MPA students must achieve a grade point average of 3.0 in the six Core Courses, and, regardless of average, students must earn a grade of B- or better in each Core Course. If a grade of C+ or lower is earned in any Core Course, that course must be repeated in an effort to earn the minimum grade of B-. If the student's grade point average in the six Core Courses is below 3.0, the student must repeat one or more Core Courses in which a grade of lower than B was earned in an effort to establish a grade point average of 3.0 in the Core. (For purposes of this requirement, the grade point average for the Core Courses will be calculated on the basis of only the highest grade earned; that is, the grade earned in the first attempt at a Core Course will not be averaged with the grade earned in the repeat.)

Credits and Courses: Core

Students entering the MPA program will be placed, at the discretion of the MPA Director, in one of two tracks (A or B) within the core. The minimum degree requirement is 39 credits for Track A students and 42 credits for Track B students.

Required Core Courses (18*-21 credits)
Bus Mgmt 709 Analytic Models for Managers (3 cr)
Bus Adm 738 Human Resource Management (3 cr)
Pol Sci/Urb Plan 630 Budgeting and Finance in the Public Sector (3 cr)
Pol Sci 763 Scope and Dynamics of Public Administration (3 cr)
Pol Sci 769 Analyzing and Evaluating Public Policies and Programs (3 cr)
*Pol Sci 921 Public Service Administrative Internship (3 cr) – waived for students with significant experience in the public or nonprofit sector; see Track A
One seminar in organizational management and leadership (3 cr) selected from the following list:
Bus Adm 441 Diversity in Organizations
Bus Adm 443 Special Topics in Human Resources Management
Bus Adm 706 Managing in a Dynamic Environment
Bus Adm 737 Managerial Decisions and Negotiations
Credits and Courses: Track A*

Students with significant public or nonprofit sector work experience may, at the discretion of the MPA Director, have the Government/Nonprofit Administrative Internship course ( Pub Adm 921) waived. Students seeking placement in this track will need to meet with the MPA Director to discuss this possibility and will be required to provide documentation of current public or nonprofit sector work experience.

Credits and Courses: Track B

Students with no significant public or nonprofit sector work experience are required to enroll in and successfully complete the Government/Nonprofit Administrative Internship course (Pub Adm 921). As part of the requirements for this course, Track B students are required to obtain, with the assistance of the MPA Director, one or more internships in either the public or nonprofit sector while enrolled in the MPA program.

Every student must select and complete the requirements for one of the following three concentrations:

Municipal Management (18 Cr)
Select two of the following course options (total of 6 cr):
Bus Adm 842 Governmental and Nonprofit Accounting (3 cr)
Pol Sci 965 Municipal Management (3 cr)
Pub Adm 750 Public Administration Risk and Analysis (3 cr)
Select two of the following course options (total of 6 cr):
Pol Sci 914 Seminar in Intergovernmental Relations (3 cr)
Urb Plan 651 Land Use Planning Practice (3 cr)
Urb Plan 684 Planning Local Economic Development (3 cr)
BOTH UrbPlan 701 Introduction to Land Use Planning (1 cr) and UrbPlan 702 Introduction to Planning Law (2 cr)
**Other courses may be substituted with the approval of the MPA Director.
Also required: At least six additional elective credits selected by the student with the approval of the MPA Director that relate to the student's substantive interests within the discipline of public administration.
General Public Administration (18 Credits)
Select four of the following five courses:
Bus Adm 441 Diversity in Organizations (if not used to satisfy seminar in organizational management requirement)
Pub Adm 400 Ethics and Responsibility in Public Administration (3 cr)
Pub Adm/Pol Sci 452 Administrative Law (3 cr)
Pub Adm 705 Government Public Relations (3 cr)
Pub Adm 750 Public Administration Risk and Analysis (3 cr)
Pol Sci/Pub Adm 914 Seminar in Intergovernmental Relations (3 cr)
Pub Adm 958 Seminar in Public Administration (3 cr)
Also required: At least six additional elective credits selected by the student with the approval of the MPA Director that relate to the student's substantive interests within the discipline of public administration.
Nonprofit Organization and Management (18 credits)
Bus Adm 766 Marketing for Nonprofit Organizations (3 cr) OR
Bus Adm 767 Services and Relationship Marketing (3 cr)
Bus Adm 842 Governmental and Nonprofit Accounting (3 cr) OR
BusMgmt 724 Accounting for Nonprofit Organizations
Nonprof(Pol Sci) 789 Theory and Role of Nonprofit Organizations (3 cr)
Pub Adm 958 Seminar in Public Administration (3 cr)
Also required: At least six additional elective credits selected by the student with the approval of the MPA Director that relate to the student's substantive interests within the discipline of public administration.
Credits and Courses: Capstone Seminar (3 Credits)

Every student will be required to take the capstone seminar, Pub Adm(Pol Sci) 959 - Capstone Seminar in Public Administration. The course requirements will include the completion and written and oral presentation of a project on a topic selected with the assistance of the instructor. This course will also be devoted to coverage of special issues and problems of the public administration profession, including administrative ethics.

Total Degree Credits Required: 39*-42 cr

Thesis

Not required.

Time Limit

The student must complete all degree requirements within seven years of initial enrollment. Students in the MPA/MUP program (see below) are allowed up to seven years to complete all requirements for both degrees.

MPA/MUP Coordinated Degree Program

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This program allows students to complete master's degrees in Public Administration and in Urban Planning concurrently. The coordinated degree requires 42-45 credits of required courses and completion of a concentration in Public Administration (18 credits). However, because some courses completed for the core requirements of the MUP also may count toward the MPA concentration, students may complete the dual degree with a minimum of 54-57 credits. The total number of credits will depend on the student's track and choice of concentration in public administration.

Required Courses in Urban Planning (27 credits)
UrbPlan 701 Introduction to Land Use Planning, 1 cr
UrbPlan 702 Introduction to Planning Law, 2 cr
UrbPlan 711 Planning Theories and Practice, 3 cr
UrbPlan 720 Urban Development Theory and Planning, 3 cr
UrbPlan 721 Applied Planning Methods, 3 cr
UrbPlan 740 Data Analysis Methods I, 3 cr
UrbPlan 810 Planning Policy Analysis, 6 cr
UrbPlan 811 Applied Planning Workshop, 3 cr
and any one of the following courses (3 credits):
UrbPlan 751 Introduction to Urban Design and Physical Planning, 3 cr
UrbPlan 791 Introduction to Urban Geographic Information Systems for Planning, 3 cr
UrbPlan 857 Urban Design as Public Policy, 3 cr
Required Courses in Public Administration (18 credits)
Bus Adm 738 Human Resource Management, 3 cr
Pol Sci/UrbPlan 630 Budgeting and Finance in the Public Sector, 3 cr
Pol Sci 763 Scope and Dynamics of Public Administration, 3 cr
Pol Sci 921 Public Service Administrative Internship,* 3 cr OR
UrbPlan 991 Legislative/Administrative Agency Internship, 3 cr
Pol Sci 959 Capstone Seminar in Public Administration, 3 cr
One seminar (3 cr) in organizational management and leadership selected from the following list:
Bus Adm 443 Special Topics in Human Resources Management, 3 cr
Bus Adm 732 Transforming Organizations, 3 cr
Bus Adm 737 Managerial Decisions and Negotiations, 3 cr
* The internship requirement will be waived for students with significant public sector work experience.
Concentration Requirement (18 credits)

Completion of all the requirements for one of the concentrations in Public Administration. A maximum of six credits of MUP core courses may be used as electives in the MPA concentrations.

Comprehensive Exam

Completion of the comprehensive exam in Urban Planning is required. (See Urban Planning)

Master of Science in Criminal Justice/Master of Public Administration

Both departments collaboratively offer a program designed to provide students with theoretical and practical exposure to evolving professional practice in the field of criminal justice.

Admission

Students are admitted to both graduate programs separately and admission requirements are consistent with those specified by the UWM Graduate School, the MS in Criminal Justice and the MPA program.

Credit and Courses

Students accepted into this MS/MPA program complete the following courses:

M.S. in Criminal Justice
Crm Jst 773 Perspectives on Crime & the Criminal Justice System 3 cr. G
Crm Jst 743 Proseminar: Administration of Criminal Justice Systems. 3 cr. G
Crm Jst 756 Proseminar: Analysis of Criminal Justice Research. 3 cr. G.

12 additional credit hours of courses must be taken within the criminal justice program.

12 credit hours of courses successfully completed for the MPA, selected with the consent of the student’s advisor.

Total Degree Credits for Master of Science in Criminal Justice: 33 cr

Master of Public Administration

Students entering the MPA program will be placed, at the discretion of the MPA Director in one of two tracks (A or B) within the core. The minimum degree requirement is 39 credits for Track A and 42 for Track B.

Track A
Students with significant public or nonprofit sector work experience may, at the discretion of the MPA Director, have the Government/Nonprofit Administrative Internship course (Pub Adm 921) waived. Students seeking placement in this track will need to meet with the MPA Director to discuss this possibility and will be required to provide documentation of current public or nonprofit sector work experience.
Track B
Students with no significant public or nonprofit sector work experience are required to enroll in and successfully complete the Government/Nonprofit Administrative Internship course (Pub Adm 921). As part of the requirements for this course, Track B students are required to obtain, with the assistance of the MPA Director, one or more internships in either the public or nonprofit sector while enrolled in the MPA program.
Required/Core Courses (15 credits)
Bus Adm 738 - Human Resource Management (3 cr)
Pub Adm 763 - Scope and Dynamics of Public Administration (3 cr)
Pub Adm 769 - Analyzing and Evaluating Public Policies and Programs (3 cr)
 
One course in statistics selected from the following list:
Bus Mgnt 709 - Analytic Models for Managers (3 cr)
Pub Adm 792 - Decision Making for Public and Nonprofit Organizations (3cr)
Crm Jst 756 – Proseminar: Analysis of Criminal Justice Research (3 cr)
 
One seminar in organizational management and leadership (3 cr) selected from the following list:
Bus Adm 441 - Diversity in Organizations
Bus Adm 443 - Special Topics in Human Resources Management
Bus Adm 706 - Managing in a Dynamic Environment
Bus Adm 737 - Managerial Decisions and Negotiations
Capstone Seminar (3 Credits)

Every student will be required to take the capstone seminar, Pub Adm(Pol Sci) 959: Capstone Seminar in Public Administration. The course requirements will include the completion and written and oral presentation of a project on a topic selected with the assistance of the instructor. This course will also be devoted to coverage of special issues and problems of the public administration profession, including administrative ethics.

General Public Administration (9 Credits)
Select any three of the following courses:
BusMgmt 724 – Accounting for Nonprofit Organizations
Pub Adm 400 - Ethics and Responsibility in Public Administration (3 cr)
Pub Adm/Urb Plan 630 – Budgeting and Finance in the Public Sector (3 cr)
Pub Adm 750 - Public Administration Risk and Analysis (3 cr)
Pub Adm/Pol Sci 914 - Seminar in Intergovernmental Relations (3 cr)
Pub Adm 958 - Seminar in Public Administration (3 cr)
Pub Adm 965 - Municipal Management (3 cr)
Concentration (12 Credits)
Satisfied by 12 credits taken in Crm Jst courses.
Internship (0-3 Credits)

Pub Adm 921 - Government/Non-profit Administrative Internship (3 cr) (An internship is mandatory for students with no public sector work experience.)

Total Degree Credits for Master of Public Administration: 48-51 cr

The total credits for the coordinated program would typically be completed in both programs at the same time, rather than one program after the other. A student not completing the requirements for the coordinated degree program would need to complete all requirements for an individual program in order to receive a degree.

Time Limit

Students in the coordinated MS/MPA degree program must complete all degree requirements within seven years of the first enrollment semester as a degree student.

Graduate Certificate In Nonprofit Management

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The Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to successfully pursue or advance careers within nonprofit sector organizations.

Students wishing to earn a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management must complete the required 15 graduate credit hours with an overall GPA of 3.00 or better. No student may complete all 15 credits within a single school or college. The curriculum consists of the following five courses:

Required Courses (12 credits)
One of the following three courses:
BusMgmt 718 - Concepts and Practice of Nonprofit Management (3 credits)
Poli Sci 789 - Theory and Role of Nonprofit Organizations (3 credits)
Sociol/Pol Sci/Urb Std 704 - Seminar in Nonprofit Organizations (3 credits)
Both of the following two courses:
BusMgmt 724 - Accounting for Nonprofit Organizations (3 credits)
BusMgmt 725 - Governance and Executive Leadership of Nonprofit Organizations (3 credits)
One of the following three courses:
Bus Adm 766 - Marketing for Nonprofit Organizations (3 credits)
BusMgmt 721 - Fundraising and Development for Nonprofit Organizations (3 credits)
Pol Sci 705 - Professionals and Volunteers in Nonprofit Organizations (3 credits)
Elective Courses (3 credits)
Ad Ldsp 777 Leadership in Multicultural Organizations
Bus Adm 441 Diversity in Organizations
Bus Adm 733 Organizational Development
Bus Adm 737 Managerial Decisions and Negotiations
Bus Adm 738 Human Resources Management
Bus Adm 766 Marketing for Nonprofit Organizations (if not selected above)
BusMgmt 706 Managing in a Dynamic Environment
BusMgmt 707 Information Technology for Competitive Advantage
BusMgmt 709 Data Analysis for Management Applications
BusMgmt 710 Economic Analysis for Managers
BusMgmt 715 Leadership, Teambuilding and Effective Management
BusMgmt 721 Fundraising and Development for Nonprofit Organizations (if not selected above)
Pol Sci 705 Professionals and Volunteers in Nonprofit Organizations (if not selected above)
Pol Sci 769 Analyzing and Evaluating Public Policies and Programs
Pol Sci 791 Nonprofit Advocacy and Public Policy
Pol Sci 792 Decision Making Methods for Nonprofit and Public Organizations
Pol Sci 793 Law of Nonprofit Organizations
Pol Sci 958 Seminar in Public Administration: Managing Change in Public and Nonprofit Organizations
Sociol 443 Organizations, Occupations, and Professions
Sociol 705 Theory and Method in Social Organizations
Sociol 732 Complex Organizations
Sociol 780 Race and Ethnic Relations
Soc Wrk 794 Advanced Research Methods: Evaluating Social Welfare Programs (2cr)
Urb Std 720 Theory and Method in Local Economic Development
Urb Std 725 Methods of Urban Community
Urb Std 733 Public Program Evaluation
Other courses with the approval of the Program Director

Students wishing to pursue the Certificate in Nonprofit Management must submit an application to the Program before completion of six credits in the certificate sequence. There is a time limit of three years from initial enrollment for completion of the certificate program.

Those students who wish to earn the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management can be admitted for the certificate program as non-degree graduate students provided they possess a bachelor's or higher degree with a minimum overall undergraduate grade point average of 2.75. Admission as a non-degree graduate student does not constitute admission to a master's degree program. Students may also pursue the certificate while enrolled in another graduate program or as a post-graduate student.

Courses

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Courses numbered 300-699 are Undergraduate/Graduate. Courses numbered 700 and above are Graduate only.

400 Ethics and Responsibility in Public Administration. 3 cr. U/G.
How public administrators make ethically-sound decisions; moral and value systems that shape public administration; temptations that can cause officials to stray from ethical standards. Counts as repeat of Pol Sci 387 w/"Administrative Ethics & Responsibility" subtitle. Prereq: jr st.
452 Administrative Law. 3 cr. U/G.
An examination of due process, privacy, and other constitutional and legal issues as they arise in the regulatory investigatory, and enforcement activities of administrative agencies. American politics course. Pol Sci 452 & Pub Adm 452 are jointly offered; they count as repeats of one another. Prereq: jr st.
630 (Pol Sci 630) Budgeting and Finance in the Public Sector. 3 cr. U/G.
Examination of the budgeting process in the public sector; development of skills in budgeting and financial management. Topics include capital budgeting, debt management, revenue forecasting, and auditing. Jointly-offered w/& counts as repeat of UrbPlan 630. Prereq: sr st or cons instr.
705 Government Public Relations. 3 cr. G.
External communication in public administration for democratic accountability and fulfilling the mission of the agency, such as responsiveness, outreach, and public sector advertising. Prereq: grad st.
730 (effective 01/26/2015) Budgeting for Public Sector Professionals. 3 cr. G.
Budgeting skills for effective local and state government management; financial reporting, revenue collection and administration, pension funds, debt issuance, analytical techniques used in public budgeting. Prereq: grad st
750 Public Administration Risk and Analysis. 3 cr. G.
Efficiency analysis; return-on-investment analysis; shared services vs. privatization; total employee compensation as a management tool; risk mitigation; the government purchasing process. Prereq: grad st.
763 Scope and Dynamics of Public Administration. 3 cr. G.
The field of public administration, including organization theory, public management, the politics of administration, and the role of government in policy-making. Pol Sci 763 & Pub Adm 763 are jointly offered; they count as repeats of one another. Prereq: grad st.
769 Analyzing and Evaluating Public Policies and Programs. 3 cr. G.
Examination of methods, including cost-benefit analysis and decision analysis, that aid policy makers and administrators in understanding and assessing public and nonprofit sector policies and programs. Pol Sci 769 & Pub Adm 769 are jointly offered; they count as repeats of one another. Prereq: grad st.
792 (Pol Sci 792) Decision-Making for Nonprofit and Public Organizations. 3 cr. G.
Research methods including research design, measurement, and analysis. Qualitative and quantitative decision-making methods. Understanding and using basic statistical concepts and techniques in decision making. Nonprof 792 & Pub Adm 792(Pol Sci 792) are jointly offered; they count as repeats of one another. Prereq: grad st
888 Candidate for Degree. 0 cr. G.
Available for graduate students who must meet minimum credit load requirement. Fee for 1 cr assessed. Prereq: grad st.
914 Seminar in Intergovernment Relations. 3 cr. G.
Policy issues in intergovernmental relations and the complex governmental context in which Americans live and work. Pol Sci 914 & Pub Adm 914 are jointly offered; they count as repeats of one another. Prereq: grad st.
921 (Pol Sci 921) Public Service Administrative Internship. 3 cr. G.
This course combines a supervised field placement in a governmental agency or non-profit organization with class sessions and assignments designed to augment the work experience. Prereq: grad st; cons instr.
958 (Pol Sci 958) Seminar in Public Administration: (Subtitled). 3 cr. G.
Selected topics covering different aspects of public administration. Retakable w/chg in topic to 9 cr max. Prereq: grad st.
959 (Pol Sci 959) Capstone Seminar in Public Administration. 3 cr. G.
Seminar in public administration focusing on administrative ethics and applied research. Requires written and oral presentation of research project. Prereq: grad st; completion of MPA core curriculum.
965 (Pol Sci 965) Municipal Management. 3 cr. G.
The political, social, and economic contexts in which the urban manager functions, with an emphasis on managing municipal service delivery and resources. Pub Adm 965(Pol Sci 965) & Urb Std 965 are jointly offered; they count as repeats of one another. Prereq: grad st.
999 Independent Study. 1-3 cr. G.
Independent study in a subject area of special need or interest after consultation with a faculty member. Prereq: grad st

Descriptions of other required and elective courses offered at UWM as part of the Master of Public Administration can be found under the respective curricular areas (see below).


Page last updated on: 08/05/2014