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MPA Degree Program

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Course Descriptions

PUAD 701 - FOUNDATIONS OF GOVERNMENT & NONPROFIT ADMINISTRATION

Students examine fundamental public service values that differentiate the mission and purpose of government and nonprofit organizations from those of private, for-profit, organizations. The course focuses on applying public administration and organizational theories to analyze administrative problems faced by leaders and managers implementing government and nonprofit programs. Students learn to think systematically about selecting alternative options for delivering programs and improving organizational performance. Finally, students develop fundamental information literacy, computing, writing, and presentation skills required for effective academic and professional communication.

PUAD 710 - MANAGING PERSONNEL & INFORMATION SYSTEMS

Students learn fundamental concepts and tools for managing the two most important organizational resources - people and information. The course emphasizes application of human resources concepts and tools for attracting, retaining, and developing employees and improving organizational performance in government and nonprofit organizations. Information technology concepts and tools for managing government and nonprofit organizations are also examined. Fundamental legal, ethical, and political obligations for managing human resources and information technology are also evaluated.

PUAD 715 - METHODOLOGICAL REASONING AND QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS

Students learn to apply fundamental methodological concepts and analytical tools necessary for contributing to administrative and policy discussions, critically assessing causal claims, and making informed administrative and policy decisions. The goal is to have students become critical consumers of academic research and professional reports and confidently apply statistical concepts and techniques for professional decision-making. Finally, students develop skills for effectively communicating analysis methods and conclusions with colleagues, elected officials, the media, and the public.

PUAD 725 - MANAGEMENT DECISION MAKING METHODS

Students learn fundamental concepts and tools for systematically analyzing administrative problems and making decisions that improve organizational performance. Specific techniques for analyzing common administrative problems are learned and the relevance of accounting for public values in such analyses is examined. Students also learn to use project management tools for effectively managing administrative projects. Finally, students develop skills for effectively communicating management analysis methods and conclusions with colleagues, elected officials, the media, and the public.

PUAD 740 - FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT AND BUDGETING

Students learn to use fundamental budgeting, accounting, and financial management concepts and tools necessary for leading and managing government and nonprofit organizations. Students learn to use analytical techniques for making administrative and policy decisions with significant financial implications. Students also examine the competing values and politics that underlie and impact financial decisions in the government and nonprofit organizations. Finally, students develop skills for effectively communicating financial analysis methods and conclusions with colleagues, elected officials, the media, and the public.

PUAD 745 - STRATEGY, COLLABORATION AND COMMUNICATION

Students learn to think strategically about leading organizations operating in a competitive political environment where collaboration is required to advance the organizational mission. The course focuses on using strategic and network management concepts and tools to improve organizational performance. The importance of strategically managing organizational communication is also examined. Finally, students develop skills for effectively communicating strategic planning methods, approaches, and decisions with colleagues, elected officials, the media, and the public.

PUAD 790 - PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION CAPSTONE

Students use the public administration concepts and tools learned in prior courses to analyze an important administrative or policy implementation problem and propose a course of action for effectively addressing it. The course emphasizes applying relevant concepts and tools to analyze the problem and then synthesizing the conclusions to create a written analysis and proposal for addressing the problem.

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