Feb 27, 2020  
CURRENT 2019-2020 Graduate Catalogue 
    
CURRENT 2019-2020 Graduate Catalogue

Public Administration - M.P.A.


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Graduate Coordinator: Dr. Christopher Prentice

The MPA and You: Practical Education, Satisfying Careers (Short Video) | (Extended Video)

The Master of Public Administration (MPA), housed in the Department of Public and International Affairs in the College of Arts and Sciences, is an interdisciplinary, terminal professional degree designed to: provide a broad education for individuals expecting to enter government and nonprofit institutions and who aspire to management positions; enhance the capabilities and performance of those individuals currently in management positions in southeastern North Carolina; produce relevant public administration research; and provide active public service aimed at the support and improvement of public administration and nonprofit management in southeastern North Carolina.

The required coursework emphasizes developing the following learning competencies:

  • To lead and manage in public governance;
  • To participate in and contribute to the policy process;
  • To analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems, and make decisions;
  • To articulate and apply a public values perspective, and
  • To communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry.

The program’s coursework emphasizes leading and managing in public governance and students will learn to lead, motivate, and manage a diverse workplace–within and across organizations. Students will also develop their understanding of the impact of changing market and political conditions on organizational practice and resource streams.

It is also important for leaders to learn how to participate and contribute to the policy process by learning how to analyze policy alternatives and understand the wide range of policy instruments and management tools that are available to address social problems. However, to contribute to the policy process, leaders and managers need to communicate and work effectively with other government and nonprofit institutions as well as community stakeholders.

Effective leaders and managers also have the ability to analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems, and make decisions. This requires having the ability to define, frame, think critically about and analyze important problems. It also requires the ability to utilize managerial tools and techniques to analyze, present, and interpret data, including appropriate design, statistical, and evaluative techniques for both organizational decision making and policy decisions. It also requires the ability to apply management theories and tools for organizational decision making including but not limited to group decision making, strategic planning, performance measurement, program evaluation, and benefit-cost analysis.

It is also important for managers and leaders to communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry. This requires the ability to communicate effectively and professionally to diverse audiences and an understanding of how to work effectively in diverse groups. Since the MPA program also focuses on developing future leaders in the public and nonprofit sector, it is important that our students share the values associated with public service such as the importance of accountability and transparency, professionalism, competence, efficiency, objectivity, equity and fairness, and respecting fellow public servants and the clients we work with. It also requires the ability to identify ethical dilemmas and then pursuing appropriate courses of action that uphold and reinforce these public service values.

The required coursework focuses on developing these learning competencies in a myriad of ways through your course readings and assignments, video presentations, case analyses, applied learning projects and self-assessments. Students also develop these competencies further by pursuing a concentrated area of study in

  • Public Management
  • Public Policy Analysis
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Urban and Regional Policy and Planning
  • Coastal Planning and Management
  • Environmental Policy and Management or
  • Marine Policy

Admission Requirements


Applicants seeking admission to the Master of Public Administration program are required to submit the following to the Graduate School by the published deadline:

  1. An application for graduate admission
  2. Official transcripts of all college work (undergraduate and graduate). A GPA of 3.0 at the undergraduate level is required for admission. Students with a GPA below 3.0 may be accepted provisionally when there is a record of professional work experience longer than 3 years or other evidence that suggests the ability to successfully complete graduate coursework. Such evidence could include work experience in excess of three years, standardized test scores on the GRE/GMAT, and/or successful completion of other graduate coursework. Contact the program coordinator for additional clarification.
  3. Three recommendations from individuals who are in a position to evaluate the applicant’s professional competence as well as potential for graduate study (ideally at least one reference should be an academic instructor).
  4. A personal statement describing your professional experiences, reasons for pursuing graduate study in the MPA program, and your professional career goals
  5. Resume

Admissions decisions are based upon the examination of the entire portfolio of information and when indicators of success warrant, individuals who fall below the established criterion in one area may be considered for admission. Such individuals may be required to take additional coursework to remove deficiencies or may be required to demonstrate proficiency in certain areas.

Academic Regulations


In addition to the policies contained in the Code of Student Life, the university catalog, and other university and MPA program publications, students admitted to the MPA program must comply with the following additional policies.

Non-degree Seeking Students


The MPA program allows non-degree seeking students to take a limited number of courses for credit. Non-degree seeking students are limited to taking no more than 9 credit hours before they are required to apply for admission as a degree-seeking student. Additional hours must be approved in advance by the MPA director. Since non-degree seeking students are subject to different admissions requirements, the MPA director may limit the courses that a particular non-degree seeking student is allowed to take. The courses taken may be used to satisfy degree requirements if approved by the MPA director.

Registration


A degree seeking student in the MPA program is limited to registering for, and receiving credit for, a maximum of 12 credit hours in any one semester. A student enrolled in summer classes shall not register for, and will not receive credit for, more than 6 credit hours in any one session or 9 total credit hours for all summer sessions. Non-degree seeking students are limited to a maximum of 9 credit hours in a semester and 6 total hours in the summer. Permission of the MPA director is required to exceed these maximum credit hour requirements.

Retention Policy


Two grades of a C or lower, one grade of F, or one grade of U for a thesis results in automatic dismissal from the MPA program. Further, if a student falls below 3.0 GPA at any time, he or she goes on academic probation and has three subsequent courses or nine credit hours to raise their GPA above a 3.0 or they are dismissed from the MPA program. If the student raises their GPA above a 3.0 and it falls below a 3.0 for a second time, they are dismissed from the MPA program. Students must have a GPA above 3.0 to enroll in either MPA 595 , MPA 594 , or MPA 598 .

Minimum Competency Requirement


The core requirements (18 credit hours), internship or practicum (3 credit hours), and applied skill-based electives (3 credit hours) are courses that require a minimum level of competency of a B or better or an S. Any student receiving a B- or lower or a U must repeat the course and receive a grade of B or better. Such courses may only be repeated once and failure to receive a B or better grade or an S (internship) will result in dismissal from the MPA program. Both the initial and repeated grades will count towards determining the GPA but only the initial hours will count toward the degree requirements.

Academic Honor Code


The MPA program is committed to the university‘s honor code. No form of academic dishonesty will be tolerated (see the university catalogs and Code of Student life for examples of dishonesty). Students are encouraged to report occurrences of academic dishonesty to their course instructors or the MPA director. Students found guilty of academic dishonesty may be dismissed from the program by the MPA director regardless of the penalty imposed by the university‘s disciplinary procedures.

Student Conduct


The Master of Public Administration (MPA) is a professional degree program. All MPA students are expected to act and behave with professionalism both on and off campus. Acceptance of admission to the MPA program shall be construed as evidence that an MPA student agrees to comply with all rules and regulations of the university as stated in the Code of Student Life, the university catalog, and other university and MPA program publications. Students accused of conduct that warrants proceedings by the Dean of Students according to these university policies may be suspended by the MPA director pending the resolution of the administrative proceedings. Students found guilty during these proceedings may also be suspended or dismissed from the MPA program following a disciplinary hearing regardless of the penalty imposed by the Dean of Students.

The MPA Program also strives to develop future professionals who will work in managerial and leadership positions in the public and nonprofit sectors. Therefore, MPA students are expected to act in accordance with the code of ethics developed by the MPA program as well as other applicable codes developed by professional associations in the field of public administration. Moreover, any student accused or found guilty of a crime involving moral turpitude or a crime with the potential to create a danger to the campus community or would create an adverse learning environment or hostile workplace (broadly defined) may be suspended or dismissed by the director of the MPA program following a disciplinary hearing. Students accused or found guilty of unacceptable personal conduct as defined by the North Carolina Department of Administration‘s Disciplinary Action and Dismissal Policy or personal or professional conduct that violates established codes of ethical conduct adopted by the MPA program or professional associations within the field of public administration may be suspended or dismissed by the director of the MPA program following a disciplinary hearing. Disciplinary hearings conducted by the MPA program shall be conducted by the MPA director (or their designee) and 2 other members of the MPA program‘s faculty and students will have an opportunity to present evidence. Failure of the student to attend any disciplinary meetings or hearings or failure of a student to respond to a request for information pertaining to the allegations shall be grounds for suspension or dismissal by the MPA director. If a student is arrested or is accused of behavior subject to this policy, the student is required to notify the MPA director as soon as practicable. Failure to notify the MPA director shall be grounds for suspension or dismissal by the MPA director.

Degree Requirements (42 total credit hours)


Option 1 - Non-Thesis


The program requires the satisfactory completion of 42 credit hours of approved graduate level courses or a minimum of 39 credit hours if the internship or practicum requirement is waived (see below).

The program requirements consist of the following: 18 credit hours of core classes designed to provide the basic skills needed by managers and policy analysts working in public and nonprofit organizations; 3 credit hours of an internship or practicum designed to link theory with practice; three credit hours of an applied skill-based elective; and 12 credit hours of an approved concentration. Students can take their remaining six to nine credit hours from electives offered by the Department of Public and International Affairs or choose approved electives offered by other departments or universities.

Option 2 - Thesis


Students wishing to complete a thesis may do so by pursuing a thesis option which requires:

  1. Creating a Thesis Committee consisting of a chairperson and two additional members of the Graduate Faculty. At least two members of the committee including the chairperson must be from the Department of Public and International Affairs. This committee will oversee the student’s thesis. Students are advised to create this faculty committee no later than the third semester of enrollment.
  2. Prepare and defend a thesis proposal following departmental guidelines.
  3. Prepare and defend a thesis that is acceptable to the individual’s thesis committee.
  4. Complete at least 6 credit hours of MPA 599  - Thesis in Public Administration.
  5. Students pursuing this option will complete 45 credit hours of graduate credit, three credit hours more than students who do not pursue this option. Students are not required to take MPA 595  - Capstone Seminar in Public Administration but may choose to do so as an elective. However, students must complete 3 credit hours of the internship or practicum requirement unless they receive a waiver. If the student receives a waiver, their credit hour requirement for the thesis option is reduced to 42 credit hours (three less than it would be normally). They are also allowed to take up to 3 credit hours of MPA 598   as an elective, which would count towards their 42 credit hour requirement.

Core Requirements (18 credit hours)


All students are required to complete the following classes:

Internship or Practicum (3 credit hours)


Students must complete a 3 credit hour internship or practicum unless the requirement is waived by the director of the MPA program. All students must have their internship placement approved by the MPA director or their designee and their advisor. A practicum is only allowed in place of an internship when the student’s professional responsibilities or work requirements make it difficult or impossible to complete an internship. A practicum will consist of an applied research project examining a management or policy issue that is either in the student’s work place or it is completed for another organization.

A waiver to the internship requirement is only granted when the student can demonstrate a minimum of five years of significant management or policy-related professional experience or completes a comparable experience that the MPA director determines will be a suitable replacement for the requirement. Requests for a waiver must be made in writing and be approved by the MPA director. If the internship requirement is waived, the student is only required to complete 39 credit hours to graduate. Students who receive a waiver may elect to take MPA 598  as an elective for 3 credit hours if the student’s advisor and MPA director determine it will enhance their professional development.

Applied Skill-Based Electives (3 credit hours)


All students are required to take one of the following applied skill-based electives, however, students can take additional classes from this list as electives or concentration courses. Students should consult with their advisors to select the appropriate course.

Concentrations (12 credit hours)


All students are required to pursue a concentrated area of study in Public Management (12 credit hours), Public Policy Analysis (12 credit hours), Nonprofit Management (12 credit hours), Urban and Regional Policy and Planning (12 credit hours), Coastal Planning and Management (12 credit hours), Environmental Policy and Management (12 credit hours), or Marine Policy (12 credit hours), or students may elect dual (two) concentrations to appear on the final transcript for the MPA Program. A maximum of 6 credit hours may be counted toward both concentrations. Both concentrations will appear on the final transcript.

Public Management (12 credit hours)


All students pursuing a concentration in public management must complete the following requirements:

Public Policy Analysis (12 Credit Hours)


All students pursuing a concentration in public policy analysis must complete the following requirements:

Students must take an additional six credit hours of an approved elective.

Choose six credit hours from the following list of approve electives:

Nonprofit Management (12 credit hours)


All students pursuing a concentration in nonprofit management must complete the following requirements:

Students must take an additional six credit hours of an approved elective.

 Choose six credit hours from the following list of approved electives:
 

Urban and Regional Policy and Planning (12 credit hours)


All students pursuing a concentration in urban and regional policy and planning must complete the following requirements:

Coastal Planning and Management (12 credit hours)


All students pursuing a concentration in coastal planning and management must complete the following requirements:

Environmental Policy and Management (12 credit hours)


All students pursuing a concentration in environmental policy and management must complete the following requirements:

Marine Policy (12 credit hours)


All students pursuing a concentration in marine policy must complete the following requirements:

Students must take an additional six credit hours of an approved elective.

 Choose three credit hours from the following list of approved electives:
 

Choose three credit hours from the following list of approved electives

Choose three credit hours from the following list of approved electives:

Approved Electives (6 credit hours)


Students generally have to complete an additional 6 credit hours in order to fulfill their degree requirements. Students have the following options: take additional classes offered as applied skill-based electives; take classes offered as concentration classes; take classes listed as electives below; take approved electives offered by other departments or universities.

Students who complete the Certified Public Manager program may request a waiver of six credit hours of general electives. Requests for this waiver must be made in writing and approved by the MPA Director.

Students should consult with their advisor and the MPA coordinator when planning their program of study and selecting their electives.

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