Graduate Coordinator: Dr. Mark T. Imperial
The Executive 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 for working professionals who seek to develop their professional skills and abilities and want to pursue careers as managers, analysts, supervisors, and program specialists in the public and nonprofit sector. 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 communicate effectively and professionally to diverse audiences and understanding of how to work effectively in diverse groups. Since the Executive 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 and our optional concentrations focus 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.