Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Overview

A recognized leader in the field of education, Taft University now offers a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree. This is an intensive, 18 to 24-month professional graduate degree program that provides students with the skills, knowledge, and network they will need to be successful professionals and engaged citizens serving the public good across local, national and international government, nonprofit, and private sectors.

Our MPA program is designed to meet the growing need to advance public policy, enhance public management, and bridge the private and public sectors.  Its curricular focus is grounded in a comprehensive view of public service education that equips students with the skills needed to implement effective policy; manage organizations with diverse stakeholders; and apply rigorous, evidence-based analysis to inform decision-making. Our students move on to successful careers, making an impact by serving the public good, finding jobs in national, state, local, and international government, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit companies throughout the US and around the world.

The objectives of the Program are:

  1. Prepare students with skills and knowledge for effectively leading and managing organizations that ultimately serve the global public good.
  2. Maintain an applied and professionally oriented curriculum.
  3. Develop advanced professional practices and analytical skills in our students through classroom instruction and experiential learning activities.
  4. Prepare students to work fluidly across the public, nonprofit, and business sectors.
  5. Create new research that advances knowledge in the governance and management of public and nonprofit organizations.

Successful graduates of the Program will demonstrate:

  • Have an advanced understanding and appreciation of the theoretical and historical foundations of the field of professional public administration, thereby enabling students to critically think and to link theory with practice as they address current issues in the public and nonprofit sector.
  • Apply the knowledge and skills necessary to make a practical difference in the quality of operations in public organizations and communities.
  • Effectively summarize, appraise, and communicate technical and professional information through both oral and written media.
  • Develop core competencies necessary for helping to shape the organizational environment (broadly defined) in which they operate and for managing individuals, groups, clients, and programs.
  • Develop an ethical perspective based on the public service values of personal integrity, accountability, the public’s interest, and equity and fairness.

Presentation

The Program is presented on a semester basis. Students are generally enrolled in 3 courses per semester with the exception of the capstone, which is taken separately at the end of the program. Each semester consists of a minimum time period of 16 weeks from the date study commences. Students not completing all semester coursework in the 16-week period will be granted an automatic two-month extension of time to complete the semester. Students may take a break between semesters; however, except in special circumstances, the entire program must be completed within five years.

Coursework is submitted and graded via Taft University’s online learning platform, Moodle™. This gives students and faculty one central place to log on and interact through discussion forums, submit and retrieve feedback on lesson assignments, and access any ancillary electronically available course materials.

The Program is available to enrolled students from anywhere there is an internet connection.

Each course in the Program contains a series of lesson assignments, generally consisting of reading assignments supplemented occasionally by various multimedia. Students are evaluated through examinations and/or research assignments, which are submitted for faculty evaluation. Students conclude the Program with the preparation of a capstone project.

Curriculum

To earn the Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree a student must complete the courses listed here in good academic standing and pass all examinations.

The requirements may be completed in as little as 12 months. All requirements must be completed within five years from the date of initial enrollment.

First Semester
(11 units)

MPA500

Public Administration

3 units

MPA501

Administrative Law

4 units

MPA508

Understanding Public Policy

4 units

Second Semester
(11 units)

MPA504

State and Local Politics

4 units

MPA513

Challenging Global Issues

4 units

MPA515

Policy Analysis

3 units

Third Semester Elective Course Options
(10 units)

Choose a minimum of 10 units from the courses below:

MPA502

Public Budgeting

4 units

MPA503

Program Planning & Evaluation

3 units

MPA507

Economics in Public Administration

4 units

MPA511

Leadership in Public Organizations

3 units

MPA512

Global Business

3 units

MPA516

Public Administration & Technology

3 units

MPA517

Contemporary Topics in Government

2-4 units

Capstone
(4 units)

MPA600

Capstone Project

4 units

Total Semester Units Required for Graduation: 36

Admission Policies and Requirements

Applicants who have earned a Bachelor’s degree from a college or university accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education are considered regular applicants to the Program. The majority of applicants to this program are adults working in a variety of professional settings. Consequently, prior class rank and/or grade point average are not significant factors in the admission process.

An individual not qualifying as a regular applicant may apply as a special applicant. Special applicants are evaluated on a case-by-case basis but must have an academic background equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree earned in the United States. This could be a degree earned outside the United States or a combination of academic units earned and professional employment experience.

An applicant may be conditionally admitted into the program based on a completed Application for Admission form, and student copies of transcripts reflecting the applicant’s highest relevant degree. Official copies of all relevant college level credits received directly from the institution of origin will be required within 60 days of enrollment.

The vast majority of the program’s applicants are mature adults working in a variety of professional settings. Many have not attended college for several years. Consequently, prior class rank and grade point average are not significant factors in the admission process.

Applicants who do not possess a degree from a postsecondary institution where English is the principal language of instruction must demonstrate college-level proficiency in English through one of a number of University-approved methods.

Applicants with degrees earned at institutions located outside the United States must have their academic transcripts evaluated and certified by a National Association of Credential Evaluation Services, Inc. (NACES) member organization.

Foreign Applicants and Applicants with International Credentials

It may be necessary for applicants who have attended colleges or universities outside of the United States to obtain an evaluation of their education from a credential evaluation service approved by the University. Upon request, the Admissions Office will provide a list of approved evaluators. In addition, applicants whose native language is not English and who have not earned a degree from an appropriately accredited institution where English is the principal language of instruction must receive a minimum score of 530 on the paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or 71 on the iBT, or its equivalent.

For more information on TOEFL visit the website: www.ets.org/toefl

Transfer Credit and Portfolio Credit

The acceptance of transfer credits between academic institutions lies within the discretion of the receiving college or university. Therefore, the University cannot guarantee that any course or degree completed at another educational institution will be accepted by the University nor can the University guarantee that any course or degree program completed at the University will be accepted as credit by any other educational institution.

Students may apply to have prior coursework and/or college-level learning reviewed by the University for academic credit.

Transfer Credit: Transfer credit toward a degree may be awarded for postsecondary courses completed by the student at other appropriately accredited institutions if such courses are found to be academically comparable and meet the standards and requirements of the specific program.

Portfolio Credit: Academic credit may be given for adequately documented and validated experiential equivalent learning of a postsecondary nature. Examples include credit for achievement of certifications, college level equivalent tests, or other postsecondary level equivalent experience. Students with prior military experience may also apply to have military coursework evaluated for possible equivalent college credit.

The awarding of transfer credit or portfolio credit is considered on a case-by-case basis and awarded at the sole discretion of the University.

Financial Information

Tuition for the MPA program is $395 per unit. Current information about available tuition assistance can be found on our Scholarships & Grants page.

Enrollment in the Program will generally qualify students for payment deferrals on existing federally insured student loans. Applicants seeking deferrals on existing student loans should check with their lenders prior to enrollment.

California residents can find more information about the California Tuition Recovery Fund here.

FEE SCHEDULE

Application Fee

(Non-Refundable)

$75

Transfer Credit Evaluation Fee

(Non-Refundable)

$55

Portfolio Credit Evaluation Fee

(Non-Refundable)

$100

Registration Fee

(Per Semester)

$50

Diploma Fee

(Non-Refundable)

$75

Computer Library Fee

(Per Semester)

$45

Transcript Fee

(Two Provided at No Cost)

$10

Late Payment Fee

(Returned Check/Declined Credit Card/ACH) (Per Item)

$25

Student Tuition Recovery Fund *

(California Residents Only)

$0

How to Enroll

Once an applicant is conditionally accepted for admission to the program, an admissions representative will inquire about the applicant’s desired start date (within six months of acceptance). After confirmation of the desired start date, a formal Enrollment Agreement will be prepared and sent to the applicant for review and signature via DocuSign. Enrollment may begin on the 15th of any month.

Applicants are encouraged to contact Admissions with any questions regarding enrollment procedures.

Course Descriptions

  • MPA500 - Public Administration (3 units)
  • MPA501 - Administrative Law (4 units)
  • MPA502 - Public Budgeting (3 units)
  • MPA503 - Program Planning & Evaluation (3 units)
  • MPA504 - State and Local Politics (4 units)
  • MPA507 - Economics in Public Administration (4 units)
  • MPA508 - Understanding Public Policy (4 units)
  • MPA511 - Leadership in Public Organization (3 units)
  • MPA512 - Global Business (3 units)
  • MPA513 - Challenging Global Issues (4 units)
  • MPA515 - Policy Analysis (3 units)
  • MPA516 - Public Administration and Technology (3 units)
  • MPA517 - Contemporary Topics in Government (2-4 units)
  • MPA600 - Capstone Project (4 units)

MPA500 - Public Administration (3 units)

This is the gateway course to the field of public administration. It examines the major intellectual and constitutional foundations of American government and public administration as well as current trends. The course includes theoretical and practical aspects of key governmental processes, the historical development of the field, contributions of social science to understanding organizations, and ethical issues in contemporary government activities.

MPA501 - Administrative Law (4 units)

This course explores the study of the legal framework of public administration. Basic principles of constitutional law and the institutions of American government are reviewed. The development of administrative agency as a contemporary legal and social phenomenon and its relationship to other branches of government are considered.

MPA502 - Public Budgeting (3 units)

This course covers the theory and practice of public budget preparation and review, governmental accounting and auditing, and political issues in the budget process. The course includes consideration of capital budgeting, revenue estimation, and the history of budget reform efforts.

MPA503 - Program Planning & Evaluation (3 units)

This course is an analysis of the theory and practice of designing, implementing, and evaluating public and nonprofit programs. This course develops skills in outcome management, survey design, and presentation of results.

MPA504 - State and Local Politics (4 units)

This course considers issues related to politics in states and communities using a comparative approach. “Its focus is on conflicts in states and communities and the structures and processes designed to manage conflict” (Dye & MacManus, 2015, Preface). The course considers how conflict is carried on, how leaders act in conflict situations, and decisions are made about who gets what.

MPA507 - Economics in Public Administration (4 units)

This course covers economics and the role of the government in an economy. Economists are concerned with the distributional aspects of resources and the ramifications of resource use. The primary objective of this course is to familiarize the student with basic economic concepts and theories that have been developed to explain economic issues that are faced, decisions that are made, and policies that are implemented.

MPA508 - Understanding Public Policy (4 units)

Covers political and organizational perspectives on the policy-making process: agenda setting, policy design, adoption, implementation, evaluation, modification or termination, policy leadership skills, negotiation, and strategic mapping.

MPA511 - Leadership in Public Organization (3 units)

This course addresses the need for a compact but nonetheless complete analysis of leadership for students and practitioners who work in public and nonprofit organizations. The first half addresses the basic issues and theories related to leadership; the second half looks at leadership as a cycle of action requiring an array of competencies.

MPA512 - Global Business (3 units)

This course considers whether globalization benefits or harms national economies. This course takes a close look at how changes in regulations governing international trade and investment, when coupled with changes in political systems and technology, have dramatically altered the competitive playing field confronting many businesses. It discusses the resulting opportunities and threats and reviews the strategies that managers can pursue to exploit the opportunities and counter the threats.

MPA513 - Challenging Global Issues (4 units)

This course covers the foundations of international relations and provides a comprehensive view of how interdependence and the forces of globalization are creating serious challenges to governments. The political, economic, and cultural forces are discussed in relation to contemporary globalization and world affairs.

MPA515 - Policy Analysis (3 units)

This course addresses the conceptual foundations and craft skills required to perform policy analysis. Students in this course will consider core economic principles and learn key research and communication skills, which are needed to construct applied analysis.

MPA516 - Public Administration and Technology (3 units)

Technology management for public managers focuses on what an individual in a managerial position should know about information technology. Social, political, and organizational effects of the technology on individuals, groups, and society are covered. Students gain an appreciation for emerging concerns in the information age.

MPA517 - Contemporary Topics in Government (2-4 units)

This is independent study given under the direction of a faculty member. Students engage in specific topic of interest (which is usually not available through regular offerings), or participate in projects for governments and non-profit agencies. A final written report is required. No more than four hours may count as electives toward degree.

MPA600 - Capstone Project (4 units)

This Capstone course requires preparation of a written project demonstrating scholarship on some aspect of public administration, normally in-depth treatment of an applied management concern; must be approved by a thesis committee (chairperson and two faculty members). Concurrent enrollment in final courses with Dean’s approval.

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