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.
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.
Understanding Public Policy
State and Local Politics
Challenging Global Issues
Choose a minimum of 10 units from the courses below:
Program Planning & Evaluation
Economics in Public Administration
Leadership in Public Organizations
Public Administration & Technology
Contemporary Topics in Government
Total Semester Units Required for Graduation: 36
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.
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
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.
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.
Transfer Credit Evaluation Fee
Portfolio Credit Evaluation Fee
Computer Library Fee
(Two Provided at No Cost)
Late Payment Fee
(Returned Check/Declined Credit Card/ACH) (Per Item)
Student Tuition Recovery Fund *
(California Residents Only)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.