Course Descriptions

Public Administration


MPA 6460
American Planning and Politics
3 credits

While planning can be studied from a number of perspectives, such as the aesthetic (design), economic, environmental, fiscal, and social welfare perspectives, it is the political (sometimes described as 'behavioral') that is the perspective of this course. This course provides a broad overview of the methods and procedures used to develop policies and then implement plan and programs through a combination of implementation and regulation. Topics covered include plans affecting economic development and the environment, sustainable growth, growth management tools, transportation access and mobility, and urbanization in the United States and around the world.


MPA 6501
Seminar in Public Administration
3 credits

This course focuses on federal, state, and local administrative practices; principles of organization; policy formulation; and ethical decision making in public organizations. The impact of bureaucracy on state and local government politics is explored. Organizational processes, including leadership styles, communications, policy formulation, power, authority, community, and political linkages are examined.


MPA 6503
Administrative Law
3 credits

This course focuses on administrative law with respect to enabling legislation that creates agencies at the federal, state, and local governmental levels, including delegated powers. Emphasis is placed on the evolution of agency influence through examination of court decisions with respect to broadened agency powers.


MPA 7201
State and Local Financial Management
3 credits

This course concentrates on state and local government agencies’ approaches to gathering revenues and fees and allocating expenditures. The budget cycle of formulation, adoption, and execution is examined. Competing interest group pressure for scarce financial resources is analyzed.


MPA 7202
Public Budgeting Systems
3 credits

This course is a survey of the current budget practices among all levels of government in the United States. Methods are emphasized, along with the sources and types of information needed in budgetary decision making.


MPA 7400
Public Personnel Administration
3 credits

This course examines the Civil Service system at both the federal and the state level. This system is characterized by scarce resources, and a new method of implementation is explored, including new organizational life, new emphasis on the marketplace model of personnel management, and more emphasis on individual accountability.


MPA 7401
Government Contracting and Purchasing
3 credits

This course concentrates on purchasing and procurement methods, regulations, statutes, and controls applicable to the federal, state, and local level of government.


MPA 7502
Analysis of Public Policy
3 credits

This course concentrates on the interdisciplinary nature of public policy analysis. It evaluates the processes through which policy is created and the dynamics of power and access to the policy process. Measurements of policy success and ways to improve both policy quality and the efficiencies of its implementation are evaluated and explored. Federalism, power and the policy process, bureaucracy (the fourth branch of government), the political economy, theories of policy creation and policy evaluation, civil rights, health and welfare, education, defense, criminal justice, and the environment are some issues to be addressed.


MPA 7900
Special Topics in Public Administration
3 credits

This course addresses different topics of interest in Public Administration. It is conducted in a seminar or symposium format where each student is an active and involved participant in the selection of topic questions and material to be covered. Topics might include privatization, deregulation, leadership, and culture in the public sector. The course may be used to meet part of the elective requirements for business degree programs.