Masters in Public Administration
MPA Program Requirements
All courses numbered 5000 and above are graduate courses. If a 5000-level courses is cross-listed with a 4000-level undergraduate course, graduate students must register for the 5000-level section of the course. Of the 36 semester hours of course work, at least 30 hours must be graduate level courses at the 6000 level or above.
No more than 9 credits may be taken as independent study and/or workshops.
Students must take a minimum of 33 semester hours of course work and either
• three credit hours of credit for either a thesis and oral defense OR
• three credit hours for the Capstone Course.
All students are required to complete 15 hours of core courses and 12 hours of specialization courses. The remaining six hours are electives.
Core Courses (15 hours)
Required of all students
The five required courses in the MPA “core,” each worth 3 credit hours, are:
- POLS 6210 Public Administration Theory and Behavior
- POLS 6260 Public Management I: Personnel Management and Leadership
- POLS 6280 Public Management II: Budgeting, Fiscal Policy, and Decision-making
- POLS 6200 Public Administration and Public Policy
- POLS 6750 Research Methods
Students must receive at least a 'B' grade in all core classes.
Program Specialization (12 hours)
Our MPA program will offer students three specializations: Politics and Public Policy, International Development Administration, and Environmental Management and Sustainability. In addition, a “planned program” option is available for students wishing to craft their own specialization. Students choosing this option work closely with our Graduate Coordinator to ensure that the crafted specialization has sufficient focus and direction.
Students will complete 12 credit hours of coursework in their chosen specialization. Each specializations has one required course, additional courses are chosen in consultation with the Graduate Coordinator.
- The Politics and Public Policy specialization prepares students to work in the local, state, or federal government or non-profit sector in the United States. This specialization will be of interest to both newly-minted college graduates and mid-career professionals. It is geared toward individuals wishing to pursue careers in legislative politics, executive politics, campaign politics, polling, and/or political consulting, among others. In addition this will be a track of particular interest for students wishing to do a Ph.D. in public administration. Required Course for Politics and Public Policy: POLS 6310 Seminar in American Government
- The International Development specialization will prepare students to work for international non-governmental organizations or inter-governmental organizations such as the United Nations and the United States Agency for International Development. Required Course for International Development: POLS 6710 Seminar in International Development
- The Environmental Management and Sustainability specialization prepares students for work in the emerging “green sector” and builds on the BGSU Center of Excellence “Sustainability and the Environment.” As an interdisciplinary specialization, students will be uniquely qualified to take on a variety of jobs and will be broadly trained in environmental management and sustainability. Required Course for Environmental Management and Sustainability: POLS 6450 Environmental Management
- The Leadership and Management Specialization prepares students to work in management positions in the public or non-profit sector. Required course for Management and Leadership: Either POLS6540 Non-Profit Management OR POLS6410 Management in Small Local Government.
Program Electives (6 hours)
Many courses are available throughout the university for each area of specialization. Electives must be at the graduate level.
Independent Studies/Reading Courses
Students with specialized interests in a topic may do an independent study course with a faculty member to supplement their regular MPA coursework. No more than 9 hours of independent study can be counted towards the degree.
Internship/Experiential Paper and Thesis
As part of the program requirements students are required to complete either an internship and capstone project, or thesis. Most of our students pursue the internship option as a means to gain meaningful work experience prior to graduation. Internships may be either paid or unpaid placements in the public sector, and may be completed either during the school year or the summer. Students with prior work experience may be waived out of the internship, but must still complete the capstone.
Students should begin searching for an internship early in the school year as placements are competitive. Some suggested web sites for internship searches are available on the news and links page.
Recent Graduates have held internships at:
- United Way
- Alaska Coalition
- Center for Regional Development
- Defiance Environmental Services Office
- Wood County Economic Development Office
- Defiance County Commissioner Office
- Ohio Senate Office
- Art Institute of Toledo
- Federal Conciliation and Mediation Service
- United Nations – New York
- Canadian Embassy
- Bowling Green Parks and Recreation
- United Nations Development Program (UNDP)