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Learning Center Experience
The public sector needs strong, educated leaders who can make decisions that make a difference. Kaplan University’s Master of Public Administration is designed to help practicing and aspiring administrators develop the skills and techniques needed to provide leadership in a wide variety of public service fields.* The program focuses on teaching you management and decision-making skills; knowledge to help you become a successful leader in the public sector.
The core curriculum teaches you how to evaluate, implement, and manage policy and spans diverse topics including public administration and management, ethics and leadership, budgeting and the administration of public funds, strategic planning, and applied research. Additionally, the program offers you the flexibility to pursue a general Master of Public Administration or to focus on an intensive study area in health care management, governmental management, fire science and emergency services, or criminal justice.The Master of Public Administration emphasizes:
Access gainful employment information, including program length, tuition costs, financing options, and success rates.
When you graduate with a Master in Public Administration you may qualify to serve in a variety of leadership roles in the executive arm of local, state/provincial, and federal/national government, nongovernmental organizations, public sector organizations, and nonprofit and voluntary sectors.*
To further develop your expertise, you may choose electives that focus on one of the following intensive study areas:
General Master of Public Administration: Explore the fundamental concepts and practices of budgeting and financial management, the interaction of political and economic forces, administrative law, and public policy analysis.
Criminal Justice: Explore theories and practices related to justice management, critical legal issues facing the criminal justice field, and employment and policy law.
Emergency and Disaster Management: Study current administration issues that affect first-response organizations and their strategic operations. Develop skills and techniques in the areas of strategic planning, leadership, and emergency services management.
Governmental Management: Explore the organization, function, and interaction within state governments. Examine American local, state, and federal legislative institutions and the processes used to enact new legislation. Study to gain an understanding of how administrative agencies produce administrative rulings and supporting memoranda.
Health Care Management: Explore the roles and relationships between federal and state governments in the delivery of health care services. Study federal statutes related to Medicare, Medicaid, Stark, and HIPAA and the contractual, legal, and procedural aspects of the relationship of professionals to health care institutions.
Kaplan University offers multiple start dates, giving you greater flexibility with your education, life, and work schedules.
Online Start Date
May 13, 2015
Online Start Date
Jun 10, 2015
Online Start Date
Jul 08, 2015
The course explores the theory and development
of the field of public administration and the function of
management. It will cover a wide range of topics further explored
in the Master of Public Administration program. These topics may
include federalism and intergovernmental relations, ethics and
administrative leadership, personnel, and resource management.
Students will study management processes in the context of a
political environment and policy
Total Program Credits: 55
Strong research and writing skills are necessary in the field of public administration. This course is designed to prepare public administration students for the demands of academic and professional writing in their coursework, professional career, and for their final capstone project. Students will be introduced to applied research within the field of public administration; will create a problem definition; compose a background and legislative record; and will create a policy brief for a defined problem related to the field of public administration.
Students will study leadership within the public sector and the application of ethical and leadership principles to decision making, actions, and interactions within public administration. Topics covered may include: organizational behavior, interest-based negotiation, leading networks, mediation, and leadership style.
PP 500 or enrollment in the Master of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Master of Science in Environmental Policy, or Master of Science in Fire and Emergency Services program
This course examines the methods, processes,
and challenges in the administration and budgeting of public
funds. Students will examine the budgeting of public revenues,
revenue generation, forecasting, cost control, and fiscal
management. The importance of managing control issues and
transparency will be addressed.
PP 500 or enrollment in the Master of Science in
Homeland Security and Emergency Management
In this course, students examine theories, processes, and systems related to human resources management in government, nonprofit, and multinational organizations. Topics explored include budget management; employee selection, development, compensation, and retention processes including job analysis and performance management; labor relations including conflict management and disciplinary action, diversity, and unity; legal, ethical, safety, risks, and security considerations in the work environment; and strengths and opportunities in public administration management. Students will apply course principles and concepts to real-world situations encountered in the public sector.
This capstone course is the culminating experience for the Master of Public Administration. This capstone course provides students with the opportunity to engage in research, analysis, and evaluation of current topics and challenges in the field of public administration. Students will integrate and synthesize the knowledge and skills acquired throughout their coursework, conducting their own research related to current topics and challenges in the field of public administration in order to demonstrate their mastery of program outcomes.
Last term or permission from the Dean
This course consists of an in-depth analysis
of various explanations of criminal behavior. Readings include
the original works of prominent authors from a broad range of
disciplines related to crime, social deviance, and causation.
Ethical and legal foundations in defining social deviance and
crime are also considered. Specific focus is placed on
applications of theory that address causes and correlations of
criminal behavior in a variety of cultures throughout the world.
This course is well suited for criminal justice practitioners, as
students apply criminological theory to contemporary
550 and CJ 526
Criminal Justice Intensive Study Area
Total Program Credits: 55
Intensive study area courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.
This course presents an in-depth analysis of
the various dynamics facing criminal justice organizations in the
context of professional practice, including, but not limited to,
the theoretical concepts underlying organizational behavior,
management and leadership of human resources, and design and
structural processes. The scope includes fiscal accountability;
personnel deployment; implementation of change; motivation and
retention of personnel; the hiring, assignment, and promotion of
personnel; organizational communication; professional
development; and fundamental legal issues as they pertain to
This course will address critical issues
affecting the major tenets of the criminal justice profession,
including, but not limited to, homeland security, training and
education, ethics and morality in professional practice, and
community-based law enforcement and corrections programs. Other
current trends and any other critical issue facing the fields of
policing, private security, and corrections are addressed as
This course involves the study of specialized
topics in substantive and procedural criminal law with a special
emphasis on employment law, and how these legal issues impact
ethics and leadership in criminal justice organizations. This
course is well suited for command-level personnel in response to
a variety of potential agency and personal liability
This course will introduce students to the
concepts, issues, and problems of crisis and emergency
management. Topics explored include: organizing and logistics for
response, managing the response organization, managing in a
high-stress environment, crisis decision making, crisis
communications, liability issues, and resource assessment and
allocation. This course will cover the methodology and rationale
behind the unified response to a terrorist, weapons of mass
destruction (WMD), or disaster incidents, and students will
examine these methodologies from the perspective of crisis
management and consequence management.
CJ 550 and CJ 526
Emergency and Disaster Management Intensive Study Area
Total Program Credits: 55
The course examines the concepts of risk-based planning and risk management. The assessment and management of vulnerability and risk associated with terrorist and other disaster events are examined. Topics explored include: objectives of and methods for vulnerability and risk assessment for natural disasters, technological hazards, and terrorist threats; concepts of risk perception, risk communication, and risk mitigation; and the requirements and methods of critical infrastructure protection from terrorism, technological disasters, and natural disasters. Students will examine the question and make decisions regarding, "Who or what should be protected and how?"
HM 500 and HM 501
This course will explore hazard mitigation and its role in disaster management. In addition, students will study the planning process, program development, and training methods for responses to man-made and natural emergencies/disasters. Topics include government and private sector programs, new approaches, and mitigation of issues/events.
This course introduces the basic theories and principles of crisis intervention. The emphasis in this course is on identifying and demonstrating appropriate and differential techniques for intervening in various types of disaster and emergency management crisis situations. This course will review empirically validated approaches to crisis intervention. The course will explore the role of law enforcement in crisis situations as well as civilian and public safety personnel behavior under emergency and disaster crisis situations. In addition, assessment and diagnosis of psychological issues commonly found in crisis situations will be examined.
The course focuses on the analysis of public policy and approaches to problem solving. Students will study qualitative and quantitative methods of policy analysis that aid public policy and program analysts in informing the decision-making process. Examining policies at scales from local to global will enable students to apply tools and concepts across a wide range of issues.
PP 500 or enrollment in the Master of Science in Fire and Emergency Services
This course examines the fundamental concepts regarding administrative law in public administration and how public policy is crafted. Students will examine the intergovernmental relations and the political and practical constraints that influence administrative policy.
General MPA Intensive Study Area
Total Program Credits: 55
Students will study the fundamental concepts
and practices of budgeting and financial management. The budget
process and preparation, cost analysis, and budget reform will be
covered in detail. Crisis management and balancing the budget are
Students will explore the impact and interaction of political and economic forces that affect public administration in domestic and international governmental and nonprofit sectors. Students will use economic reasoning to better explain this interaction between political entities and economic forces including governments’ behavioral effects on markets, the role of competition in the provision of public goods, resource allocation, market failure, and government failure.
This course will explore the organization of state governments, the function of each primary area, and how they interact. Students will examine functional and dysfunctional government structures and analyze what works and why. In addition, they will examine innovative practices in large bureaucratic structures and best practices and the use of technology tools to improve functioning.
Governmental Management Intensive Study Area
Total Program Credits: 55
This course examines American legislative institutions at the local, state, and federal levels and the processes that are used to enact new legislation. Legislative bodies pass, on an annual basis, laws that regulate or affect all of our lives. This course will familiarize students with legislative materials. Cases will be used to explore the judicial role in the legislative process.
In this course, students will engage in the hands-on process of conceptualizing and developing a ruling from an administrative agency. The course will begin with an intensive study of the executive branch of government at the state level and the role of administrative agencies. The instructor and students will work together as if both were actually in roles in a state administrative agency. They will develop a policy issue, review it in light of the goals of the governor's agenda, the relationship to the legislature, and the existing state law, and at the end of the course produce an administrative ruling with supporting memoranda.
The health care industry is one of the nation's fastest-growing and largest industries. Health care executives, managers, and professionals must possess basic financial competence to govern effectively. This course will introduce students to the foundations of financial literacy to enable them to fulfill their roles.
Health Care Management Intensive Study Area
Total Program Credits: 55
In this course, students will learn about the role of the federal government and the relationship between the federal and state governments in the delivery of health care services. Students will engage in an intensive study of federal statutes, such as Medicare, Medicaid, Stark, and HIPAA, and through that process will gain an understanding of the shared responsibilities in delivering health care. The instructor and students will select a health delivery issue and work through the legal, political, and health care issues involved in resolving that issue.
this course, students will study the history of the delivery of health care by
physicians and health care institutions and the development of licensing and
regulation of physicians and other health care professionals and health care
facilities and institutions. Students will also study the relationships between
physicians and health care facilities and institutions. Finally, students will
study peer-review committees and organizations and medical malpractice
This course examines important and current
health care policies facing health care administration in the
United States. Students will identify the strategic questions
facing delivery and financing of health services including
policy, funding, management, and delivery.
As a final step in the Master of Public Administration, students may choose the nonthesis option and successfully complete a comprehensive exam. This comprehensive exam incorporates the program outcomes of the program. This exam is designed to carefully assess a student’s overall learning in the program. Successful completion of the exam allows both student and faculty to measure and acknowledge a successful learning experience for the student.
General Master of Public Administration Intensive Study Area
Total Program Credits: 55
The 25% tuition reduction applies only to international students living outside of the United States. This discount does not apply to military students. Please check with your advisor to see if you are eligible.
Cost Per Credit
Number of Credits / Terms
Online & Learning Center
Some programs have additional associated fees that are not included in the price of tuition. Click here or check with an Admissions Advisor for more information.
Maine residents interested in enrolling in an online program: click here for tuition and fee information.
Learn More about Kaplan University Tuition and Fees
Kaplan University Learning Center students will only complete a portion of their program on site. You will need to complete at least 50% of the program requirements online, or through transfer credit awarded via prior learning assessment. If you have any questions about these requirements, please speak with an Admissions Advisor. Not all programs are available for enrollment at Kaplan University Learning Centers.
Learn more about grants and Kaplan University Scholarships that may help reduce the cost of your education.
Kaplan University tuition reductions (including military servicemember, spouse, and veterans tuition rates; scholarships; grants; vouchers; and alumni and alliance reductions) cannot be combined.
Kaplan University has significantly reduced many of our tuition rates and fees for servicemembers, their spouses, and veterans. Click here for more information.
* Kaplan University cannot guarantee employment or career advancement.
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