Master of Public Administration

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.

Master of Public Administration Program Highlights

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 a concentration in health care management, governmental management, fire science and emergency services, or criminal justice.

The Master of Public Administration emphasizes:

  • Public Value: Apply knowledge of practice in public administration to make effective decisions that create public value in diverse and dynamic situations
  • Ethical Decision Making: Evaluate the social and ethical implications of decisions made in the public interest
  • Innovation: Innovate to address issues and opportunities in the public sector
  • Knowledge Base: Evaluate theoretical foundations, current knowledge, and trends in public administration and public service
  • Finance: Apply financial knowledge to make sound and ethical decisions in the public interest
  • Diversity: Assess cultural, individual, and role differences of constituents and stakeholders
  • Leadership: Apply principles of leadership to shape change and improve the governance and management of public policy

Master of Public Administration Concentrations

To further develop your expertise, you may choose electives that focus on one of the following concentrations:

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.

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Higher Education at the Highest Standards

Kaplan University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and committed to the highest standards. Our specific programs hold additional industry-relevant approvals and accreditations.

What are the Career Opportunities?

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.*

How Do I Get Started?

Kaplan University offers multiple start dates, giving you greater flexibility with your education, life, and work schedules.

08

Nov

Online and Campus Start Date

November 08, 2017

31

Jan

Online and Campus Start Date

January 31, 2018

18

Apr

Online and Campus Start Date

April 18, 2018

05

Jul

Online and Campus Start Date

July 05, 2018

19

Sep

Online and Campus Start Date

September 19, 2018

05

Dec

Online and Campus Start Date

December 05, 2018

Curriculum: Applied Research Track

Desired Track
Applied Research Track
  • Applied Research Track
  • Comprehensive Exam Track
  • Core

    Total Core Credits: 30

    Total Program Credits: 55

    • PP 500: PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT Change

      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 implementation.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • PP 504: RESEARCH AND WRITING IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION Change

      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.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      PP 500

    • PP 510: LEADERSHIP IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR Change

      You 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.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      PP 500 or enrollment in the Master of Science in Environmental Policy

    • PP 520: FINANCE AND THE ADMINISTRATION OF PUBLIC FUNDS Change

      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.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      PP  500 or enrollment in the Master of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management program

    • PP 530: HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR Change

      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.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      PP 500

    • PP 698: MASTER’S CAPSTONE IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION Change

      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.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      Last term or permission from the Dean

  • Concentrations

    Total Concentrations Credits: 25

    Total Program Credits: 55

Curriculum: Concentration

Concentration
Select a Concentration
  • Select a Concentration
  • Criminal Justice Concentration
  • Emergency and Disaster Management Concentration
  • General MPA Concentration
  • Governmental Management Concentration
  • Health Care Management Concentration
  • Please Select a Concentration Above
  • Criminal Justice Concentration

    Total Criminal Justice Concentration Credits: 25

    Total Program Credits: 55

    • CJ 501: CRIMINOLOGICAL THEORY Change

      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 issues.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

      Intensive study area courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • CJ 503: ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR Change

      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 agency operations.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

      Intensive study area courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • CJ 505: CRITICAL ISSUES IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE Change

      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 needed.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

      Intensive study area courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • CJ 511: EMPLOYMENT AND POLICY LAW Change

      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 issues.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

      Intensive study area courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • 500/600 LEVEL: PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION ELECTIVE Change

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      N/A

      Intensive study area courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

  • Emergency and Disaster Management Concentration

    Total Emergency and Disaster Management Concentration Credits: 25

    Total Program Credits: 55

    • HM 500: CRISIS AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT FUNDAMENTALS Change

      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.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

      Intensive study area courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • HM 502: RISK, VULNERABILITY, AND CAPABILITY ASSESSMENT METHODS Change

      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?"

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

      Intensive study area courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • HM 510: MITIGATION AND PREPAREDNESS ISSUES FOR EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT Change

      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.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

      Intensive study area courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • HM 540: CRISIS INTERVENTION Change

      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.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

      Intensive study area courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • PP 650: PUBLIC POLICY ANALYSIS Change

      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.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      PP 500 or enrollment in the Master of Science in Fire and Emergency Services

      Intensive study area courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

  • General MPA Concentration

    Total General MPA Concentration Credits: 25

    Total Program Credits: 55

    • PP 600: ADMINISTRATIVE LAW IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION Change

      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.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      PP 504
       

      Intensive study area courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • PP 610: BALANCING THE BUDGET—BUDGETARY PROCESS Change

      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 also addressed.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      PP  500

      Intensive study area courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • PP 640: POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC FORCES Change

      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.
       

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      PP 500

      Intensive study area courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • PP 650: PUBLIC POLICY ANALYSIS Change

      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.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      PP 500 or enrollment in the Master of Science in Fire and Emergency Services

      Intensive study area courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • 500/600 LEVEL: LEGAL STUDIES ELECTIVE Change

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      N/A

      Intensive study area courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

  • Governmental Management Concentration

    Total Governmental Management Concentration Credits: 25

    Total Program Credits: 55

    • LS 605: ORGANIZATION AND FUNCTION OF STATE GOVERNMENT Change

      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.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      LS 500

      Intensive study area courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • LS 606: LEGISLATIVE PROCESS Change

      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.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      LS 500

      Intensive study area courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • LS 607: GUBERNATORIAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROCESS Change

      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.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      LS 500

      Intensive study area courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • PP 650: PUBLIC POLICY ANALYSIS Change

      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.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      PP 500 or enrollment in the Master of Science in Fire and Emergency Services

      Intensive study area courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • 500/600 LEVEL: LEGAL STUDIES ELECTIVE Change

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      N/A

      Intensive study area courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

  • Health Care Management Concentration

    Total Health Care Management Concentration Credits: 25

    Total Program Credits: 55

    • LS 620: HEALTH CARE ORGANIZATIONS AND FINANCE Change

      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.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      LS  500

      Intensive study area courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • LS 621: FEDERALISM AND THE HEALTH CARE DELIVERY SYSTEM Change

      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.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      LS 500

      Intensive study area courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • LS 622: PROFESSIONALS AND HEALTH CARE INSTITUTIONS Change

      In 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 litigation. 

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      LS 500

      Intensive study area courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • PP 620: PUBLIC POLICY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION Change

      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.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      PP  500

      Intensive study area courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • 500/600 LEVEL: LEGAL STUDIES ELECTIVE Change

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      N/A

      Intensive study area courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

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