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Public Administration - M.P.A. PDFDownload to print

College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Political Science

302 Bowman Hall
Tel: 330-672-2060
Fax: 330-672-3362


The Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) consists of two concentrations: Public Management and Public Policy, plus a dual degree with the College of Nursing, the M.S.N./M.P.A.

The Public Management concentration is designed for students wishing to become line managers and executives within public and nonprofit organizations. The public management concentration is offered fully online or fully on campus. Students have a choice of taking their courses via either method of delivery, or mixing their method of delivery if they are able to commute to campus. Throughout each semester, each online course utilizes a mix of web-based instruction supported by audio and video conferencing technologies direct to the respective student's home.

The Public Policy concentration is designed for students wishing to become policy specialists or analysts working to support the line managers in public and nonprofit organizations, working in public advocacy organizations or working on legislative staffs. This concentration is offered on campus, with the exception of three of the core courses shared with the public management concentration. Public policy students may elect to take those three courses online or on campus.

Both concentrations consist of theoretical and applied coursework designed to equip the graduate with the requisite analytical and critical skills necessary to serve the public interest and advanced in their career tracks.

The M.S.N./M.P.A. is a dual degree option for graduate students in the Kent State University College of Nursing. Designed exclusively for graduate nursing students wishing to become managers in public and nonprofit organizations. The M.S.N./M.P.A. dual degree coursework is integrated and concurrent and designed to be significantly shorter than if each graduated degree were pursued separately. The program can be completed full-time in 6 semesters (2.5-3 full-time years), or if part-time, within 4-5 years. This degree program is primarily offered on campus with the option of many online or campus courses.

Admission Requirements

Public Management and Public Policy concentrations: Official transcript(s), 3.00 undergraduate GPA, GRE scores, a goal statement, three letters of recommendation and a writing sample. The writing sample, preferably a paper completed in undergraduate school should be single authored and exemplify the critical thinking skills of the applicant and include full citations.

All applicants must submit GRE scores whether or not they possess another graduate degree or are transferring from another graduate degree program that did not required the GRE for admission.

Applicants whose undergraduate GPA is higher than 3.00, but revised GRE scores are slightly lower than 150 on the verbal or quantitative sections, or the applicants whose GRE scores are higher than 450 on the verbal or quantitative sections, but whose undergraduate GPA is lower than 3.00 may be admitted conditionally providing other supporting materials are strong.

M.S.N./M.P.A.: must apply separately to the College of Nursing and the M.P.A. program. In addition tot he above application materials, M.S.N./M.P.A. applicants must submit the respective required materials for the College of Nursing. Further information may be obtained from the Director of the M.S.N./M.P.A. program, Dr. Susan Taft (

International applicants whose country of origin's language is not English, must also submit minimum proficiency scores of any of the following: TOEFL (paper-based) 550; TOEFL (internet-based) 79; IELTS 6.5; MELAB 80.

At any time during their M.P.A. program, or after their initial admission, students in either concentration may transfer in a maximum of 12 semester hours (4 courses) of graduate coursework towards their M.P.A. degree for either concentration. Transferring in of courses is conditional on the following criteria: (1) the course is graduate level from another accredited university; (2) the course is equivalent to the Kent State M.P.A. program course for which the applicant is seeking to receive credit. This is assessed by the M.P.A. coordinator and requires the submission of the formal course syllabus; (3) official transcripts indicating a grade of B or better (A=4.0); and (4) the submission of a Request for Transfer of Graduate Credit form (available upon request).

Please refer to the University policy for graduate admissions.

Graduation Requirements

The M.P.A. degree program is designed to be completed in two years of full-time coursework, or three and a half years, part-time. Full-time is nine hours of coursework (three courses) per semester.

Each concentration requires the completion of 36-39 semester hours of coursework (12-13 courses). The three semester hour difference is dependent upon whether the student is required to complete a formal field internship placement of three hours, or not. Generally, students with current or previous administrative level experience are exempt from the internship requirement.

The 36-39 hours are divided into: eight core courses specific to each concentration, three elective courses of the student's choice of specialization, a formal field placement internship (if required) and a final integrative capstone course.

The M.S.N./M.P.A. dual degree program is 54 credit hours. Students take 21-30 credits from the College of Nursing and 36-39 credits from the M.P.A. degree program. Elective courses and choices are available.

Program Fee

Tuition for out-of-state students in the online M.P.A. Public Management concentration is essentially the same as graduate in-state tuition, plus a surcharge of $30 US per each online course.


 National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA)

  • Public Management Concentration
  • Public Policy Concentration
I. MAJOR REQUIREMENTS (36-39 credits)  
Course Title Credits
PADM 60371 Graduate Introduction to Public Administration 3
  60377 Public Budgeting and Financial Management 3
  60392 Internship* 3
  60470 Personal Accountability in the Public Service 3
  60492 Capstone Seminar 3
Public Management Concentration (24)
Public Policy Concentration (24)
 TOTAL 36-39**

*Pre-service students or students wishing to gain experience in a new area will also be placed in an agency for at least 300 hours of experience.
**36 credit hours for pre-service students; 39 credit hours for in-service students.

Public Management Concentration

This concentration has 5 required courses (15 credit hours) and 3 elective courses (9 credit hours) that may be customized or taken within a designated area of specialization. The core courses provide students with a broad foundation in public and nonprofit management, including the scope and history of public administration, administrative theory, ethical behavior in public management, public financial management, program evaluation, methods, personnel management and information technology management.

Three elective courses are chosen by the student in consultation with an academic advisor. Designated areas of specialization that may be selected include public and nonprofit financial management, municipal management, nonprofit management, justice management, and nursing management. Other areas of specialization utilizing elective coursework outside of the program may be developed based upon the student’s needs.

Course Title Credits
PADM 60375 Public Personnel Administration 3
  60379 Program Evaluation I 3
  60381 Methods in Public Administration 3
  60386 Public Sector Information Technology Management 3
  60574 Strategic Planning 3
Elective courses 9



Public Policy Concentration

The public policy concentration requires the completion of 5 specified courses (15 credit hours) and three elective courses (9 credit hours).

The core requirements offer theory and skills oriented toward the practice of policy analysis. These include courses in the policy process, ethical issues and policy analysis. Three electives chosen in consultation with an advisor allow students to gain expertise in substantive policy areas (i.e., education policy, information policy, environmental policy). Electives may be chosen from graduate courses available in various university departments, as well as in the Department of Political Science.

Course Title Credits
ECON 52085 Public Finance  3
PADM 60387 Electronic Governance 3
 POL 6/70102 American Policy Process 3
  6/70304 Anatlytic Techniques of Policy-Making 3
Choose from the following: 3
PADM 60381 Methods in Public Administration (3)   
POL 60003 Quantitative Methods I (3)  
Electives 9