"Before I came to Grand Valley, I ran various nonprofits for 10 years. I bring in real-life examples to the classes." - Heather Carpenter, School of Public, Nonprofit, and Health Administration
The MHA. degree consists of a minimum of 42 credit hours for in-service students and 45 credit hours for pre-career students. For this purpose, in-service is defined as having three years of professional experience prior to being admitted into the program.
Core Level I
Twelve credits earned in four courses:
Core Level II
Twelve credits earned in four courses. PA 630 is a prerequisite for these courses, but may be taken concurrently.
Level III: Specializations
Fifteen credits in five courses.
Level IV: Capstone
Six credits in two classes.
Pre-career students are required to take at least three internship credits (PA 690 - Public Administration Internship I). Three internship credits normally equates to 300 hours (20 hours per week for 15 weeks). Internships must be pre-approved by the SPNHA internship coordinator. An internship is a course jointly sponsored by SPNHA and a public or nonprofit agency. Through an internship, a student is able to earn graduate credit by serving as an assistant, aide, or apprentice. See the SPNHA internship page for further details.
Students choose 9 credit hours from an array of electives.
PA-related course work. Electives can be PA classes from other concentrations, classes from other graduate programs at GVSU, or relevant classes from graduate programs at other accredited universities. These classes must be related to a student's career objectives.
Workshops. Students may take up to three hours of workshop credit (PA 550..553 - Public Administration Workshops).
Directed Readings. Students may take up to three hours of PA 699 - Directed Readings. Directed Readings allow a student to receive academic credit for a relevant, graduate-level course of study for which there is no graduate course available at GVSU. Before registration, the topic, amount of credit to be earned, reading list, assignments, and evaluation criteria are mutually agreed to by the initiating student and the assenting faculty member, consistent with standards of graduate scholarship.
Second Internship. Pre-career students may take a second three credits of internship (PA 691 - Public Administration Internship II) in addition to the three required. Internships must be pre-approved by the SPNHA internship coordinator.
Thesis. Students who opt to do a Masters Thesis (see below) will use three of the required six credits of PA 695 toward fulfilling the elective requirement.
PA 619 - Management Seminar. Most students take PA 619 - Management Seminar in their last semester. PA 619 is not offered in Spring/Summer, so it must be taken during Winter term if a student plans to graduate in August.
PA 695 - Master's Thesis. Students pursuing policy expertise or those considering going on in doctoral studies may opt to take six hours of Thesis (PA 695 - Master's Thesis). A Thesis can replace PA 619 as the required capstone course for the MPA. A Thesis must follow university guidelines.
PA 693 - Research Project. An exit project (PA 693 - Research Project) may also serve as the capstone experience. Before registration, the topic, amount of credit to be earned, reading list, assignments, and evaluation criteria are mutually agreed to by the initiating student and the assenting faculty member, consistent with standards of graduate scholarship.
Amy (LaBarge) Majeski (MHA '11) has been a nurse manager with Spectrum Health since April 2011.
Chad Yerrick (MHA '12) is currently a financial accountant at Grand Rapids Public Schools and a fundraiser for cancer research.