MPA - Program of Study

Overview

The MPA degree consists of a minimum of 39 credit hours for in-service students and 42 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.

You should visit your faculty advisor to discuss your program of study before you first register. (Consult Banner to identify your advisor.) Return visits are encouraged, as updating your plan will likely be desirable as you progress through the program.    

The MPA program has the following parts: Core CoursesConcentrations (State, Regional, & Local Governance, Policy Analysis, Advocacy & Evaluation, Health AdministrationNonprofit Management & LeadershipCriminal Justice), Internships, Electives, and Culminating Experience

Core Courses

The program core includes 18 credit hours, as follows:

  • PNH 520 - Foundations of Public Management
  • PNH 611 - Research Methods
  • PNH 612 - Human Resources in Organizations
  • PNH 614 - Organization Theory
  • PNH 615 - Public Financial Management
  • PNH 619 - Public Management Seminar (Culminating Experience, to be taken in the last semester of the program) 

 

Concentrations

Students select one concentration of 15 credit hours. The choices of concentration are as follows. Students whose past experience or career plans suggest a benefit to customizing this curriculum should consult with their advisor.

State, Regional, and Local Governance

Students concentrating in State, Regional, and Local Governance must complete five of the courses below for a total of 15 credits.

symbol of government

Required:

  • PNH 620 Metropolitan Politics and Administration 
  • PNH 641 Economic and Community Development
  • PNH 643 Strategic Management and Planning 

Select two of the following:

  • PNH 621 Administrative Law
  • PNH 642 Conflict Management
  • PNH 644 GIS in Public Service
  • PNH 664 Program Evaluation
  • PNH 671 Building Sustainable Communities

Policy Analysis, Advocacy, and Evaluation

Students concentrating in Policy Analysis, Advocacy, and Evaluation and planning must complete five of the courses below for a total of 15 credits.

symbol of city

Required:

  • PNH 616 Public Policy Analysis
  • PNH 664 Program Evaluation

Select three of the following:

  • PNH 621 Administrative Law
  • PNH 631 U.S. Health Policy and Politics
  • PNH 639 Community Benefits Assessment
  • PNH 643 Strategic Management and Planning
  • PNH 663 Nonprofit Organizations, Advocacy and Public Policy
  • PNH 674 Health Advocacy and Built Environment
  • CJ 604 Program and Policy Evaluation

Health Administration

Students concentrating Health Administration must complete five of the following courses below for a total of 15 credits.

symbol of healthcare

Required:

  • PNH 630 Health Administration and Service 
  • PNH 631 U.S. Health Policy and Politics 

Select three of the following

  • PNH 632 Health Services Financial Management 
  • PNH 633 Health Economics
  • PNH 634 Health Care Law and Ethics
  • PNH 639 Community Benefits Assessment and Management
  • PNH 640 Marketing Health and Human Services
  • PNH 645 Aging in Society

Nonprofit Management and Leadership

Students concentrating in Nonprofit Management and Leadership must complete five of the following courses for a total of 15 credits.

symbol of charity

Required:

  • PNH 660 The Nonprofit Sector: History and Ethics 
  • PNH 661 Nonprofit Management Practices
  • PNH 662 Nonprofit Financial Management 

Select two of the following:

  • PNH 641 Economic and Community Development
  • PNH 643 Strategic Management and Planning
  • PNH 663 Nonprofit Organizations, Advocacy and Public Policy
  • PNH 664 Program Evaluation
  • PNH 665 Nonprofit Boards, Trustees, and Governance
  • PNH 666 Foundations and Strategic Grantmaking
  • PNH 667 Fund Development
  • PNH 670 International NGO Management

Students interested in pursuing careers in philanthropic and nonprofit leadership should enroll in the Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership (MPNL) program.  The MPNL program is designed for training philanthropic and nonprofit leaders and is taught by professionals with work experience and academic training in these disciplines.

Learn More About the MPNL Degree

Criminal Justice

Students concentrating in Criminal Justice must complete five of the following courses for a total of 15 credits.

symbol of justice

Students concentrating in criminal justice must complete five of the following courses, for 15 credits.

Required:

  • CJ 601 Criminal Justice Leadership
  • CJ 602 Legal and Ethical Issues
  • CJ 604 - Criminal Justice Policy & Program Evaluation
  • CJ 607 - Criminology

And select one of the following:

  • PNH 620 Metropolitan Politics and Administration
  • PNH 621 Administrative Law

Internships

Pre-career students are required to take at least three internship credits (PNH 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.

Electives

Students choose 6 credit hours from an array of electives.

  • Electives can be any graduate PNH class, or classes from other graduate programs at GVSU or other accredited university.
  • Three hours of workshop credit (PNH 550 - 554) can be used as elective credit.
  • Three hours of Directed Readings (PNH 699) can be used as elective credit. This allows 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.
  • Pre-career students may take three credits of internship (PNH 691) in addition to the three required. In-Service students may take internship credits only if approved by their adviser. Internships must be pre-approved by the SPNHA internship coordinator.
  • Students are not required to submit a thesis, but those pursuing doctoral studies are strongly encouraged to take PNH 693 Research Project.

Culminating Experience

  • PNH 619 - Management Seminar