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Public Administration


Master of Public Administration Program


 

Our diverse community encourages excellence in research, practice, and fostering an environment of professionalism within the communities we serve. The program’s strength lies in its versatility. We engage our students with various opportunities through our partnerships with regional organizations. With a long history of quality education and practical experience, you will emerge as productive leaders and managers in public service. 

"Open doors to new possibilities that I have yet to consider or that I knew were available." - Bobbie Harris, Child Support Enforcement/Caseworker

The Master of Public Administration program is offered through the Department of Political Science at Western Kentucky University. The MPA program has trained professional public administrators since 1973 and has an excellent track record of job placements and career advances. The program is an accredited member of the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration(NASPAA). The MPA program believes in the importance of the quality of education. 

 

Program Benefits 

MPA has provided partnerships with organizations such as Kentucky's area development districts, the Legislative Research Commission and the Center for Local Governments. Our program is:

Versatile Learning

Versatile

There are various opportunities for student engagement. Many students participate in internships, networking opportunities, and professional conferences.

Diverse Teams

Diverse 

Includes full-time as well as students who are also employed full-time in organizations including the military, law enforcement, other agencies of government, and nonprofits.

Practical People Working

Practical 

Graduates go on to serve in a variety of local, state, federal and nonprofit organizations, and many have successfully pursued doctoral degrees upon graduation from the MPA program. 

 

   

Program Courses & Requirements 

The degree requires 39 semester hours of course work including completion of 18 hours of core courses. An internship is required of all students. A final written comprehensive examination must be passed. Thesis is not required.

Required Core

PS 501 | Research Methods in Public Administration - 3 hours

PS 530 | Public Sector Organizations - 3 hours

PS 538 |Public Service Ethics - 3 hours

PS 541 | Human Resources Management in Public Administration- 3 hours

PS 542 | Public & Nonprofit Budgeting- 3 hours

PS 560 | Public Policy Theory- 3 hours or 
PS 562 | Public Policy Implementation & Evaluation- 3 hours

Electives

Select 18 hours 

PS 510 | Problems in National Government  - 3 hours

PS 511 | Seminar in State Government - 3 hours

PS 512 | Kentucky Government and Politics 3 hours

PS 520 | Elements of Public Administration - 3 hours

PS 524 | Administrative Law - 3 hours

PS 528 | Civic Engagement and E-Governance - 3 hours

PS 543 | Politics and Administration in Rural Communities - 3 hours

PS 549 | Special Problems in Public Administration - 3 hours

PS 550 | Cultural Competencies for Public Administrators - 3 hours

PS 554 | Cross-Sector Collaboration & Conflict - 3 hours

PS 580 | Directed Study - 3 hours

Internship

Select one course with approval by MPA academic adviser from the following:

PS 505 | Washington Internship and Seminar  

PS 597 |Professional Seminar in Public Administration 

PS 598 |Internship in Public Administration 

Total & Additional Info

The total number of of hours need to complete the program is 39.

The MPA degree requires 39 semester hours of course work including the completion of 18 hours of core courses. The curriculum provides a balanced blend of both the practical and the theoretical approaches to the art and science of public administration. An internship is required of all students unless awarded credit based on previous professional experience. Additionally, each student must complete18 hours of elective courses. The goal of these courses is to help prepare students for a variety of professional positions. In order to make the MPA program more accessible to students, classes are taught on the main campus of Western Kentucky University and via interactive television (ITV) in Owensboro, Glasgow, and Ft. Knox/Elizabethtown.

  

 

Ready to get started? 

Apply to the Master of Public Administration Program at Western Kentucky University

http://catalog.wku.edu/graduate/admission/

 

  

 

MPA Admission Requirements 

 

STEP 1: Complete the Online Application for Admission found on the Graduate Studies website.

 

STEP 2: Submit required application fee.

 

STEP 3: Request that official transcripts of the undergraduate and/any graduate work (from all undergraduate and/any graduate institutions attended) be sent directly to the WKU Graduate School. 

 

STEP 4: Achieve a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 (on a 4.0 scale).

 

STEP 5: Take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and have scores sent directly to the WKU Graduate School. (Note: Applicants with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher from an accredited undergraduate institution and/or 3 years of relevant work experience in the public service are exempt from the GRE requirement.)

 

STEP 6: Send two (2) letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant’s academic or employment experience to mpa@wku.edu

 

STEP 7: Send Statement of Purpose outlining how the MPA degree will help accomplish career goals and objectives to mpa@wku.edu

 

STEP 8: Send current resume to mpa@wku.edu

 

Priority Application Deadlines:

Fall Semester: June 15

Spring Semester: November 15

Summer Sessions: March 30

Winter Term: November 1

  

Financial Aid

Graduate assistantships, as well as other forms of financial aid, are available to qualified applicants. Graduate assistants are required to work approximately 20 hours per week in the department during the academic semester. In this position, graduate students may assist department staff and faculty members in research, teaching, and service functions. Students interested in being an assistant are encouraged to contact the Director of the MPA Program.

 

MPA Handbook:

Click here for a PDF version of the MPA Handbook

  

MPA Newsletter Archive

 

 

 WKU Important Links

 

Ready to get started? 

Apply to the Master of Public Administration Program at Western Kentucky University

http://catalog.wku.edu/graduate/admission/

 

Curriculum

The MPA program is designed to prepare students for careers in the management of public and nonprofit organizations through a curriculum that emphasizes the study of organizational dynamics, the legal, ethical, and political context of public management, management techniques, and the analysis of public policies. In addition to completing 39 credit hours, students must pass a comprehensive examination which is offered each semester, including summer.

 

Required Core Courses: 18 hours

1) PS 501 - Research Methods in Public Administration provides analysis and descriptions of the logic and procedures necessary for valid political inquiry.

2) PS 530 - Public Sector Organizations explores the behavior and problems of public organizations in democratic environments, and links societal values to administration structure and behavior.

3) PS 538 - Public Service Ethics examines the ethical side of public decision making and the values the American political system is designed to promote and protect.

4) PS 541 - Human Resources Management in Public Administration provides a systematic survey of public personnel administration in the U.S., and discusses the development of modern personnel systems in the public sector while emphasizing contemporary trends at the national, state, and local levels of government.

5) PS 542 - Public & Nonprofit Budgeting provides a study of the financial administration process of government, with emphasis on local government; subjects covered range from budgeting to risk management.

6) PS 560 - Public Policy Theory demonstrates the theoretical  approaches to the analysis of public policy, policy-making, and policy implementations and to such topics as health and welfare, poverty, education, and urban affairs.

-OR-

PS 562 - Public Policy Implementation & Evaluation examines the various approaches and techniques for evaluating public problems.

 

Electives: 18 credit hours

PS 510 - Problems in National Government includes research, reports, and discussion of selected aspects of national government.

PS 511 - Seminar in State Government explores selected problems of state governments and their sub-units.

PS 512 - Kentucky Government and Politics Traces the government and political development of the state from its constitutional beginning to the present. Primary focus is on the major factors and issues in the state's political development within the context of the national government setting.

PS 520 - Elements of Public Administration is an introductory survey of governmental administration; emphasizes relationships between political issues and the practice of administration in areas such as organizational structures, personnel and financial management, control and accountability, and ethical issues.

PS 524 - Administrative Law involves the study of the development of and trends in administrative law with emphasis on the problems caused by the exercise of quasi legislative judicial powers by administrative agencies, including the rights, duties and liabilities of public officials, relief against administrative action, jurisdiction, conclusiveness and judicial control.

PS 528 - Civic Engagement and E-Governance provides a foundation and understanding of civic engagement and e-governance for students and future practitioners in public administration.

PS 543 - Politics and Administration in Rural Communities is a study of political and administrative institutions, processes and issued associated with local governments in rural communities.

PS 549 - Special Problems in Public Administration provides a seminar approach to contemporary problems in public organizations reflecting political/managerial developments; topics reflect both student and professional needs.

PS 550 - Cultural Competencies for Public Administrators provides a specific set of skills so that practitioners in public administration can communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry

PS 554 - Cross-Sector Collaboration & Conflict explores the importance of intersectoral relationships (between the public, nonprofit, and for-profit sectors) to good public governance.

PS 580 - Directed Study allows for  faculty guidance of student research in one or more selected fields of political science.

 

3 hours internship

Internship requirement can be satisfied by one of the following options with consent of MPA academic adviser:

PS 505 - Washington Internship and Academic Seminars An individualized internship and/or seminar experience in Washington, D.C. tailored to the student's area of interest. Placement is determined by the department academic adviser in collaboration with Washington professionals.

PS 597 - Professional Seminar in Public Administration incorporates principles and techniques in the practice of public administration. Case studies and contact with field professional will be emphasized.

PS 598 - Internship in Public Administration Work experience in a public sector or non-profit agency combined with faculty direction.


The Master of Public Administration Joint Undergraduate-Masters Program (JUMP) offers highly qualified and motivated students the opportunity to complete a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in an accelerated time frame. The JUMP program allows students to count up to 12 graduate hours toward the completion of their undergraduate degree program as well as the graduate degree program.

 

Eligibility

To apply, students:

  • Must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.2.
  • Must have completed at least 60 but no more than 96 hours towards the undergraduate degree.
  • Must have a written recommendation from a WKU faculty member or academic adviser.
  • Must provide a writing sample to the director of Master of Public Administration program.

 

After admission to the JUMP program

  • Students must maintain a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 to remain in good standing.
  • Students who do not maintain the minimum GPA requirement may be denied graduate standing.
  • Students may take up to 18 hours of graduate courses and apply up to 12 credits toward both their undergraduate and their graduate degrees.
  • Students remain undergraduates until they meet all of the requirements for the undergraduate degree and are eligible for all rights and privileges granted undergraduate status including financial aid.

 

Admission to the Graduate School for JUMP students

  • In order to gain admittance to the graduate program, students must earn a minimum of 3.0 in each graduate course applied to the JUMP degree. Students who fail to maintain the GPA requirement may be denied graduate standing.
  • The GRE admission requirement for the MPA program is waived for JUMP students.
  • On admission to the Graduate School, the student is classified as a graduate student and granted all rights and privileges of WKU graduate students.
  • Students may count a maximum of 18 hours of graduate coursework toward the MPA prior to admission to the Graduate School.

 

Ready to get started?

Start your MPA JUMP Application now!

 

 

For information about the MPA JUMP Program, contact

Daniel Boden, Ph.D., MPA
Assistant Professor
Director, MPA Program
Department of Political Science
Western Kentucky University
305 Grise Hall
1906 College Heights Blvd. #11060
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1060
270.745.6357

Graduate Degree Application - Program of Study Form (check JUMP at bottom)

MPA JUMP Application

 

The WKU MPA Program is ideal for people who want to shape the future - both for themselves and their communities. It provides the knowledge and skills which are necessary in order to pursue a career in a variety of local, state, federal, and non-profit organizations.

 

WKU Recent and Past MPA Grads are Working as:

  • Director/Manager for non-profit agency
  • County Judge Executive (CJE's)
  • Director of Regional Airport
  • Manager of Area Development District
  • Public Health Department Manager
  • Public school administrator or college president
  • National and state campaign manager

 

MPA Alumni:

2015 Alumni Survey Results

2015 List of Respondents' Job Titles and Employers

2013 Alumni Survey Results

2013 Alumni Careers

2013 List of Respondents' Job Titles and Employers

2007 Alumni Careers

Post Graduate Employment by Sector

Graduation Rates

Let's get in touch

We welcome questions about the program and the requirements for admission into the MPA program, and would be happy to forward application materials to you. If you are interested in applying, please visit here.

Daniel Boden,
Director of Master of Public Administration Program
daniel.boden@wku.edu

Tel: (270) 745-6357
Fax: (270) 745-2945

Department of Political Science-- Grise Hall #313
Western Kentucky University
1906 College Heights Blvd. #11060, Bowling Green, Ky. 42101-1060

 

Mission Statement of the MPA Program

The MPA program prepares graduate students from diverse backgrounds to be productive leaders and managers in public service by sharing knowledge, encouraging excellence in research and practice, and fostering an environment of professionalism within the communities we serve.

(Revised June 26, 2013)

 

 

 

 

Apply Now

Your Future Begins Here

The MPA program prepares graduate students from diverse backgrounds to be productive leaders and managers in public service by sharing knowledge, encouraging excellence in research and practice, and fostering an environment of professionalism within the communities we serve. 

Start your application now.

 

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We believe in the importance of the quality of education. The program has trained professional public administrators since 1973 and has an excellent track record of job placements and career advances. Show your support by gifting to our program and students. 

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 Last Modified 2/11/19