The Master of Public Administration (MPA) at the University of Southern Indiana is the preferred graduate degree for individuals who hold or hope to acquire a supervisory position in the public or nonprofit sector. Individuals interested in these sectors pursue the MPA in order to improve their management-related job skills and performance, obtain leadership positions within their current organizations, or begin their career in a public or nonprofit organization. Some students choose to pursue the MPA to strengthen their academic credentials and knowledge of the public sector to prepare for law school or doctoral level work.
Mission Statement: The Master of Public Administration Program at the University of Southern Indiana strives to meet the needs of current and future civic leaders and managers by providing students with the practical knowledge and professional and academic skills, rooted in a strong understanding of the theories of public administration, to become ethical, creative, and inspirational leaders in the public and nonprofit sectors. Our graduates are prepared to meet the economic, social, and political challenges that face leading public sector institutions and nonprofit organizations.
Vision Statement: Preparing civic leaders to meet society’s challenges in the 21st century.
Goals of the MPA program
- Obtain knowledge of the theoretical and institutional foundations and the internal operations of the public and nonprofit sectors, and how these sectors are shaped by their economic, social, and political environments.
- Master an understanding of how key concepts and theories in the field of public administration can be used to formulate applied solutions to problems associated with public and nonprofit administration.
- Acquire practical skills necessary for the management of public and nonprofit organizations, such as grant writing, budgeting, public speaking, human resources management, organizational behavior, electronic communication, and report writing.
- Learn how to gather and analyze qualitative and quantitative data (through data bases, web sites, printed material, and other information-based resources) and develop research skills that can be used to advance the knowledge and practice of public administration.
- Understand the ethical consequences of decisions made by managers and administrators in the public and nonprofit sectors.
Students admitted into the Master of Public Administration program at the University of Southern Indiana must complete the following admission requirements:
- A completed Application for Admission to Graduate Studies.
- A completed MPA Personal Information Form.
- A copy of your most recent résumé or curriculum vitae.
- References from two individuals who are familiar with your work.
- One official transcript from each undergraduate and graduate institution attended. All official transcripts must be sent directly from the Registrar of the institution attended to the Office of Graduate Studies. Applicants seeking admission to the MPA program must hold a baccalaureate degree (any major is acceptable) with a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale.
- A $40.00 nonrefundable graduate application fee.
- International Students Only: Official results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A minimum score of 550 on the paper-based version and a minimum score of 79 on the computer-based version is required.
Students who meet all other admissions requirements, but have a GPA between 2.75 and 3.0 may seek conditional admission to the MPA. Conditionally admitted students may only take two graduate courses (six credit hours). If a grade of B or better is earned in each USI graduate course taken while the student is classified as a conditionally admitted student, the student will be unconditionally admitted to the program.
Guest Student Status
An individual may enroll in PA courses as a guest student. A guest student may take up to two graduate courses (6 credit hours) without being formally admitted to the MPA program. If a guest student is subsequently admitted to the MPA program, public administration courses successfully completed will count toward the degree requirements.
A student seeking to enroll in PA courses as a guest student must submit a Guest Student application, one official transcript from each undergraduate and graduate institution attended, and the one-time nonrefundable $40 graduate application fee. The Director of the MPA program and the Director of Graduate Studies will not allow a student with an undergraduate GPA below 3.0 (on a four point scale) to enroll in PA courses as a special student. Admission as a guest student does not guarantee enrollment in PA courses. Guest students may enroll in PA courses only when enrollment caps have not been met and when students formally admitted (or expected to be formally admitted) to the MPA program have had an opportunity to enroll.
The MPA program consists of 36 credit hours. Students in the MPA program are required to complete a core curriculum of six courses (18 hours), a capstone seminar (3 hours) and 15 hours of elective courses in one of two specializations: public sector administration or nonprofit administration. MPA courses are offered using three formats: in the classroom once-a-week in the evenings and on Saturday mornings; a distance/hybrid course that meets several times during the semester, while the rest of the sessions are online; and a purely distance course with no class sessions and all course content is online. Courses are offered each fall and spring semester and during the summer in four, five, nine or 10-week sessions. Students who take two courses during the fall, spring and summer can complete their MPA degree in two calendar years.