The Master of Public Administration Program at University of West Georgia is a professional degree program that relates academic study to administrative practice. The curriculum is designed for those individuals who are either now in the public service or who are seeking a career in government or nonprofit agencies. The MPA program is designed: (1) to augment the skills and knowledge of those already in the public service; (2) to provide a professional graduate degree program to meet the growing need for many additional skilled, knowledgeable public administrators; (3) to encourage students to pursue careers in government by providing public administration education; and (4) to equip superior students for research and study at the doctoral level.
Program Mission Statement
The mission of the MPA program at University of West Georgia (UWG) is to educate current (in-service) and future (pre-service) public service leaders with ethical behavior and professional competences that promote public service values extending from UWG’s values of achievement, caring, collaboration, inclusiveness, innovation, integrity, sustainability, and wisdom. The program prepares students with the knowledge and skills to advance the public interest through teaching, research, and service to the community.
Public Service Values
1. Professional competencies
2. Service to the public interest
3. Diversity in the faculty and student population
4. Ethical behavior
The MPA program at the University of West Georgia requires the completion of 36 graduate course credits. Students without social science preparation at the Bachelor's level will be required to take POLS 5200, Principles in Public Administration. A Core of 7 courses (21 hrs) is required of all MPA students.
MPA Degree Requirements
The core curriculum includes the following topics as they relate to the public sector (21 hours)
POLS 6200 - Public Budgeting and Financial Management
POLS 6201 - Theory of Public Administration and Ethics
POLS 6202 - Research Methods for Public Administration
POLS 6203 - Public Organizational Theory
POLS 6204 - Public Policy Analysis/Program Evaluation
POLS 6205 - Administrative Law and Procedures
POLS 6206 - Public Human Resource Management
The Comprehensive Research Project (3 hours) is taken at the completion of the degree program. A research paper analyzing a policy or program in Public Administration will be completed by the student.
With the approval of the program advisor, each student selects 12 hours beyond the core courses. The track courses can be taken from a variety of departments. Generally, electives should form a coherent whole. Examples of track emphases include disaster planning, management, healthcare administration, non-profit administration, and other particular areas of public policy. Students not working in the public sector or with no governmental experience will take the Public Administration Internship as one elective class.
The Program responds to the changing public service environment through: an innovative curriculum, faculty scholarship and service, links to professional organizations, interaction with governmental agencies, and a commitment to state of-the-art technology. Students may take either face-to-face or online courses depending on their work schedule and/or learning preference.
Students may complete the degree within two years if they take three courses per semester as a full time basis. The program and the faculty provide individual mentoring through various activities to improve student learning experience and job placement.
Internship and Elective Courses
Public Administration Internship is one elective course and must be completed if not working full time. Various local, regional, and state organizations in both government and nonprofit sectors provide internship opportunities for our students. Elective Courses are 5000 or 6000 level courses offered by the Political Science Department or other departments (courses from other departments must be approved by MPA Director). Elective Courses are offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer Semesters.
The program provides three specialization opportunities in the area of public administration and policy: Public Management, Management of Nonprofit Organizations and Community Development, and Disaster/Emergency Management. Specialization is not required but utilized as elective courses for students who are interested in these foci. These specializations are also associated with Graduate Certificates (see the Graduate Certificate site for more detailed information).
MPA Core Faculty
Anthony Fleming, Ph.D (West Virginia). Assistant Professor
Karen Owen, Ph.D (University of Georgia). Assistant Professor
Kathleen Barrett, Ph.D (Georgia State Univeristy). Lecturer
Robert Sanders, Ph.D (Florida International University). Professor
Sooho Lee, Ph.D (Georgia Tech). Associate Professor, MPA director
Coordination with the Public Sector
The MPA program faculty have demonstrated their continuing concern over the practicality of the program by establishing an MPA Advisory Board. The MPA Advisory Board is composed of alumni, practitioners at federal, state, and local levels of government, and current students. The Board serves as an advisory body for program activities including the following: (1) Curriculum development; (2) Program improvement; (3) Liaison and networking for program graduates; and (4) Career development.
Job placement and Career Services
Our MPA graduates are working mostly in governments and nonprofit organizations. For example, the twelve 2015-2016 year cohort, currently two in federal government, two in state government, two in local government, three in nonprofit organizations, one in private sector, and one in a doctoral program. The program and the university provide various services for student’s successful job placement.