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. All of the MPA courses are available online.
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 in diverse public professional positions, mostly in governments and nonprofit organizations. For example, among a total of 17 graduates in the academic year 2017-2018, currently two are working in the Georgia state government, three in local government, six in nonprofit organizations, two in the private sector, one in military service, and three in doctoral programs. The program and the university provide various services for student’s successful job placement. For more career services, contact the Career Services and faculty advisor.
MPA students can apply for assistantships, scholarships, travel awards, and other financial aid to support their studies. Information on tuition, fees, health insurance, and general financial aid is available via UWG Graduate Admissions.
Graduate Assistantship: The department of political science awards several graduate assistantships on a competitive basis to MPA students each academic year. Graduate assistants (GAs) assist primarily for the teaching and research activities of faculty in the department. GAs are provided a monthly stipend and a tuition waiver, but are responsible for paying fees and health insurance. All GAs must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA and be enrolled in 9 credit hours during the fall or spring semester. Potential graduate students should contact the MPA director for the assistantship application.
Other Financial Aid: The department of political science typically distribute scholarships and travel awards for graduate students on a competitive basis. These opportunities are announced regularly and students should contact their faculty advisors and the MPA director for more information. Also, visit the Graduate School to learn more about other scholarship opportunities and Federal Student Aid.