The Master of Public administration is a professional degree in public administration similar to the Bachelor's degree in business administration but with an extra emphasis on government issues. The degree focuses mainly on business management and requires candidates to have at least a bachelor's degree in business management or a related field, a minimum GPA of 2.5 on all courses taken in the degree program and passing the MCAS exam. A Master's degree focuses on government policy and its role in the overall well-being of individuals, organizations and society and the courses are often broader.
There are two broad concentrations of the Master of Public Administration. These are: public administration and research.
An MPA may be taken online or in a classroom setting. Although most MPA programs require that students take an internship or practicum, the focus of the coursework is the study and analysis of public policies, laws and other aspects of the practice of public administration.
The program focuses mainly on public administration in four areas. These are policy analysis; public policy development; administration of justice and law; and the study of public finance. In order to get into the program, students must first pass the MCAS exam.
This focus on public service sector research can be seen in their choice of major, which is Public Service. This major involves working within all the various fields of research related to public service. This may include but is not limited to, economics, history, sociology, political science, education, and many other fields. Some students choose this major for its ability to allow them to pursue an area of interest or for its flexibility.
The student taking the Masters of Public Administration must also take a liberal arts component called liberal arts electives that are designed for students interested in studying political systems, social justice, and social action. Other electives may also include courses in community organizing, legal theory and law enforcement and community and economic development. There is also a concentration in international affairs, business ethics, and the role of government in a free economy.
The Master's degree in Public Administration prepares students to become administrators, researchers, educators and evaluators of public policy and services. As a candidate for a position within a public service agency, these positions require an advanced knowledge and understanding of these skills, so students will take a number of classes and examinations to advance their education.
The Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration prepares the candidate to work as a policy analyst or as a policymaker in a government organization. A Master of Science degree is normally taken by students who already hold an undergraduate degree and want to advance in their careers in the public service or business sector. The bachelor's degree also enables them to enter into higher managerial positions such as managers, directors, administrators and policy makers within the public service industry.
The Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration can be completed in two years if you are planning to pursue an Associates of Arts degree or in three years if you are planning on pursuing a Bachelors of Science degree. Students who have an interest in specializing in public policy will complete the Bachelor of Science in Policy Analysis in five years.
Students interested in working as managers or directors of government . . . . . . organizations or policymaking may take the Masters of Science in Management, which allows them to work for their chosen field. A Master of Science degree in Management includes courses that offer extensive study of organizational behavior, human resources, strategic management, and public policy. and budgeting.
Students in the Masters of Public Administration program may also choose to go on to take the Masters of Science in Education. This degree provides a solid foundation for future careers in education and training, where they will be able to plan and implement a comprehensive educational plan in public education, social services, labor relations and many other areas of education.
Students may take the Masters of Science in Human Resources to prepare them for careers in employment in labor relations, business and nonprofit organizations, or other related areas. The Masters of Science in Human Resources can be completed in four years and requires students to complete a number of courses including coursework in organizational behavior, social sciences, public administration and development and public administration theory and practice.