Curriculum: Master of Public Administration


Courses

 

Drake’s Master of Public Administration curriculum consists of 36 credit hours to be completed in the following areas:

  • Core courses: 21 credit hours
  • Elective courses: 15 credit hours

Elective courses will be in the area of emphasis that you choose – either Executive Leadership Development, Healthcare Management, or Individualized.


Core Courses


MPA 215: Changing Environment & Management of Public and Nonprofit Organizations – 3 credit hours

This course is designed to introduce participants to the dynamic environments of public organizations and nonprofit entities. The course reviews the historical and the institutional context of public and nonprofit organizations and examines the knowledge, skills, and values necessary to manage such organizations. The course also familiarizes participants with the norms and the expectations of masters-level education.

MPA 216: Managing Human Resources as Assets – 3 credit hours

Treating Human Resources as an asset rather than as a cost represents a philosophical transformation on human research management thought. Focus is on theories, research, and practices related to the functions and activities of managing human resources in public and nonprofit organizations. The course covers the responsibilities and inter-relationships involving: job analysis, job structuring, EEO, human resource planning, recruitment and selection of employees, ethics, international HRM, performance appraisals, counseling, incentives, safety and health, human resources development, career planning and union/employee-management relations, multiculturalism, the virtual office, outsourcing, and issues central to HR in the public and nonprofit sectors are included and compared to the private sector.

MPA 217: Applying Information, Research, and Analysis in Nonprofit and Public Environments – 3 credit hours

This course provides an introduction to the methodology of the social sciences, as well as public administration and management research. Competencies important to the professional practitioner that are covered include how to assess and evaluate services, read and analyze research published in relevant areas of management and policy analysis, and develop an understanding of the strengths and limitations of published research. The course provides the skills necessary to become a critical and competent consumer of both qualitative and quantitative research related to public administration.

MPA 220: Public Budgeting and Financial Management – 3 credit hours

An investigation of (1) financial institutions and practices, including budgeting public funds and the political constraints on their operation; (2) revenue sources including taxation, charges and fees, and intergovernmental financial transactions; (3) financial management techniques such as the administration of government debt, idle cash, risk management, purchasing, and management. 

MPA 221: Public Organizations and Leadership – 3 credit hours

The focus of this course is on management and leadership in public organizations as informed by bureaucracy and rationality, formal and informal structures, and rapidly-changing political and organizational environments. The course will examine institutional factors and contemporary issues surrounding behavior or organizational members, including topics such as organizational design, organizational change, performance management, and technology integration. 

MPA 226: Public Policy Decision Making and Analysis – 3 credit hours

This course is an examination of the public policy process with an emphasis on developing the knowledge and analytical skills necessary to manage the design, implementation, and evaluation of public policies in public and nonprofit organizations. The course includes quantitative and qualitative strategies used to formulate and implement effective public policies and will also cover performance and impact-based evaluation techniques. Case studies selected from several policy areas will be used throughout the course.

MPA 260: Applying Innovative Solutions to Current Problems (Capstone) – 3 credit hours

This course features a problem-based learning experience in which the student engages in a real-world challenge utilizing problem-solving strategies along with experience and disciplinary-based knowledge and skills to find and develop innovative solutions.


AREAS OF EMPHASIS

Executive Leadership Development

Develop management skills and learn to lead with confidence through a series of rigorous courses focusing on leadership, negotiation, and conflict resolution. With an emphasis in executive leadership development, graduates can excel in positions such as Executive Director, Communications Manager, Program Director, or City Manager.


BUS 283: Negotiation & Conflict Resolution – 3 credit hours

This course provides an introduction to negotiation concepts and practices, and a historical perspective on conflict resolution in families, workplaces, communities and nations. Includes theories and concepts of human behavior in conflict situations, how and why conflict occurs, and how to deal with conflict effectively. This course will engage students in negotiation and conflict resolution exercises, and provide interaction with practitioners. It will enable students to develop negotiation skills and an appreciation for conflict as an effective teaching/learning opportunity. It will develop an awareness in the student that times of conflict are often occasions for instigating change in relationships that may be effective and long lasting. 

PADM 280: Managing Across Sector Boundaries – 3 credit hours

It is now commonly accepted that those elements that once distinguished the public, nonprofit, and private sectors have become increasingly blurred. This course examines the resources, processes, techniques, and organizational designs associated with conducting the people’s business in public and nonprofit organizations, and it is based on the learning experiences from previous coursework. The utilization of internal and external resources is dynamic and central to effective management in the third millennium. Managers are presented with a number of real-life cases, problems, and vignettes, and are expected to work as a team in resolving complex administrative and policy problems.

PADM 281: Program Performance, Evaluation & Management – 3 credit hours

Performance monitoring and evaluation are core activities of contemporary program management in nonprofit and public organizations. This course will develop the skills necessary to understand and construct performance monitoring systems and evaluation strategies in the public and nonprofit sectors. The course will focus on four evaluation approaches and applications including need assessment, performance monitoring, impact evaluation, and cost analysis.

PADM 283: External Resource Development – 3 credit hours

Nonprofit organizations have become an increasingly important and essential component of the social fabric that holds together civil society. Funding for these organizations is secured through programming that raises funds by way of donations and grants from private individuals, government, and for-profit organizations. The course considers effective methods in which external resources can be secured. Emphasized is a mission based, long-term, strategically planned resource development model. Additionally, the course covers tax-exempt laws for nonprofits, ethical concerns associated with cause-related marketing and research, resource management and allocation techniques, financial reporting, and leadership issues.

BUS 212: Executive Leadership – 3 credit hours

Synthesizes and integrates the administrative knowledge, skills, values and behaviors acquired from previous coursework and experience. Readings, case studies and discussions are used to develop management capabilities. 


Healthcare Management

Gain an understanding of the evolving healthcare landscape through the completion of coursework consisting of healthcare administration, healthcare policy, ethics, law and advocacy and conflict resolution. The healthcare management emphasis will prepare graduates to transition from patient care roles to management positions such as Nurse Manager, Unit Manager, Director of Patient Safety, or Director of Development.


HLTH 261: Healthcare Policy – 3 credit hours

Examination of the roles played by government in the development of the health care system in the United States using policy analysis. Focus on the interaction between public policymakers and health care providers in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Policies for study include Medicaid, Medicare, National Health Insurance and health planning. 

HLTH 263: Healthcare Administration – 3 credit hours

This course provides a conceptual empirical and problem- solving framework for dealing with the administration and management problem-solving skills as well as develops, implements and evaluates organizational and management goals. Emphasis is on understanding the functioning of hospital and health care organizations. 

HLTH 264: Beyond Ethics:  Policy & Healthcare (Choice of HLTH 264 or HLTH 266)  – 3 credit hours

This course will investigate a basic understanding of ethics as a pursuit and expand into the integration of basic ethics and public policy and healthcare. Basic ethical concepts will be integrated into an expanded investigation into the ethics of policy with an emphasis on the healthcare environment. The course is designed to combine lecture, group discussion and individual investigations.

HLTH 266: Healthcare Regulation, Law and Advocacy (Choice of HLTH 266 or HLTH 264) 3 credit hours

In its broadest sense, health law is the area of law pertaining to health care and the health care environment. It relates to the interaction of many players and relationships within and external to the health care arena. This course is meant as an introduction to this cast and complex area and will focus on these relationships as they pertain to the health care administrator and manager. Key topics will include patient rights and protection, facility responsibility, payer and patient relationships, health care provider and patient legal relationships. 

BUS 283: Negotiation & Conflict Resolution – 3 credit hours

This course provides an introduction to negotiation concepts and practices, and a historical perspective on conflict resolution in families, workplaces, communities and nations. Includes theories and concepts of human behavior in conflict situations, how and why conflict occurs, and how to deal with conflict effectively. This course will engage students in negotiation and conflict resolution exercises, and provide interaction with practitioners. It will enable students to develop negotiation skills and an appreciation for conflict as an effective teaching/learning opportunity. It will develop an awareness in the student that times of conflict are often occasions for instigating change in relationships that may be effective and long lasting.

PADM 281: Program Performance, Evaluation & Management – 3 credit hours

Performance monitoring and evaluation are core activities of contemporary program management in nonprofit and public organizations. This course will develop the skills necessary to understand and construct performance monitoring systems and evaluation strategies in the public and nonprofit sectors. The course will focus on four evaluation approaches and applications including need assessment, performance monitoring, impact evaluation, and cost analysis.

 


Individualized

Combine elective courses from Drake’s Master of Public Administration, Master of Business Administration, and Master of Communication programs to tailor an emphasis that meets your specific needs and career goals. This flexible emphasis is ideal for those looking to advance their current skill sets or those with multiple interests.


Additional Elective

PADM 282: Elective Available for the MPA Program

This course is an optional travel course available to MPA students.   This course would fall within the elective area for a student. The course is offered during the traditional spring semester with weekly class meetings that students would need to attend as part of the course requirements. Travel is required, and the travel component is approximately 2 ½ weeks in length. Travel typically begins shortly before Spring Break, then includes Spring Break week and the week following. There are travel fees for this course beyond the per credit hour tuition assessment.


Sequence of Courses

 

Year Term Course
2018 Fall Term 1 MPA 215 or BUS 298
2018 Fall Term 2 MPA 221 or HLTH 261
2019 Spring Term 1 MPA 215 or MPA 226
2019 Spring Term 2 MPA 216 or HLTH 263
2019 Summer Term 1 MPA 215 or MPA 217
2019 Summer Term 2 MPA 220
2019 Fall Term 1 MPA 215 or MPA 226 or Elective
2019 Fall Term 2 MPA 216 or Elective
2020 Spring Term 1 MPA 215 or MPA 217 or Elective
2020 Spring Term 2 MPA 221 or Elective
2020 Summer Term 1 MPA 215 or MPA 226 or MPA 260
2020 Summer Term 2 Elective
2020 Fall Term 1 MPA 215 or MPA 226 or Elective
2020 Fall Term 2 MPA 216 or Elective

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