Master of Public Administration

(Alternating Weekends and Online)


Professor Terrell Manyak - Master of Public Administration Degree Program
Terrell G. Manyak, Ph.D. - Professor of Public Administration; Ph.D., UCLA. Public policy and economic development.

Mission Statement:

The mission of the MPA program is to enhance local and state governance as well as nonprofit organizations through education, research and service. On-campus and accessible distance-learning educational programs are provided in public administration for a diverse student population to enhance and advance their careers as managers. The program cultivates analytical skills and public service values like accountability, integrity, diversity and ethical decision-making by engaging students and faculty in innovative, life-long learning experiences.

Master of Public Administration Values

We reflect the public service values that follow in our mission, and emphasize them in our academic program and practice. Our values are consistent with those of the University.

Public service: serving public interests by contributing to the field through public administration projects by providing business, management, and cross-discipline know-how to resolve public sector problems.

Accountability: determining and communicating optional and optimal courses of action by applying leading edge leadership, management, strategic, best practice, and analytical models and methods to public organizational issues.

Integrity and ethical decision making: applying the professional ethics code and additional relevant principles and frameworks to promote trust, fairness, and representativeness, and to help guide objective decision-making.

Diversity: applying diversity frameworks to organizational challenges to help utilize multiple perspectives, to promote opportunities for all, and to avoid discrimination. This allows us to work effectively in the public sector environment.

Engagement: relating effectively with participants to add value; e.g., faculty designing learning experiences to enhance student achievement of learning outcomes, the School of Business supporting faculty for professional development, and the PA Group supporting professional community activities.

Innovation: using teaching, research, scholarship and service creatively and effectively to benefit education and the academic, professional, and public sector community.

About Our Program

With more than 40 years of experience in public administration, the Huizenga Business School is uniquely poised to meet the needs of an expanding population and government through training and community development. The Master of Public Administration program develops skills to lead public and community agencies, as well as to understand the social, economic, and political context in which public decisions are made.

The MPA program's curriculum has been designed to meet public sector, government, and nonprofit needs in the new millennium based on emerging theory, employee surveys, and focus groups of professional administrators. The result is one of the most current, relevant, and practically focused curriculum anywhere.

Master of Public Administration Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Master of Public Administration degree program, graduates will be able to:

  1. Determine optional/optimal courses of action to public sector challenges.
  2. Contribute to the policy process.
  3. Apply leadership management, strategic, decision-making, and continuous improvement values, principles and best practices to public sector organizational situations.
  4. Apply legal, ethical and diversity frameworks to organizational challenges in public sector organizations.
  5. Analyze public sector organizations using financial/economic, statistical and technological models.
  6. Contribute to the field through public administration projects.
  7. Communicate effectively (interpersonally, in writing and verbally) in the public sector organizational context.

Assessment of Program Learning Outcomes

The purpose of assessing student achievement of the Master of Public Administration's (MPA) Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) is to continually enhance the quality of our program. This also assists us in fulfilling our relevant goals and objectives consistent with University, School and accrediting body standards. View the 2013-2014 results.

List of Specializations:

(click on a link to view the corresponding curriculum map)

Program Features:

  • Courses offered alternating weekends on the Davie campus and online.
  • Program can be completed in as little as 21 months.

Number of Students Enrolled:

As of Fall 2014, there are 159 students enrolled in MPA coursework at NSU.

Completion Rate:

Based on the latest degree completion data for full time (FT) students entering Fall Term 2008, 61% completed the degree in three years; 68% had completed their degree within five years. Students who are taking two courses each term are considered FT students. Most of the students in the NSU MPA program have been working professionals and FT vs. PT status is only applicable to the course load that they maintain.

For part time (PT) students, 24% completed the degree in three years; while 59% completed it within five years.

Employment Rate:

Based on the results of a 2010 survey of our graduates, 85% of respondents were employed one year after graduation.

2013 Public Administration Educator of the Year Jack Pinkowski

Curriculum Guide  arrowtop

The MPA curriculum is divided into three sections: a core, a concentration, and a capstone. All students are required to complete the core courses. Students individually select a concentration, as well as the courses within the selected concentration, which best achieves their personal career goals. To complete their program of study, students select a capstone that best suits their personal learning needs based on their work backgrounds.

For students who need to meet the prerequisites for American government and statistics, the MPA program also offers two foundations workshops. These workshops are equivalent to an undergraduate course in the topics covered. The workshops provide students one means to meet the prerequisites. Students may meet the prerequisite by another means in consultation with their academic advisors.

I. Core Curriculum (Each of the following courses is required – 21 total credits):

PUB 5450 Public Administration in Theory and Application  
PUB 5451 Managing Information and Technology in the Public Sector  
PUB 5461 Administrative Law and Ethics in the Public Sector  
PUB 5465 Public-Sector Human Resource Management  
PUB 5472 Public Finance  
PUB 5477 Public-Sector Statistical Analysis  
PUB 5480 Public Policy Analysis  

II. Concentrations (Each student will choose one of the following concentrations)

State & Local Administration (Choose 6 courses from the following – 18 total credits):

PUB 5437 Intergovernmental Relations  
PUB 5453 Project Management for Public Sector Managers  
PUB 5454 Entrepreneurial Public Management  
PUB 5462 Leadership in the Public Sector  
PUB 5463 Emergency Management in the Public Sector  
PUB 5473 Public Budgeting  
PUB 5481 Evaluation of Public Policies and Programs  
PUB 5485 Economic Development Policy  
PUB 5492 Introduction to E-Government and Social Media in the Public Sector  
PUB 5496 Introduction to City Management  
PUB 5498 Sustainable Community Development  
PUB 5499 Public and Nonprofit Strategic Management  
REE 5884 Land Use Regulation: Entitlements and Permitting in a Growth-Managed Environment  

Non-Profit/Non-Governmental Organizations (Choose 6 courses from the following – 18 total credits):

PUB 5454 Entrepreneurial Public Management  
PUB 5457 Grant Development in the Public & Non-Profit Sector  
PUB 5458 Comparative and Cross-cultural Perspectives for Nonprofits  
PUB 5459 Nonprofit Governance  
PUB 5462 Leadership in the Public Sector  
PUB 5475 Financial Management and Sustainability for Nonprofit Organizations  
PUB 5476 Major Gifts, Planned Giving and Building Endowments  
PUB 5481 Evaluation of Public Policies and Programs  
PUB 5497 Introduction to Nonprofit Management  
PUB 5499 Public and Nonprofit Strategic Management  

Criminal Justice Classes with CJI prefix are taken from the School of Criminal Justice – 18 total credits)

CJI 0510 Survey Issues in Criminal Justice
CJI 0520 Social Administration of Criminal Justice
CJI 0530 Legal Issues in Criminal Justice
CJI 0540 Program Evaluation in Criminal Justice
CJI 0550 Investigative Processes
PUB 5499 Public and Nonprofit Strategic Management  

Disaster and Emergency Management (Classes with DEP prefix are taken from the College of Osteopathic Medicine – 3 required courses and 3 elective courses, 18 total credits):

Required Courses

DEP 5001 Biostatistics
PUB 5462 Leadership in the Public Sector  
PUB 5463 Emergency Management in the Public Sector  

Elective Courses (Choose three)

DEP 5020 Preparedness, Planning, Mitigation, and Continuity Management
DEP 5070 Risk Assessment and Mitigation
DEP 5090 Weapons of Mass Threat and Communicable Diseases
DEP 6110 Community Vulnerability Assessment
DEP 6424 Community Disaster Preparedness

III. Capstone* (Choose one – 3 total credits)

PUB 5403 Master of Public Administration Integrative Capstone  
(Term-long online course with one week-end meeting on the main campus)
PUB 5108 Public Administration Internship  
PUB 5100 Public Administration Practicum  
*Must be taken during the last two terms of the student's curriculum and student must be in good academic standing to register.

Total Credits for Degree 42 Credits

Current students: Please consult your Academic Advisor for program requirements or access SharkLink for your CAPP report. Program requirements are subject to change, and your Academic Advisor or CAPP report can provide you with the courses required for your catalog term.

Course Descriptions  arrowtop

Full-Time professionals are available to discuss the Master of Public Administration curriculum with you in greater detail. Simply call 800.672.7223 Ext. 25168 or contact our Enrollment Services Staff.

PUB 5100     Public Administration Practicum  (3 cr.)

The practicum is for students already working within the field. During the semester, students will prepare a research paper directly relevant for and intended to serve their department or agency outside of their normal employment duties. The practicum research paper will be supervised by a faculty member with interim reports and a final paper.

PUB 5108     Public Administration Internship  (3 cr.)

Students without public sector work experience will undertake an Internship. The purpose of which is to be able to: 1. Perform specific job functions in the field of choice under supervision; 2. Apply specific academic knowledge, skills and values to tasks in the work setting; 3. Apply a successful strategy for achieving professional/personal goals. Students will formulate specific goals for their Internship in consultation with a faculty advisor and will complete a formal performance appraisal by both the academic advisor and the employer supervisor according to required interim and final written reports and papers.

PUB 5403     Master of Public Administration Integrative Capstone  (3 cr.)

The M.P.A. capstone workshop focuses on the knowledge, skills, and abilities that define a competent public or non-profit sector manager. A central theme of the course is the roles, responsibilities, and outlooks of the manager today and the competing influences in public decision making under fragmented authority that result in public sector management as the art of compromise. Through role-playing in the various roles of elected officials or professional administrators, students will conduct a city council meeting to experience the actual administration of the political agenda. This class is pass/fail and does not calculate into the student's GPA. This course may not financial aid eligible when taken by itself. Students should speak with their academic advisor for details. Pre-requisites: PUB 5450, PUB 5451, PUB 5461, PUB 5465, PUB 5472, PUB 5477, and PUB 5480. Students must be in good academic standing to participate.

PUB 5437     Intergovernmental Relations  (3 cr.)

This course examines the nature and practice of federalism and intergovernmental relations in the United States. The course will begin with a review of the origins of federalism in the U.S. and various theoretical approaches to understanding the relationships between levels of government. Subsequently, we will look more closely at the specific ways in which different levels of government relate to one another both vertically and horizontally by looking at such specific issues as the federal grant process, interstate cooperation and competition, the chartering of municipal governments, and metropolitan regional cooperation. Various components covered in IGR include fiscal, regulatory, and policy implementation issues in addition to state-local and inter-local or regional management considering third parties such as non-governmental organizations and tax-exempt entities.

PUB 5450     Public Administration in Theory and Application  (3 cr.)

PUB 5450 is designed to be taken as the first course in the MPA curriculum. This course examines the role of public administration and not-for-profit organizations in a democratic society. Students examine the theories, forces, and people that drive the public sector and the specific management techniques used to implement public policy. Finally, attention is given to how public policies are developed and the institutions that governments use to implement those policies.

PUB 5451     Managing Information and Technology in the Public Sector  (3 cr.)

Students will gain an overview of the key issues and challenges involved with managing projects involving hardware, software, and telecommunications; data warehousing and data mining systems; systems development and implementation; and end-user computing. The emphasis is to assist students with the tools and techniques to be able to manage information as a resource and to use it to help transform public sector organizations and promote innovative best practices.

PUB 5453     Project Management for Public Sector Managers  (3 cr.)

This course examines the general concepts and political considerations of project management within public institutions. The continued trends of governments to privatize, stabilize or decrease costs, and reduce paperwork, add to the pressure to meet new standards of performance in service. This situation requires public administrators to rely more heavily on project management as a means of accomplishing near-term objectives, or delivering ad-hoc services, in the 21st century. The course focuses on pragmatic applications of PM techniques in the public sector.

PUB 5454     Entrepreneurial Public Management  (3 cr.)

The purpose of this course is to prepare graduate students with the necessary basic knowledge and skills to practice entrepreneurial public management and consider innovations in government for service success. We will adopt a business approach and apply principles and practices that have proven to be successful in some of the largest companies, as well as many medium and smaller ones, in the United States. Although it is fully understood that government cannot operate as a business in all ways ? especially in light of legislative and budgetary constraints ? there are many approaches that can be taken by government agencies that would better prepare it for the mandates of the 21st Century.

PUB 5457     Grant Development in the Public & Non-Profit Sector  (3 cr.)

The content of this course provides the knowledge and skills to write grant proposals by sourcing and selecting appropriate grant resources for public and non-profits organizations. In addition to sourcing grants, the content includes how to manage grants and build relationships with grantors to achieve maximum long-term value.

PUB 5458     Comparative and Cross-cultural Perspectives for Nonprofits  (3 cr.)

At the heart of this course is collaboration. Partnerships between private firms as well as other nongovernmental actors may work with nonprofit organizations to achieve public service delivery but it is fraught with choices and challenges. This course provides insight into cross-sector collaborations at the global, federal, state and local levels. Students gain tools to assess the tradeoffs and use option-choices to improve service delivery. The case studies provide specific examples and a framework for managing the participants while insuring accountability and ethical behavior that are in the public interest. Examples are provided for choosing, designing, governing and evaluating networks, partnerships and independent providers of public services considering democratic accountability.

PUB 5459     Nonprofit Governance  (3 cr.)

The course covers ideas and approaches related to nonprofit law, essential responsibilities of nonprofit boards, governance and mission. The course examines theories of governance and executive leadership, legislative and regulatory concerns. Topics include trustee issues, board-management relations, advocacy, lobbying, nonprofit liability, strategic thinking, alternative board structures, contemporary roles and responsibilities of engagement in different settings, and cross cultural comparison of nonprofit boards. It provides an introduction to philanthropy and a grant-makers guide to evaluation and selection of social investments. The course prepares students to assume the role of innovators and problem solvers in identifying needs in various communities and release their ingenuity to establish, manage and sustain organizations to best address needs for societal benefits.

PUB 5461     Administrative Law and Ethics in the Public Sector  (3 cr.)

The course introduces students to the field of ethics and shows how ethical principles are applied to administrative agencies to ensure not only legal but also moral government decision-making. Administrative law is the body of law concerned with the actions of administrative agencies, frequently called the "4th branch of government" in the United States. The course thus examines how administrative agencies are created, how they exercise their powers, how they make laws and policy formally as well as informally, the laws that govern agency rulemaking and adjudications, especially the Administrative Procedure Act, Constitutional and other legal protections afforded against agency actions, and how agency actions are reviewed and remedied by the courts and legislative branch of government. The course also examines the intergovernmental relations and the political and practical constraints that influence administrative policy.

PUB 5462     Leadership in the Public Sector  (3 cr.)

This course will explore the dimensions of leadership and decision making within the public sector. Students will explore the major theoretical frameworks of leadership as well as the relationship of leadership to organizational change and effective management strategies. Utilizing in-depth reflection for self-development in such areas as ethical decision-making, students will combine theoretical and practical applications to create and present a unique leadership model.

PUB 5463     Emergency Management in the Public Sector  (3 cr.)

This course will explore the major issues, theories, and strategies in contemporary disaster and emergency management. This course will expose the students to: 1) The historical, administrative, institutional, and organizational framework of disaster and emergency management in the United States; 2) The role of the federal, state, and local governments in disasters; 3) The role of non-profit organizations in emergency management; 4) The management of a natural or man-made disaster; and (5) How event plans evolve to meet new or recurring threats.

PUB 5465     Public-Sector Human Resource Management  (3 cr.)

The political and institutional environment of public human resource management is examined. Emphasis is given to the challenges facing the public sector in attracting and developing human assets in an environment of conflicting goals, stakeholder obligations, and a highly aware electorate. Specific topics include the evolution of the modern public service, the functions of human resource management, employment discrimination, labor management relations, professionalism and ethics and how assessment centers evaluate potential applicants.

PUB 5472     Public Finance  (3 cr.)

This course focuses on the economics of the public sector. It delineates the goods and services provided by government and how they are funded. It deals with the public goods and their characteristics. It explores income redistribution. The efficiency, equity and incentive effects of taxation are studied. Multilevel government relations and finances are examined.

PUB 5473     Public Budgeting  (3 cr.)

The process of developing, implementing, and monitoring a public budget is a complex one. The public budget is also the central vehicle for carrying out the public policy agenda. Public budgeting is highly technical and structured, as well as politically charged and controversial. Public budgeting involves leadership and management, contributes to public policy, and includes decision-making that touches legal, ethical, and diversity frameworks. This course examines the theoretical and practical applications of public budgeting. Students will analyze and critique an actual budget, followed by assembling and presenting their own budget recommendations.

PUB 5475     Financial Management and Sustainability for Nonprofit Organizations  (3 cr.)

This course focuses on best practices and standards of nonprofit financial management. The course comprises appropriate techniques for ensuring probity, transparency and accountability as it relates to nonprofit financial responsibility. The course exposes students to the similarities and differences between budget, financing and accounting in nonprofits and local governments. Topics include budgeting, fund accounting, cash flow analysis, expenditure control, and financial planning and reporting, taxes and audits among others.

PUB 5476     Major Gifts, Planned Giving and Building Endowments  (3 cr.)

In this course, students develop appropriate skills useful in individual non-profits as well as in foundations including annual campaigns, special activities and charitable events, gifts from major donors and programs of planned giving. The concepts of capital campaigns, development offices and endowment creation and management are included. Real-life examples, class projects and proposal writing exercises contribute to the development of fundraising skills and abilities.

PUB 5477     Public-Sector Statistical Analysis  (3 cr.)

Students gain an overview of the commonly used statistics and research methods in public administration including descriptive statistics, statistical distributions, probability, hypothesis development and testing, correlation, contingency table analysis, and regression. Research design, measurement strategy, data collection, data analysis, and reporting results are discussed. A broad range of quantitative and qualitative methods are covered in order to provide the analytical tools necessary to examine the myriad public sector issues. The emphasis will be on practical use of statistics to analyze real-world data and performance criteria. Prerequisite: PUBP 5002 or equivalent.

PUB 5480     Public Policy Analysis  (3 cr.)

Students develop a working knowledge of public-sector policymaking and learn to analyze public policy problems in order to understand how public policy is formulated, decided upon, and implemented. Emphasis is on agenda setting, program design, and implementation. Prerequisite: PUB 5450.

PUB 5481     Evaluation of Public Policies and Programs  (3 cr.)

Students develop a working knowledge of public sector policy and program evaluation with an emphasis on the history of evaluation, the social indicators movement, the politics of program evaluation, goal identification, Wilson's Law, performance measurement, methods of analysis, who uses evaluations and the problem of partisanship. Prerequisite: PUB 5480.

PUB 5485     Economic Development Policy  (3 cr.)

Economic growth is achieved through a variety of public and private initiatives. This course explores the role of local, state and national governments in the United States and in the globe in guiding and stimulating their respective economies. Emphasis is placed on distinguishing growth from development and in analyzing the particular characteristics of the institutional arrangements deployed by various levels of government in providing public goods.

PUB 5492     Introduction to E-Government and Social Media in the Public Sector  (3 cr.)

Digital government ranges from the ability to answer routine citizen inquiries to democratic voting online. This course presents a survey of successful e-government initiatives and the intertwined and complex issues related to their implementation. New sharing of power between supervisors and professionals facilitate highly interactive exchanges with new responsibilities for citizens, groups, and administrators. Students gain insight related to going beyond the static presence of a Web page to conceptually providing services such as paying taxes, applying for licenses and permits, and routine requests for information online. The course explores the myriad uses of social media in an interconnected world with networked governance, transparency and information management. Real-life examples and case studies provide insight to what has already proved both innovative and responsive for governance that empowers public employees, managers and citizens that are breaking old paradigms.

PUB 5496     Introduction to City Management  (3 cr.)

Regardless of the formal structure of the local government, the emergence of professionally trained administrators as chief operating officers marks a significant difference from the days when part-time elected officials attempted to run cities without much assistance. Sometimes called city managers, sometimes city administrators, and sometimes names not fit to print, occupants of these positions must be able to manage the careful balancing act required of any successful public administrator ? seeking to provide services and administer regulations in the most cost-effective manner possible while continuing to be responsive to legitimate political and equity concerns of the elected officials and residents of the community. And these goals must be achieved while operating within a legal and constitutional framework principally concerned with protecting the rights of individuals and limiting the power of municipalities.

PUB 5497     Introduction to Nonprofit Management  (3 cr.)

This course is an introduction to the nonprofit sector and its role in society, economy, and service delivery. Topics include managing and improving nonprofit organizations, resource development, funding for nonprofits, financial management, managing human resources and volunteers, information technology, marketing, performance measures, nonprofit leaders and boards, developing and managing relationships with the community, funders and media professionals. This course will provide students with a broad understanding of the operating environment, unique concerns of leadership, resource development, aspects of volunteerism, and management processes in non-profit organizations.

PUB 5498     Sustainable Community Development  (3 cr.)

Sustainability concerns for communities and regions deals with such things as financial resources and burdens on citizens as well as visitors in addition to changes in the environment resulting from e.g., climate change and industrial pollution. The capacity of any community or region to sustain growth must realize that growth creates demands on publicly provided services that have financial and environmental as well as social implications. The ability to sustain the population and local economies is also concerned with the integration of land-use planning and transportation alternatives for urban regions with considerations for density, mass-transit and zoning if communities are to be sustainable.

PUB 5499     Public and Nonprofit Strategic Management  (3 cr.)

Strategic management is defined as ?a disciplined effort to produce fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide what an organization is, what it does, and why it does it.? The focus of strategic management is on ?fundamental decisions.? Strategic management is about shaping the mission and goals of an organization. Strategic management focuses on the future of an organization by trying to define the opportunities to act and the barriers to action that prevent us from achieving a desired future state. The goal of the process is to implement a program and complete a set of tasks, not to produce a plan (hence the shift in terminology from strategic planning to strategic management). Prerequisite: PUB 5450

REE 5884     Land Use Regulation: Entitlements and Permitting in a Growth-Managed Environment  (3 cr.)

Entitlements and Permitting in a Growth-Managed Environment: This course discusses the legal and regulatory requirements of the entitlement and development approval or permitting process. This includes discussion of laws pertaining to wetlands, endangered species, historical and archaeological sites, air and water quality, hazardous wastes and toxic substances, as well as the purpose, content, and use of environmental impact statements. Issues of Smart Growth and sustainable development are covered. Also covered is the impact on private property rights of land use regulation and growth management through developments of regional impact, comprehensive planning laws, adequate public facilities requirements, concurrency requirements, zoning, and impact fees and other exactions. The course emphasizes strategic thinking and creative approaches to navigating the labyrinth of federal, state, and local laws, rules, and regulations. Primary attention will be focused on growth management and development controls in Florida, but not to the exclusion of other states.

Foundation Course Descriptions  arrowtop

PUBP 5002     Statistics Workshop  (0 cr.)

Statistics Workshop provides a review of the statistical concepts that form the foundation of statistical analysis. These concepts include probability, descriptive statistics, bivariate measures of association, sampling distributions, and statistical inference. After completing the workshop students will be able to calculate and interpret descriptive statistics, bivariate measures of association, confidence intervals, and tests of statistical significance.This course is a prerequisite for PUB 5477 for those who did not complete a comparable course at the undergraduate level. This course is Pass/ Fail and online only.

PUBP 5003     American Government Workshop  (0 cr.)

American Government Workshop covers the essential facts of the government system in the United States and identifies the historical and philosophical roots of the American system. This includes a federalism model that defines the relationship between the national and sub-national levels of government in which the field of public administration operates. This course required to be taken concurrently with PUB 5450 for those who did not complete a comparable course at the undergraduate level. This course is Pass/ Fail and online only.