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MPA Program
Director: Dr. Sam Fisher
Office: HUMB# 233
Email: sfisher@southalabama.edu
The Master of Public Administration program (MPA) is affiliated with the Political Science Department. The program offers aspects of administration such as planning, budgeting, finance and personnel management.

The MPA program serves a wide variety of students in terms of academic and vocational background. No undergraduate major is required, but certain prerequisites must be met before a student can enroll in the required core courses. Student's normally enter the core curriculum in Fall Semester. The curriculum includes the following courses.

Course Title
PSC 500
Public Administration Organization & Behavior: Theory and practice
PSC 510
Intergovernmental Relations
PSC 520
Research Methods and Design
PSC 530
Quantitative Analysis
PSC 540
Government Personnel Management
PSC 550
Managing the Public Budget
PSC 570
Administrative Law
PSC 580
Public Policy Analysis & Evaluation
In addition, students take 12 semester hours (four courses or the equivalent in electives. An internship or thesis is optional). A comprehensive examination is required. Full information on admission procedures, academic standards and degree requirement can be found in current University of South Alabama Bulletin. Financial aid is available to full-time students.

The eight core courses are offered once a year.

Fall Semester: PSC 500, PSC 510, and PSC 520

Spring Semester: PSC 530, PSC 540, and PSC 570

Summer Term: PSC 550 and PSC 580

The Health Administration and Policy concentration comprises 12 semester hours of course work that can be taken in lieu of the 12 semester hours of electives now required of all MPA students. The four required courses include:

PSC 585 Health Policy - This course facilitates analysis of the role of federal, state and other participants in health policy formulation, implementation and evaluation. (3 hours)
PSC 586 Health Care Budgeting - The course introduces students to the financial aspects and principles of health care impacting program managers. (3 hours)
PSC 587 Seminar on Current Issues in Health Administration and Policy - This course examines advanced topics in health administration and policy that are relevant to current issues. (3 hours)
PSC 590 Health Administration - The course applies management principles to health care organizations with a focus on governance and leadership, human resources, control systems, strategic planning, and accountability. (3 hours)

Students are admitted each semester. The following criteria supplement the Graduate School criteria (see Categories of Admission).
Minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.00 (on a 4-point scale).
Satisfactory GRE (or equivalent standardized test) scores (at least 300 combined score on the Verbal and the Quantitative Subtests). The GRE requirement may be waived for holders of earned advanced degrees on the recommendation of the program coordinator.
In addition to the minimum standards required by the Graduate School, the student must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.7 and submit GRE general test scores.
Some Question and Answers about the MPA Program
Q: I currently hold a full-time job. How can I go to school too?
A: All of the courses are offered in the evening. It is possible to earn a degree after normal business hours.
Q: How long does it take to earn an MPA degree?
A: Variable, since students can set their own pace. Most evening students take either one or two courses a semester. The program can be completed in less than two years; maximum five years is allowed.
Q: I have never worked in government, but would like to enter that career. Can the MPA program help me gain experience?
A: Yes, for students without on-the-job experience we arrange internships in government or public services agencies. Frequently, internships turn into employment possibilities.
Q: I am a health professional. Can I benefit from an MPA degree?
A: Definitely. Whether employed in health care, education, law enforcement or in another area of public service, advancement to managerial positions is enhanced with training in public administration and management.

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Date last changed: September 18, 2013 4:03 PM
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