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The Curriculum consists of 36-39 semester hours, including 27 hours of core courses, 9 hours of electives and 3 credit hours of internship for pre-service students.  The program may be completed full-time in two academic years, plus one summer.  The program consists of four categories of coursework: a Core (9 courses); an Elective Area of Specialization (3 courses); a Field Internship (1 course); and a final Capstone Course project (1 course).
CORE* (27 Credit Hours)



PADM 60371 Graduate Introduction to Public Administration

Introductory graduate course to the theory and study of public administration. Topics include: evolution and characteristics of the modern nation state, the critical role public bureaucracy in any nation-state, intergovernmental relations, formal and informal groups and their role in policy, legal-regulatory processes, historical evolution of public administration as an academic field, major paradigms in organizational theory and internal organization dynamics.

PADM 60377 Public Budgeting and Financial Management

This course focuses on two aspects of public finance: budgeting and financial management. Relative to budgeting, students are taught about budgets as mechanisms for resource control and allocations, as legal documents, different formats and cross-walking of formats, budget preparation, legislative review, budget implementation, and auditing. Relative to financial management, students are taught  budget analysis, debt management, fund accounting, and forecasting.

PADM 60375 Personnel Management Syllabus

Study of public personnel systems, including underlying system values and current problems, with emphasis on skill development and understanding of techniques for public personnel managers.

PADM 60379 Program Evaluation Syllabus

Introduction to evaluation of government programs. Emphasis on familiarizing students with the theory and, specifically, the techniques utilized under different evaluation formats.

PADM 60381 Methods in Public Administration Syllabus

This course is a graduate-level introduction to statistical methods and their use in public administration.

PADM 60574 Strategic Planning Syllabus

Introductory course for all M.P.A. students. Focus is on “macrolevel” understanding of government agencies: institutional context, agency-environment linkages, internal dynamics, role in public policy.

PADM 60470 Personal Accountability in the Public Service Syllabus

This course is concerns with basic issues of morality and ethics associated with public service roles in a democratic society. The focus is on students internalizing their role in the public sector as stewards of the public trust. Topics covered include the dimensions of stewardship, maintaining personal honor, protecting the dignity and liberty of citizens, the dimensions of justice, anti-corruption devices and incorporating these dimensions as managers in their personal decision-making and throughout the organization.

PADM 60386 Public Sector IT Management Syllabus

This course focuses on the management of information technology (IT)  systems in public sector agencies. Specific topics covered include: planning and acquisition of hardware and software and networks, organizational governance and implementation, information security and privacy legal issues surrounding IT management, service delivery and emerging enterprise technologies.

PADM 6038 Seminar in Public Administration

*All core courses are offered once per academic year, either in the fall or the spring semester.


Students may create an elective area of specialization meeting their interests and needs. As such, students may select graduate level courses from across the university. The selection of the three courses must be done with the formal approval of the student's advisor.

In addition to courses students may take from across the university, the Kent-MPA program offers an elective area of concentration in Nonprofit Management. The following three nonprofit elective courses are offered online once every year. 

Nonprofit Management Electives



PADM 60471 Seminar: Nonprofits Law Syllabus

Introduction to legal issues for nonprofit organizations in the United States, including types of IRS tax-exempt status; basic requirements for establishing/operating nonprofit organizations specifically in Ohio.

PADM 60472 Seminar: Nonprofit Board Executive Relationships Syllabus

Key aspects of effective nonprofit governance, major roles of nonprofit board members and their responsibilities, and governance structures.

PADM 60477 Seminar: Nonprofit Financial Resource Development Syllabus

Successful strategies for fundraising and resource development for nonprofit organizations. Students will be exposed to fundraising in practice and will write a resource development plan

Internship (3 Credit Hours)

PADM 60392 Internship - Public Administration Syllabus

Required of all students without prior administrative experience in public or nonprofit organizations. Formal field placement of 300 hours in government or nonprofit agency setting. Provides opportunity for students to apply coursework to via direct exposure to management and policy processes. Students with administrative experience are waived from this requirement.
Prerequisite: Permission.

Capstone Course (3 Credit Hours)



PADM 60492 Capstone Course Syllabus

Capstone course required for all MPA students. Students will complete an approved, written project that is analytical and research-based.
Prerequisite: Special permission. PADM 60574/POL 70574

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