Academic Catalog

Public Administration (M.P.A.)

This program is designed to prepare students for careers in public service in government, nonprofit organizations, and private organizations. The curriculum emphasizes study of the environment of public service, management techniques, organizational dynamics, the policy process, and the analysis of public policies.


The program is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration.

Admission Requirements

Admission to this program is contingent upon admission to the Graduate School. Undergraduate preparation in the social sciences, although recommended, is not required. Applicants must have a 3.0 grade point average in the last sixty credits of undergraduate work to be considered for regular admission. In addition, scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) must be submitted, with the following exceptions:

  1. Applicants with an undergraduate grade point average exceeding 3.29 need not submit GRE scores.
  2. Applicants holding master’s degrees in other fields and having graduate grade point averages of 3.30 or higher in their graduate degree work, need not submit GRE scores.Letters of Recommendation from previous instructors are welcome but not required.

A personal statement citing career goals and objectives  is also required.

Program Requirements 

The Master of Public Administration is offered under the following option:

Plan C: Thirty-nine credits (minimum) in course work.

Of the thirty-nine credits required for the degree, thirty credits are earned in a required set of core courses within the Department. Students without significant administrative background must meet an additional requirement of at least three credits of supervised internship over and above the minimum of thirty-nine credits otherwise required. All students must complete thirty credits of core requirements including:

PS 5630Statistics and Data Analysis in Political Science I4
PS 7300Public Administration and its Environment3
or PS 6700 Financial Management for Nonprofit Organizations
PS 7320Organization Theory and Behavior3
PS 7330Public Budgeting and Finance3
PS 7340Public Personnel Management3
PS 7350Managing Public Organizations and Programs3
PS 7375Professional Development Seminar1-2
PS 7410Policy Formation and Implementation3
PS 7460Program Evaluation3
or PS 7660 Research Methods in Policy and Politics
PS 7480Policy Analysis for Administration3

As part of the thirty-nine credits, students are also required to complete an area of concentration consisting of at least nine credits, which may require course work outside of political science. Passage of a written comprehensive examination based on the core curriculum is also required to earn this degree.

A student’s program is finalized in a Plan of Work that must be filed by the time the student has earned twelve credits. The student should consult the department’s M.P.A. program director for guidance in preparing this Plan of Work.

Academic Scholarship: All course work must be completed in accordance with the regulations of the Graduate School and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

No credit will be granted for courses taken at Wayne State prior to formal admission to the M.P.A. program without prior authorization of the M.P.A. Program Committee.

Areas of Concentration: Students in the M.P.A. program are required to select an area of concentration consisting of a minimum of nine credits of interrelated course work. Students must consult with, and secure the approval of, the M.P.A. program director prior to undertaking this part of the program, but students pursuing a specific career goal may use the Elective Option to design their own specialization. Areas of concentration include:

  • Economic Development Policy and Management
  • Health and Human Services Policy and Management
  • Human and Fiscal Resource Management
  • Non-Profit Policy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Management
  • Urban and Metropolitan Policy and Management
  • Elective Option (individually tailored)

Graduate Certificate Programs: In conjunction with their degree work, M.P.A. students may also pursue a graduate certificate in the following programs.

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