Degree Requirements

The MPA Student Handbook Academic Year 2017-18

The MPA program has two components:

  1. The program core consisting of eight required courses that provide the basic concepts and methods of public administration plus, for pre-career students, an internship.
  2. The program furthermore consists of a set of electives suited to the student's career interests or an optional specialization designed to develop expertise in a particular substantive area.

The number of courses taken will vary according to the student's admission category:

Pre-Career
Core courses 24 hours
Electives/Specialization courses 15 hours
Internship course 3 hours
In-Career
Core courses 24 hours
Electives/Specialization courses 15 hours
Mid-Career
Core courses 24 hours
Electives/Specialization courses 12 hours

Core Courses

  • PADM 5010 Public Administration and Society
  • PADM 5020 Leading and Managing Public Organizations
  • PADM 5030 Managing Human Resources
  • PADM 5035 Professional Practice for Public Managers
  • PADM 5400 Managing Financial Resources
  • PADM 5420 Revenue Policy and Administration
  • PADM 5500 Administrative Research Methods I
  • PADM 5510 Administrative Research Methods II

Classes are usually offered in the afternoons and evenings. 

Electives and Specializations

Students may select from a variety of electives or pursue a specialization. A custom specialization may be designed to fit individual career objectives from courses offered at the University of North Texas, subject to departmental approval. Your major professor or the MPA program director can assist you with course selection.

Specializations include: Emergency Management, Financial Management, Local Government Management, Nonprofit Management, Human Resources Management.

Internship for Pre-career Students

An internship provides an opportunity for students with no government experience to apply what has been learned in the classroom and to develop professional skills that cannot be obtained elsewhere. In most cases, students complete a paid internship with a government agency or nonprofit organization. When the student is ready to begin an internship, the internship coordinator will assist in identifying job possibilities.

Checklist for Completing the MPA Program

Below are a number of actions that must be completed prior to graduating with an MPA.

  1. Degree Plan: Completed no later than the end of the first semester 
                       39 Hour Degree Plan (Career)               
                       42 Hour Degree Plan (Internship)                    
  2. Application for Graduation: Filed with the Graduate School by the date specified on the Academic Calendar. (See page 35 of this Handbook for a program calendar.)
  3. Course Substitutions: All deviations from the degree plan must be approved by the major professor. The major professor will send a memo to the Graduate School amending the degree plan to indicate what substitutions should be made.
  4. Internships
    1. A grade of incomplete ("I") is given for PADM 5810 until:
      1. All evaluation forms are received;
      2. All required papers from the student are completed and submitted;
      3. Completion of at least 440 hours of an internship. (It may last longer.)
    2. After completing the internship, it is the student's responsibility to have the "Request to Remove I Grade/Change of Grade" form signed by the instructor who taught the course before the deadline for graduation applications. The department will send the "Request to Remove I Grade/Change of Grade" form to the Graduate School.
  5. Comprehensive Exam: The student is responsible for taking the comprehensive exam at the appropriate time. Students wishing to take the exam must have completed at least 30 hours of their graduate degree program and all core courses except PADM 5035. The student must notify the department office of his/her intent to take the scheduled exam.
  6. Students graduating who plan to attend the graduation ceremony are responsible for ordering their regalia from the University Store.