The MPA program prepares students with fundamental foundations in public management and policy analysis to empower their knowledge and skills into action across the public, nonprofit, and private sectors. The range of the core courses is balanced in the areas of managing organizations, making evidence-informed decisions, analyzing policy, and applying analytical methods to understand the dynamics of economic, organizational, political, and societal environments. A two-course sequence, PADM 503 and PADM 504, introduces research design and data analysis. Students learn how to interpret research as public managers and use evidence to make data-informed decisions. The capstone course, PADM 594, offers students the opportunity to demonstrate competencies in problem identification, problem solving, professional writing, oral presentation, group research, and presentation skills.
As the students customize their focus areas based on their interests, elective course selections include human resources, nonprofit management, policy analytics and evaluation, public budgeting and financial management, and state-local government and administration. Students interested in the focus areas of health administration, leadership, homeland security, and criminal justice should consult with their academic advisor to personalize their electives. Electives are also aligned with the four MPA certificate programs.
Students who do not have the relevant professional or managerial experience in public and nonprofit organizations are offered career development opportunities through internships for course credit. The hands-on internship experience will guide students to apply the analytical and managerial knowledge and skills gained in the MPA program. Examples of internship placements include Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations, Pennsylvania Office of Inspector General, United States Army, Pennsylvania local governments, and school districts in Pennsylvania.
All courses are described in the University Bulletin.
This page is not a part of the official Penn State University Bulletin.