The Master of Public Administration (MPA) at the University of Southern Indiana is the preferred graduate degree for individuals who hold or hope to acquire a supervisory position in the public or non-profit sector. Individuals interested in these sectors pursue the MPA in order to improve their management-related job skills and performance, obtain leadership positions within their current organizations, or begin their career in a public or non-profit organization. Some students choose to pursue the MPA to strengthen their academic credentials and knowledge of the public sector to prepare for law school or doctoral level work.
The course offerings in the MPA program place a high priority on the application of the theories of public administration to real work situations. In our courses, the students complete applied exams and analyze specific case studies. They learn how to write grant proposals, develop personal leadership philosophies, learn how to write policy memos in a clear and succinct manner. Our students learn to write surveys, analyze data, and evaluate programs. They build interpersonal communication, leadership, and teamwork skills. Through papers and presentations, our students refine their written and oral communication skills.
Since the majority of our students are working professionals, we offer all of our courses in the evening. The MPA students are expected to be responsible for their own learning; therefore, our courses place a premium on class discussion, especially student-led discussion. In courses such as PA 601, Organizational Behavior, and PA 615, Legal Aspects in Public Administration, students are required to work in teams to develop reading memos and legal briefs. In these courses, the students are responsible for presenting information and leading the discussion, with the instructor acting as a class facilitator. Some courses are offered as distance-hybrid courses. These courses meet four to six times a semester, with the remaining coursework completed through the use of Blackboard. The distance learning modules include online slide shows and student-driven discussion boards.