University of Southern Indiana
MPA professor and students

Public Administration


The Master of Public Administration Program at the University of Southern Indiana strives to meet the needs of current and future civic leaders and managers by providing students with the practical knowledge and professional and academic skills, rooted in a strong understanding of the theories of public administration, to become ethical, creative, and inspirational leaders in the public and non-profit sectors. Our graduates are prepared to meet the economic, social, and political challenges that face leading public sector institutions and non-profit organizations.


Preparing civic leaders to meet society’s challenges in the 21st century.

The Master of Public Administration degree program at the University of Southern Indiana consists of 21 credit hours of required coursework and 15 hours of of coursework in a specialization area, for a total of 36 credit hours to degree completion.

Required coursework includes:

  • The MPA core curriuclum
  • A capstone seminar, in which students complete a capstone project, or a thesis.

Students may choose a specialization in either public sector administration or nonprofit administration.

Students choosing to complete a thesis will substitute the capstone seminar with an additional three-hour elective from their chosen specialization area. 

Submission requirements for theses and capstone projects are available in the Graduate Studies office

All students are required to complete a comprehensive examination as a requirement for graduation from the program administered by the MPA Examination Committee, which will consist of the MPA faculty. The comprehensive examination covers the basic mastering of universal required competencies in the field of public administration that make up the core curriculum of the MPA program, along with a mastery of the competencies of either the public sector or non-profit administration specializations.

The Master of Public Administration program also offers a dual degree option with the Master of Social Work.

Course Descriptions

A complete list of required courses and their descriptions can be found in the program bulletin

View current class schedules.

Program Objectives

The goals of the Master of Public Administration Program are to:

  • Obtain knowledge of the theoretical and institutional foundations and the internal operations of the public and nonprofit sectors and how these sectors are shaped by their economic, social, and political environments.
  • Master an understanding of how key concepts and theories in the field of public administration can be used to formulate applied solutions to problems associated with public and nonprofit administration.
  • Acquire practical skills necessary for the management of public and non-profit organizations, such as grant writing, budgeting, public speaking, human resources management, organizational behavior, electronic communication, and report writing.
  • Learn how to gather and analyze qualitative and quantitative data (through data bases, web sites, printed material, and other information-based resources) and develop research skills that can be used to advance the knowledge and practice of public administration. 
  • Understand the ethical consequences of decisions made by managers and administrators in the public and nonprofit sectors.

Applied Professional Experience

Regardless of your choice of concentration, you will be engaged in hands on projects where you will develop skills while serving others.  A sample of these past projects can be found here.

Contact Dr. Trent Engbers


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