Schools & Divisions

School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Master of Public Affairs

Graduate Program

The graduate program of the Public and Environmenmtal Affairs concists of the Master of Public Affairs Degree (M.P.A.).

The Master of Public Affairs (M.P.A.) program, which is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), is an integrated course of study that requires a minimum of 48 credit hours. The program provides knowledge and experience that can be used by the professional in various roles within a changing public sector. It is also an interdisciplinary, professional program drawing on diverse faculty talents and resources. The goal of the program is to equip the individual with the necessary skills and knowledge to enter local, state, or federal government or quasi-governmental service and to broaden comprehension of the economic, environmental, political, and social context in which the public servant works.

The curriculum of this program as contained in the core requirements encompasses preparation in a broad range of skills relevant to the operation of public agencies. It is, therefore, interdisciplinary, based on the academic disciplines, but not limited to any one; it is also problem-oriented, bringing the disciplines to bear on critical social, environmental, economic, and administrative conditions.

Although the environment of public service is diverse and changing, effectiveness in that environment requires the development of special skills attained through detailed study in a chosen field of concentration. The fields of concentration span the variety of professional specialties found in public service. Thus, the program provides both expertise in a specific concentration area and in the core requirements, and a general working knowledge of public affairs.

Transfer of Credit

Up to 9 credit hours of appropriate graduate course work can be transferred from schools other than Indiana University and applied toward the Master of Public Affairs degree when approved by the Dean. Credit transfers reduce the hours of Indiana University credits that must be earned. Requirement waivers, on the other hand, do not reduce credit hours to be earned but do increase the elective choices available in a student's program.

Graduation Requirements

It is the responsibility of students to be certain that their graduation or other academic requirements are met. The graduate office will keep a record of the student's progress and will aid in program planning.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Public Affairs program requires a minimum of 48 graduate credit hours and completion of (1) the foundation requirement, (2) the core requirement, (3) the experiential requirement, and (4) the concentration requirement. The foundation requirement ensures that each student has the requisite background in the areas of computing, economics, government, and mathematics to facilitate the mastery of core course material. No graduate credit is given for work done to satisfy this requirement.

The core requirement consists of 21 credit hours of work in six to seven courses, six of which are required of all students pursuing an M.P.A. degree. The experiential requirement ensures that each graduate of the M.P.A. program has gained insight into the world of public service by way of an experience outside the classroom involving contact with prospective peers. This experience may or may not involve the accumulation of credit hours toward the degree. Each student must also complete the requirements of one concentration, which consists of 18-21 credit hours of work. The remaining credit hours necessary for graduation, if any, are general electives that can be used to add breadth to a student's program; to further explore a field of concentration; or to enhance quantitative tools or administrative techniques.

Core Requirement

The M.P.A. core ensures that each student acquires both the prerequisite analytical skills and an understanding of policy issues and governmental processes that compose the environment within which graduates will pursue their careers.

The following seven courses are required:

  • SPEA V500 Quantitative Tools for Public Affairs (3 cr.)
  • SPEA V502 Public Management (3 cr.)
  • SPEA V506 Statistical Analysis for Policy and Management (3 cr.)
  • SPEA V517 Public Management Economics (3 cr.)
  • SPEA V540 Law and Public Affairs (3 cr.)
  • SPEA V560 Public Finance and Budgeting (3 cr.)
  • SPEA V600 Capstone in Public and Environmental Affairs (3 cr.)

Total (21 cr.)

Unusually well-prepared applicants may petition the program director to waive one or more of the core requirements on the basis of advanced work done elsewhere. Students may be exempted based on satisfactory equivalent course work or by an examination. Credit hours waived from the core will add to the electives a student may use. Students requesting course waivers should contact the appropriate program director for requirements and guidelines.

Concentration Requirement

The concentrations following are designed to give the student an educational experience in a substantive area of the student's interest. The student chooses a concentration in consultation with the director of the M.P.A. program, and the course of study in the concentration area is determined in conjunction with a concentration advisor. All concentrations require at least 18-21 credit hours of course work. Up to 3 credit hours of the concentration may be taken in SPEA V585 Practicum in Public Affairs, if the concentration advisor approves the field experience in advance. Concentration requirements may be waived on the same basis as core requirements.

Concentrations

Concentrations give the student a focused educational experience in a substantive area of interest. The concentration is selected in conjunction with the faculty advisor and appropriate SPEA administrator. Concentrations offered include criminal justice, health services administration, human services administration, and management of public affairs

Criminal Justice Concentration

The criminal justice concentration is for those interested in the issues, methods, and skills involved in the management of criminal justice or related agencies.

Requirements

  • SPEA 1501 Criminological Thought and Policy (3 cr.)
  • SPEA V509 Administrative Ethics in the Public Sector (3 cr.)
  • Select one of the following (3 cr.)
    • SPEA J502 Research Methods in Criminal Justice and Public Affairs (3 cr.)
    • SPEA V562 Public Program Evaluation (3 cr.)
  • Select one of the following (3 cr.)
    • SPEA J682 Planning and Management for Criminal Justice and Public Safety (3 cr.)
    • SPEA J666 Criminal Justice Policy and Evaluation (3 cr.)
  • Select two from one of the following groups (6 cr.)
    • Group A:
      • SPEA J550 Topics in Criminal Justice and Public Safety (3 cr.)
      • SPEA J582 Criminal Justice System (3 cr.)
      • SPEA J587 Criminal Violation: Problems and Prospects (3 cr.)
      • SPEA J588 Law and Control in Society (3 cr.)
      • SPEA V580 Readings in Public Affairs: Criminal Justice Topic (3 cr.)
      • SPEA V585 Practicum in Public Affairs: Criminal Justice (3 cr.)
    • Group B:
      • SPEA J550 Topics in Criminal Justice and Public Safety (3 cr.)
      • SPEA V504 Public Organizations (3 cr.)
      • SPEA V512 Public Policy Process (3 cr.)
      • SPEA V539 Management Science for Public Affairs (3 cr.)
      • SPEA V561 Public Human Resource Management (3 cr.)
      • SPEA V566 Executive Leadership (3 cr.)

Total (18 cr.)

Health Services Administration Concentration

The health services administration concentration is for public administration students who plan to assume a managerial position in the health services field. This concentration affords the student the opportunity to study policy, issues, and programs related to the health services field.

Requirements

The following four courses:

  • SPEA V504 Public Organizations (3 cr.)
  • SPEA V543 Health Services Management (3 cr.)
  • SPEA V545 The U.S. Health Care System (3 cr.)
  • SPEA V546 Health Services Utilization (3 cr.)
  • Select three of the following courses or another course approved by a concentration advisor (9 cr.)
    • SPEA H514 Health Economics (3 cr.)
    • SPEA H515 Health Policy Process (3 cr.)
    • SPEA H601 Hospital Organization and Management (3 cr.)
    • SPEA H604 Ambulatory Care and Managed Care Programs (3 cr.)
    • SPEA V507 Data Analysis and Modeling for Public Affairs (3 cr.)
    • SPEA V550 Topics in Public Affairs: Health Topic (3 cr.)

Total (21 cr.)

Human Services Administration Concentration

This concentration prepares persons for management positions in federal, state, and local human resource agencies. Emphases include application of public management processes to human service
organization; skills requisite to working with elected officials, administrative officials, and consumer groups; and practices of comprehensive departments of human resources, interagency administrative units, and multiservice centers.

Requirements

  • SPEA V504 Public Organizations (3 cr.)
  • SPEA V545 The U.S. Health Care System (3 cr.)
  • SPEA V554 Human Services Administration (3 cr.)
  • SPEA V562 Public Program Evaluation (3 cr.)
  • Select three of the following courses or another course approved by a concentration advisor (9 cr.)
    • SPEA V507 Data Analysis and Modeling for Public Affairs (3 cr.)
    • SPEA V509 Administrative Ethics in the Public Sector (3 cr.)
    • SPEA V546 Health Services Utilization (3 cr.)
    • SPEA V550 Topics in Public Affairs:Health Topic (3 cr.)
    • SPEA V556 Topics in Human Services Administration (3 cr.)
    • SPEA V561 Public Human Resources Management (3 cr.)
    • SPEA V563 The Planning Process (3 cr.)

Total (21 cr.)

Public Management Concentration

The Public Management Concentration consists of a structured program that facilitates the development of a managerial perspective. The intent of the
curriculum is to ensure breadth of coverage across those areas essential to a managerial career.

Requirements

  • SPEA V504 Public Organizations (3 cr.)
  • SPEA V539 Management Science for Public Affairs (3 cr.)
  • SPEA V561 Public Human Resources Management (3 cr.)
  • SPEA V566 Executive Leadership (3 cr.)
  • Select three of the following courses or another course approved by a concentration advisor (9 cr.)
    • SPEA V507 Data Analysis and Modeling for Public Affairs (3 cr.)
    • SPEA V509 Administrative Ethics in the Public Sector (3 cr.)
    • SPEA V512 Public Policy Process (3 cr.)
    • SPEA V562 Public Program Evaluation (3 cr.) SPEA V563 The Planning Process (3 cr.)
    • SPEA V595 Managerial Decision Making (3 cr.)
    • SPEA V639 Managing Government Operations (3 cr.)

Total (21 cr.)

Special Students

Nondegree candidates may be admitted to the School of Public and Environmental Affairs to take classes. This status is granted for one semester only.

Grading

The official grading system of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs is as follows: A— highest passing grade; B; C—lowest passing grade; D; F—failed; I—Incomplete; W—withdrawn; NR—no report; (+) or (-) may be attached to any of the grades A-D.

An Incomplete indicates that the work is satisfactory as of the end of the semester but has not yet been completed. This grade may be awarded only when the student's work is of passing quality and upon evidence that personal hardship would render it unjust to hold that student to the time limits previously fixed for the completion of the work. Normally, faculty members are reluctant to give the grade of Incomplete. One calendar year is allowed for the removal of an Incomplete unless the chairperson of the graduate program authorizes an adjustment of this period due to exceptional circumstances. If those procedures are not followed, the I is changed to F.

Grade Average, Provisional, and Probationary Status

Students may be admitted on a provisional basis for particular reasons, such as deficiencies in certain areas. The provisional status will be removed upon fulfillment of the stipulated conditions. A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (A=4.0) or higher for all work taken for graduate credit must be earned as a prerequisite for continuation in good standing and for graduation. Students whose cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0 will be placed on probation. To be removed from probation, students either placed on probation or admitted on a provisional basis are required to attain an average of at least 3.0 for all graduate work completed by the end of the next semester of full- time enrollment or its equivalent (12 credit hours). Failure to do so will be cause for dismissal.

Petitioning Procedures

A student may find it necessary to petition the Graduate Program  Committee relative to such matters as dismissal, requirements, transfers, class load, etc. Such requests must be presented in writing to the Graduate Program Committee.

Midcareer Options

The purpose of the midcareer option of the Master of Public Affairs graduate program is to enhance the professional capabilities of those with previous training or experience in public service. It is a program capable of being specially designed to meet the educational and professional needs of the individual.

Some administrators are engaged in professional capacities requiring deeper understanding of certain specialties. Others with considerable experience in a specialization may wish to broaden their knowledge and perspectives. The midcareer option can accommodate those needs.

Credit waiver may be granted to midcareer option students for significant administrative or policy-level work experience. This work experience may be of a managerial nature or may be in program or policy development (which may or may not include experience in management, e.g., as a planner). The work experience need not necessarily be with a governmental agency. Many private and quasi-public organizations have significant governmental contacts. Furthermore, much management-level experience in the private sector is applicable to the public sector.

Students wishing to take full advantage of the midcareer option should apply as soon as regular admission to the program has been granted. The Graduate Program Committee makes a determination of Program eligibility for the midcareer option for each applicant. Students granted the midcareer option for more than 6 credit hours may not take SPEA V585 Practicum in Public Affairs for credit. Decisions about the midcareer option are made separately from decisions about transfer of credit. Under no circumstances will the midcareer option and the transfer of credit total more than 21 credit hours of the 48 credit hour degree requirement. Students receiving the midcareer option should carefully plan their programs in consultation with an advisor as early as possible. Certification of the plan of study by the advisor is necessary.

Previous Graduate Work Outside the  School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Previous graduate credit from other schools at Indiana University or other universities may be accepted toward a degree in the Master of Public Affairs program up to a total of 9 credit hours. The particular courses to be awarded credit will be arranged with the director of the division. A Transfer­of-Credit Form must be completed, and approval must be granted for each course for which transfer credit is desired. This is true both for previous work at Indiana University, outside the Division of Public and Environmental Affairs and Political Science, and for graduate work at other institutions. Courses outside the division planned in conjunction with the chairperson of the graduate program for the student's course of study need not be petitioned.

Undergraduate course work that, in the judgment of the Graduate Committee, substantially duplicates degree requirements may be accepted in lieu of particular required courses, but the total number of credits required will not be reduced.

General Scholarship Rule

Any student who does not possess the necessary preliminary training or who lacks other qualifications may be required by the division to enroll in such courses as the division may designate or to take such other corrective action as is necessary or desirable. The division may review a student's record at any time and take whatever actions seem necessary for the best interest of that student or of the division.

Any student whose work is unsatisfactory or whose conduct is unethical may be dismissed from the division


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