The Master of Public Policy Administration (MPPA) is designed to prepare students for managerial and policy analysis positions in the public and non-profit sectors or related organizations.
Graduates of the Master's in Public Policy Administration program can expect to find opportunities in local, state, and federal government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private companies. There is a growing need for professionals with a strong understanding of public policy and administration due to increasingly complex and challenging policy issues.
A key strength of the program is the experienced faculty. We have 16 core faculty and adjunct instructors, all of whom are committed to the success of our students. Core faculty members hold joint appointments in public policy administration and related departments, such as economics, political science, and business administration. The MPPA is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). U.S. News and World Report ranks the program in the top third of graduate public affairs program and it is the highest ranked in the St. Louis region.
The MPPA degree consists of 40 credit hours, 25 of which are taken as part of the core curriculum and 15 that are electives. Students who complete the degree must demonstrate the ability to:
- Design, research, write, and defend analyses of substantive public policy problems and/or potential solutions
- Use data and sophisticated analytic tools (qualitative and quantitative) to conduct research in public policy and administration
- Understand the policy and internal/external environments of public and nonprofit organizations
- Develop expertise in a substantive area of public policy administration
A thesis is not required to complete the program. However, writing is an important component of the degree, and students will complete written analyses as part of their coursework and/or internship.
All candidates for the MPPA degree must complete 25 hours in the core curriculum sequence composed of the following public policy administration courses:
Policy Analysis and Economics
P P ADM 6000, Introduction to Policy Analysis
ECON 5550, Economics for Public Policy Analysis
P P ADM 6900, Cases in Public Policy Administration
Public Administration and Budgeting
P P ADM 6400, Public Administration: Theory & Practice
P P ADM 6490, Human Resources in the Public Sector
P P ADM 6180, Governmental Budgeting and Financial Control
Statistics, Research Methods, and Information Technology
P P ADM 6010, Introduction to Policy Research
P P ADM 6750, Applied Research Design
P P ADM 6850, E-Governance in the Public Sector
An internship is required. After completing the core coursework, students work with the internship coordinator to identify a placement that provides an individualized practical experience. If the student has significant public or nonprofit sector experience, the student may request that the internship requirement be waived, in which case another 3-hour elective course would be selected. See internship guidelines for more information.
P P ADM 6000 should be taken at the beginning of the program. It is strongly recommended that P P ADM 6010 and ECON 5550 be taken early in a student’s course plan. P P ADM 6900 is a capstone course and must be taken toward the end of the program.
Students may select one of three emphasis areas in which to concentrate their advanced studies:
- Policy research and analysis
- Local government management
- Nonprofit organization management and leadership
Students may also select an individualized emphasis area in consultation with their advisor and with approval of the Director.
Prior to the completion of 15 hours in the MPPA program, students should identify an emphasis area. In each of the emphasis areas students may be able to substitute another course for a specified elective, with the MPPA Director’s approval. Specific requirements for each emphasis area are as follows:
For Local Government Management specialization, a course not taken to fulfill the “required six hours” may be taken as an elective.
|P P ADM 6300||Leadership and Management in Nonprofit Organizations||3|
|P P ADM 6310||American Philanthropy and Nonprofit Resources Development||3|
|P P ADM 6311||Staff Management Issues in Nonprofit Organizations||1|
|P P ADM 6312||Legal Issues in Managing Nonprofit Organizations||1|
|P P ADM 6313||Financial Issues in Managing Nonprofit Organizations||1|
|Select two of the following:||6|
|Accounting for Governmental and Not-For-Profit Entities|
BUS AD 5100
BUS AD 5900
|Law, Ethics and Business|
|Contemporary Marketing Concepts|
P P ADM 6501
|Selected Topics in Nonprofit Management and Leadership|
P P ADM 6550
|Strategic and Program Planning for Nonprofit Organizations|
P P ADM 6600
|Managing People in Organizations|
P P ADM 6800
|Management Information Systems|
P P ADM 6950
|Internship (in assignment relevant to the emphasis area)|
Prior to the completion of 15 hours in the MPPA program, the student must present a proposal for 15 hours of specific coursework for approval by the MPPA faculty. The 15 hours must include P P ADM 6950, Internship (in an assignment relevant to the emphasis area) unless the student has significant public or nonprofit sector experience, in which case the internship may be waived and another 3-hour course is selected. See internship guidelines for more information.
An internship is required for students without substantial experience in the public or nonprofit sectors. The internship helps students gain field experience in a local government, state or national agency, a policy research organization, or a nonprofit organization. Students who have significant relevant experience in the public or nonprofit sector may request that the internship requirement be waived. Students who receive a waiver must take an additional 3 hours of electives in lieu of the internship.
Many of our students are employed full time while they work toward the degree, and therefore attend classes part time. With continuous full-time enrollment, students are able to complete the course in two years. Students who attend continuously part time can complete the course in two and a half to four years depending on how many classes they take each semester.
See graduation rates (PDF 174KB)
Each student is assigned an advisor who is available as a program resource. Questions regarding course scheduling and career path questions can be directed to the advisor.
The full facilities of Campus Computing, and the Laboratory for Quantitative Analysis are available to students. UMSL is a member of the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, the Association for Public Policy & Management (APPAM), Nonprofit Academic Centers Council (NACC) and NASPAA.
Our courses are delivered primarily in person, encouraging faculty and student interaction. Tuition rates are competitive, and a limited number of graduate assistantships are available. To accommodate those who are working, MPPA courses are generally held in the evening (starting no earlier than 5:30 pm) or on weekends. The campus is located near I-170 and I-70 and has two onsite MetroLink stations. Full-time students are eligible for free Metro passes.
In carrying out our mission, the Public Policy Administration embraces and enacts these core values (IDEAS):
- Integrity – We promote ethical, deliberate, and transparent decision making
- Diversity – We promote inclusiveness and respect for a diversity of perspectives
- Effectiveness – We strive to create value in our communities and be good stewards of public and community resources
- Accountability – We strive to recognize and respond to the needs of our varied stakeholders
- Service – We promote the above values in order to exemplify the ideals of public service