FACULTY: Hand, Harsell (Graduate Program Director), Hultquist, Jendrysik, Jensen, Light, Scheurer, Schuller, Sum (Chair), Urlacher, and Wood
Degree Granted: Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.)
The purposes of the M.P.A. program are to prepare students for positions in the public service, non-profit, and health sectors and to increase the skills of persons already in those areas. The program achieves these purposes through a multidisciplinary curriculum that requires the students to have a basic understanding of the American political system, instructs the students on the fundamental concepts of public administration, and prepares the students to apply basic administrative principles in public management. The department offers a joint MPA/JD with the School of Law, three certificate programs, a multidisiplinary Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship, and a combined BSPA/MPA or a BA/MPA program for students who meet the admission criteria.
A list of all programs offered, including admission requirements, degree requirements and courses offered can be found in the Degree section.
Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.)
The applicant must meet the School of Graduate Studies’ current minimum general admission rquirements as published in the graduate catalog.
- A four-year bachelor’s degree from a recognized college or university.
- A cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 2.75 for all undergraduate work or a GPA of at least 3.0 for the junior and senior years of undergraduate work (based on A=4.00).
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General test or, the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).
- Satisfy the School of Graduate Studies’ English Language Proficiency requirements as published in the graduate catalog.
- Minimum competence in public administration, administrative sciences, and methodology. This competence is normally demonstrated by at least one course in each of five fields (Political Science, Accounting, Economics, Management, and Statistics), by special exams in the fields, or by practical experience.
- Twenty hours in the social sciences, business administration, and related fields.
- Students who do not meet requirements, 5 and 6, will be given the opportunity to fulfill them.
Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.)
Students seeking the Master degree at the University of North Dakota must satisfy all general requirements set forth by the School of Graduate Studies as well as particular requirements set forth by the Master of Public Administration Program.
- A minimum of 36 semester credits.
- A minimum of 27 credits in public administration and up to 9 credits in cognate fields to total 36 credits.
- At least one-half of the credits must be at the 500 level.
- A maximum of nine credits may be transferred to UND from other institutions.
Required Courses: POLS 500 Research Methods 3 POLS 501 Political and Public Policy Analysis 3 POLS 531 Foundations of Public Administration 3 POLS 580 Administrative Internship * 3 POLS 532 Public Policy 3 POLS 599 Master of Public Administration Capstone 1 POLS 997 Independent Study 2 General, Health Administration or Social Entrepreneurship Track 12 POLS Electives or cognate/elective courses 6 Total Credits 36 *
Students with a minimum of one year relevant administrative experience may petition the Graduate Program Director to have requirement waived and to substitute a 3-credit elective in its place.
General or Health Administration Track Select two of the following: 6 Seminar:Problems in State and Local Governments Public Personnel Administration Public Budgeting and Financial Administration Administrative Law Select two of the following: 6 Government and Business Seminar:Legislative and Executive Processes Administrative Ethics in the Public Sector Public Organizations Political Advocacy and Social Entrepreneurship Health Administration Track POLS 551 Health Administration and Organization 3 POLS 552 Health Policy 3 ECON 575 Advanced Special Topics 3 LAW 303 * 3 Social Entrepreneurship Track SOC 569 Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship 3 POLS 561 Creation and Management of Social Enterprises 3 POLS 562 Political Advocacy and Social Entrepreneurship 3 ENTR 580 Seminar in Social Entrepreneurship 3
also offered as POLS 593 Problems in Political Science and Public Administration Legal & Ethical Issues in Health Administration
There is no residence requirement for the M.P.A. degree; however, at least one-half of the credits for the degree must be taken on campus or as an admitted distance degree student.
The independent study is designed to require the student to investigate independently a topic related to the field of public administration. The study need not be an original contribution to knowledge but may be a presentation, analysis, and discussion of information and ideas already in the literature of the field. The requirement is to ensure that a student can investigate a topic and organize a scholarly report on the investigation.
The topic for an independent study must be approved by the student’s advisor. Approval is effected by the student’s completing a form titled Proposal of Independent Study, available from the School of Graduate Studies, then submitting the proposal to the advisor for approval. The proposal, which should be approved no later than the beginning of the semester or session in which the student expects to graduate, must be filed in the School of Graduate Studies before a student is advanced to candidacy for a master’s degree.
Each student must prepare and secure the advisor’s approval of an independent study report. Three copies of the report (one each for the student, the advisor and the department) must be accepted by the advisor, who will certify completion of the report to the School of Graduate Studies by the deadline specified in the Academic Calendar.
Candidacy for the Degree
Admission of a student to the School of Graduate Studies as a degree student in Approved Status implies only that the student has met minimum entrance requirements and will be permitted to take graduate courses, which normally may be expected to lead to a degree. The student has not been admitted as a candidate for a degree. Advancement to candidacy can be granted only after the student has met certain academic requirements in approximately the following sequence:
- Completion of 12 semester credits.
- A GPA of at least 3.00 for all work attempted.
- The appointment of an advisor. The advisor, who must be a member of the Graduate Faculty, will be appointed by the Dean upon the written recommendation of the M.P.A. program director. The advisor is responsible to the department and the School of Graduate Studies for the supervision of the student’s work.
- Approval of a Program of Study on a form available from the School of Graduate Studies. The program, which should be developed in consultation with the advisor, must carry the signature of the student, the advisor, and the program director and must be submitted to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies for approval.
- Approval of a topic for the independent study by having the advisor sign the Proposal of Independent Study and submitting the Proposal and three copies to the School of Graduate Studies.
The student and the advisor will be notified in writing of the advancement to candidacy. Students must complete all requirements for advancement to candidacy prior to the semester in which they plan to graduate.
Candidates must pass a written final comprehensive examination, which must cover the coursework included in the program of study. The results will be certified to the School of Graduate Studies by the advisor and the program director on the form Final Report on Candidate by the deadline specified in the Academic Calendar. The appropriate comprehensive examination(s) required for the degree will be arranged for by the advisor and given and evaluated by the department no earlier than the semester preceding the semester in which the candidate intends to graduate. Comprehensive examinations that are failed may be repeated only with the approval of the advisor, the program director, and the dean, but in no event earlier than at the next regularly scheduled offering.
Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.)/Juris Doctor Combined Degree Program
- Students are required to apply to both the Law School and the School of Graduate Studies and indicate that they wish to be admitted to the joint MPA/JD track. This admission will be determined by the Director of the M.P.A. Program and the Dean of the Law School or their designees.
- Acceptance to the joint program track requires a minimum overall undergraduate GPA of 3.00 or a GPA of 3.25 in the last two academic years.
Sample Curricular Plan
|Year One||Law School|
|Year Two||Law School w/two MPA courses *|
|Year Three||Law School w/two MPA courses|
|Year Four||Six MPA courses + Independent Study|
|Year One||Seven MPA courses|
|Year Two||Law School|
|Year Three||Law School w/two MPA courses *|
|Year Four||Law School w/one MPA course + Independent Study|
2 MPA course requirements could be met with law courses as cognates.
Six credits (approved by the Law School) from the MPA Program will count toward the Law Degree. Six of the 36 required credits in the MPA program can be law courses used as a cognate for the MPA degree (with the approval of the department and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies).
The total credits required for each degree will be unchanged, because each program will accept six credits toward the other degree. This will save the student one semester (12 credits) and make the program more appealing.
Normally, the joint program will be completed in four years. With summer school classes it may be possible to obtain both degrees even more quickly. Students must be enrolled in the Law School for at least three years; therefore, students wishing to receive both degrees in less than four years should enroll first in the Law School.
Below is a list of Law School courses that can be used as cognates in the MPA program, and MPA courses that can be used as electives in the JD program.
Joint MPA/JD Complementary Courses
|LAW 291||(Poverty Law)||1-4|
|LAW 291||(Civil Rights)||1-4|
|LAW 291||(State Constitutional Law)||1-4|
|Or other courses with the approval of the MPA Director and Graduate Dean|
|Political Science and Public Administration|
|POLS 502||Seminar:Problems in State and Local Governments||3|
|POLS 508||Seminar:Legislative and Executive Processes||3|
|POLS 531||Foundations of Public Administration||3|
|POLS 532||Public Policy||3|
|POLS 535||Public Organizations||3|
|POLS 536||Public Personnel Administration||3|
|POLS 538||Public Budgeting and Financial Administration||3|
|POLS 539||Administrative Law||3|
|Or other courses with the approval of the Dean of the Law School.|
Combined Degree Program B.S.P.A./M.P.A. or B.A. in Political Science/M.P.A.
The Public Administration program offers two combined programs, a B.S.P.A./M.P.A. or a B.A. in Political Science/M.P.A. The intent of the combined programs is to allow qualified students to complete the requirements for both degrees in one year beyond that required to receive the baccalaureate degree. Students may apply for this program upon completion of 90 credits toward the Bachelor’s degree but prior to their fourth year of academic work. All requirements for both degrees must be met, and up to six credits of prior-approved coursework may be double-counted toward each of the two degrees. Double-counted credits may not include required courses for the B.S.P.A. or B.A. degree, but may include appropriate elective coursework, preferably at the 500-level or above.
5-year B.A. in Political Science or B.S.P.A. in Public Administration/M.P.A.
- 3.25 GPA overall and in major.
- Graduate Record Examination or the Graduate Management Admission Test.
- Completion of 90 credit hours prior to year four.
- Minimum competence in public administration, policy, administrative services, and methodology. This competence is normally demonstrated by at least one course in each of the five fields (Political Science, Accounting, Economics, Management, and Statistics), by special exams in the fields, or by practical experience.
- Twenty hours in social sciences, business administration and related fields.
- Students who do not meet requirements 4 and 5 will be given the opportunity to fulfill them.
- A minimum of 36 semester credits (6 credits may be part of undergraduate degree program but taken for graduate credit).
- A minimum of 26 credits in public administration and up to 9 credits in cognate fields to total 35 credits.
- At least one-half must be at the 500-level.
- A maximum of 9 credits may be transferred to UND from other institutions.
Certificate Programs in Public and Health Administration
Three certificate programs are also offered. Each program consists of four three-credit courses that must be taken for a grade, and the GPA must be at least 3.0. These programs are open to anyone with an undergraduate degree in any area of study. The certificate programs are offered to those who do not wish to make the initial commitment to the master’s degree program but wish to update or upgrade their skills. All courses taken may be applied to a MPA if a student decides to pursue the degree.
Certificate Admission Requirements
- A four-year bachelor’s degree from a recognized college or university
- A cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 3.0 for all undergraduate work (based on A=4.00)
Certificate in Health Administration
The health administration certificate program is designed to prepare people with diverse backgrounds already in the health care industry or those wishing to enter the fast growing and rapidly changing health care profession.
|POLS 552||Health Policy||3|
|POLS 551||Health Administration and Organization||3|
|ECON 575||Advanced Special Topics||3|
also offered as POLS 593 Problems in Political Science and Public Administration:Legal & Ethical Issues in Health Administration
Certificate in Public Administration
This program seeks to provide the management core needed by professionals from many academic backgrounds who have risen to positions of authority in the public and not-for-profit sector without benefit of formal management training.
|Select four of the following:||12|
|Foundations of Public Administration|
|Administrative Ethics in the Public Sector|
|Public Personnel Administration|
|Public Budgeting and Financial Administration|
Certificate in Policy Analysis
This program seeks to provide the analytic skills needed by professionals from many academic backgrounds who are required to do or understand policy analysis and program planning in the public and not-for-profit sectors. Even managers who do not do research themselves must understand the work of others if they are to make informed decisions based on the information provided in research reports.
|Select four of the following:||12|
|Political and Public Policy Analysis|
|Seminar:Problems in State and Local Governments|
|Seminar:Legislative and Executive Processes|
Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship
This certificate program seeks to provide individuals with diverse educational and professional backgrounds, an interdisciplinary core of knowledge necessary to craft, manage, and act within innovative business and nonprofit enterprises that address social needs, create public value, and achieve social change.
- Students must hold a baccalaureate degree from an educational institution of recognized standing, as determined by the School of Graduate Studies.
- Minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or higher.
- International students must meet the English language and other admission requirements of the University of North Dakota.
- Students must submit an admission portfolio containing:
- A personal statement addressing how the certificate will help them meet their goals
- Official transcripts of all coursework completed
- Two (2) letters of reference
- A description of relevant work experience
Students should note that the above requirements represent minimum achievement levels necessary to be considered for admission; meeting these requirements does not guarantee admission.
Students admitted to the certificate program are required to complete the four three-credit courses (12 credits total) listed below, and are required to maintain a 3.0 GPA in these four courses in order to remain in the program.
In addition, at the conclusion of the certificate program, students will be required to assemble and submit an exit portfolio demonstrating mastery of program content. This portfolio will consist of instructor-designated major writing assignments/projects from each of the program’s four courses listed below.
|SOC 569||Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship||3|
|POLS 561||Creation and Management of Social Enterprises||3|
|POLS 562||Political Advocacy and Social Entrepreneurship||3|
|ENTR 580||Seminar in Social Entrepreneurship||3|
POLS 500. Research Methods. 3 Credits.
A statistics course or consent of instructor. This course will first focus on various approaches to analyzing political phenomena with the goal of developing students' ability to think analytically and to distinguish between empirical and normative analysis. The course will then introduce techniques of empirical research including research design, measurement, data gathering, and data analysis. Prerequisite: A statistics course or consent of instructor.
POLS 501. Political and Public Policy Analysis. 3 Credits.
This course focuses on the use of empirical data both to develop empirical theory and to make policy choices. Topics to be discussed include hypothesis testing, public choice, and policy evaluation. Students will be required to complete an original research project. Prerequisite: POLS 500 or consent of instructor.
POLS 502. Seminar:Problems in State and Local Governments. 3 Credits.
Directed in-depth inquiry into contemporary structural and policy problems of state and local governments. During the course, each student will prepare a research paper relevant to a current problem suitable for publication and distribution to an identifiable body of public officials and citizens for problem-solving purposes.
POLS 503. Government and Business. 3 Credits.
This course is designed to make students aware of the interrelationship of business and government in our society and the importance of this interrelationship in an era of globalization. It introduces public and business administration students to the role of government in advancing, as well as regulating, business. Further it discusses ways that business can and does influence government decisions. It also looks at the ethical responsibilities of business and government in our society. A component of the course involves travel to Washington, D.C. to meet with political officials, e.g., the Congressional delegation; Legislative staff; government regulatory agencies, e.g., the Federal Communications Commission; government advocacy agencies, e.g., Department of Commerce; and national and international business representatives, e.g., Cargill.
POLS 508. Seminar:Legislative and Executive Processes. 3 Credits.
Description, analysis, and evaluation of the structures, processes, procedures, and positions of the legislative and executive offices in government.
POLS 531. Foundations of Public Administration. 3 Credits.
An extensive overview of Public Administration stressing the basic concepts and trends in the discipline as well as the classic scholars. F.
POLS 532. Public Policy. 3 Credits.
A discussion of the initiation, formulation, adoption, implementation, and evaluation of American public policy. Various policy areas such as agriculture, education, environment, and welfare will be analyzed.
POLS 533. Administrative Ethics in the Public Sector. 3 Credits.
This course examines the challenges faced by public administrators in establishing personal standards of conduct in the administrative environment. Issues such as moral versus political accountability, social justice and whistle blowing are among the topics that will be explored in this course.
POLS 535. Public Organizations. 3 Credits.
Description and analysis of bureaucratic organizations with particular emphasis on concepts and characteristics common to public bureaucracies.
POLS 536. Public Personnel Administration. 3 Credits.
This course is designed to help managers in all positions of an organization to understand the fundamental nature of public personnel administration, also known as human resource management. Topics to be covered include basic functions such as position classification, wage and salary administration, and performance appraisal. Attention will be given to contemporary issues such as sexual harassment, affirmative action, privacy, and unionization.
POLS 538. Public Budgeting and Financial Administration. 3 Credits.
This course will encompass the normative and descriptive budgetary questions in public administration. Orthodox, prevailing, and alternative budget theories are presented in generalized and applied settings.
POLS 539. Administrative Law. 3 Credits.
Study of the legal dimension of public administration. Study of requirements for rule making and adjudication and of judicial review of administrative decisions.
POLS 551. Health Administration and Organization. 3 Credits.
The evolution of health systems and their organizational challenges of administration from human resources to management in times of scarce resources are explored. Specific attention is devoted to Financial Management, Managerial and Fund Accounting, Medicare, Medicaid, Fiscal Intermediaries and Managed Care, and Organizations in Decline.
POLS 552. Health Policy. 3 Credits.
This course examines historic and contemporary trends in health care delivery in the United States. Emphasis is placed on addressing health care cost-containment issues; access to health care and, recent efforts to invoke broadly based systemic reforms of the U.S. health care system.
POLS 561. Creation and Management of Social Enterprises. 3 Credits.
This course provides an overview of social entrepreneurship and social enterprises, including nonprofit. The course covers methods and techniques of social entrepreneurship, including organizational strategy, design, management, strategic planning, and leadership for social enterprises; legal foundations of social enterprises in the U.S.; and methods of social enterprise program evaluation. F, odd years.
POLS 562. Political Advocacy and Social Entrepreneurship. 3 Credits.
This course examines the use of social enterprises, including nonprofit, to achieve political, economic, and social change. Course coverage includes the use of social enterprises as vehicles for social transformation, development and execution of advocacy campaigns for social enterprises, the role of social enterprises within democracies, and the potential for social enterprises to address and overcome problems of collective action. S, even years.
POLS 580. Administrative Internship. 1-3 Credits.
Prior approval of instructor required before enrollment. Students are employed on full-time or part-time basis in onthe-job learning situations in federal, state, or local government. Students are required to make an analytical report on some facet of their work. Prerequisite: Instructor consent.
POLS 591. Readings in Political Science and Public Administration. 1-3 Credits.
Prior approval of instructor required before enrollment. Selected readings with oral and written reports. Prerequisite: Prior approval of instructor required before enrollment. Repeatable to 3 credits.
POLS 593. Problems in Political Science and Public Administration. 1-3 Credits.
Prior approval of instructor required before enrollment. Students study special topics under the direction and supervision of a member of the staff. Prerequisite: Prior approval of instructor required before enrollment. Repeatable to 6 credits.
POLS 595. Professional Development in Public Administration. 1 Credit.
Specific issues will vary but topics will focus on the latest issues, trends, and problems facing administrators, especially those in public and not-for-profit agencies. Repeatable to 3 credits. Repeatable to 3 credits.
POLS 599. Master of Public Administration Capstone. 1 Credit.
Seminar course intended to assist students in strengthening and further developing essential skills of research and formal presentation (written and oral) for both academic and professional audiences. Students will apply these skills to the completion of their individual Independent Study Project, providing an opportunity to draw upon knowledge and skills from across the program 's curriculum, and to synthesize these elements in the creation of a unique piece of rigorous professional policy analysis. Enrollment is restricted to MPA degree students who have presented a satisfactory Independent Study proposal to their review committee at the conclusion of the previous fall semester. Prerequisite: POLS 997. S.
POLS 996. Continuing Enrollment. 1-12 Credits.
Repeatable. S/U grading.
POLS 997. Independent Study. 2 Credits.
Seminar course that assists students in the process of developing, researching, composing, and presenting an Independent Study or Policy Paper on a public administration or public policy topic of their choosing, in consultation with one or more faculty advisors. Focused on familiarizing students with the craft of research writing and presentation and enabling them to communicate these findings clearly and effectively to a variety of audiences, orally and in writing. At the conclusion of the course, students will have completed and formally presented a full Policy Paper proposal and will have submitted a plan and timeline for project completion. Prerequisites: POLS 500 and POLS 501 or instructor consent. F.
POLS 998. Thesis. 1-4 Credits.
Undergraduate Courses for Graduate Credit
POLS 404. Urban Politics and Administration. 3 Credits.
Analysis of the socio-economic context of urban America and its impact on politics, policy, and administration. Prerequisite: POLS 115. S.