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Admission

Mission

Master of Public Administration

Five-Year Degree Program

Taking Courses as an Undergraduate

Certificate in the Management of International Non-Governmental Organizations

Financial Assistance

Further Information

Course Offerings


Graduate Programs

[Printable Version]

Public Administration

Dr. Charles H. Blake, Department Head
Dr. Gary R. Kirk, Graduate Coordinator

     Phone: (540) 568-6149
     Web site: http://www.jmu.edu/polisci/mpa.html

Professors
C. Blake, R. Roberts, D. Skelley

Assistant Professors
G. Kirk, C. Koski, L. Peaslee, P. Pham, N. Swartz

Admission
The Graduate Record Examination or the Graduate Management Admission Test is required of all applicants for the Master of Public Administration program as well as strong undergraduate grades. Applicants should also have a U.S. government course and a recent basic statistics course in their academic backgrounds. Taking these courses may be made conditions of admission. Applicants should consult with the M.P.A. coordinator concerning admission standards.

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Mission
Through research, skill development and advanced study of public organizations, politics and the law, the Master of Public Administration program strives to enhance the effectiveness of public employees and aspiring public employees for work in government, non-profit and private, government-contracting organizations.

Goals
Through offering the Master of Public Administration, the recognized professional degree in public administration, the program seeks to:

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Master of Public Administration
The Master of Public Administration degree requires 36 credit hours of course work and six credits of internship. The internship is not required of "in-service" students, those presently employed or recently employed in a substantive position in the public sector. Applicants with strong undergraduate preparation that complements or duplicates elements of the program may be exempted from certain courses or have some of the required credits waived. In no case, however, may a student take less than 30 credit hours of academic course work, exclusive of the internship. After careful review of the student's record, the program coordinator will determine if courses or credits will be waived.

The curriculum consists of a common component, a concentration and a capstone course. The common curriculum enables students to function effectively in the public and non-profit sectors. Students will learn concepts of organization, public management, human resource administration, program and policy evaluation, budgeting, and relevant law. There are two defined concentrations: public sector communication and management in international nongovernmental organization. In addition, students may design an individualized concentration in consultation with the coordinator. For students taking the MPA program at the Roanoke Center for Higher Education the department has created a concentration in public and nonprofit management.

The individualized concentration may draw upon courses in other graduate programs at JMU and graduate courses offered by other accredited institutions, including online courses. Students should be aware, however, that the The Graduate School's policy allows no more than one-half of the credit hours of transferred course work to count toward a student's graduate degree, with no more than nine credit hours transferred from institutions other than JMU. Any transfer courses require the approval of the public administration coordinator.

In addition to a concentration, students who do not have a significant professional work background in administration/management are expected to complete a supervised internship with a public or non-profit agency. The internship will support the student's concentration.

Successful performance on a comprehensive examination is required of all candidates for the M.P.A. degree. Information concerning the comprehensive examination can be obtained from the coordinator of the M.P.A. program.

All students must take the program capstone course in their final spring semester of study. The capstone emphasizes professional and ethical application of core public management competencies. Course work includes a structured, individualized practicum project demonstrating technical knowledge and understanding of organizational, political and social contexts.

A student admitted to the program must seek advice from the program coordinator before registering for classes. The coordinator will also assist the student in planning the degree program, taking into account the nature of the student's undergraduate preparation and professional experience, if any.

Students in the Master of Education program may minor in political science by completing 12 hours of political science or public administration courses.

Master of Public Administration Degree Requirements

Core Curriculum
Credit Hours
PUAD 505. Research Design for Policy Evaluation
3
PUAD 512. Seminar in Intergovernmental Relations
3
PUAD 515. Legal Environment of Public Administration
3
PUAD 606. Program Evaluation in Public Administration
3
PUAD 620. Seminar in the Politics of the Administrative Process
3
PUAD 625. Seminar in Public Management Issues
3
PUAD 630. Seminar in Public Personnel Administration
3
PUAD 641. Public Budgeting
3
Internship (choose one)
6
     PUAD 696. Internship in Public Administration
     PUAD 697. Internship in NGO Management
Concentration course work
9
Choose one (details below):
     Public Sector Communication
     Management in International Nongovernmental Organizations1
     Public and Nonprofit Management2
     Individualized Concentration
Capstone Course
3
     PUAD 692. Public Administration Capstone

Total Credit Hours
42

Concentration (choose one)
Public Sector Communication Concentration

Required Courses
Credit Hours
WRTC 510. Seminar in Technical and Scientific Communication
3
WRTC 530. Research Methods in Technical and Scientific
3
     Communication
Choose one of four:
3
     WRTC 540. Technical and Scientific Editing
     WRTC 625. Government Writing
     WRTC 640. Proposal and Grant Writing
     WRTC 650. Electronic and Online Publication

 
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Management in International Nongovernmental Organizations1

Required Courses
Credit Hours
Choose three:
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     PUAD 650. Management in International Nongovernmental Organizations
     PUAD/MBA 651. The International Non-Profit Sector
     PUAD 652. Politics of International NGOs
     PUAD 653. Ethics and International NGOs

 
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1 This concentration is only available in summer session as part of the Management in International Nongovernmental Organizations Certificate Program. Students wishing to qualify for a certificate must complete all four courses and, if they have no experience working in nongovernmental organizations, PUAD 697.

Public and Nonprofit Management2

Required Courses
Credit Hours
PUAD 571. Public Financial Management
3
PUAD 573. Economic and Community Development
3
PUAD 662. Governance and Nonprofit Organizations
3

 
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2 This concentration is presently only available to students in the MPA satellite program at the Roanoke Higher Education Center.

Individualized Concentration

Required Courses
Credit Hours
Three graduate courses selected in consultation with the
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     M.P.A. coordinator

 
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Five-Year Degree Program
The five-year plan offers a program for the JMU undergraduate that, if the student performs satisfactorily, leads to the M.P.A. in five years – four undergraduate years and one graduate year of study. The five-year M.P.A. requires 30 graduate credits in academic course work. A student interested in the five-year M.P.A. should meet with the M.P.A. coordinator early in the sophomore year and complete a Five-Year Degree Application. At this time, the student and the M.P.A. coordinator will adopt a plan of study for the next three years. The plan will include a schedule of public administration courses and the choice of a concentration. The concentration should be tailored to support the student's career goals. The plan is tentative and may be modified by the student with the permission of the M.P.A. coordinator. The student should meet with the M.P.A. coordinator periodically to review the plan and modify it as appropriate.

Students entering the five-year M.P.A. program are not required to major in public administration as undergraduates; they may major in any field. However, they are required to complete the public administration courses listed below while undergraduates and will be required to complete six to nine hours of graduate credit while still undergraduates. Students wishing to continue in the program must earn a 3.0 grade point average or better in the undergraduate courses and no less than a "B" (not a "B-") grade in graduate courses taken in the senior undergraduate year.

In addition, the undergraduate student may take one or more courses in his/her chosen area of concentration, earning a 3.0 grade point average or better. The student should do sufficient work in the area of concentration to qualify for graduate courses in that chosen area. Graduate work done in the area of concentration may include 500- level courses subject to the constraint that at least half of the student's total course load should be numbered 600 or higher.

The student must formally apply for acceptance into the graduate M.P.A. program during the spring of his or her junior year. A five-year program student must begin the program in the fall semester. The student must submit a transcript of all courses taken at James Madison University and other colleges and universities. The student must also submit Graduate Record Examination or Graduate Management Admission Test scores for review. The student may also submit recommendations from two James Madison University faculty members. The M.P.A. admissions committee will not act on an application until the committee receives a completed application. The completed application includes a grade point average of 3.0 or above for all undergraduate courses required for acceptance into the five-year program.

Acceptance into the five-year program is conditional. The student must receive acceptable GRE or GMAT scores and earn a "B" or higher in each of the graduate courses taken during the student's fourth year of undergraduate study.

Five-Year Recommended Schedule

Undergraduate Curriculum
Credit Hours
First or Sophomore Year
GPOSC 225. U.S. Government
4
PPA 265. Public Administration
3
Sophomore Year
POSC 295. Research Methods
4
Sophomore or Junior Year
POSC 302. State and Local Government
3
PPA 381. Budgetary Process
3
Junior Year
MGT 365. Human Resource Management
3
Junior or Senior Year
PPA 412. Seminar in Intergovernmental Relations
3
PPA 415. Legal Environment of Public Administration
3

 
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Concentration
3 or more
     The student should do sufficient work in the area of concentration to qualify
     for graduate courses in that chosen area (see individual concentration listings
     for specific credit information).


Total Undergraduate Credits
29 or more

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Taking Courses as an Undergraduate
Undergraduate students nearing completion of their undergraduate degrees may take up to nine hours of graduate course work during their senior year after being fully accepted to The Graduate School in the usual manner.

The graduate credits do not count toward the undergraduate degree or toward any undergraduate major or minor. Thus, the student must meet all requirements for the undergraduate degree without counting these courses (at least 120 credit hours must remain on the undergraduate transcript after this transfer of credit). In addition, 12 hours of undergraduate course work must remain on the undergraduate transcript for each semester, if the student received full undergraduate financial aid. A Transfer of Credit form will need to be completed by the student and his or her M.P.A. coordinator after courses are taken.

The form must be submitted to The Graduate School in order to transfer graduate credits to the student's graduate transcript. Written permission to take graduate courses must be obtained from the M.P.A. coordinator and the dean of The Graduate School prior to enrollment. The student should apply for permission during the junior year. The student should complete the following three courses.

Graduate Credit Requirements

Fourth Year Graduate Credit
Credit Hours
Fall of Senior Year
PUAD 620. Seminar in the Politics of the Administrative Process
3
PUAD 641. Public Budgeting
3
Spring of Senior Year
PUAD 625. Seminar in Public Management Issues
3

Total Graduate Credits
9

Fifth Year Graduate Credit
Credit Hours
Fall of Fifth Year
PUAD 505. Research Design for Policy Evaluation
3
PUAD 630. Seminar in Public Personnel Administration
3
Two graduate courses in the student's concentration
6
Spring of Fifth Year
 
PUAD 606. Program Evaluation in Public Administration
3
PUAD 692. Public Administration Capstone
3
One graduate course in the student's concentration
3

 
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Total Graduate Credits
30

Internship
Summer of Fifth Year
Credit Hours
PUAD 696. Internship in Public Administration
6


Total Graduate Credits
36

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Certificate in the Management of International Non-Governmental Organizations
Globalization has prompted a rapid expansion in the number of international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) committed to economic development, relief, environmental issues, human rights and the advocacy of a variety of political and social causes. This growth creates employment opportunities for students trained in a variety of fields including social work, health sciences, business, political science, international affairs, education and applied technologies. Those attracted to employment in international NGOs have seldom had exposure to their distinctive work environments or training in the management of such organizations. In particular, students tend to be trained in job-specific and transferable skills in courses that assume work is conducted within the United States. The Certificate in the Management of International Non-Governmental Organizations, an innovative and intensive course of study, offers students the opportunity to examine how international NGOs are affected by changes in the operating context. Over the course of this program, students will become more familiar with the distinctive features of these organizations, their managerial challenges, their social and political environments, their economic dynamics, and the values they seek to realize.

An intensive summer curriculum involves students in a case-based pedagogy requiring them to apply various principles in scenarios central to international non-governmental management. This focused program of 40 weekly contact hours delivers 12 credit hours of instruction in four weeks during JMUs first four-week summer session (mid-May to mid-June). This course work will be followed by a six-credit internship with an international non-governmental organization, thus generating an 18-credit certificate delivered entirely over the summer.

Internships are conducted from mid-June through mid-August and require 300 hours of work. Prior to the summer, the programs internship coordinator assists students with identifying internship opportunities and approves proposed internships. Because internships will not be available in Harrisonburg, students must be prepared to move to cities elsewhere in the U.S. and abroad to do the internship. Approved internships may be paid or unpaid. The NGO internship combines experiential learning with directed readings and research in which students explore issues from the earlier four courses in more detail and in a manner relevant to the nature of the internship. The internship is not required of students presently employed or recently employed by an international NGO in a substantive position.

Requirements
Credit Hours
PUAD 650. Management in International Nongovernmental
3
     Organizations
MBA/PUAD 651. The International Non-Profit Sector
3
PUAD 652. The Politics of International NGO Management
3
PUAD 653. Ethics and International NGOs
3
PUAD 697. Internship in NGO Management
6

 
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Financial Assistance
A limited number of graduate assistantships are available on a competitive basis. Assistantships are limited to nine paid graduate hours of tuition each fall and spring semester. Students must pay for any additional hours each semester at the tuition rate based on residency status.

All relevant regulations in the undergraduate and graduate catalogs are applicable.

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Further Information
Please contact:
     Dr. Gary R. Kirk, M.P.A. Coordinator
     E-Mail: kirkgr@jmu.edu

     Dr. Charles H. Blake, INGO Management Certificate Coordinator
     E-Mail: blakech@jmu.edu

     Dr. Charles H. Blake, Chair, Political Science Department
     E-Mail: blakech@jmu.edu

     Political Science Department, MSC 1101
     James Madison University
     Harrisonburg, VA 28807
     (540) 568-6149 or (540) 568-6031
     Web site: http://www.jmu.edu/polisci/masterpublicadmin.html

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Course Offerings
Public Administration
PUAD 505. Research Design for Policy Evaluation. 3 credits.
Application of social science methodology to program and policy evaluation. Research design and data collection, as well as planning techniques, are covered.

PUAD 512. Seminar in Intergovernmental Relations. 3 credits.
Intensive examination of the dynamics of the federal system including the political, administrative and fiscal relationships among the various American governments. Grant writing will be addressed.

PUAD 515. Legal Environment of Public Administration. 3 credits.
Study of the constraints imposed on public administrators by law and judicial oversight. The course will address federal and state constitutions, judicial review, organizational and personal legal accountability, personnel law, and procurement law.

PUAD 571. Public Financial Management. 3 credits.
Explores financial management in public and nonprofit organizations by examining cash, debt, and investment management; risk assessment; capital projects and budgeting. Financial reporting, financial statements, and auditing will also be considered as accountability and internal control mechanisms.

PUAD 573. Economic and Community Development. 3 credits.
Study of the theory and practice of economic development and community planning. Topics include human capital development, infrastructure development, regionalism, public-private partnerships.

PUAD 583. Emerging Issues in Public Administration. 3 credits.
A detailed, research-oriented study of an emerging issue in public administration. The course will examine new or emerging topics in the public administration profession with extensive readings and research focused on the contemporary academic and professional literatures. The course may be repeated for credit with a change in subject matter. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

PUAD 606. Program Evaluation in Public Administration. 3 credits.
Application of systematic analysis to program and policy evaluation. Students will complete a computer-assisted research project. Prerequisite: PUAD 505 or permission of instructor.

PUAD 620. Seminar in the Politics of the Administrative Process. 3 credits.
A study of public administration as part of the political process. Includes administration and politics, organizational structure and behavior, and patterns of management and decision making. Serves as the introductory course to the Master of Public Administration program.

PUAD 625. Seminar in Public Management Issues. 3 credits.
A study of contemporary issues and problems facing the public manager. Contemporary management systems, techniques and devices will be discussed and case studies will be extensively used.

PUAD 630. Seminar in Public Personnel Administration. 3 credits.
An inquiry to systems of employment found in United States governments and nonprofit organizations, the issues these systems raise for democracy, and the Constitutional and legal framework within which they operate.

PUAD 641. Public Budgeting. 3 credits.
Public budgeting practices and skills with an emphasis on the federal budget process. Topics include politics of the budget process, budget types and analytic techniques for budgeting.

PUAD 650. Management of International Nongovernmental Organizations. 3 credits.
Study of management of non-governmental (NGO) organizations in international settings. Through readings, case studies and exercises, the course explores NGO governance, acquisition and management of resources, program management, performance measurement and accountability. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

PUAD/MBA 651. The International Non-Profit Sector. 3 credits.
Introduces the non-economics graduate student to an economic perspective on non-profit organizations with regard to diverse international systemic environments. The conjunction of economics with political, institutional, ethical and sociological elements will provide the student with a comprehensive understanding of the central nature of economics to development. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

PUAD 652. Politics of International NGOs. 3 credits.
An examination of how changes in the political context provide distinctive challenges to international non-governmental organizations. The emphasis is on improving the ability of managers and service providers to adjust their organizations decisions and operations in response to differences in national and subnational political dynamics. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

PUAD 653. Ethics and International NGOs. 3 credits.
This course studies the ethical issues posed by international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in both theory and practice. Emphasis will be placed on the contemporary humanitarian enterprise, on the ethical considerations it raises, and on analytical and normative tools for addressing these concerns. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

PUAD 662. Governance and Nonprofit Organizations. 3 credits.
Study of the structure, functions and composition of nonprofit boards and their relationship to organization management and performance. Explore the fiduciary, strategic and generative governance roles of boards and common problems associated with nonprofit governance. Assess proposals to improve board performance and accountability.

PUAD 697. Internship in NGO Management. 3 credits.
A supervised professional administrative experience with a non-governmental organization. Requires 300 hours of work. Assigned readings, reports and a research paper are also required. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

PUAD 680. Reading and Research. 3 credits.
Under faculty supervision, independent study of a specialized area of public administration. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

PUAD 683. Special Topics in Public Administration. 3 credits.
A detailed study of a selected area in public administration. May be repeated with a change in subject matter. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

PUAD 692. Public Administration Capstone. 3 credits.
This capstone course, required of all graduate public administration students in their final spring semester, emphasizes professional and ethical application of core public management competencies. Course work includes a structured, individualized practicum project demonstrating technical knowledge and understanding of organizational, political and social contexts. Prerequisite: Open to students who have completed 24 graduate credit hours or are entering their final spring semester in the MPA program.

PUAD 696. Internship in Public Administration. 3-6 credits.
Supervised professional administrative experience with a public or non-profit agency. Credit for 200 or 400 hours of work is three or six credits. Assigned readings, reports and a research paper are required. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

PUAD 698. Comprehensive Continuance. 1 credit.
Continued preparation in anticipation of the comprehensive examination. Course may be repeated as needed.

Political Science
POSC 561/HIST 561. Seminar in Marxist-Leninist Theory. 3 credits.
A study of the most significant ideas concerning politics, society, economics and philosophy which have shaped Communism and Marxist varieties of socialism.

POSC 680. Reading and Research. 3 credits.
This course offers the individual student the opportunity for reading and research under faculty supervision in the areas of public and non-profit administration that are of special interest to the student.

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