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Master of Public Administration Degree

JMU Graduate Catalog Entry for Public Administration

The Master of Public Administration degree requires 42 credit hours of course work including six credits of internship. The internship can be waived for "in-service" students, those presently employed or recently employed in a substantive position in the public sector. 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 nonprofit sectors. Students will learn concepts of organization, public management, human resource administration, program and policy evaluation, budgeting, and administrative law.

There are four defined concentrations: international stabilization and recovery operations, management of international nongovernmental organizations, nonprofit management, and public management. In addition, students may design an individualized concentration in consultation with the MPA director. The individualized concentration may draw upon courses in other graduate programs at JMU and graduate courses offered by other accredited institutions with approval from the MPA director.

In addition to a concentration, students who do not have a significant professional work background in administration are expected to complete a supervised internship with a public or nonprofit agency. The internship will support the student's concentration. All students must take the program capstone course in their final semester of study. The capstone emphasizes professional and ethical application and documentation of core public management competencies.

Students admitted to the program must seek advice from the MPA director before registering for classes. The director will also assist students in planning a program of study.

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