Saint Augustine’s University
Online Master of Public Administration Program
The Master of Public Administration (MPA) Program at Saint Augustine’s University (SAU) is a fully online practitioner-oriented program of study leading to an advanced degree. It is designed to provide career professionals with a rigorous program of study preparing them to serve in leadership roles as public administrators, public managers, and policy analysts with critical decision-making skills. Success in the field of public administration, public policy and management is based on developing critical thinking and analytical skills to diagnose problems, synthesize information, and choose among various competing policy options in the course of managing in a dynamic and ever-changing environment. Now, more than ever, we are seeing the critical role that government plays in the lives of citizens in the United States, and public administrators are at the forefront of this realization. The program of study prepares students for a variety of career options in a variety of governmental settings (state, federal, and local government administrative and management positions), as well as not-for-profit, private, and non-governmental organizations.
- A completed University application for admission.
- A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum of 2.5 overall GPA.
- 2 letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant’s ability to successfully complete graduate work.
- Official transcripts from each college/university attended (unofficial copies of transcripts can be submitted with the application).
- Two - four years of work experience with two years preferably at a supervisory or management level (experience requirement may be waived but the student would have to complete a 3-semester hour internship)
- Up to 9 credit hours of closely related work with a grade of B or better can be accepted.
The MPA uses rolling admissions. This means that we enroll students throughout the academic year.
Types of Admissions
Student admissions are separated into 3 different categories:
Unconditional Admission – Students admitted into the Master of Public Administration Program without condition or deficiencies and may enroll in any of the foundational courses. Students who receive transfer credit may register for any of the available courses on the advice of the program director. Most students start with the foundational courses and after completion, move on to the core program courses.
Conditional Admission – Students admitted in this category are accepted into the Master of Public Administration Program; however, on a conditional basis. As a practitioner-oriented program, the prospective student’s professional experience weighs heavily in admission decisions. In cases where the student’s undergraduate grade point average may be below the minimum requirement, but the student has a background and experience that indicates the potential for success, they may be admitted in a conditional status. Students in this category must earn a B or better in their first two courses in the program. By meeting this condition, students can be admitted unconditionally.
Probationary Admission - Student admitted into the Master of Public Administration Program but are placed on a probationary status. Students in this category demonstrate some potential for successfully completing the program but may lack the professional experience and may not meet the minimum undergraduate grade point average. The program director may place limits on the student’s course load in order to allow time for the student to become acclimated to the rigors of graduate study. Students in this category must earn a B or better in their first two courses in the program. By meeting this condition, students can be admitted unconditionally.
The Program operates in 8-week sessions throughout the academic year (there are six, 8-week terms/sessions).
Our program is designed to accept students regardless of their undergraduate degree background because we provide five (5) foundational courses that provide an understanding of the nature of public administration. After completing these courses, students move on to take remaining courses in the major areas of study.
- Total hours required – 36
- Students must complete 5 foundational courses (15 semester hours) before beginning the MPA core courses (18 semester hours)
- After completing the coursework, students must complete a graduate project and successful defend the project before a Graduate Project Committee.
15 semester hours of foundational courses
- MPA 501 Introduction to Public Administration
- MPA 502 Organizational Leadership and Behavior
- MPA 503 Economic Foundations
- MPA 504 Research Methods for Public Administration
- MPA 505 Public Organizational Behavior and Operations
MPA Core Courses
- MPA 601 Foundations of Public Administration
- MPA 602 Public Policy Analysis
- MPA 603 Public Budgeting
- MPA 604 Public Information Technology
- MPA 605 Management Systems
- MPA 606 Human Resource Management in the Public Sector
- MPA 607 Graduate Project
- MPA 608 Internship (for applicants who are admitted but do not meet the experience requirement)
Program Exit Requirements
- A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher in all coursework.
- Successfully completing a capstone graduate project.
The capstone graduate project is designed to reflect the student’s mastery of the program material and provide evidence of their ability to apply their learning in a real-world situation. The project is completed under the supervision of a faculty member and the completed project is presented and defended before a panel of MPA instructors. Grading for the project is pass/fail. Upon receiving a pass, the student qualifies for candidacy to receive the MPA degree.
The graduate project serves as the assessment point for program competencies.
As a practitioner-oriented program, the SAU Program uses highly placed, degree-qualified practitioners and terminally degreed faculty who have the breadth and depth of practical and scholarly experiences that will provide students with directly transferrable knowledge that translates into significant career advancement and mobility.
For further information, please contact the School of Graduate, Professional, and Extended Studies.
Tuition is $450 per credit hour (all program courses are 3 credit hours). There is administrative fee of $125.00 per session. The SAU MPA program is one of the most affordable advance degree programs in the region. It is designed to be a high-quality, affordably priced, fully online program of study leading to greater career and professional achievement. This makes our program one of the most desirable and practical advanced degree programs in the region.
Master of Public Administration (MPA) Course Descriptions
MPA Foundational Courses
MPA 501 - Introduction to Public Administration
This course explores the critical role that public administration plays in the American constitutional system of government. The course begins by considering the current state of public administration through the eyes of key stakeholders including politicians and citizens. We then set out to define the concept of public administration and describe the political/constitutional setting which frames its work. The administrative architecture used to carry out policy decisions at the national, state and local levels is described in detail. We also study the methods available to legislatures and courts to check the power of the bureaucracy, thereby ensuring the democratic accountability of public administrators. The course concludes with an assessment of the latest attempts to reform public administration and improve its performance. 3 credits
MPA 502 - Organizational Leadership and Behavior
Examines theories of leadership applied to the public and non-profit sectors and the skills and processes employed by effective leaders. The course also considers the special role of ethics, especially in the public domain. 3 credits
MPA 503 - Economic Foundations
This course uses economics to explore public and private sector roles, and the allocation of resources in the public sector. It introduces the concepts of public goods, market failure and externalities. The effects of taxation and subsidies on consumer and firm behavior are analyzed as well. 3 credits
MPA 504 Research Methods for Public Administration
This course is suitable both as an introduction to or extension of research methods education, primarily for graduate students and administrators who wish to understand the principles and methods used to conduct valid research. Our course work and text are oriented to the field of public administration and therefore built on examples and issues from the public sector. 3 credits
MPA 505 Public Organizational Behavior and Operations
This seminar surveys organizational theory and behavior and how it applies to public organizations. This course discusses theoretical frameworks that can be applied in the public sector. 3 credits
MPA Core Courses
MPA 601 Foundations of Public Administration
This course is an in-depth examination and analysis of the historical development of the field of public administration through the reading, study, and discussion of much of the original source literature which helped to shape the theory and practices of contemporary public administration in the United States, ranging from the late nineteenth century to the present. Based on these historical readings, the future of public administration is discussed and hypothesized. 3 credits
MPA 602 Public Policy Analysis
This course is an in-depth exploration of the theories and practices of public policy formulation, including the shaping of issues and debates, application of theory, and in-depth analysis of public policy decisions and their respective impacts upon government operations and American society in general. Various case studies on a wide range of issue will be presented, discussed, and analyzed. 3 credits.
MPA 603 Public Budgeting
This course views budgeting in a broad perspective providing a familiarity with the economic and political implications of public budgeting; the budgetary process; types and uses of budgetary data systems; and recent efforts to rethink budgetary techniques at the federal, state, and local levels in government. 3 credits.
MPA 604 Public Information Technology
This course is designed to acquaint MPA students with a scholarly and practical introduction to the application of information technology in the public sector. It places heavy emphasis on e-Government and the use of technology to enable business process management in public environments. 3 credits
MPA 605 Management Systems
The purpose of this course is to teach public service students about the field and practice of management and operations of results-based management systems in governmental and non-profit organizations. This course will emphasize applying the theoretical knowledge discussed in class to “real world” situations. 3 credits
MPA 606 Human Resource Management in the Public Sector
The purpose of this course is to teach public service students about the field and practice of human resources management. This course will emphasize applying the theoretical knowledge to real world scenarios to unlock the nature and environment of human resource management in the public sector. 3 credits
MPA 607 Graduate Project
The graduate project is designed to demonstrate the student’s mastery of the program material. It integrates the essential elements of the program and gives students an opportunity to use their understanding of public administration in a real-world setting. Essentially, the MPA Program consists of two parts: 1) Successfully completing all courses work, and 2) Successfully completing and defending a graduate project. 3 credits
MPA 608 Internship (If required. This course only applies for applicants who are admitted but do not meet the experience requirement)
The MPA Director will design an intern experience for students who do not minimum two-year professional work experience requirement. 3 credits