The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program is designed to prepare students for managerial careers in the public and not-for-profit sectors of the economy. The MPA has been designed to meet the needs of full-time employees wishing to earn their degree through part-time study. Students in the program will take a core of seven courses in order to increase their understanding of administrative theory, policy making, data analysis, public budgeting and finance, and human resource management.
Additionally, each student will select one of three program tracks, which specify the remaining course work in their program. The student may choose from specialized tracks in public management, healthcare administration, and public safety.
Student Learning Outcomes
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the underlying concepts and principles of public administration and the ability to evaluate and interpret them in the context of the Texas Coastal Bend community, the state and the nation;
- Demonstrate the ability to interpret, evaluate and present qualitative and quantitative data, develop lines of argument and make sound judgments in accordance with theories and concepts of public administration;
- Evaluate the appropriateness of policy and management options related to the public sectors and communicate results accurately, reliably and with structured coherent arguments;
- Conduct and implement budgeting operations, policy and program analysis; and
- Value lifelong learning in order to develop new skills within a public management environment.
In addition to the admission requirements outlined for graduate programs, the MPA program requires the following:
- Transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work undertaken from regionally accredited universities.
- Two letters of evaluation from individuals such as professors and employers attesting to the applicant’s potential for success in a graduate program of study. Letters of evaluation should specifically address the applicant’s potential for a successful career and motivation for graduate study.
- A 300-500 word essay describing work experience, educational goals, professional goals, languages spoken and any other material that would be relevant. The essay should also address the reasons and motivations for seeking an MPA degree.
- A full resume.
Applicants accepted into the program must develop an initial degree plan that is approved by the MPA Coordinator. The student then will be assigned a faculty advisor.
The Admission Decision
Basing their decision on the information contained in all items listed above, the MPA committee will unconditionally admit, conditionally admit, or deny admission to the MPA program. Only complete applications are evaluated. For full consideration of admission and scholarships, a completed admissions packet must be received by April 15th for Fall semester admissions; by October 15th for Spring admissions. For unconditional admission, applicants must be a graduate of a regionally accredited university or, if an international student, have the equivalent of a U.S. accredited degree as determined by the Dean of Graduate Studies. Applicants must have an overall grade point average (GPA) of no less than 3.0 on 4-point scale. Applicants with less than a 3.0 GPA may be conditionally admitted to the program if the graduate admissions committee determines that the student’s other application materials compensate for the deficient GPA.
Applicants who lack certain requirements for unconditional admission may be accepted in the conditional admission category. Those approved for conditional admission are required, during their first nine semester hours of work toward the degree, to earn a “B” or better in PADM 5301 ; PADM 5302 ; and PADM 5311 . To earn unconditional admission in the MPA program, the student must earn a grade of at least “B” in each of the three courses without earning a grade of “C” or lower. Failure to attain a grade of “B” or higher in each of these courses, or to successfully complete all program basic proficiency requirements, will result in enforced withdrawal from the program. In special circumstances, the Admissions Subcommittee may also make conditional admission contingent on other additional requirements as it sees fit. Any additional requirements will be specified in writing to the student.
This category includes students who may enroll in graduate coursework to meet personal or career goals and seek a Graduate Certificate in a specialized field of Public Administration. These admission criteria are addressed in the Graduate Certificate in Public Administration section.
This category includes students who may enroll in graduate coursework to meet personal or career goals. For the MPA program, students in this category will be restricted to enrolling only in the MPA core courses.
During the first semester after qualifying for acceptance into the MPA program, a degree plan should be developed for approval by the Graduate Coordinator. The degree plan should be prepared by the student in consultation with the advisor and indicate the course work required for conferral of the MPA degree, including any basic proficiencies (see below) and internship hours where appropriate.
At the discretion of the MPA Graduate Coordinator, applicants lacking the basic proficiencies described above or public sector experience may be required to complete up to 12 semester hours of upper-level undergraduate credit before being admitted to the program.
- Statistics: Students who have not successfully completed a college statistics course must do so in their first semester in the MPA program. Students lacking an undergraduate statistics course can meet this requirement through successful (“B” or better) completion of an approved course in statistics. See your advisor to determine an appropriate course to meet your needs. This basic statistics requirement is in addition to the 36 semester hour program of graduate courses leading to the MPA.
- Writing Competency: Students must demonstrate a minimum writing ability suitable to graduate work early in their course work toward the MPA. Competency will be assessed through a brief composition test. Students judged deficient in writing skills can meet this requirement through successful (“B” or better) completion of an approved composition course. See your advisor to determine an appropriate course to meet your needs. This basic writing requirement is in addition to the 36 hour program of graduate courses leading to the MPA.
- Computer Literacy: Students must provide evidence of computer literacy during their first semester in the MPA program. This can be done through evidence of successful (“B” or better) completion of a basic undergraduate computer skills course, or through documentation of significant practical work experience with computer software packages. See your advisor to determine an appropriate course to meet your needs. This basic computer literacy requirement is in addition to the 36 hour program of graduate courses leading to the MPA.
The Master of Public Administration degree requires a minimum of 36 hours of graduate academic course work.
MPA Seven Required Courses (21 sem. hrs.)
Each student must successfully complete:
In addition to the seven courses above, each student must successfully complete one of the following specific program tracks:
Health Care Administration Track
Students who elect a focus on health care administration will take, in addition to the core, the five following courses:
Public Management Track
Students who choose this broad and general preparation will take, in addition to the core:
Five public management courses (15 sem. hrs.)
Public Safety Track
Students who elect a focus on public safety within the MPA program will take, in addition to the core:
Five public safety courses (15 sem. hrs.) selected from the following
Successful completion of the MPA degree involves the following conditions:
- Completion of all 36 semester hours for graduation within a seven-year time period. The 36 semester hours must be those specified in an approved degree plan.
- Completion of 24 of the required 36 semester hours in residence at this university. Only 12 semester hours may be transferred from accredited institutions. No grade of “C” or lower may be transferred. No correspondence courses may be transferred at the graduate level. Credit from a degree earned at another institution will not be applied to a second master’s degree at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
- The student must maintain a graduate grade point average of 3.0 in all courses in the approved MPA degree plan or accepted by approved waiver, and in all graduate work taken at this university. Students receiving more than two grades of “C” in their coursework will be terminated from the program.
- The student is making satisfactory academic progress if courses identified on the degree plan are being completed and a grade point average of 3.0 is maintained. Satisfactory progress is also reflected by a return to a grade point average of 3.0 or higher for students who had been placed on scholastic probation.
- Students should apply for graduation early in the term in which they intend to complete their final semester credits.
- Successful completion of the capstone course, PADM 5365 - Seminar in Public Administration - Capstone , in the last term prior to graduation. All MPA core courses must have been completed before the capstone course is taken.
Certificates in Public Administration
Graduate Academic Certificate Programs In Public Administration
- Role of Academic Certificate Programs in Public Administration at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi
The Public Administration Program at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi offers academic certificate programs for graduate credit. The graduate academic certificates enhance existing bachelor’s or master’s degrees in ways that will make Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi a life-long center of graduate education for the citizens of Texas, the nation, and the world.
The Public Administration graduate credit certificate programs are an option for individuals who do not need a master’s degree, or who wish to combine a specialization in public administration with master’s degree they have already earned or will earn. Students may want to earn certificates in public administration in order to enhance their careers with government and/or non-profit organizations.
- Application Process
Students applying for graduate certificate programs in public administration must submit the following:
- A Texas Uniform Application for Graduate School for Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
- Official undergraduate and/or graduate transcripts
- Two letters of evaluation attesting to the applicant’s potential for success in this program of study.
- A two page statement explaining the student’s reasons for applying
- Admission Standards
Students applying to Certificate programs have the same admissions requirements as for those applying for admission to the MPA Degree. This includes those that have been accepted into another regionally accredited graduate studies program or have received a graduate degree. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi graduate students outside the MPA program may apply for admission into the certificate program if they have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and if they submit the following:
- Current graduate transcripts
- Application for Admission Form for Certificate Program
- Brief essay outlining reason for seeking admission into the program
- General Prerequisites for the Graduate Certificate
- Writing Competency: Students must demonstrate a minimum writing ability suitable to graduate work early in their course work toward the graduate certificate in. Students must have completed ENGL 3301, Technical and Professional Writing, or ENGL 5376 , Professional Writing, or equivalent course before being admitted into the program. Writing competency will be assessed by the student essay submitted during the application process and by a review of the student transcripts. Students judged deficient in writing skills can meet this requirement through successful (“B” or better) completion of an approved composition course. This basic writing requirement is in addition to the 15 hour program of graduate courses leading to the certificate.
- Political Science Competency: Students must have a basic understanding of U.S. government and politics. Thus, students must have completed POLS 2305, U.S. Government and Politics or its equivalent in the past five years before being admitted into this program.
At the discretion of the Program Coordinator, applicants lacking the basic proficiencies described above may be required to complete up to 9 semester hours of upper-level undergraduate credit before being admitted to the program.
After earning the Certificate, if students wish to continue taking credit hours they must change their status to seeking an MPA degree so they can continue registering in graduate public administration courses.
Current Certificate Program offered by the MPA program is “Homeland Security.”
Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security
The Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security is designed to educate students using an all-hazards emergency management model and is meant to prepare future public administration professionals to cope with all natural, accidental and man made hazards. Upon successful completion of this program, students will:
- Demonstrate an understanding of mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery strategies for a broad range of natural hazards, technological hazards, and terrorism.
- Design and modify plans and programs at federal, state, and/or local levels to reflect the evolving strategic policy issues associated with a statutory and presidential direction for homeland security.
- Analyze terrorist groups’ proclivities in order to forecast the risks, types, and orders of magnitude of terrorist threats most likely to confront the nation-state, our state and our region.
- Develop policies, procedures, and protocols to allow seamless agency integration from prevention to incident response and recovery scenarios.
- Recognize the multidisciplinary nature of homeland security functions and be able to assess and integrate various functional areas.
Homeland Security Core Classes (6 sem. hrs)
In addition to two core classes, students must also take three courses (9 semester hours) from any of the courses listed below:
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