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Master of Public Administration

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Ranked 6th and 14th in the nation by U.S. News and World Report in city management and urban policy and in public finance and budgeting, respectively, NIU’s M.P.A. program is an excellent choice for students looking to advance their careers in the field of public administration. These rankings outperform all other public and private institutions in Illinois, as well as many other schools nationwide, so it comes as no surprise that one-third of all city and county managers in Illinois are alumni of the program.

The M.P.A. degree program at NIU was one of the first to be fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), integrating both theory and practice into the course of study. Stressing both applied problem-solving and ethical administrative practices, and teaching skills that can be readily applied to a variety of work environments, the curriculum appeals to both pre-career students seeking entry-level management positions and mid-career executives wanting intellectual growth and career enhancement. Our program uses an executive format, meaning students take two eight-week classes at a time. This fosters intensive learning by allowing students to focus on fewer classes during a semester.

In addition to a public management core, students may choose from six different areas of specialization, according to their interests:

Students will gain an advanced capacity to assume a leadership role and use strategic management and collaborative processes that facilitate the mission of government and nonprofit organizations.

Course Requirements:

  • PSPA 650 – Leadership in Public Sector Organizations
  • PSPA 673 – Strategic Planning for Public Service Organizations
  • PSPA 695 – Internship in Public Sector Organizations

Two of the following:

  • PSPA 634 – New Governance
  • PSPA 655 – Organization Development in the Public Sector
  • PSPA 660 – Ethics and Public Service in America
  • PSPA 665 – Public Sector Innovation
  • PSPA 671 – Public Management in a Globalized Environment

Three semester hours of approved graduate study

Thorough study of government administration, focusing on the operations of local governments and the analysis of local government and metropolitan issues. The NIU M.P.A. program is ranked 6th nationally by U.S. News and World Report in city management and urban policy. Students entering local government management gain insight into the latest innovations in local government service delivery, collaborative management and relations with governing boards and the public. Gaining these skills provides opportunities to improve the quality of public service in communities across the country.

Course Requirements:

  • PSPA 630 – Local and Metropolitan Government
  • PSPA 632 – Local Government Administration
  • PSPA 695 – Internship in Public Sector Organizations

Two of the following:

  • PSPA 631 – Urban Planning and Zoning
  • PSPA 633 – Citizen Participation
  • PSPA 634 – New Governance
  • PSPA 635 – Local Economic Development Policy
  • PSPA 660 – Ethics and Public Service in America
  • PSPA 665 – Public Sector Innovation

Three semester hours of approved graduate study

A critical examination of techniques and problems in the areas of fiscal management, accountancy, budgetary policy and political economy.

Course Requirements:

  • PSPA 657X  Accounting for Public Administration
  • PSPA 653 – Intermediate Public and Nonprofit Financial Management
  • PSPA 695 – Internship in Public Administration

Six additional semester hours of approved graduate study

A study of the unique challenges posed by the administration of nonprofit organizations in both the domestic and global contexts, including communication and promotion, fundraising and grant writing, and intersectoral collaboration with public and private sectors.

Course Requirements:

  • PSPA 624 – Resources Management for Nonprofit Organizations
  • PSPA 626 – Non-Governmental Organizations and Governance
  • PSPA 695 – Internship in Public Administration

Six additional semester hours of approved graduate study

Through a study of public administration and management in a global context, students will gain an advanced capacity to assume a leadership role and use management skills to enhance the mission of government agencies and nongovernmental organizations in the U.S. and another country.

Students must demonstrate ability to advance in one or more of the specialization competencies with a set of four or more courses (equivalent to 12 semester hours) at a university outside the United States, approved in advance by the department.

  • Double Degree M.P.A. with Renmin University of China
  • Double Degree M.P.A. with Sun Yat-Set University
  • Double Degree M.P.A. with Khon Kaen University

A study of public administration and management in a legal context, students will gain an advanced capacity to assume a leadership role and use management skills to enhance the mission of government agencies and nongovernmental organizations as it relates to public law and management. This specialization requires students to be enrolled in the NIU law school and the M.P.A. program. The student must apply to both schools and complete the degrees simultaneously or have a law degree from a reputable university and apply to the M.P.A. program.

Students must be able to demonstrate ability to:

  • Lead and manage in public governance with legal insights,
  • Analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems and make decisions related to the legal issues of a public organization
  • Articulate and apply a public service perspective while serving in a public organization or a law firm that serves nonprofit, local, state and federal government agencies
  • Communicate, interact and provide a legal perspective within a diverse and changing citizenry.

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Contact Us

Department of Public Administration
IASBO Building (2nd Floor)
815-753-0183
publicadm@niu.edu
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