2014 – 2015
Office of Graduate Studies
McKelvie Hall, 102 W. Rosedale Avenue
West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383
Revised June 2018
1160 McDermott Drive, Suite 101
West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383
Dr. Osgood, Chairperson and M.P.A. Program Director
R. Lorraine Bernotsky, D. Phil., University of Oxford
Mark W. Davis, M.P.A., Indiana University
Susan R. Fiorentino, J.D., Villanova University
Jeffery L. Osgood, Jr., Ph.D., University of Louisville
Jeremy N. Phillips, Ph.D., Southern Illinois University-Carbondale
Allison H. Turner, University of Louisville
Michelle L. Wade, Ph.D., Southern Illinois University-Carbondale
The Department of Public Policy and Administration offers the master of public administration (M.P.A.). The M.P.A. is a professional degree with areas of concentration in general public administration, human resource management, and nonprofit administration. In addition, graduate certificates, which can be coupled with the M.P.A., are offered in health-care administration, sport management and athletics, and urban and regional planning.
The degree is designed to equip students with the skills necessary to enhance the field of public service through positions both inside and outside government in the nonprofit and even private sector, e.g., as consultants to governmental organizations or as governmental service providers. The M.P.A. curriculum provides students with a foundation in the practice of public administration. Beyond that, students earning the degree will possess a high level of competency in administrative processes for the public and nonprofit sectors.
The curriculum is designed for individuals with professional work experience who want to enhance their administrative and public management skills, as well as preservice students who do not have professional experience. Students who lack work experience will incorporate a relevant internship or other job experiences into their programs.
The application is available online at www.wcupa.edu/grad/. Students should submit the following materials to the Office of Graduate Studies:
This concentration is designed for individuals who want to enhance their knowledge of personnel administration. It is appropriate both for people interested in human resources management as a career as well as for operations managers who want to enhance their supervisory skills in employee assessment, placement, evaluation, and development.
This concentration is designed for those who want to enhance their knowledge of nonprofit administration. It is appropriate for individuals pursuing careers in a wide range of nonprofit fields and is intended to provide a core set of skills and knowledge for people who desire to enhance their management and supervisory skills within the context of a nonprofit organization.
This concentration focuses on public-sector management at the local and regional levels. It is appropriate for managers and officials from local, county, and regional government bodies who desire to enhance their general management skills as well as gain insight into public policy issues of particular concern to these officials. See “Political Science” for further information and course descriptions.
The certificate in administration is designed for persons who desire to enhance their management and supervisory skills. To earn the certificate, students must complete the 18-semester hour administration core with a minimum grade of “B” in each course. Those interested in the certificate option must follow and meet the same admissions criteria as master’s degree students.
Degree students also may apply for the certificate after completing the administration core requirements with a minimum grade of “B” for each course.
Administration core (18 semester hours)
PPA 500, 501, 502, 503, 504, 505
The certificate in human resources management is designed for graduate students who want to enhance their skills and knowledge in the area of human resources. Students may earn the certificate by completing each of the following human resources management courses with a minimum grade of B in each: PPA 504, 550, 551, 552, 553, and 554.
Degree students in the M.P.A. human resources concentration are eligible for the certificate after completing the stated requirements.
Individuals with a bachelor’s degree may pursue the certificate independent of the full M.P.A. Such applicants must apply under the professional growth admissions category and must meet all the admissions requirements required for the M.P.A.
The certificate in nonprofit administration is designed for those who desire to enhance their management and supervisory skills within the context of a nonprofit organization.
To earn the certificate, students must complete the 18-semester-hour nonprofit administration core and six semester hours of nonprofit administration electives (PPA 530, 531, 533, 535, and two electives taken under advisement) with a minimum grade of “B” in each course.
Degree students also may apply for the certificate after completing the administration core requirements with a minimum grade of “B” for each course. Arrangements and requirements are to be confirmed in writing.
*Capstone Seminar will serve as an elective for the certificate and a required core course for the M.P.A.
**Required for students without sufficient professional work experience; see the department chair for advisement.
500 Foundations of Public Service (3) Introduces students to the practice and discipline of public administration and the values of public service. Special emphasis is placed on the concepts of pursuing the public interest with accountability and transparency; serving professionally with competence, efficiency, and objectivity; acting ethically to uphold the public trust; and demonstrating respect, equity, and fairness in dealings with citizens and fellow public servants. Students also are introduced to the ethics of public administration and nonprofit organizations.
501 Research Methods in Public Administration (3) Application of the logic of scientific methodology and research design construction to the practice and discipline of public administration. Emphasizes hypothesis development and testing, data collection, measurement problems, and theory application.
502 Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation (3) This course introduces students to the practice of policy analysis and program evaluation. Emphasis is placed on the applied nature of both. Students are introduced to both quantitative and qualitative methods of evaluation.
503 Public Budgeting and Finance (3) This course introduces students to the principles and procedures of public budgeting and finance. Emphasis is placed on the budgeting process.
504 Public Human Resource Management (3) This course introduces students to human resource management in the public and nonprofit sectors. Topics include federal and state employment laws, job analysis, recruitment and selection, performance evaluation, compensation and benefits, training and development, labor-management relations, and human resource information technology.
505 Public Sector Organization Theory (3) This course introduces students to the study of organization theory within the context of the public sector. Issues of organization design and effectiveness are explored. Schools of thought include classical, neoclassical, human resources, modern structural, organizational culture, and open-systems theory.
510 Topics in Public Administration (3) Intensive study of selected topics in public administration current to students’ interests and needs. This course may be taken again for credit.
511 Technologies for Public Administrators (3) This course introduces students to the technologies of public policy and administration. Topics include e-government (web-based service delivery), computer software and networks, geographic information systems, and web presence.
512 Communications for Public Administrators (3) Development of communication skills for the effective writing of letters, memos, reports, and proposals. The course will survey communication issues specific to public and nonprofit management.
513 Administrative Law (3) A survey of the legal environment of public administration. Topics include the development of and trends in administrative law, including the rights, duties, and liabilities of public officials.
514 American Public Policy (3) Survey of literature, examination of approaches, and discussions of concepts and issues in the field of American politics and policy processes.
530 Topics in Nonprofit Administration (3) Intensive study of selected topics in nonprofit administration that are current to students’ interests and needs. This course may be taken again for credit.
531 Foundations in Nonprofit Administration (3) Introduces students to the practice of nonprofit administration. Core functions of the field are surveyed including financial and organizational management, role of boards, and strategic planning.
532 Grant Writing (3) Art of grant writing via proposal development processes. Targeting proposals to public, private, and nonprofit agencies.
533 Nonprofit Fund-Raising Essentials (3) Emphasizes the concepts and tools necessary for understanding the fund-raising process. Topics include relationship building, the solicitation process, specific fund-raising strategies, and ethical considerations.
534 Nonprofit Program Evaluation and Assessment (3) Examines performance measurement and outcomes assessment as they relate to managing nonprofit organizations. An emphasis will be placed on the assessment process and closing the loop by incorporating assessment outcomes into decision making and planning.
535 Strategic Management for Nonprofit Organizations (3) This course is an advanced management course in the nonprofit concentration of the M.P.A. degree program and is designed to prepare students for a career in executive management in public-sector organizations. The course examines the overall concepts of management and strategy in nonprofit and government settings, and the role of board and executive leadership in providing strategic direction for the organization. The course examines topics of special importance in the governance and strategic management of public sector organizations, including organization development, board leadership, strategic planning, human resource management, organizational performance and effectiveness, and marketing.
550 Topics in Human Resources Management (3) Intensive study of selected topics in human resource management that are current to students’ interests and needs. This course may be taken again for credit.
551 Staffing and Development (3) Examines all legal and regulatory factors affecting staff selection and development. Includes all applicable federal laws and practices as well as employee orientation, training, and development.
552 Employee Relations (3) Emphasizes employee relationships with management, particularly in a nonunion environment. Covers issues such as policy formulation, compliant systems, employee rights, performance appraisals, employee morale and motivation, and factors affecting employee health, safety, and security.
553 Labor Relations (3) Analyzes labor-management relationships, particularly with respect to federal laws and regulations, administration of labor contracts, mediation, and arbitration processes. Incorporates all legal aspects of collective bargaining as well as related practices, and strategies of negotiation, unfair labor practices, and the management of organization-union relations.
554 Compensation Analysis and Benefits Planning (3) Examines the legal and regulatory factors affecting compensation and benefits administration within the public and nonprofit sectors. Reviews compensation philosophies and economic factors affecting pay plans, as well as the type and characteristics of specific compensation and benefits programs.
600 Capstone Seminar in Public Administration (3) This course integrates knowledge from the curriculum and uses it to demonstrate mastery of required competencies to complete a directed research project. Students will also submit their required competencies assessment portfolio.
601 Public Policy and Administration Internship (3) Intensive field placement in a public sector or nonprofit organization through faculty guidance and supervision. Students will be required to complete a project as part of their internship.
602 Professional Seminar in Public Administration (3) This course is designed to provide students with an equivalent experience to that of an internship in the public sector. Students will interact with practicing public administrators and nonprofit professionals on a weekly basis and engage in assigned case study readings focused on the practice of public administration. Students are required to spend an intensive two- to three-day period of time with a selected public-sector or nonprofit organization. Lastly, as a class, students will complete a public service project over the course of a semester. Students are strongly encouraged to take the internship, and enrollment in this course requires the permission of the program director.