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Elective Courses

MPA students must take 18 credits of elective courses.

  • MPA 8100, Decision-Making: The study of the decision making behavior of individuals, work-groups, departments, and complex organizations. The securing of consistency, the coordinating of various planning units, and the economizing of planning efforts in regard to decision making will also be included.
  • MPA 8200, Strategic Communication: The study of the communication process within and among complex organizations and the listening, writing, and speaking skills needed to promote better relations among individuals and organizations.
  • *MPA 8300, Leadership Ethics: Examines assumptions implicit in various organizational designs and highlights the importance of fidelity to value- based decision-making.
  • MPA 8400, Strategic Planning: The study of strategic planning and strategic management with special emphasis upon planning models as well as planning functions.
  • MPA 8500, Effective City Management: Relating to community, working with the governing body, creating the organizational climate for excellence, overseeing the delivery of services, promoting the community's future, conducting relations with other governments, and maintaining personal effectiveness.
  • MPA 8550, Urban Politics and Government: The study of city and suburban governments in metropolitan areas; special emphasis devoted to such topics as governmental form, city-suburb relations, race and ethnic relations, and economic change
  • MPA 8600, Effective Non-Profit Management: Examination of nonprofit civic and political involvement, ethics and accountability, leadership and board development, human resource practices, financial management and performance measurement, philanthropy and fundraising, volunteer management, and marketing and communications. 
  • MPA 8700, Fundraising for Non-Profit Organizations: Development plans, institutional mission & readiness factors, development of office operations, analysis of constituencies & effectiveness, communications & marketing, the role of the board of directors & volunteers, ethical considerations of fundraising, benchmarking, & the role of technology on philanthropy.
  • MPA 8800, Managing Public Networks: Theories of federalism, intergovernmental relations, and intergovernmental and intersectoral networks, collaborative decision-making approaches and negotiating skills.
  • MPA 8900, Public Policy: Models of the policy making process; also special topics such as privatization, public enterprises, deregulation, and benefit-cost analysis.
  • MPA 8199, Three-Credit Special Topics (i.e., Cultural Competency)
  • MPA 8299, One-Credit Special Topics (See below for topics) 

 Three one-credit courses may be used to substitute for a three-credit elective.

*Beginning in Fall 2017, MPA 8021 Leadership Ethics will be a required course for all new students. Current students (admitted prior to Fall 2017) will not be required to complete MPA 8021 Leadership Ethics. Please see the "Required Courses" section above for futher details regarding the curriculum update and requirements for current students. 

These curriculum changes are only effective for the on-campus MPA program at this time. 

Our one-credit topic courses are offered on three Saturday mornings (or occasionally, on Friday evenings).

Topics include:

  • Land-use and zoning
  • Debt management
  • Economic development strategy
  • Labor relations
  • Program evaluation
  • Performance measurement
  • Effective public affairs
  • Emergency management
  • Arts marketing
  • Leading social innovation