Public Administration

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Application Procedures

There is a supplemental application (Part Two), specific to the Department of Political Science that must be submitted along with the main online application. Separate forms are not required for application for financial assistance, except for Graduate School fellowships. Students will be accepted for graduate work in political science only upon approval by the department as well as the Graduate School. This program requires a nonrefundable $65 application fee; applicants must pay this fee by credit card.

All applicants must submit all post-secondary education transcripts, three letters of recommendation from persons who can evaluate the applicant’s academic ability and a statement of purpose. Applicants for the M.A. and Ph.D. programs must also submit scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), verbal and quantitative tests, and an example of written work that demonstrates the applicant’s analytical and writing skills. Foreign students must have taken the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and are expected to have a score of at least 600 (paper score) or 250 (computer score).

Applications and supporting materials for the M.A. and Ph.D. programs that are submitted by January will be given full consideration for admission and funding. Applicants should contact the M.P.A. program office for the deadlines pertaining to the application term. 

Master of Public Administration Degree

mpaprog@siu.edu

Admission

Students applying to the M.P.A. Program are admitted as either pre-service or in-service. To be admitted as in-service, the student must have significant professional experience in a public or quasi-public agency. This can generally be defined as at least one year of full-time administrative work experience. Students having less than one year of professional experience are admitted as pre-service.

To be considered for admission, applicants must have: (1) graduated from an accredited four-year college or university and (2) received an overall grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, or a 3.0 overall grade point average for the last two years of undergraduate work. In instances where a candidate’s promise is indicated by professional experience rather than undergraduate record, consideration for admission will be given on an individual basis. Admission exceptions may be granted by the director upon careful review of the student’s entire application including: letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a writing sample. All international MPA applicants, except those from English-only speaking countries, must submit either an Internet-based TOEFL or IELTS official score report. If you obtained (or are obtaining) an undergraduate or a graduate degree in an English-only speaking country, your TOEFL/IELTS score requirement will not be waived. The MPA program requires a minimum TOEFL score of 80(internet based) overall or minimum IELTS score of 6.5. The program requires a nonrefundable $65 application fee that must be submitted with the Application for Admission to Graduate Study in Public Administration. A GRE score is required of all applicants wishing to be considered for a graduate assistantship or fellowship.

Degree Requirements

M.P.A. students complete a 40 semester hour program of study as follows: (1) nine required courses totaling 25 semester hours; (2) 12 semester hours of elective course work; (3) an internship for three semester hours; and (4) successfully passing a comprehensive final examination. Of the 40 hours of graduate level coursework, at least 19 semester hours must be taken in the Department of Political Science. Each of these requirements is described below. In-service students are not required to complete an internship, reducing the total number of semester hours needed to graduate to 37.

Retention

All M.P.A. students are required to maintain a minimum level of academic performance. Any student earning a C grade or below in two or more M.P.A. required courses will be dismissed from the program. Students must otherwise conform to the standards set out in the M.P.A. Student Handbook. Issues not addressed by the Handbook fall under retention policy provisions in the Graduate School Catalog.

Prerequisites

Students lacking undergraduate preparation in public administration must complete POLS 537 (Foundations of Public Administration) during their first semester of study. Exceptions to this may be granted to in-service students, on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, POLS 503 is a prerequisite to enrollment in POLS 539 and is recommended prior to enrollment in POLS 542. POLS 540 can only be taken after at least three other core courses have been successfully completed.

Core Requirements - 25 credit hours

  • POLS 503-3 Research Methods for Public Administrators
  • POLS 535-3 Ethical Foundations of Public Service
  • POLS 539-3 Program Analysis and Evaluation
  • POLS 540-3 Seminar in Public Management
  • POLS 542-3 Public Budgeting and Fiscal Management
  • POLS 543-3 Human Resource Management
  • POLS 545-3 Organization Theory and Behavior
  • POLS 546-3 Leadership in Public Administration
  • POLS 594-1 Preprofessional Seminar in Public Administration

Internship Requirement - 3 credit hours

  • POLS 595-3 Internship in Public Affairs

Elective Requirements - 12 credit hours

  • Elective courses are selected by the student and the Field Representative.

To facilitate the work of employed students, each of the required courses is offered in the evening at least once every three years. A substitution for one core course may be allowed if the substituted course is similar in content to the particular core course, or if competence in the subject matter of the course is clearly evident. All substitutions must be approved by the director of the program. M.P.A. students concentrating in aviation administration will substitute POLS 557 (Public Financial Administration) for POLS 539 (Program Analysis and Evaluation).

Electives

Elective courses may be selected from the offerings of various departments across the University, as well as those in the Department of Political Science. The student and the MPA Director consult in selecting courses best suited to the student’s individual career goals. 400-level courses, of an introductory technical nature and other specialized courses especially relevant to the public administration profession, may be taken with the consent of the director of the program. Students may count no more than six hours of 400-level credits toward fulfillment of the degree.

MPA Comprehensive Exam Policy

All Masters of Public Administration (MPA) students must successfully complete a comprehensive examination as a part of their degree requirements. The examination will be taken in the semester in which the student completes all coursework (with the possible exception of one substantive course) for the program. The examination will consist of questions from the core courses in the program. A follow-up oral examination may be required at the discretion of the MPA faculty. In order to pass the exam, students must score at least an 80 out of 100 possible points. If a student fails the examination, they may retake the comprehensive examination one time during the next regularly scheduled examination period.

Internship

Pre-service students must register for POLS 595 and serve an internship in a governmental agency, nonprofit organization or quasi-governmental agency. The internship requires a minimum of 300 hours of work and must be approved by the director of the program. In extraordinary circumstances, a pre-service student may substitute three semester hours of coursework for the internship if a request is approved by the director.

MPA Aviation Administration Concentration

To be considered for admission into the aviation concentration, pre-service applicants will have graduated from an accredited four year college or university with a major in some aspect of aviation, with a minimum grade point average of 3.0. Inservice applicants with strong professional experience may be admitted with undergraduate grade point averages below 3.0, and with undergraduate majors outside of the aviation field. Prerequisite coursework including POLS 537 and additional aviation administration courses may be required in these situations.

Core Requirements - 25 credit hours

  • POLS 503-3 Research Methods for Public Administrators
  • POLS 535-3 Ethical Foundations of Public Service
  • POLS 540-3 Seminar in Public Management
  • POLS 542-3 Public Budgeting and Fiscal Management
  • POLS 543-3 Human Resource Management
  • POLS 545-3 Organization Theory and Behavior
  • POLS 546-3 Leadership in Public Administration
  • POLS 557-3 Public Financial Administration
  • POLS 594-1 Preprofessional Seminar in Public Administration

Aviation Requirements - 12 credit hours
(Select four of the five aviation courses, register for crosslisted AVM courses.)

  • AVM/POLS 551-3 Aviation Policy, Law and Regulation
  • AVM/POLS 552-3 Advanced Airport Administration
  • AVM/POLS 553-3 Advanced Airport Safety Administration
  • AVM/POLS 554-3 Aviation Planning
  • AVM/POLS 555-3 I International Aviation

Internship Requirement - 3 credit hours

  • POLS 595-3 Internship in Public Affairs

Concurrent Degrees in Law and Public Administration

Students who have been admitted separately to the Southern Illinois University School of Law and the Master of Public Administration program may study concurrently for the Juris Doctorate and M.P.A. degrees. Students interested in concurrent study should inform both programs before entering the second academic year as law students. Students will not be permitted to take course work outside the prescribed law curriculum during the first year of law school. The required courses for joint degree students are as follows:

Core Requirements - 22 credit hours

  • POLS 503-3 Research Methods for Public Administrators
  • POLS 539-3 Program Analysis and Evaluation
  • POLS 540-3 Seminar in Public Management
  • POLS 542-3 Public Budgeting and Fiscal Management
  • POLS 543-3 Human Resource Management
  • POLS 545-3 Organization Theory and Behavior
  • POLS 546-3 Leadership in Public Administration
  • POLS 594-1 Preprofessional Seminar in Public Administration

Law Requirements - 15 credit hours
(Select five law courses from the list below)

  • LAW 533, LAW 539, LAW 548, LAW 552, LAW 553, LAW 558, LAW 568, LAW 579, LAW 585, LAW 589, LAW 593, LAW 596, LAW 600, LAW 619, LAW 620, LAW 622, LAW 642, LAW 650, LAW 651, LAW 662, and LAW 668

Internship Requirement - 3 credit hours

  • POLS 595-3 Internship in Public Affairs

Additionally, students without any background in public administration may be required to enroll in POLS 537 as a prerequisite to the program. Students with prior public sector administrative experience may petition to waive the internship requirement in their first semester in the program.