Required Courses

Master of Public Administration

600-series courses are taught online.
The Online MPA Curriculum is comprised of 39 units. There are 13 courses of three units each.

700-series courses are taught on campus.
The On-Campus MPA Curriculum curriculum is comprised of 38 units. There are nine core courses, four units each, and one elective course at two units. Please contact an admission adviser with any questions.

Example On-Campus Required MPA Classes
Navigating and Negotiating the Field of Practice of Public Administration PA 711

This first course in the MPA program reviews the development of public administration and health administration each as fields of practice, as well as emerging trends and best practices in public administration and society, serving as a foundation for future courses. The course surveys contemporary political, managerial, and leadership practices in government administration, as well as interactions with the nonprofit sector. This course provides the tools, skills, and concepts to operationalize the USF mission statement of "Change the World from Here". An emphasis is on navigating and negotiating in public systems to leverage organizational, community, or institutional change. Available to any School of Management graduate students with program director's permission.

Management Practice, Organizational Behavior, and Human Resources PA 713

Explore ways to resolve organizational and managerial problems. Develop recommendations that improve the performance of an actual organization. Apply reframing to organizational analysis, from at least four different frameworks. Understand the evolution of organizational theory models and practices in the historical development of the field. Analyze the structure of public and nonprofit organizations. Describe the human resources dynamics in organizations. Describe the drivers for politics and conflict, offering recommendations for negotiation. Analyze the impact of organizational culture on organizational performance. Consider the contemporary research on diversity and gender. Discuss the human resource function, limitations, and potential within the public and nonprofit sectors. Available to any School of Management graduate students with program director's permission.

Core Value Driven Leadership and Ethics PA 720

Explore the connections between core values and leadership .Describe and apply a variety of frameworks and major ethical theories for ethical decision-making as well as for best practices for core value driven leadership.. Engage in reflection on their own views on ethics, leadership and public service. Explain the human dimensions of ethical leadership and ethical failures. Apply a variety of approaches as public agency managers to create and sustain a culture of ethics within their organizations, including practical ways to increase the ethical awareness in organizations. Understand normative, compliance, and ethical practice in relation to good governance, anti-corruption and the promotion of transparent and accountable administration. Available to any School of Management graduate students with program director's permission.

Managing Budgets, Finance and Economics PA 723

Discusses the context for local government or nonprofit budgeting including key actors, functions, and recent innovations. Compares and contrast the processes for developing local, state, and government/nonprofit and state/federal budgets. Demonstrates varied forecasting and cost analyses techniques. Specifies those factors responsible for government revenue, expenditure, taxation and debt management. Explains how demographic factors can be used to forecast government revenue, expenditure and debt accumulation. Understand cutting-edge developments in public finance, including alternative methods for financing and deploying capital projects at the federal, state and local levels. Addresses issues of fiscal sustainability. Available to any School of Management graduate students with program director's permission.

Public Policy Analysis and Implementation PA 732

Identify approaches to public policy analysis, policy change processes and challenges to policy implementation. Apply professional ethics, value conflicts, and code of ethics specific to policy analysts. Contrast rationales for distributional, competitive, market failure and other modes of problem analysis. Conduct cost-benefit analysis in programmatic review. Juxtapose analytical tools in policy analysis with programmatic financial and budgetary methodology. Systematically apply policy analysis at the developmental, implemented and evaluative stages of deployment at the local, regional, state or federal levels. Available to any School of Management graduate student with program director's permission.

Information Technology and E-Trends PA 738

Discuss underlying concepts, methods, and techniques that are essential to the effective selection, development, deployment, and use of technology. Discuss how technology alters the decision making process and can contribute to greater effectiveness of public organizations. Explain the considerations and tradeoffs involved in making decisions about needed systems functions, integrating technology and business, and procuring solutions. Discuss the legal, ethical and policy issues regarding the use of technology in the public sector. Use on-line technology for research, communications, and collaboration. Understand the challenges of changing management information systems in the public sector, including procurement challenges. Find cutting edge Apps and Web sites developed by public agencies. Available to any School of Management graduate students with program director's permission.

Strategic Planning PA 744

Understand the core elements of strategy: outcomes, measures, assets, behaviors, values, stakeholders, environmental analysis, pitfalls or obstacles, and engagement processes. Apply strategy for advancing outcomes in your professional work. Distinguish between strategy and tactics. Analyze complex organizational challenge, determine leverage points for strategy, Identify obstacles to human resource strategic change and various strategies for overcoming barriers in the organization transformation process. Available to any School of Management graduate students with program director's permission.

Quantitative Methods and Big Data PA 770

Formulate researchable questions related to public interests that lend themselves to quantitative solution techniques. Determine what research method would provide a solution. Develop a research design. Conduct research or field work to explore the content and principles of quantitative analysis for public sector policy research or program evaluation. Carry out research in an ethical, socially responsible manner. Accurately observe record, analyze, and report data. Evaluate the validity of research results. Demonstrate understanding of and literacy in statistical techniques common in public management. Present results using widely accepted reporting formats, i.e. reports and presentations. Available to any School of Management graduate students with program director's permission.

Program Evaluation and Monitoring PA 780

Analyze a program and develop a logic model to explicate it using action theory. Apply qualitative and/ or quantitative (economic) methods in evaluation research. Design and describe a program and develop and present an evaluation proposal. Become a competent researcher and consumer of evaluation research products. Available to any School of Management graduate students with program director's permission.

Example On-Campus Elective MPA Classes
Leading Across Sectors PA 749

This course teaches how to apply best practices of leadership at the intersection of the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. The course starts with the premise that successful leadership development is by design, not by accident to design, negotiate, manage, navigate, and evaluate programs, policies, initiatives, and projects that have a cross-sectoral dimension. Of particular interest are the varied mechanisms in play across sectors and placed-based approaches, not only in the United States, but also globally. The class emphasizes action-based learning to teach the application of leadership processes at four levels: Personal, Group, Organizational and Community for impact. Available to any School of Management graduate students with program director’s permission.

PA Academic Global Immersion PA 784

The course surveys the nongovernmental sector working outside of the U.S. and compares it to the nonprofit sector working in the U.S. This is an optional 2-­unit course for the MNA and MPA students. The Academic Global Immersion (AGI) version of this course explores NGO practices in refugee service management and anti-­human trafficking. The purpose of this is to compare and contrast administrative effective strategies for forced migrations in Europe, the United States and internationally

Strategic Communications PA 785

Know the historical development and understanding of the communication process with an emphasis on the legal and ethical framework used by public and nonprofit sector communicators; Understand the importance of communication management as a function of understand the principles, process, and programs of communication management to better analyze, solve problems, and make decisions about communication situations; Explore the creative process to develop strategic campaigns and message points; and undergo media relations training to understand how to improve the public and nonprofit sectors’ abilities to manage public conversations.Develop research and writing skills through a variety of class assignments that articulate the needs of public and nonprofit sector communication officers. Available to any School of Management graduate students with program director’s permission.

State Authorization
USF is accepting applications for enrollment into online degree programs from residents in the following states: Arizona, California, Florida, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, and Washington. Please check www.usfca.edu/state-auth for specific programs offered in these states.