Master of Public Administration-Capstone Option

 

DEGREE AT A GLANCE:

    • Number of Credits
    • 36
    • Cost Per Credit
    • $ 325
    • Total Tuition*
    • $ 11,700
  • *(Before Transfer Credit)
 

Program Description

The Master of Public Administration degree program provides a unique program of study in administrative theory, the program and policy development process, and specific case studies in public policy. This degree program is designed to offer graduates of various undergraduate programs an opportunity to obtain high levels of proficiency of technical and managerial skills to enhance public service work. It aims at broad-level understanding of the goals and challenges of public administration and the relationship of these to more specialized aspects of planning, organization, management, and analysis in the public sector at the national, state and local levels. The degree program is designed to provide advanced study and prepare current and future government employees for management positions in government at all levels. Because of its focus on management and the expanding role of the private sector in providing traditional government services, the degree program is also applicable to industry and the non-profit sector. Students must take POLS500 as the first required course in this program

Read More
 
 
Highlights and Announcements

Explore the academic contributions and professional insights from our faculty scholar practitioners on current industry news, trends, and world events.

 

Program Objectives

PADM699 - Master's Capstone Seminar in Public Administration

The capstone seminar option includes a thesis, or a major research project or paper in lieu of the final comprehensive examination, which has no credit hours. Those who elect this option may reduce their electives by three semester hours to accommodate the seminar option credit. This option is desirable for those students who wish to focus on specific subject matter of an interdisciplinary nature or who would like to continue their education at a higher level. Students electing this option must use this as one of the graduate electives.

In addition to the institutional and degree level learning outcomes objectives, the Master of Public Administration seeks the following specific learning outcomes of its graduates:

  • Apply leading theories and approaches to managing public organizations and administering federal, state, and local levels.
  • Test the concepts, theories and methodologies to conduct research in the public sector.
  • Evaluate the philosophical and practical issues related to ethical decision-making in the public sector.
  • Formulate and articulate positions and issues that intersect the dynamics of politics, policy, economics, administration, and management in the public sector.
  • Compare and contrast the government and private sector budgeting process and funding of specific government programs and activities.
  • Analyze the role of federal administrative organizations - to include Congress, the president, the courts, and interest groups - in the public policy development and implementation.
  • Assess the emerging trend and implications of the private and not-for-profit sectors providing government services.
  • Formulate a strategy for developing a needs assessment, outcome expectations, program outcome evaluations, and impact assessments.

Master of Public Administration

American Public University is part of American Public University System, an accredited university offering more than 180 degree and certificate programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. All courses are online, so students have the flexibility of taking classes any time or any place that fits their schedule. Our degree programs are designed to be challenging and relevant to working adults in both the public and private sectors and can help enhance their current career or prepare them for a career change.

Students come to our university from across the globe with varying educational backgrounds and diverse educational and career goals. Choose the category below that best describes you:

Our 5-step admissions process will allow you to apply for admission, complete your new student orientation, request a transfer credit evaluation, apply for Federal Student Aid, and register for classes. Get started today!

Have Questions?
Our admissions staff is available Monday - Thursday from 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. and Friday from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. ET to answer your questions and provide assistance with the admissions process. You can reach us by phone at 877-777-9081, e-mail us at info@apus.edu, or connect with us via Live Chat.

 
 
 
Disaster Management Total Credits - 36 Hours
Core Requirements
18 Hours
NAME
DESCRIPTION
CREDITS
PADM500
Applied Research Methods in Public Administration
3 hours

The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with the elements for building research projects and analyzing research in the public administration setting. Topics will include developing research questions, research hypotheses, use of theory in the research project, and the distinction between qualitative and quantitative methods. Students will learn how to select the best methods for the issue or problem being researched. Methods covered in the class include interviewing, survey research, focus groups, content analysis, case study methods, observations, and an overview of statistical methods focused on comprehending statistics. No prerequisite.

PADM510
Administrative Theory
3 hours

This course covers the major administrative theories that drive macro-level public behavior. It will begin with a consideration of the broad significance of the study of public organizations for individuals in modern society. It will then examine how theorists and practitioners have sought to develop more formal perspectives on public management. It will examine those ideas that are of greatest relevance to the construction of an integrated theory of public organizations. The progression of the course follows the evolution of administrative theory from the pioneering work of Weber, Taylor and Woodrow Wilson to current theories regarding the “New Public Management.”

PADM520
Public Administration in Society
3 hours

The study and practice of public administration is explored in its political context. The student is introduced to the environment within which public administration functions and the dynamics of behavior within large organizations. How choices are made among competing policies, factors affecting the implementation of policy, and the role of policy evaluation in shaping policy choices are examined. Managing large scale bureaucratic organizations is analyzed including the role of leadership, the management of personnel and finances, and the role of communication in inter- and intra-organizational relations.

PADM530
Public Policy
3 hours

This course examines the way government policies emerge from the political process and are implemented through participating institutions. In this class students will investigate how good analysis can contribute to informed policy-making and review the factors that go into developing effective implementation strategies. In addition, today’s need for enhanced public accountability and the challenging problems of measuring program performance are examined.

PADM610
Public Management
3 hours

This course examines a range of management issues and strategies within the context of managing public organizations. The core focus is on an enhanced understanding of the theoretical and practical approaches to public management, an examination of enduring and day-to-day dilemmas faced by competent public managers, and the application of relevant theories to public management within the United States.

PADM611
Law and Public Policy
3 hours

This course provides an introduction to the law and legal system as it applies to public administration and policy. It covers the interrelation of norms, moral codes and formal laws. The attempt to address social concerns with new laws and regulations has created increased pressure in the courts and legislative chambers. This course examines the sources, influences, operation and consequences of law and public policy formation, and analyzes public policy initiatives from political and legal aspects as to their intentions, achievable aims, and intended and unintended outcomes.


Major Requirements
6 Hours
NAME
DESCRIPTION
CREDITS
PADM505
Ethics in Government
3 hours

One only has to pick up the newspaper (or click on the news feed on your mobile phone!) to see examples of the ethical minefields in public service. Sometimes these issues are easy to spot, at other times they are not. This course will look at the moral versus legal aspects of ethics in public administration. Organizational culture and its impact on ethical decision making will be emphasized at the local, state and federal levels. Political activities and the Hatch Act will be considered as well as other restrictions faced by public employees because of their unique requirement to uphold the public trust. Students will be asked to do an in-depth study on a governmental agency and report the findings to the class. Students will also critique and analyze real world case studies and examine current trends in distribution and enforcement of these policies. This course will culminate in the preparation of an ethics code for a hypothetical program. No prerequisite.

PADM612
Public Finance
3 hours

This course covers public budgeting from the public manager’s perspective. Whether you are currently or hope to be a manager for federal, state or local government or a local or national nonprofit, this course will give you a good overview of budgeting and how it relates to you. Topics include budgetary history, revenue and expenditure management, budgeting processes and operating techniques.

PADM615
Program Appraisal
3 hours

This course is designed to develop fundamental skills essential for students to evaluate public programs. Knowledge of the policy process and research methods is brought together in the ethical assessment of program needs, processes, and outcomes.

PADM620
Local Political Administration
3 hours

This course is an analysis and provides research on legislatures, legislators, and the legislative process at national, state, and local levels. It focuses on legislative structures, decision making, and behavior among nations, U.S. states, and local governments.

POLS510
The U.S. Presidency, Congress, & Bureaucracy
3 hours

The course covers a combination of theories and applications that will provide the student with basic tools required to understand, navigate, and communicate with the three administrative elements of the federal government. The emphasis of the course is based on a study of composing, legislating, implementing, and enforcing public policy set against a background of both historical and current elements.

POLS620
Legislatures and Legislative Behavior
3 hours

This course focuses on legislative structure and decision-making. Through reading, studying, and reflecting upon legislatures, legislators, and legislative processes, students will examine the U.S. legislative structure and conduct an analysis of comparative legislative behavior.


Concentration Requirements
9 Hours
NAME
DESCRIPTION
CREDITS
EDMG502
Emergency and Disaster Theory
3 hours

This course addresses the fundamental principles and theory of emergency and disaster. It covers the conceptual necessities for effective preparation, response, and recovery. It identifies specific examples of effective theory in practice in different systems.

EDMG503
Emergency and Disaster Planning and Management
3 hours

This is a survey course that is designed to introduce students to the concepts of emergency management. Topics covered include the history of the field, hazard analysis, mitigation, planning, communication, response, recovery, and terrorism. Students conduct interview research with an emergency manager and conduct a site visit of an emergency operations center. Students can use this course to springboard into advanced topics within the field as offered by other courses, and is a great place for students to begin their emergency management degree programs.

EDMG509
Interagency Disaster Management
3 hours

This course deals with the interaction, coordination, and facilitation between federal, state, and local agencies during preparation, response, and recovery operations. The history of emergency response organizational development is explored, along with the current structural and operational design provided by the National Response Framework (NRF) and the National Incident Management System (NIMS). Finally, the potential for public-private partnerships in disaster response is examined. Students will achieve an understanding of how all of the various agencies work together to achieve emergency management and disaster response goals and objectives.

EDMG530
Economics of Disaster
3 hours

This course is a study of the economics associated with international, national, state, or local level disaster. Students will study, analyze, and conduct research on the direct and indirect economic losses associated with disaster. The course will cover the economics associated with both public and private institutions.


Final Program Requirement
3 Hours
NAME
DESCRIPTION
CREDITS
PADM699
Master's Capstone Seminar in Public Administration
3 hours

The capstone seminar option includes a thesis, or a major research project or paper. This option is desirable for those students who wish to focus on specific subject matter of an interdisciplinary nature or who would like to continue their education at a higher level. Capstone courses are NOT included in the university retake policy. All grades for any capstone attempts will appear on transcript and will be calculated in GPA


Graduate Electives
0 Hours
Electives are typically courses available at your degree level that are not currently required as a part of your degree program/academic plan. Please visit the catalog to view a complete listing of courses.

Program Completion Rates, Median Debt and More

View more details regarding our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information.

 

American Public University System, American Public University, and American Military University are not affiliated with American University or the U.S. Military. American Public University System (APUS) is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and a member of the North Central Association. © 2013 American Public University System | 111 W. Congress Street, Charles Town, WV 25414 | Toll Free: 1-877-755-2787 | Privacy Policy | Terms