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:
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Total Credits - 36 Hours
Applied Research Methods in Public Administration
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.
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.”
Public Administration in Society
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.
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.
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.
Law and Public Policy
This course critically examines the complex and ongoing role of courts in the public policy process. With renewed emphasis on economic stability, financial and non-financial regulation, decentralization, downsizing and re-engineering, there is an increasing awareness that public policy, and the administrative law system that manages it, are subject to intense political and cultural pressures. The attempt to address social concerns with new laws and regulations has created increased pressure on the administrative law process 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.
Ethics in Government
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.
This course focuses on financial issues in the public sector. It is designed as an overview of key elements in public budgeting, public finance, and public financial management. Various government activities with respect to government spending and taxation are analyzed by applying basic principles and quantitative models of finance. Decisions about public spending, raising revenue, borrowing, and managing public debt are studied extensively in this course.
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.
Local Political Administration
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.
The U.S. Presidency, Congress, & Bureaucracy
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.
Legislatures and Legislative Behavior
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.
Emergency and Disaster Theory
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.
Emergency and Disaster Planning and Management
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.
Interagency Disaster Management
This course deals with the interaction, coordination, and facilitation between federal, state, and local AND the different functions associated with emergency and disaster management (fire, police, emergency medical, military, public health, etc.) during public crises. Included in the course is in-depth study of current policy and plans associated with interagency cooperation, shortfalls in interagency and intergovernmental efforts, principles for effective interorganizational behavior, and concepts for closer interorganizational action.
Economics of Disaster
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.
Master's Capstone Seminar in Public Administration
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
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.