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Course Details

Course Details

Course Code: PADM698 Course ID: 3573 Credit Hours: 0 Level: Graduate

THIS COURSE REQUIRES A PROCTORED EXAM. Comprehensive final examination for students in the Master of Public Administration program. IMPORTANT: You must have COMPLETED all other courses in the program and have a GPA of 3.0 in order to register for this course. As a Public Administration student, you must pass this comprehensive exam in order to have your degree conferred. The comprehensive exam must be taken by the course end date or a failing grade will be posted. If you fail your first course attempt to pass the comprehensive exam, you will need to get approval to register for a second attempt of the course and BOTH final course grades will show in your transcript.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
09/28/20 - 02/26/21 03/01/21 - 04/25/21 Winter 2021 Session D 8 Week session
11/30/20 - 04/30/21 05/03/21 - 06/27/21 Spring 2021 Session I 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

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:

  • Assess the leading approaches to managing public organizations
  • Evaluate the moral, legal, and ethical aspects of decision-making in the public sector
  • Evaluate the government budgeting process and funding of government programs and organizations
  • Appraise the role of government organizations in public policy development and implementation
  • Develop solutions to a public issue that take into account multiple stakeholders and decision-makers
  • Implement the core concept of public service by providing evidence of service to the public or nonprofit sector
  • Critique a difficult political situation and offer creative and innovative solutions that take into account multiple stakeholders and decision-makers
  • Implement the core concept of public service by providing evidence of service to the public or nonprofit sector
  • Assess the part diversity, or lack thereof, plays in public administration

A grade for this course will be based upon the student’s performance on the comprehensive examination. However, it is required that you participate in the practice questions leading up to the exam.

Students will answer FOUR (4) essay questions that will be graded as follows:

  1. Pass with Distinction” – This grade is assigned to essay answers that clearly demonstrate an understanding of the issue beyond what is typically expected of graduate students.
  2. Pass” – This grade is assigned for essays that meet the requirements for a graduate-level essay.
  3. Fail” – This grade is assigned for essays that clearly do not meet the requirements for a graduate-level essay. Please see the Capstone End of Program Manual for more detail.

Note: Standards for essay question evaluation will follow the Rubric Evaluation standards uploaded in the course.

To Pass the comprehensive exam, you must pass at least three of the four exam questions but answer all four.

For the practice questions and the actual Comprehensive Exam, you will be expected to provide references from seminal works in your field within every essay response.

NameGrade %
Comprehensive Exam Comprehensive Exam

Students are responsible for the information contained in all required texts from their required, core, major, and elective courses in their graduate course of study. Additional resources can be found in the APUS Library in the Public Administration Library Guide and eReserves for all courses. Please search by course title.

Additional Resources

American Psychological Association. (2009). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

The Capstone Manual is your guide for this class. Links follow where you can find the manual and other valuable information. If you are not able to link directly, copy and paste the links in your browser. You may need to log in with your APUS login credentials.

Web Sites

In addition to the required course texts, the following public domain web sites are useful. Please abide by the university’s academic honesty policy when using Internet sources as well. Note web site addresses are subject to change.

Site Name

Web Site URL/Address

Public Administrative Theory Network

Almanac of Policy Issues

US Dept of Commerce

Office of Management and Budget

The Cato Institute

Book Title:No books required. A study guide will be in the classroom, referring to past courses and their books.

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.