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Graduate Catalog 2016/2017

Public Administration (PAD)

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Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.)
CIP Code: 44.0401
College of Arts and Sciences (AS)
Total Minimum Program Hours Required (Post Bachelor's Degree): 36

Contact Information:
College of Arts and Sciences
School of Public Affairs Department (SPF)
4202 E. Fowler Avenue SOC107
Tampa FL  33620

Program Director or Coordinator:
Matthew Collins
Phone: 813-974-3439


Faculty Search: Arts and Sciences Faculty List

Program Information

The Public Administration Program offers a multi?disciplinary course of study leading to the Master of PublicAdministration (M.P.A.). The M.P.A. degree is designed primarily to prepare students for successful leadership rolesand management careers in the public (i.e., governmental and quasi?governmental organizations) and non?profitsectors. Students enrolled in the M.P.A. Program pursue careers in local, state, or federal agencies of government,non?profit organizations, and special service districts. Additionally the M.P.A. degree prepares individuals for furtheracademic study leading to a doctorate in Public Administration, a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration, as well as avariety of other disciplines. Those employed in public management positions may wish to pursue the M.P.A. in order tobroaden educational backgrounds to prepare for increased job responsibilities, or to change career paths. Such inservicestudents currently make up the majority of the M.P.A. student body.

The Public Administration Program also offers courses of study leading to a Graduate Certificate in Public Management (G.C.P.M.) and Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management (G.C.N.M.). These programs are designed for individuals who wish to acquire knowledge of public and nonprofit management theory and practices, but who do not find it necessary or feasible to pursue the M.P.A. degree. The M.P.A. Program also serves pre?service students who have recently completed a bachelors degree, who wish to gain entry to a professional career track. Students admitted to the M.P.A. are not eligible for the Graduate Certificate in Public Management.


Accreditation Information:

Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of College and Schools.

Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of College and Schools; the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).


Admissions Information

Admission Deadlines

There is an established University deadline for the submission of admission application materials. Programs may have earlier deadlines than the University deadline. The deadlines reflected below are the earliest of the two deadlines. Graduate Programs may continue to accept and process applications after the published deadline if space exists within the program. Check with the Program for availability.

Application Deadline (domestic application)

Fall: February 15
Spring: October 15
Summer: February 15

International Students

Foreign applicants who are outside the U.S. are required to apply for a visa. Depending on the country of origin, this may take a few months. So the deadlines for these international applicants may be earlier than the Program deadline and these applicants must apply prior to both deadlines. They are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible. Foreign applicants who are in the U.S. and are currently on a visa may use the domestic application deadline dates. In addition to meeting the published application deadline for the Program of interest, all immigration documents should be submitted as soon as possible, but must be on file at USF no later than the following processing deadlines:

Fall: February 15
Spring: September 15
Summer: January 15

Admission Requirements

You must comply with general University policies and meet general University Admission requirements in addition to those listed below.

Must meet University requirements (see Graduate Admissions) as well as requirements listed below.

Program Admission Requirements

Admission decisions to the M.P.A. Program are based on an overall assessment of the applicant's potential for successfully completing the M.P.A. degree. General admission criteria include scores obtained on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), performance as an undergraduate.

Specific criteria are:

  • Two letters of recommendation, one from a faculty member familiar with the applicant's academic performance and potential. Should the applicant be unable to provide the letter from a former professor, with the director's approval, letters from other sources will be accepted.
  • The submission of a one-page career statement detailing the applicant's career goals and aspirations, including ways in which the applicant believes the M.P.A. degree can help to facilitate the stated goals.
  • The submission of a Resume showing work experience.
  • Students entering the Executive Public Administration Concentration must have at least five years of cumulative experience in public service, including at least three years at the middle to upper level.
  • Approval by the M.P.A. Admissions Committee and, if deemed necessary, an admissions interview.
  • GRE is recommended with preferred scores of 60% V, 25% Quantitative and 4.0 AW. This provision applies to all applicants, including those who have already completed courses in the MPA curriculum. Regardless of GPA, those who score below 20 percentile on either the verbal or quantitative sections on the GRE are required to retake the exam.However, at the discretion of the MPA program, it may be waived under certain conditions. Examples where GRE requirements may be waived include:
    • Applicant already possesses a graduate degree from a regionally accredited university
    • Applicant has a 3.25, or higher, undergraduate GPA
    • Five years or more of practical, professional experience at a senior level (to be determined upon review of documentation by the admissions committee)
    • Documentation of past experience through letters of recommendation from senior management, and
    • Completion of theGraduate Certificate in Public Management, or Graduate Certificate in Non-profit Management) with a grade point average of 3.5/4.0 or better in the Certificate and no certificate course grade less than a B?.

Admissions Status: Apply


Program Degree Requirements

Total Minimum Program Hours: 36 hours

There are two options for the M.P.A. Students are in either the Traditional M.P.A. track or the online Concentration in Executive Public Administration (EPA). Students in the Concentration complete a minimum total of 36 hours; students in the traditional M.P.A. complete a minimum of 42 hours.

Traditional MPA - 42 hours minimum
Core 21 hours
Course requirement 3 hours
Electives 15 hours
Capstone 3 hours
Internship (if required) 3 hours

MPA Program with the Executive Public Administration Concentration - 36 hours minimum
Core 21 hours
Concentration requirements - 12
Capstone 3 hours

Program Core Requirements - 21 hours
PAD 6060 3 Public Administration Theory and Practice
PAD 6041 3 Ethics and Public Service
PAD 6227 3 Public Budgeting
PAD 6307 3 Policy Analysis, Implementation, and Program Evaluation
PAD 6703 3 Quantitative Aids for Public Managers
PAD 6710 3 Public Information Management
PAD 6275 3 Political Economy for Public Managers

Traditional M.P.A. Requirements
In addition to the 21 hours of Program Core requirements, students in the traditional path are required to complete:

Course requirements - 3 hours
PAD 6417 3 Human Resources Management

Electives - 15 credit hours
Each student must take 15 elective credit hours depending on the exit option chosen. Students should refer to the MPA website for courses approved by the Program. Students wishing to take courses from outside this list must obtain approval before registering. Students must maintain an overall GPA of 3.00 or better in all of their coursework during the program.

Internship 3 credit hours minimum
PAD 6946      Internship in Public Administration
Pre-service students are required to complete a supervised internship in a governmental or non-profit organization. Internships provide students the opportunity to gain valuable experience in the public sector, thereby enhancing the academic course of study. Internship credits must be earned while the student is in residence and before the student has completed regular course work requirements. Exceptions to this rule can only be made by the M.P.A. Director and must be made in advance. In-service students, who have appropriate managerial/work experience commensurate with their career goals, may not be required to complete an internship. After consultation with the student, the M.P.A. Director may choose to waive the internship requirement.

Comprehensive Exam

Exit Requirements

Capstone Course (3 credit hours)
PAD6056, The Practice of Public Management, is a final step before graduation. The course is designed to provide students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge, leadership, communication, and decision-making skills acquired during the MPA Program. This course is designed to challenge students to demonstrate their capability in synthesizing and integrating conceptual frameworks, and relate these skills to managerial or administrative situations. To be eligible for the Capstone course, students must be in their last semester or have completed a minimum of 13 courses and must have completed PAD 6060. A minimum grade of “B-“must be earned in the Capstone Course.  Students who transfer before completing all of the requirements for the MPA at USF will need to enroll into a capstone class at another NASPAA accredited institution with prior approval provided by the Director of Public Administration. An Independent Research class cannot be substituted for PAD 6056 The Practice of Public Administration.

Concentration in Executive Public Administration (EPA) - 12 hours minimum
Contact information:

The Concentration in Executive Public Administration is available to students with significant executive level experiences and substantial future leadership potential. This option is only offered on an on-line basis. Students admitted to the M.P.A. in Public Administration with a Concentration in Executive Public Administration are admitted only on a cohort basis. Admitted students are expected to remain in their cohort throughout their graduate matriculation. Executive Public Administration students, once admitted, may not transfer into the Traditional Master of Public Administration degree program or take coursework across these two tracks.

In addition to the 21 hours of Program Core requirements, students in the Executive Public Administration Concentration are required to complete:

Concentration Requirements:
PAD 6134       3      Project Management
PAD 5836       3      Comparative Public Administration
PAD 6934       3      Seminar in Collaborative Governance
PAD 6934       3      Seminar in Executive Leadership
PAD 6056      3      The Practice of Public Management

Capstone Course
The Concentration in Executive Public Administration also requires the completion of an exit capstone course requirement (that is, the cohort’s PAD 6056: The Practice of Public Management).

Doctoral Minor in Public Administration
Students enrolled in doctoral level courses of study in other programs (e.g., Anthropology, Psychology, Education) can, with their program’s approval, complete a doctoral minor in Public Administration. Students should complete a minimum of four graduate public administration courses to be determined with the advice and consent of an M.P.A. faculty member or M.P.A. Director.

College Degree Requirements

Refer to the College Section of theGraduate Catalog for College requirements and information.


USF Degree Requirements

See USF Degree Requirements —


Financial Assistance

Financial Aid

Fellowships & Scholarships

Graduate Assistantships


Registration Process

First, contact your graduate program advisor for guidance courses to register for. Obtain any electronic course permit if necessary. Register for the new student orientation online at Then go to the link to OASIS, USF's on-line registration system to register for your classes. Follow the directions given on-line.

To access online course materials, students must have a USF NetID (e-mail account). Please visit: to obtain your NetID.

New students, including those studying online, may obtain a USFCard. Please visit: to obtain your USFCard.

Tuition and fees: Fees are determined by the level of the course. Please visit Cash Accounting, Controller's Office, for information on tuition and fees.


Graduate Course Information

Use the list below to lookup graduate courses related to this program in the USF Course Inventory:

PAD5700, PAD6060, PAD6041, PAD6227, PAD6307, PAD6417, PAD6703, PAD6710, PAD6275, PAD6056, PAD6909,