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MPA Degree Requirements

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An effective leader in solving public problems. Lead to improve lives through innovation, collaboration, and strategy.

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) at the Hobby School of Public Affairs is a 36-hour graduate degree designed to advance the careers of professionals seeking to improve their communities through public service. The MPA program prepares graduates to lead organizations, manage complex projects and serve the public through innovation, collaboration and strategy. The comprehensive curriculum is designed for those looking to enhance their management skills and take on leadership roles in the public sector.

The program consists of a core curriculum, a capstone problem project, electives chosen from the broader University of Houston classes in respective fields of interest and a comprehensive exam.

Sample Degree Plans for the UH MPA Program

The MPA curriculum is high-level training and education for emerging leaders in public service. The graduate program can be completed in two years; however, the program length will vary depending on whether you attend on a full-time or part-time basis.

The curriculum focuses on the development of public service leaders and combines challenging coursework in organizational leadership and behavior, change management, public policy implementation, public finance and leadership, among other necessary skills for effective leaders in the public and nonprofit sectors. Many MPA students are practitioners. Graduates include public and nonprofit managers, policy advisors, senior government officials and elected officials.

The UH MPA Interdisciplinary Curriculum

Fall Semester Start

The below table shows a sample degree plan for a full-time MPA student that begins the program in the fall semester:

Term: Fall, Year 1
Term: Fall, Year 2
Course
Credits
Course
Credits
PUBL 6310 Administrative Theory
3
PUBL 6312 Public Finance
3
PUBL 6314 Public Administration Research Methods I: Introduction to Statistics
3
PUBL 6332 Administrative Law OR PUBL 6333 Municipal and Local Law
3
PUBL 6345 Budgeting for Public Agencies
3
¹ Public Administration Elective
3
TOTAL FALL, YEAR 1 CREDITS
9
TOTAL FALL, YEAR 2 CREDITS 9
Term: Spring, Year 1 Term: Spring, Year 2
Course
Credits
Course
Credits
PUBL 6311 Public Administration and Policy Implementation
3
PUBL 6325 Public Administration Capstone
3
POLC 6315 Public Administration Research Methods II: Multivariate Analysis
3
PUBL 6350 Public Management 3
PUBL 6320 Policy Analysis: Political Analysis
3
¹ Public Administration Elective 3
TOTAL SPRING, YEAR 1 CREDITS
9
TOTAL SPRING, YEAR 2 CREDITS 9
Term: Summer, Year 1
TOTAL REQUIRED CREDITS:
38
Course
Credits
n/a
n/a
TOTAL SUMMER, YEAR 1 CREDITS
n/a

Spring Semester Start

The following table shows a sample degree plan for a full-time MPA student that begins in the spring semester:

Term: Spring, Year 1
Term: Spring, Year 2
Course
Credits
Course
Credits
PUBL 6311 Public Administration and Policy Implementation
3
POLC 6315 Public Administration Research Methods II: Multivariate Analysis
3
POLC 6320 Policy Analysis II: Political Analysis
3
¹ Public Administration Elective
3
PUBL 6350 Public Management
3
¹ Public Administration Elective
3
TOTAL SPRING, YEAR 1 CREDITS
9
TOTAL SPRING, YEAR 2 CREDITS 9
Term: Summer, Year 1 Term: Fall, Year 2
Course
Credits
Course
Credits
n/a
n/a
POLC 6312 Public Finance
3
PUBL 6325 Public Administration Capstone 3
PUBL 6332 Administrative Law OR PUBL 6333 Municipal and Local Law 3
TOTAL SUMMER, YEAR 1 CREDITS
n/a
TOTAL FALL, YEAR 2 CREDITS 9
Term: Fall, Year 1
TOTAL REQUIRED CREDITS:
38
Course
Credits
PUBL 6310 Administrative Theory
3
PUBL 6314 Public Administration Research Methods I: Introduction to Statistics
3
PUBL 6342 Budgeting for Public Agencies
3
TOTAL FALL, YEAR 1 CREDITS
9

¹ Two Public Administration Electives comprise the student specialization, and are chosen by the student and approved by the Hobby School.

Effective Fall 2024, the MPA Comprehensive Exam is no longer required.


MPA Course Rotation by Semester

The MPA degree requires 38 credits of graduate coursework, including eight core courses (26 hours), three elective courses (9 hours) and a capstone problem project course (3 hours).

The capstone problem project culminates the skills and knowledge acquired throughout the graduate program. Students analyze an actual public administration, organization or policy issue, examine effective solutions and procedures and make specific recommendations to address the problem.

The below MPA courses are offered in the indicated respective semesters.

MPA Course Offerings by Semester   Fall       Spring     Summer
PUBL 6310 Administrative Theory   🗸
PUBL 6311 Public Administration and Policy Implementation 🗸
PUBL 6312 Public Finance (Required Course: Beginning Fall 2024)  🗸
PUBL 6314 Public Administration Research Methods I: Introduction to Statistics (Beginning Fall 2024) / PUBL 6410 Quantitative Methods I (Prior to Fall 2024) 🗸
PUBL 6315 Public Administration Research Methods II: Multivariate Analysis (Beginning Fall 2024) / PUBL 6415 Decision Science for Public Affairs (Prior to Fall 2024)   🗸
PUBL 6320 Policy Analysis: Political Analysis (Beginning Fall 2024) / PUBL 6313 Fundamentals of Policy Analysis (Prior to Fall 2024) 🗸
PUBL 6325 Public Administration Capstone (Beginning Fall 2024) / PUBL 6325 Capstone Problem Project (Prior to Fall 2024) 🗸 🗸 🗸
PUBL 6332 Administrative Law (Beginning Fall 2024) / PUBL 6314 Administrative Law (Prior to Fall 2024) 🗸
PUBL 6345 Budgeting for Public Agencies (Beginning Fall 2024) / PUBL 6342 Budgeting for Public Agencies (Prior to Fall 2024) 🗸
PUBL 6350 Public Management   🗸
MPA Elective: PUBL 6321 Seminar in Urban Politics 🗸
MPA Elective: PUBL 6333 Municipal and Local Law 🗸
MPA Elective: PUBL 6343 GIS for Urban Applications 🗸
MPA Elective: PUBL 6346 Seminar in Emergency Management 🗸
MPA Elective: PUBL 6347 Seminar in Health Care Policy 🗸
MPA Elective: PUBL 6349 Seminar in Non-Profit Management 🗸
MPA Elective: PUBL 6355 Innovation in the Public Sector 🗸
MPA Elective: PUBL 6361 Seminar in Public Management I 🗸
MPA Elective: PUBL 6362 Seminar in Public Management II 🗸
MPA Elective: PUBL 6398 Special Problems in Public Administration and Policy 🗸
MPA Electives (non-Hobby School/POLC/PUBL courses) 🗸 🗸 🗸

 Courses offered are subject to change.


  • Required Public Administration (PUBL) Graduate Courses

    Other PUBL Graduate Courses

    Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of graduate academic advisor.

    Individual study or projects on an arranged basis under faculty sponsorship.

    2) PUBL 6321 Seminar in Urban Politics

    Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of graduate academic advisor.

    How local government copes with social and economic problems in overlapping, metropolitan government environments, the complexity of urbanization, and other government agencies.

    3) PUBL 6343 GIS for Urban Applications

    Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of graduate academic advisor.

    Introduces students to applications of geographic information system (GIS) for urban decision makers in the fields of urban geography, urban planning, public health, environmental assessment, hazard and emergency management.

    4) PUBL 6346 Seminar in Emergency Management

    Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of graduate academic advisor.

    Policies and programs of public and private sector including natural and technological disasters and terrorism.

    5) PUBL 6347 Seminar in Health Care Policy

    Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of graduate academic advisor.

    Politics and economics of health and medical care with emphasis on the delivery of services, their quality, and distribution and financing.

    6) PUBL 6349 Seminar in Non-Profit Management

    Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of graduate academic advisor.

    Facilitate an understanding of non-governmental service/advocacy organizations, or “nonprofit organizations”, and the management and leadership skills required to effectively organize, maintain, and grow them.

    7) PUBL 6355 Innovation in the Public Sector

    Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of graduate academic advisor.

    8) PUBL 6361 Seminar in Public Management I

    Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of graduate academic advisor.

    9) PUBL 6362 Seminar in Public Management II

    Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of graduate academic advisor.

    10) PUBL 6398 Special Problems in Public Administration and Policy

    Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of graduate academic advisor.

    Independent study in public administration or public policy.