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Students may choose from one of the following specialization areas:
In addition to the MPA core requirements, students are required to complete at least 9 credit hours of coursework in their chosen area of specialization. Course availability varies by semester, and students' selections should be made in consultation with their academic advisor.
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The Nonprofit Management specialization prepares students for leadership roles in institutions working in community or human services, as well as for roles in not-for-profit organizational managementincluding advocacy, board governance, fundraising/development, and financial or personnel management. This specialization meets the needs of a growing segment of graduate students seeking careers in public service, but not necessarily in government.
The 3-credit 'threshold course' is UAPP 673: Governing Nonprofit Organizations. Students in the Nonprofit Management specialization also take at least 6 additional credits from other recommended courses. Recommended courses include those listed below (semester course is typically offered in parentheses). However, in consultation with their advisor students may fulfill the specialization by taking a wide range of courses both inside and outside of SPPA.
The Public Management specialization prepares students for managerial or management-track positions in all types of public sector organizations, including students seeking to advance to decision-making positions within those organizations, and provides coursework in a variety of managerial, analytical, fiscal, and technological skills.
The 3-credit 'threshold course' is UAPP 684: Performance Management & Program Evaluation. Students in the Public Management specialization also take at least 6 additional credits from other recommended courses. Recommended courses include those listed below (semester course is typically offered in parentheses). However, in consultation with their advisor students may fulfill the specialization by taking a wide range of courses both inside and outside of SPPA.
The Public Policy Analysis specialization prepares students for analytical positions in the public sector, or in firms and think tanks that evaluate public programs or estimate the impacts of public policies. This specialization is ideal for students who want to focus on the tools of policy analysis within the broader organizational leadership and management framework of the MPA.
The 3-credit 'threshold course' is UAPP 701: Public Policy. Students in the Public Policy Analysis specialization also take at least 6 additional credits from other recommended courses. Recommended courses include those listed below (semester course is typically offered in parentheses). However, in consultation with their advisor students may fulfill the specialization by taking a wide range of courses both inside and outside of the Biden School.
The Emergency Management specialization prepares students to serve as disaster professionals, supporting governments, communities, and public organizations in the preparation, response, recovery, and mitigation of emergency situations.
This specialization is for students seeking career options at the intersection of disaster preparedness planning and government management and operations. It may also be a good choice for those contemplating careers in the fields of public safety or disaster research.
The 3-credit 'threshold course' is DISA650: Overview of Disaster Science and Management, and students also take at least 6 additional credits from recommended courses.
The Healthcare Management specialization will provide students with the analytical and managerial tools to lead and manage in public and not-for-profit healthcare organizations and related institutions. Various data sources estimate between 75 and 80 percent of hospitals are not-for-profit or governmental entities, making the MPA the appropriate context for students pursuing expertise in healthcare management.
The student-designed specialization allows students, with the approval of their faculty advisor and the MPA director, to formulate a specialized program of study related to their unique academic and professional interests. Proposals for a student designed specialization must demonstrate a clear and relevant relationship to the field of public administration/management, organizational leadership, public policy, or advocacy in the public interest and must identify at least 9 credits of specialization-related graduate course work.
This specialization prepares students for a wide array of career options and may be a good choice for those contemplating continuing their graduate education beyond the master's level.