Course Requirements

Elective Courses

16 credit hours chosen from more than 60 courses based on a student's professional goals and personal interests. If warranted by special needs or interests, students may take up to two elective courses in other departments of the university. Permission of the director is required before registration for such courses.

Thesis Option

Students with a grade point average of 3.5 or above may choose the thesis option and replace MPS 593 with MPS 598. To qualify for the thesis option you must take research sequence MPS 586/MPS 587

Concentrations

Students may choose concentrations in a variety of public service fields. While not required, concentrations are available for students in the Master of Science in Public Service Management degree with specialized interests and careers. The concentrations are: Health Care Administration, Higher Education Administration, and Metropolitan Planning and Urban Affairs. ​

MPS 500

INTRODUCTION TO PUBLIC SERVICE MANAGEMENT

Introduces students to organizational theories and practices useful to public service managers. Teaches how to use structural, human resource, political and symbolic perspectives to rethink public service organizations. Provides an introduction to managerial issues including workforce diversity, decision making and leadership; stresses critical thinking and writing skills.
Prerequisites:
School of Public Service student or department consent is a prerequisite for this course.

MPS 501

CROSS-SECTOR ANALYSIS

Covers the examination of the size, scope, capacity, and limitations of the nonprofit, government, and business sectors, in the domestic and international context. Students will be introduced to research and become familiar with print and electronic resources and databases. They will learn to develop meaningful research questions, write literature reviews, and analyze the interrelationships between the three sectors.

MPS 514

GOVERNMENT FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION

The concepts of efficiency and equity in taxation are applied to identify the advantages and disadvantages of specific taxes such as income, sales and property. Specific skill sets include present value techniques, interpreting the basic financial reports generated by governments, and evaluating financial performance of a government based upon its financial reports.
Prerequisites:
MPS 500 is a prerequisite for this course.

MPS 515

NONPROFIT FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION

This course explores key issues in operations budgeting and capital budgeting. Specific skill sets include cash flow analysis, variance analysis, present value techniques, interpreting financial statements, and evaluating financial performance.
Prerequisites:
MPS 500 is a prerequisite for this class.

MPS 541

ECONOMIC FOUNDATIONS OF PUBLIC SERVICE

This course introduces students to the branches of economics known as microeconomics, public finance, and welfare economics. Students learn to apply standard economic tools to identify policy issues and to analyze them. Specific skill set includes present value techniques. PREREQUISITE(S): MPS 500.
Prerequisites:
MPS 500 is a prerequisite for this class.

MPS 522

FUNDAMENTALS OF HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

This course explores human resource issues facing employees with supervisory responsibilities in public service organizations, including those working in the volunteer, non-profit, religious, government, and education sectors. The course considers human resource planning, employee recruiting and selection, and the motivation and evaluation of staff personnel and managers both individually and in teams. Topics include recruiting and selecting employees and managers, fostering team development, managing employee stress, preventing workplace violence, and handling issues pertaining to termination, training, and development. The course also explores progressive discipline, improving performance management of employees and volunteers, and supervising "difficult" people.
Prerequisites:
MPS 500 is a prerequisite for this course.

MPS 542

POLICY DESIGN AND ANALYSIS

Focuses on processes and techniques of analyzing and designing public policies. Students are introduced to an analytical way of thinking that includes: defining and modeling policy problems; designing policy alternatives; evaluating policy alternatives using ethical, legal, economic, organizational, and political criteria; and anticipating problems of policy implementation.
Prerequisites:
MPS 501 and (MPS 514 or MPS 515 or MPS 541) are prerequisites for this class.

MPS 586

RESEARCH METHODS I, INTRODUCTION TO APPLIED RESEARCH AND STATISTICS

This course introduces students to the principles underlying scientific and applied research. It covers both qualitative and quantitative approaches and teaches students to collect and analyze data. Students learn about research ethics, causality, sampling (both random and purposive), and the techniques of survey design. Students calculate descriptive and inferential statistics using statistical software. Students learn applied program research, including developing and evaluating program theory and processes.
Prerequisites:
MPS 501 and (MPS 514 or MPS 515 or MPS 541) are a prerequisite for this class.

MPS 587

RESEARCH METHODS II, ADVANCED APPLIED RESEARCH AND STATISTICS

This course introduces students to more advanced mixed methods of scientific research including interviews and focus groups, observation, and ethnography. Students learn about the design of experiments and the problems associated with spuriousness and control. Students calculate and interpret bivariate and multivariate statistics using statistical software. Students learn applied research, including needs assessment and outcomes evaluations. Students develop their own research proposal for their capstone or thesis project.
Prerequisites:
MPS 586 is a prerequisite for this course.

MPS 588

INTRODUCTION TO RESEARCH AND STATISTICS FOR MANAGEMENT

This course develops the skills necessary for understanding scientific research and conducting applied research through surveys, interviews, and focus groups. Students learn to calculate basic statistics using Excel and understand descriptive and inferential statistics. Students learn applied program research, including developing and evaluating program theory and processes.
Prerequisites:
MPS 501 and (MPS 514 or MPS 515 or MPS 541) are a prerequisite for this class.

MPS 589

ADVANCED RESEARCH METHODS AND STATISTICS FOR MANAGEMENT

This course continues the study of scientific research begun in MPS 588 and introduces more advanced topics, including experimental designs and statistical control. It teaches applied methods, including needs assessment, outcomes measurement, and impact evaluations, and introduces participatory action research. Students develop their own research proposal for their capstone or thesis project.
Prerequisites:
MPS 588 is a prerequisite for this class.

MPS 593

INTEGRATIVE SEMINAR

In this capstone course students complete an action research project integrating applied research, theoretical frameworks, and professional practice.
Prerequisites:
(MPS 586 and MPS 587) or (MPS 588 and MPS 589) are a prerequisite for this class.

MPS 594

ETHICAL LEADERSHIP IN PUBLIC SERVICE

This course provides students with the essential framework for personal and professional ethical decision making applied in the context of diverse workplaces and international organizations. Through lectures in ethical theories, case studies in applied ethics, and specific assignments, students clarify their personal-professional values, assess their moral intelligence, and develop their ethical leadership integrity. Students will also study the ethics of organizations, including the formation of social norms, how they influence individual decisions, and how entire organizations can become more ethical. Formerly MPS 506.
Prerequisites:
MPS 586 or MPS 588 is a prerequisite for this class.

MPS 598

THESIS

Students carry out a theoretically-based research project designed in MPS 585. The final product of this course is a master's thesis. Binding fee.
Prerequisites:
MPS 585 and program director consent is a prerequisite for this course.