The Master Degree in Public Administration prepares individuals interested in public service and third sector careers for professional and management policy positions. Persons already employed or preparing to enter public service are encouraged to apply for admission. The interdisciplinary nature of the program is designed to utilize faculty resources in departments and colleges across the University and to offer students a wide choice in their professional preparation.
MPA students must complete a minimum of 42 credit hours for the degree. The curriculum (effective Fall 2023) includes:
- Core (21 credit hours)
- MPA Practicum (3 credit hours)
- Electives (15 credit hours or 12 credit hours if doing a thesis)
- Capstone (3 credit hours) or Professional Paper (3 credit hours) or Master's Thesis (6 credit hours)
*All PADM courses require department permission to register.Concentrations for specified program checklists.
The following core curriculum of 21 credit hours:
This seminar is an introductory-level graduate seminar introducing key concepts in public administration. It is designed as an introduction to the Public Administration curriculum, to key elements in government; to key issues in systems of governance, and to the multiple environments within which public administration professionals will work in the future, including the institutional, ideological, social, and cultural environments.
This course introduces students to evidence-based management principles and covers a broad array of theories and conceptual models in the fields of organizational development and behavior. It provides analytic lenses through which students will develop strategic means to address ‘wicked problems’ that exist in public, healthcare and/or non-profit organizations.
This course introduces students to budgeting concepts and models, financial control, reporting, and analysis. Topics also include the management of public funds and contributions, expenditure controls, issues in financial administration, and the establishment of priorities through financial management. Students will also develop spreadsheet skills to perform financial calculations and create financial analysis reports.
This course focuses on data analysis prevalent in public administration, including descriptive and inferential statistics, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, correlation, cross-tabulation, mean comparison with significance testing, regression, ANOVA.
This course is intended to provide an advanced introduction to the theory and practice of program evaluation, along with policy analysis and evaluation.
Students must have completed at least 21 credit hours to enroll in PADM 555 MPA Practicum (3 credit hours):
This course provides students with an opportunity to apply the concepts, strategies, and tools acquired in a public or non-profit organization. Students with relevant professional experience may request a waiver.
Electives consist of any PADM courses outside the core, practicum, and capstone/professional paper/thesis curriculum. See Concentrations for specified electives. If you are interested in a graduate course outside of PADM course offerings, please submit an elective substitution form for approval to email@example.com.
This course aims to acquaint students with the study of human behavior in complex public and nonprofit organizations and to improve their skills in effectively managing it.
The organization, policies, processes, and financing of state governments, cities, counties, and special districts, with particular emphasis on human resources, budgets, and planning.
Organization of federal system, focusing on relationships and problems among agencies on different levels of government. Considers interstate, interlocal and regional organizations and implementation of intergovernmental programs and policies.
Survey of employment relations among employers, employees, and government in the public sector, with particular attention to unionized organizations.
Overview of the role of conflict/disputes in employment relationships; theories of conflict origins in humans, manifestations of workplace disputes, aggression, coercion, and violence; positive conflict resolution and reconciliation through peacemaking strategies.
Role and nature of administrative law; procedural requirements and judicial review of administrative actions; safeguards against arbitrary/capricious action; delegation of sovereignty and legislative power; legal principles in the development of public policy and administration.
This course aims to familiarize students with the ethical nature and dilemmas of American public administration. It looks at the ethical dilemmas and concerns that arise from the exercise of discretionary authority and administrative power.
Examination on a comparative basis of national systems of administration in developed and developing countries, focusing on the organization and behavior of public bureaucracies, with special emphasis on Latin America.
This course focuses on the issue of cross-boundary governance, aiming to foster collaborative leadership across business, nonprofit and public sectors, tribal and other jurisdictions, and policy making and implementation systems. Cross-boundary competition and conflicts are often inevitable. How to manage them responsibly in governance is a central theme.
This is an introductory course to the role and leadership of nonprofit organizations in sustainable development goals in the United States. This course will provide an overview of management skills required by leaders of nonprofit organizations, including nonprofit strategy, board governance, executive leadership, managing employees and volunteers, marketing, fundraising, social enterprise, and collaboration and competition among nonprofit organizations.
Course focuses on nonprofit financial decision-making, operating and capital budgeting, managing working capital, issues in implementing budgets and business plans, issues in government contracting with nonprofit organizations, and financial performance management.
This course focuses on budgeting tools and techniques for public and/or healthcare organizations. Systems for planning and budgeting are critical to organizational survival and success. The course covers techniques for cash budgeting, operating budgeting, and capital budgeting. It addresses planning and budgetary processes, with specific attention paid to issues facing public and/or healthcare organizations. Restriction: permission of department.
A topic relevant to public administration is developed, resulting in a paper of substantial length.
This course will examine critical issues currently facing health care managers and policymakers. Key areas of discussion are structure, financing, and delivery of health services in the U.S.
Health Finance helps students develop an understanding of the managerial aspects of financial analysis in health care organizations. It explores the concepts, principles, and applications of financial management and decision-making in modern hospitals and healthcare organizations.
This course is designed for future leaders of health care organizations. The course provides students with the knowledge of how the best health care organizations deliver high-quality and cost-effective health care services.
The course is designed to prepare future healthcare leaders of healthcare organizations to deal with ethical issues and dilemmas. The course does not cover medical ethics but focuses on management ethics.
Introduces key concepts in disability-related public policies in the United States and New Mexico, explores critical topics in disability and public policy, and increases understanding of the interactions between disability, public policy, and public health.
Review of representative theories of public policy, including policy formation, implementation, and impact analysis.
Examination of issues and problems associated with the implementation of U.S. environmental policies and programs. Administration of natural resources on federal, state, and local levels, with special reference to the Southwest.
Complex policy problems defy traditional boundaries. The governance of inter-organizational and cross-sectoral networks is a crucial skill for effective leaders. Topics include network design, leadership, informal accountability, managing competition, innovation, social capital, and network resilience.
(Also offered as CRP 577)
Introduction to practice of public policy development in technical and professional applications. Emphasis on writing, interpretation, and implementation of policy documents. Environmental, physical, and social policies are highlighted.
(Also offered as CRP 585)
Introduces students to new ways of negotiating and resolving disputes in the context of professional practice through collaborative decision-making and problem-solving.
Seminars scheduled from time to time on issues and topics requiring additional focus in public administration. See course offerings each semester for seminars.
This course will discuss the concept of culture, how it changes and how it influences everyday life, as well as a health disparity, and what healthcare organizations/systems can do to implement strategies for enhancing cultural competence.
This course is designed to help students develop a comprehensive understanding of the design, use, and evaluation issues and methodologies of health informatics applications.
The course focuses on the fundamentals of establishing compliance programs to identify and prevent fraud and abuse and familiarize students with various payment systems such as Medicare's prospective payment systems for hospitals and other provider reimbursements.
This course is designed for future leaders of health care organizations. The course provides students with knowledge about how the best health care organizations deliver high-quality cost-effective healthcare.
Capstone / Professional Paper / Thesis
Three options to complete your M.P.A graduate degree.
This course features an analysis of selected public administration cases. Students will develop analytical writing skills via case analyses critically applying knowledge and skills to challenges faced by nonprofit, public policy, and administrative professionals. Students must have completed at least 30 credit hours to enroll in PADM 689 Capstone.
Must be taken by all students who are not pursuing the capstone or thesis option. In general, papers will be more extensive than term papers, perhaps including case studies, reports of research results, theoretical essays, or similar contributions of substantive and professional quality. Students must enroll for 3 hours the first semester, and then for 1 hour consecutively thereafter (including summer sessions) until their professional paper is approved. Only the first 3 credit hours will count toward the M.P.A. degree. Professional Paper guidelines.
Offered on a CR/NC basis only.
Offered on a CR/NC basis only. Master's Thesis guidelines.
Curriculum below for those that were admitted before Fall 2018
MPA Course Completion Checklist
Curriculum below for those that were admitted before Fall 2023
MPA Course Completion Checklist