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MPAL Curriculum and Advising Sheet

News Type College News

Total Required Credit Hours: 32

The Master of Public Administration and Leadership (MPAL) program offers a flexible master’s option for working professionals with at least three years of significant post-baccalaureate administrative or analytical work experience. The MPAL program can be completed entirely online in 20 months (five consecutive academic semesters).

Students have the opportunity to address real work problems throughout the program that culminates in a capstone experience where students can present solutions to these problems. The curriculum allows students to build key competencies needed for leadership in the public and nonprofit sectors, and emphasizes ethical leadership, civic engagement and civil discourse, and diversity.

Core Courses

The MPAL core curriculum is designed as an integrated curriculum targeted at advancing the management and leadership skills of working professionals. The core curriculum consists of seven required courses.

(7 courses, 20 credit hours total, complete all courses)

  • PUBAFRS 6051: Introduction to Public Affairs/Orientation to Program, 4 credit hours
    Prepares students for their roles as action-oriented administrators, managers and leaders within a democratic system of governance. Students will explore the context of public sector management and leadership.
  • PUBAFRS 6060: Managerial Leadership in Public and Nonprofit Organizations, 4 credit hours
    Introduces best practices on supervising and managing, and how to recruit, motivate and retain talent in public organizations. This course also teaches about the leadership skills and practices needed to lead high-performing public service organizations.
  • PUBAFRS 6045: Fundamentals of Budgeting & Financial Administration, 2 credit hours
    Provides a high-level understanding of government and nonprofit budgeting processes by focusing on planning and financial decision-making in public and nonprofit organizations. Students will be able to understand, communicate and participate in the budgetary process.
  • PUBAFRS 6055: Judgement in Managerial Decision-Making, 2 credit hours
    Provides opportunities for managers to identify common biases and logical fallacies in decision- making and employ skills and techniques to compensate for them.
  • PUBAFRS 6075: Data, Models, & Evaluation, 4 credit hours
    Provides students with the knowledge and tools necessary to analyze data. Students will learn the fundamentals of statistics needed to conduct analyses, and will develop an understanding of program evaluation and research design in order to evaluate the quality of analyses conducted by others and communicate findings.
  • PUBAFRS 6530: Negotiation, 1 credit hour
    Explores the major concepts and theories behind the psychology of bargaining and negotiation and improves students’ negotiation skills.
  • PUBAFRS 7990: Capstone, 3 credit hours
    (See below for details)


(12 Credits Required)

MPAL students are required to take 12 credit hours of elective coursework—usually four, three-credit hour elective classes. Elective coursework provides opportunities for students to pursue specialized interests or broaden their knowledge as well as to apply skills learned in the core courses to management and policy issues or problems.

Students also have the option to create a more focused degree by selecting a specialization in Public Management, Public Policy, Criminal Justice Administration or Nonprofit Management.

Students must complete the required course plus three additional elective courses within their chosen specialization. Other course(s) may be substituted/added to the specialization track with advisor approval.

The Public Management specialization is designed for students who would like to focus even more on managerial and leadership skills. Students completing the Public Management specialization will be prepared to

  1. effectively apply management theory to practical management challenges;
  2. diagnose complex situations and resolve them in ways that enhance organizational performance;
  3. engage in fundamental strategic management techniques;
  4. set organizational priorities, use performance data to manage operations and use performance information to develop more effective employees and make financial decisions;
  5. effectively manage projects.

Required Course:

  • PUBAFRS 7557: Strategic Management (3 credit hours)

Elective Courses: Choose three

  • PUBAFRS 7550: Contract Management (3 credit hours)
  • PUBAFRS 7554: Performance Management (3 credit hours)
  • PUBAFRS 7555: Project Management (3 credit hours)
  • PUBAFRS 7650: Public Management in Hybrid World (3 credit hours)

The Public Policy specialization is designed for students who would prefer to develop their public policy knowledge and policy analysis skills. Students completing the Public Policy specialization will be able to

  1. understand the public policy process;
  2. apply the concepts from economics to policy problems;
  3. set up basic program evaluations and assess the evaluations conducted by others;
  4. further develop their analytic tools or knowledge of a specific policy area.

Required Course:

  • PUBAFRS 6000: Policy Formulation & Implementation (4 credit hours)

Elective Courses: Choose three

  • PUBAFRS 6030: Public Sector Economics (4 credit hours)
  • PUBAFRS 5750: Business Government Relations (3 credit hours)
  • PUBAFRS 5770: Risk Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • PUBAFRS 7555: Project Management (3 credit hours)

The Criminal Justice Administration and Policy specialization, developed in conjunction with the Department of Sociology, is designed for students who would like to develop their managerial skills in the field of criminal justice. Students completing the specialization will be prepared to

  1. understand the criminal justice system generally as well as specifically in Ohio;
  2. understand the role of administrators in a criminal justice system;
  3. understand crime and society’s responses to crime, based on public policy and the criminal justice system;
  4. make evidence-based recommendations regarding key correctional populations (arrestees, probationers, prisoners, parolees, drug abusers and others);
  5. articulate best practices related to prisons and jails;
  6. develop an understanding of criminal careers and recidivism.

Coursework for this specialization is offered by the Glenn College and the Department of Sociology.

Required Course:

  • PUBAFRS 5506: Administration of Criminal Justice Policy (3 credit hours)

Elective Courses: Choose three

  • SOC 5950: Evidence Based Practice (3 credit hours)
  • SOC 5925: Offender Decision Making & Prisoner Reentry (3 credit hours)
  • PUBAFRS 7507: Criminal Justice Policy (3 credit hours)
  • PUBAFRS 7508: Juvenile Justice System Policy (3 credit hours)

The Nonprofit Management specialization is designed for students who would like to focus even more on the management skills unique to nonprofit organizations. Students completing this specialization will:

  1. learn to assess and manage nonprofit capacity to achieve organizational performance and system impact;
  2. learn the fundamentals of nonprofit budgeting, accounting and financial management;
  3. be prepared to engage in development and fundraising strategies, process and systems;
  4. grow their expertise in marketing for nonprofit and public sector organizations.

Note: Some courses in the Nonprofit Management specialization are only offered in person. Please consult your advisor for course planning and additional information.

Required Courses:

  • PUBAFRS 7553: Nonprofit Management & Governance* (4 credit hours)
  • PUBAFRS 7533: Nonprofit Financial Management (3 credit hours)

Elective Courses: Choose three

  • PUBAFRS 5120: Social Change Advocacy (3 credit hours)
  • PUBAFRS 5590: Fundraising & Philanthropy for Nonprofit Orgs (currently in-person only) (3 credit hours)
  • PUBAFRS 5592: Marketing for Nonprofit Organization (3 credit hours)
  • PUBAFRS 7501: Grant Writing (currently in-person only) (3 credit hours)
  • PUBAFRS 7557: Strategic Management (3 credit hours)
  • PUBAFRS 7554: Performance Management (3 credit hours)
  • PUBAFRS 7555: Project Management (3 credit hours)

Capstone Course: PUBAFRS 7990

MPAL students will take capstone class in their final semester. All core classes must be completed before the capstone with the exception of 6530, which is taken concurrently with capstone.

The capstone class integrates the fundamental knowledge and skills gained in the MPAL curriculum and further applies them to relevant workplace situations. The MPAL capstone will integrate skills and concepts through the writing of short professional briefs.

The capstone course has three main components:

  1. completing a portfolio of the accumulated body of work completed during the academic career;

  2. developing one of the core course assignments or products to include specific managerial recommendations so that it can be utilized in the workplace;
  3. acquiring and displaying a set of skills to effectively communicate the management recommendation to relevant audiences(s).

Students who do not successfully complete the capstone will be required to take a second capstone course.

Exit Requirements:

  • Fulfillment of credit hour requirements
  • Fulfillment of course requirements
  • Achievement of a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 in all courses taken for graduate credit
  • Registration during the final semester of the degree program for a minimum of three graduate credit hours
  • Submission of the Application to Graduate to the Graduate School, via the GradForms system, by the deadline communicated by the Glenn College
  • Successful completion of the capstone course with grade “B” or higher

Please review the Graduate School Handbook for more detail on these requirements.