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Master of Public Administration

Format: Hybrid, online and in person on the Statesboro Campus
Credit Hours: 39
Entry Terms: Fall and Spring

One Innovative Program. Two Flexible Tracks.

When you look at the streets of your town or city — when you look at the world — do you dream of what could be? Whether you’re working for your local city government or a global nonprofit, you want to make the world a better place to live.

Are you READY to make a difference?

Our Masters in Public Administration

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) at Georgia Southern University is a professional graduate degree designed for management and administration in the public sector and nonprofit organizations.  Our NASPAA-accredited MPA program provides the focused training you’ll need to excel in a leadership role, mastering a broad set of skills including:

  • Budgeting and Finance
  • Economic Analysis
  • Human Resource Management
  • Policy Analysis
  • Information Technology
  • Resource Development and Grant writing
  • Program Evaluation
  • Strategic Management
  • And more!

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With a Master of Public Administration degree, you will gain the advanced career-oriented professional knowledge and skills to elevate your career as a driven leader in public service, government and nonprofit organizations.

Since 1973, Georgia Southern University’s MPA degree program has been a leader in the advancement of public and nonprofit management education. Today, the MPA program is recognized as one of the top graduate programs at the University and one of the best and most affordable MPA programs in Georgia.*

Master of Public Administration, Hybrid Track

The Hybrid Track is ideal for current and aspiring public service professionals who are seeking an innovative, yet more traditional graduate education experience.  This track provides an effective education that combines the best of online and in-person course delivery.  For example, a typical course divides up online (50%) and in-person (50%) instruction across the semester.  In-person instruction takes place on Georgia Southern’s Statesboro Campus, which is the oldest and largest campus at the University. Choose between two concentrations, Public Management or Nonprofit Management.

  • Curriculum that provides ‘real world’ knowledge and experience
  • Concentrated programs of study in public and nonprofit management
  • Hybrid course format that combines online and in-person instruction on the Statesboro Campus
  • Dedicated MPA faculty and staff committed to student success
  • Graduate Assistantships and other financial assistance
  • Large network of Georgia Southern MPA alumni

Master of Public Administration, Online Executive Track

The Executive Track is designed for individuals with a minimum of three years of relevant work experience in the public (civil or military) sector, nonprofit organization, or closely related position.  This cohort-based lock-step track is offered fully online with courses delivered in an abbreviated format.  The Executive Track admits cohorts annually each spring, with the entire program taking 18-months to complete. In the Executive Track, concentration courses have been carefully selected to expose students to a range of cutting-edge skills and ideas spanning public and nonprofit management.

  • Curriculum that provides ‘real world’ knowledge and experience
  • Full online and accredited
  • Cohort-based, accelerated program
  • Dedicated MPA faculty and staff committed to student success
  • No thesis or comprehensive examination
  • Large network of Georgia Southern MPA alumni
  • U.S. Department of Treasury
  • Federal Aviation Administration
  • Boys and Girls Club of America
  • Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget (Georgia)
  • City of Savannah

Admissions Requirements

MPA Program Admission

Admission to the MPA program is competitive.  While all students are welcome to apply to the Hybrid Track, note that we do not accept international students to the Executive Track.  To apply, applicants must have:

  1. Undergraduate degree from an accredited institution, with a minimum 2.75 (4.0 scale) cumulative grade point average.
  2. Resume detailing relevant work and volunteer experience.
  3. Essay describing applicant’s career goals and objectives, as well as potential for success in the program.
  4. Executive Track applicants must have a minimum of three years of relevant work experience in the public (civil or military) sector, nonprofit organization, or closely related position.
  5. TOEFL or IELTS scores (if applicant does not hold a degree from a program or university where English is the official language of instruction).

Additional Considerations

In addition to the above admission standards, international students should visit the College of Graduate Studies for eligibility requirements, as well as for information on out-of-country tuition waivers. International prospective students should also visit the Office of International Programs and Services for information on I-20/DS-2019 visa requests. Note that international students may only be admitted to the Hybrid Track.

International transcripts must be evaluated by a NACES accredited evaluation service and must be a course by course evaluation and include a GPA. Please note that the Department of Public and Nonprofit Studies is not able to waive the application fee or pay for international transcript evaluation.

Georgia Southern is a military-friendly institution. Additional consideration is given to applicants with service in any military branch, reserve unit, or National Guard (active, retired, or prior service; Form DD214 #4 required).

The online application for graduate assistantship positions is available here. This application is for graduate assistant positions in the Department of Public and Nonprofit Studies only and is open to incoming or returning MPA Students. GA positions are awarded by May (fall semester start) and by November (spring semester start) each year.

Additional GA opportunities can be found on the College of Graduate Studies website. Students should reach out to the listed contact(s) for more information about a listed position. Students should also complete the GA application.

Master of Public Administration Info Booklet

Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s Program

If you are a bachelor’s degree student interested in a Master’s in Public Administration, you may be eligible for an accelerated bachelor’s to master’s (ABM) program. ABM programs allow you to begin graduate studies in the senior year of your bachelor’s degree so you can accelerate completion of a graduate degree. You’ll earn both a bachelor’s and a graduate degree faster. And since any graduate courses taken as an undergraduate are billed at the undergraduate tuition rate, you’ll save money too. Learn more about the accelerated bachelor’s to master’s programs for the MPA.

FAQs for the Masters in Public Administration

How is the MPA program structured?

The MPA program is offered in two tracks – Hybrid and Executive. The Hybrid Track blends online and face-to-face instruction on the Statesboro Campus. The Executive Track is a fully online program, designed for individuals with a minimum of three years of relevant work experience in the public (civil or military) sector, nonprofit organization, or closely related position.

Is the MPA program accredited?

Yes! The MPA program is NASPAA accredited and is a member of the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council (NACC).

What is the format of the MPA program?

In the Hybrid Track, courses are taught in a blended format where 50% of a course is online and 50% occurs in-person. On a very limited basis, a course may be offered in a fully online, in-person, or weekend intensive format. The Executive Track is offered fully online with courses delivered in an abbreviated format.  The Executive Track admits cohorts annually each spring, with the entire program taking 18-months of full-time study to complete.

How does the Hybrid Track work?

The Hybrid Track provides current and aspiring public and nonprofit management professionals with an innovative and effective education that combines the best of online and in-person course delivery. We strive to develop the very best — educated, highly skilled, and ethical — public and nonprofit leaders.

Is there a fully-online option?

Yes! The Executive Track is a fully online version of our NASPAA accredited and nationally respected MPA program.

Can I attend the MPA program as a part-time or full-time student?

Yes! Hybrid Track students may attend the MPA program full-time (9-credit hours) or part-time (6-credit hours or less).  For financial aid purposes, students need to take at least 6-credit hours in order to receive financial aid.  For more information contact the Georgia Southern Office of Financial Aid. The Executive Track is a cohort-based, lock-step track that is designed for full-time or part-time enrollment. Please see the MPA Program of Study for full-time and part-time options.

Are there plans to expand the MPA program?

The MPA program continues to expand! Our two-track program is the next iteration of the MPA program that has 50 years of experience to build on. The current MPA course schedule (PBAD or NMLI – 7000 level courses) can be found using the university’s course search tool.

Do you accept international students to the MPA program?

Yes! For admission to the Hybrid Track, we welcome applications from students outside of the United States.  International applicants should closely review the information found on the College of Graduate Studies website as well as the university’s Office of International Programs and Services. Please note that we do not accept international students to the Executive Track. 

What type of funding opportunities are available?

The Department of Public and Nonprofit Studies is typically awards graduate research or teaching assistantships to a handful of exceptionally qualified students.  Other graduate assistantship opportunities may be available outside of the department. General information pertaining to graduate assistantships can be found at on the College of Graduate Studies website, including a list of available assistantships outside the department.  International students may be eligible for an out of country tuition waiver that reduces the cost of tuition and fees to the in-state rate.

How long does it take to complete the MPA program?

The MPA program requires successful completion of 39-credit hours. In the Hybrid Track, full-time students typically complete the MPA in two years whereas students attending part-time finish in 2.5 to 4 years. The Executive Track takes only 18-months of full-time study to complete, but part-time study is also an option.

Who are the faculty for the MPA program?

Our MPA program faculty are top teachers and researchers in their field.  Students can also expect to learn from invited guest speakers and, on occasion, part-time instructors who have specialized expertise in a given area.

Who can I contact for more information about the MPA program?

If you have a question, click on the “Chat with us Now” link found in the bottom right hand corner of each webpage.  Alternatively, you may send an email to mpa@georgiasouthern.edu, call the Department of Public and Nonprofit Studies at 912-478-1400, or visit the department located in the Carroll Building, Rm. 1068 on the Statesboro Campus.

Further MPA Program Information

MPA Program Facts

Program Length

The MPA program is offered in two tracks – Hybrid and Executive.

The Hybrid Track requires a total of 39 credit hours where, in addition to core management courses, students pursue an area of concentration in public or nonprofit management. The Hybrid Track blends online and in-person instruction. This means that 50% of a course is online and 50% taught in-person on the Statesboro Campus. Moreover, the curriculum is designed for full-time (9-credit hours) or part-time (3- or 6-credit hours) study.

The Executive Track requires a total of 39 credit hours. The Executive Track is designed for individuals with a minimum of three years of relevant work experience in the public (civil or military) sector, nonprofit organization, or closely related position. This cohort-based lock-step track is offered fully online with courses delivered in an abbreviated format. The Executive Track admits cohorts annually each spring, with the entire program taking 18-months to complete (based on full-time enrollment). In the Executive Track, concentration courses have been carefully selected to expose students to a range of cutting-edge skills and ideas spanning public and nonprofit management.

Program Size, Demographics, and Graduation Rates

The MPA program has historically averaged between 50-60 students enrolled in a given academic semester.  There are eight full-time core nucleus faculty members, as well as a select few practitioners that teach courses in the program.

More information related to the demographic make-up of the MPA student body can be found in the Georgia Southern University Fact Book.

Most full-time students graduate from the MPA program in 18-months (Executive Track) or two academic years (Hybrid Track), whereas part-time students graduate in three to four years on average.

The table below displays the graduation rates for the cohort entering Fall 2018 (ARY-5, as required by NASPAA). Of the 22 students who enrolled in Fall 2018, 12 (55%) graduated within two years and an additional three students graduated within four years. The overall four-year graduation rate, including full-time and part-time students, was 68% or 15 out of 22 students in this cohort. Please note that this data is for the MPA Hybrid Track. Retention, Progression, and Graduation data for the MPA Executive Track (beginning Spring 2023) will be shared here once available.

Fall 2018 Cohort Initially Enrolled Graduated within 100% Program Length (2 yrs.) Graduated within 150% of Program Length (3 yrs.) Graduated within 200% of Program Length (4 yrs.)
All New Students 22 12 15 15
Percentage Graduated 55% 68% 68%

Recent Internships and Job Placements

Internships

The completion of an internship (300 hours minimum) that is relevant to a student’s area of concentration is required of all pre-service students.  In consultation with the program director, in-service students may 1) use their current position for the internship or 2) complete an additional seminar course.  Most full-time students complete the internship requirement during the summer between their first and second years in the MPA Program.  Regardless, a student must have at least 15-credit hours completed in the MPA Program prior to being eligible for an internship.

Students intern, as well as receive professional positions in a variety of governmental and nonprofit organizations.

Recent Examples

  • City of Statesboro, Georgia
  • City of Savannah, Georgia
  • City of Sylvania, Georgia
  • City of Atlanta, Georgia
  • Georgia Southern University (Provost’s Office, Office of Career Services, Multicultural Student Center)
  • Bulloch County, Georgia (Human Resources, County Manager’s Office, DUI Court, Sheriff’s Office)
  • Chatham County, Georgia (Crime Analyst, District Attorney’s Office, Metropolitan Planning Commission)
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of America (Statesboro, Georgia)
  • Boy Scouts of America (Statesboro, Georgia)
  • Girl Scouts of America (Statesboro, Georgia)
  • Averitt Center for the Arts
  • Statesboro Regional Sexual Assault Center
  • Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Blakely-Early County Chamber of Commerce
  • Red Cross (Volunteer Coordinator, Syracuse, New York)
  • The Development and Education Programme for Daughters and Communities Centre in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region, Mae Sai, Chiang Rai, Thailand
  • Choices of the Heart
  • Federal Law Enforcement Training Center
  • Georgia Victory
  • The United Nations, Division of Economic and Social Affairs
  • American Red Cross of Southeast Georgia
  • Azalea Health and Rehabilitation
  • Habitat for Humanity Effingham County
  • City of Pembroke, Georgia
  • Office of Congressman E. L. “Buddy” Carter
  • Department of Health and Human Services – Food & Drug Administration – Office of Regulatory Affairs
  • City of Macon Planning and Zoning Commission, Georgia
  • Athens Regional Medical Center

Job Placements

Historically, MPA graduates enjoy high rates of employment following graduation. In AY2021-22, 7 students graduated from the MPA program and accepted or continued positions in state or local government, the nonprofit arena, military, or in the private sector.

Employment, by sector, for this cohort:

  • City, County, or other local government in the same country as the program – 2 students
  • State, provincial or regional government in the same country as the program – 3 students
  • Private sector (research/consulting) – 1 student
  • Obtaining further education – 1 student
  • Total number of graduates during this period – 7 students

Other recent employment examples include:

Local Government:
  • City Planner, City of Grovetown, Georgia
  • City Management Fellow, City of Columbia, Missouri
  • Planning and Zoning Coordinator, City of Pembroke, Georgia
  • Assistant City Engineer, City of Statesboro, Georgia
  • Special Projects Coordinator, City of Savannah, Georgia
  • Building Inspector, Troup County, Georgia
  • Tourism Coordinator, City of Covington, Georgia
  • Activities Coordinator, Bulloch County Parks and Recreation (Georgia)
State Government:
  • Management Analyst I, Georgia DOAA
  • Fiscal Policy Analyst, Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget (Georgia)
  • Development Officer, University of Georgia
  • Senior Staff Attorney, Ogeechee Judicial Circuit
  • Clerk of Superior, State, and Juvenile Courts, Bulloch County, Georgia
  • Coordinator of International Student Services, Georgia Southern University
  • Office Manager, Business Innovation Group, Georgia Southern University
  • Budget Analyst II, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Senior Records Administrator, Fulton County Government
  • Executive Assistant, College of Health and Human Sciences, Georgia Southern University
  • Academic Advisor, Georgia Southern University
  • Public Safety Officer, Georgia Southern University
  • Associate Director of Alumni Relations, Georgia Southern University
  • Assistant Director of Development, Western Carolina University
  • Assistant Volleyball Coach, University of Buffalo
  • Director, Performing Arts Center, Georgia Southern University
  • Enrollment Director, Georgia Southern University
  • Affirmative Action/EEO Specialist, Georgia Southern University
  • Outdoor Pursuits Coordinator, University of North Georgia
Federal Government:
  • Portfolio Manager, U.S. Department of Treasury
  • 2nd Lieutenant (x 3 times), U.S. Army
  • Air Traffic Controller Specialist Trainee, Federal Aviation Administration
Nonprofit Organization:
  • Development Associate, Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine
  • International Affairs Specialist, New York, NY
  • Regional Coordinator, Georgia Youth Science & Technology Center, Bainbridge, Georgia
  • Education Specialist, Boys and Girls Club of America, Statesboro, Georgia
  • Regional Member Experience Director, YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia
Private Organization:
  • Technical Recruiter, TEKsystems
  • Marketing Coordinator, Caldwell Shooting Supplies
  • Insurance Agent, State Farm Insurance
  • Director of Recruiting, One Life America
  • Immigration Consultant, Convergys
  • Compliance Specialist, Insight Global
  • Communications Coordinator, Moreland Associates
  • Associate, HORNE LLP
  • Director of Corporate Accounting, Avatar Hotel Group
Continued with further graduate study:
  • University of North Texas
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Elon University School of Law
  • Arizona Summit Law School
  • University of Nebraska-Omaha

Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid

Tuition and Fees charged by Georgia Southern University are approved by the University System of Georgia annually.  Changes in tuition and fee rates are typically effective fall semester each year.  The tuition and fees listed on the links below provide an estimate of tuition, fees, housing, meals, books and supplies.  Actual costs are determined when a student registers for classes each semester and are based on student level, residency, credit hours, miscellaneous course fees, housing and meals.  Please contact the Office of Financial Aid with specific questions about tuition and fees.

Related Tuition and Fees Information:

Graduate Assistantships

A number of MPA students are awarded graduate assistantships (GA) each academic year.  While some assistants work for academic departments supporting faculty in a variety of teaching and research roles, others work as graduate assistants in the University’s numerous administrative departments.  GAs receive a waiver of the standard in-state and out-of-state tuition, along with a monthly stipend during the academic year.

The online application for GA positions is available HERE. This application is for graduate assistant positions in the Department of Public and Nonprofit Studies only and is open to incoming or returning MPA Students. GA positions are awarded by May (fall semester start) and by November (spring semester start) each year.

Additional GA opportunities can be found on the College of Graduate Studies website. Students should reach out to the listed contact(s) for more information about a listed position. Students should also complete the GA application.

Course Descriptions

The Department of Public and Nonprofit Studies offers courses under the Public Administration (PBAD) prefix and Nonprofit Management, Leadership, and Innovation (NMLI) prefix.

PBAD 7030 – Selected Topics in Public and Nonprofit Management: This course examines specific topics in public and nonprofit management not addressed by other courses. May be repeated once as topics change.

PBAD 7130 – Ethics for Public Service Organizations: This course examines the experiences, approaches, and strategies for confronting and solving the complex problems facing public and nonprofit organizations. An emphasis is placed on accountability and responsibility of public servants, the methods of moral reasoning and their connection to behavior, specific ethical concerns of public organizations, and ethical decision-making.

PBAD 7133 – Administrative Law: This course examines the intersection of public administration and the law, giving particular attention to U.S. Supreme Court decisions pertaining to the constitutional and statutory authority of agencies, rulemaking, policy enforcement, administrative transparency, judicial deference, judicial review, and the law of public employment.  Extensive attention will be given to both the relationship between courts and modern administrators and the ways in which elements of administrative law and the practice of public administration can be integrated.

PBAD 7134 – Advanced Management: This course provides the key insights and skills necessary to manage and lead in public service organizations. It focuses on contemporary practices of public and nonprofit management such as cross-sector collaborations, networks, negotiations, and other technical skills needed to lead in the twenty-first century.

PBAD 7230 – Budgeting in Public Service Organizations: This course examines both the politics and techniques used in formulating and implementing budgets by governmental and nonprofit organizations. It provides a bridge between budgeting theory and practice and its relationship to the administrative processes of control, management, and planning. Attention is also given to understanding the complexities of designing a tax system that conforms to principles of good tax policy.

PBAD 7232 – Financial Management in Public Service Organizations: This course provides a theoretical and practical introduction to financial analysis and management in public service organizations. Topics include processes, tools and methods used in financial planning and control of public and nonprofit organizations, including cost estimation, strategies for long-term and short-term investing, and financial statement analysis utilizing critical performance indicators.

PBAD 7233 – IT for Public Service Organizations: Provides a guide to the electronic delivery of government information and services and the management of information technology in the public sector.  Topics include the digital divide, information security, privacy, transparency and accountability issues, and evaluation of the government’s use of social media in the provision of service to citizens.

PBAD 7235 – Leadership of Public Organizations: This course examines the extensive literature on successful leadership broadly and its existence within and application to public service organizations more specifically. Particular attention is given to identifying strong leadership practices and distilling principles of exemplary leadership. This includes an emphasis on conceptual, technical, and human skills.

PBAD 7330 – Intergovernmental Relations: Examines the interaction between the federal, state, and local levels of government in the United States. Special attention is given to the constitutional and fiscal relationships between these levels of government and the historical evolution of the nature of the relationships. The concept of federalism and its relationship to effective intergovernmental relations is also examined.

PBAD 7331 – Local Government Management: This course examines the political and administrative processes of municipalities, counties, and other units of local government in the United States. Special focus is placed on the role and responsibilities of the city/county manager, enhancing manager–council effectiveness, managing citizen engagement, and implementing innovative service delivery strategies.

PBAD 7333 – Social Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: This course examines the ways in which differences in demographic characteristics affect the work of public and nonprofit managers, and explains how gender, race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, and other dimensions of diversity influence organizational behaviors and outcomes. Special attention is given to social equity, diversity and inclusion, representative bureaucracy, and implementing culturally competent strategies to address the challenges of serving an increasingly diverse public.

PBAD 7335 – Urban Management: Examines the problems confronting public managers in large municipalities and the unique responsibilities of urban governments. Special attention will be paid to policy areas such as transportation, housing, social welfare, public safety, and infrastructure management.

PBAD 7336 – Comparative Public Management: Examines public administration through two differing viewpoints–domestic and international. Special attention is paid to the unique problems and circumstances surrounding domestic and international governments and how they relate to and differ from each other.

PBAD 7337 – Environmental Management and Policy: This course provides an overview of environmental and natural resource management in the United States. Particular attention is paid to the topics of federalism and cooperation. Issues of regional importance are also covered, including water quality and availability, regulation and monitoring compliance, sustainable growth, and management within overlapping jurisdictions.

PBAD 7338 – Managing Economic Development: Examines the strategies, tools, and techniques used by local, state, and national governments to generate economic growth in and revitalization of economically depressed areas as well as maintaining economic growth in stable areas.

NMLI 7339 – Community Development: Examines the history and theory behind the practice of community organizing, civic engagement, and public participation.  Provides students with practical and effective community organization skills and civic engagement strategies.

PBAD 7430 – Public Human Resource Management: Examines the functions, policies, and techniques of human resource management in public and nonprofit organizations.

PBAD 7431 – Organizational Behavior: This course examines human behavior in organizations, with a focus on the practical application of theories related to the management of individuals and groups within public service organizations.

NMLI 7432 – Nonprofit Administration: Examines the management of nonprofit organizations, with a focus on areas of management most different from the public sector, such as legal requirements, ethics, board governance, strategic management, ethics, and financial management.

PBAD 7530 – Research Methods for Public Service Organizations: This course examines quantitative techniques for public and nonprofit organizations. Emphasis is placed on understanding and using techniques appropriate to categorical analysis and the simple linear model. Students are exposed to research design, measurement, and the use of computer program packages appropriate to public service organizations.

PBAD 7531 – Public Program Evaluation: This course examines the design and implementation of policy and program evaluation in public and nonprofit organizations. Special attention is given to developing logic models, selecting appropriate research designs, and monitoring agency operations through performance measurement. The mechanics of benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis are examined. Various evaluation methods are used in assessing the efficiencies and effectiveness of programs. Prerequisite(s): PBAD 7530

PBAD 7532 – Public Policy: This course examines how public policy is developed, implemented, and evaluated with special attention being given to policy formulation, analysis, and interpretation.

PBAD 7533 – Geographic Information Systems and Public Planning: Examines the practice of urban, regional, and state planning with focus on the use of geographic information system (GIS) applications for state and local decision-making. Includes an introduction to the scope, theories, and politics of planning.

PBAD 7631 – Foundations of Public Administration: This course surveys the field of public administration and explores the historical foundations and theories of public administration as well as the diverse political, social, and economic contexts within which they exist.

PBAD 7638 – Capstone Seminar: This course prepares students to sit for the comprehensive examination by undergoing a review of the major theories underlying the field of public administration. This course also addresses issues related to a student’s professional development. This course is for students admitted prior to Fall 2021.

PBAD 7651 – Organization Development: This course examines the theoretical basis of organization development (OD) and demonstrates how OD technologies can be applied to public and nonprofit organizations for improving organizational quality and performance.

NMLI 7652 – Board Governance and Executive Leadership: This course provides an introduction to the fundamentals of governance, trusteeship, and executive leadership in nonprofit organizations. The course critically examines the principal models, processes, and practices used in governing nonprofit organizations and the relationships between the governing boards and executive leaders of such organizations.

NMLI 7653 – Foundations of the Nonprofit Sector: This course surveys the history, scope and role of the nonprofit sector. Special attention is given to the economic, political and philanthropic theories of the nonprofit sector.

NMLI 7654 – Strategic Management: This course examines the principal models, processes, and practices used in strategic management, familiarizing students with essential management skills. The course focuses on the key internal and external factors that drive strategic management decisions within nonprofit and governmental organizations, including leadership, external resources, and stakeholder involvement.

NMLI 7655 – Resource Development and Grant Writing: This course introduces the tools, techniques, and strategies associated with the principles of successful fundraising for nonprofit organizations. The class also introduces students to the fundamentals of grant writing.

NMLI 7656 – International Nongovernmental Organizations: This course introduces international nonprofit/non-governmental organizations and explores contemporary challenges these organizations face including issues of accountability, governance, effectiveness, and fundraising.

NMLI 7657 – Theory and Practice of Philanthropy: This course examines the theoretical framework for institutional philanthropy in the United States. The course explores the strategies, tools, and techniques for the role of strategic philanthropy in both programming and policymaking. It provides students with insight into the work of philanthropy.

PBAD 7730 – Internship in Public Administration: This course requires students to intern in a professional capacity with a public service organization. The internship requires a minimum of 300 hours working in the organization and as approved by the MPA internship coordinator.

PBAD 7731 – Local Government Practicum:  This course provides students with experience conducting research and policy analysis for local government. Projects are proposed by municipalities within Georgia and students are allowed to choose projects aligned with their interests. Students work individually, or in pairs on larger projects, under the direction of the course instructor. This course expands research skills, enriches understanding of local government policy processes, and exposes participants to issues they are likely to face when employed in local government.

PBAD 7810 – MPA Professional Portfolio:  The MPA Professional Portfolio is a work product that will be prepared, presented, and evaluated. Students will collect academic and professional artifacts throughout their program tenure, which will be incorporated into a portfolio. The portfolio is designed for students to demonstrate competencies gained in established academic and professional areas. The portfolio will also allow students to highlight their growth and development of the course study. Finally, the portfolio will provide MPA program faculty with an invaluable artifact in which to assess student learning.

PBAD 7820 – Immersion I:  Immersion I exposes MPA Executive Track students to a range of topics that supplement and support classroom learning, while providing opportunities to gain a deeper understanding of the discipline.

PBAD 7821 – Immersion II:  Immersion II exposes MPA Executive Track students to a range of topics that supplement and support classroom learning, while providing opportunities to gain a deeper understanding of the discipline.

PBAD 7890 – Directed Reading: A structured set of readings and assignments mutually designed by the student and the instructor on a specific area of public administration.

Program History, Mission, and Outcomes

MPA Program History

Since 1973, Georgia Southern University’s MPA program has been a leader in the advancement of public and nonprofit management education.  Today, the MPA program is recognized as one of the top graduate programs at Georgia Southern, boasting a dedicated core faculty and an alumni base of more than 700 strong.

In 2011, the MPA Program gained membership in the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council (NACC), which is comprised of academic programs and institutions committed to furthering research and education in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector.  The MPA program is also accredited by the NASPAA Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation and listed on the Annual Roster of Accredited Programs in conformity with NASPAA Standards.

On July 1, 2012, in recognition of the MPA program’€s continued development, the program was made part of the newly established Institute for Public and Nonprofit Studies (IPNS). In 2018, the IPNS became the Department of Public and Nonprofit Studies.  Today, the department serves as the focal point for scholarship, teaching, and professional service in the field of Public Administration, Public Policy, and Nonprofit Management at Georgia Southern.  It is one of six academic departments in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.

The MPA program’s curriculum is structured to meet the needs of both pre-service students and mid-career practitioners. In Fall 2021, the program transitioned to a hybrid format blending online and in-person instruction on the Statesboro Campus.

Also, beginning Fall 2021, undergraduate students majoring in Recreation Management or Human Development and Family Science-Family Services may apply to the Advanced Bachelors to Masters (ABM) program. The ABM program provides students with the opportunity to apply up to 12-credit hours of MPA coursework towards both their undergraduate and graduate (MPA) degree requirements.

The department also offers three undergraduate minors (Public Administration, Public Policy, and Nonprofit Management).  The department’s undergraduate courses are taught fully-online and are open to all students seeking training in public and nonprofit management.  Students in the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) program may also pursue program concentrations in these areas.

MPA Program Mission

The Master of Public Administration program prepares students for careers in public service and nonprofit organizations by providing outstanding academic and practical instruction in public administration. Preparing a corps of technically proficient, ethical and service-oriented public administrators will improve the quality of life and governance for all the region’s citizens and this is our primary mission.

MPA Student Learning Outcomes

  • Using the major theories underlying the field of public administration students can synthesize relevant information to address public problems.
  • Students can articulate and apply a public service perspective in their demonstrated knowledge of the structure, components, goals and objectives of the public and nonprofit sectors.
  • Students are able to participate in the public policy process through analysis and application of quantitative and qualitative empirical evidence to determine the effectiveness of a public policy or program.
  • Students are able to describe the public policy process and the administrator’s role in that process.
  • Students are able to identify ethical problems in public administration, assess the nuances and ambiguities of those ethical problems, and create appropriate solutions using moral reasoning skills.
  • Students will participate in and contribute to the policy process through preparation and analysis of a public budget in order to lead and manage in public governance.
  • Students can manage the major components of a personnel system within an organizational setting, understand the nuances of effectively motivating and managing personnel, and communicate and interact productively and in culturally responsive ways with a diverse and changing workforce and society at large.

The MPA program’s learning outcomes align with the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) universal required competencies.  The required competencies include five domains:

  • to lead and manage in the public interest;
  • to participate in, and contribute to, the policy process;
  • to analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems and make evidence-informed decisions in a complex and dynamic environment;
  • to articulate, apply, and advance a public service perspective;
  • to communicate and interact productively and in culturally responsive ways with a diverse and changing workforce and society at large.
MPA Advisory Board (MPAAB)

Members of the MPAAB are entrusted by the Department of Public and Nonprofit Studies to help ensure the Master of Public Administration Program achieves its mission to prepare students for careers in public service and in nonprofit organizations.

Serve. Respect. Achieve.

Jason Boyles
Assistant City Manager, City of Statesboro, GA
LaShai Campbell
Business Manager, Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs, Georgia Southern University
Col. George Fredrick
Director of Veteran and Military Services, Georgia Southern University
James Hall
Member, Board of Elections, Chatham County, GA
Akilah King
Conference Services Manager, Division of Continuing & Professional Education, Georgia Southern University
Ben McKay
Research Specialist, Business Innovation Group, Georgia Southern University

Judith Oglesby
Chief Assistant Solicitor-General, Office of the Solicitor-General,
Bulloch County State Court
Cindy Steinmann
Assistant County Manager, Bulloch County, GA
Debbie Vives
Nonprofit Professional (Retired)
Justin Williams
Planning & Housing Administrator, City of Statesboro, GA

Still Have Questions? Contact Us!

Department of Public and Nonprofit Studies
Georgia Southern University
P.O. Box 8048
Statesboro, Georgia 30460-8048

Phone: 912-478-1400
Email: mpa@georgiasouthern.edu

A Nationally Accredited Program

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program is a NASPAA accredited degree program. The Department of Public and Nonprofit Studies is a member of the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council (NACC).

NASPAA Accredited. The Commission on Review and Accreditation.
NACC

*Ranked No. 2 in Affordable Colleges in Georgia 2021 by College Affordability Guide, No. 4 for 2020 Most Affordable Online Public Administration Degrees by OnlineU. Ranked No. 4 in Georgia for the MPA program in the 2020 Best Public Administration Colleges in Georgia.

Related Programs

Last updated: 3/20/2022