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Online MPA – 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.

Are you READY to make a difference?

Master of Public Administration, Executive Track Curriculum

The Executive Track requires 24 credits of core courses, twelve (12) credits of emphasis courses, two (2) credits of immersion experiences, and a one (1) credit professional portfolio.

Core Requirements (24-credit hours)

  • PBAD 7631 Foundations of Public Administration
  • PBAD 7430 Public Human Resource Management
  • PBAD 7230 Budgeting in Public Service Organizations
  • PBAD 7130 Ethics for Public Service Organizations
  • PBAD 7531 Public Program Evaluation
  • PBAD 7532 Public Policy
  • PBAD 7530 Research Methods for Public Service Organizations
  • PBAD 7134 Advanced Management

Concentration Requirements (12-credit hours)

Students take prescribed courses spanning public and nonprofit management.

Immersions (2-credit hours)

  • PBAD 7820 – Immersion I (1 Credit Hour)
  • PBAD 7821 – Immersion II (1 Credit Hour)

Professional Portfolio (1-credit hour)

  • PBAD 7810 – MPA Professional Portfolio (1 Credit Hour)

MPA Program of Study (PDF)

Georgia Southern’s Master of Public Administration 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.*

*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.

MPA Executive Track Fast Facts

Degree: Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Format: Executive Track (Fully Online), also available in a Hybrid Track (Online and Statesboro Campus)

Concentration: Public and Nonprofit Management

Credit Hours: 39 Hours

Completion Time: 18 months

Priority Deadline: October 15, 2022

Admission Deadline: January 1, 2023

Benefits of the MPA Executive Track:

  • 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

For all online programs:

Federal law requires colleges and universities to make certain disclosures to prospective students of these programs. These disclosures include information on the University’s authority to operate outside of Georgia, complaint processes, adverse actions, and refunds.
For required disclosures in general with regard to online programs offered by the University, visit the Office of Legal Affairs website.

Master of Public Administration Info Booklet

If you are unable to use the section below, please refer to the PDF version of the Info Booklet here.

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.

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

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.

Last updated: 1/3/2024