MPA Course Descriptions

MPA Course Descriptions

Core Courses

PP 5325 Labor-Management Relations, Negotiation and Contract Management: This course is designed an overview of the fundamentals associated with collective bargaining in the public sector. The class is a graduate level discussion on these topics to familiarize the student with the fundamental tools necessary for labor-management relations, negotiation and contract management. Topics for discussion will include the statutory basis for collective bargaining, the collective bargaining process, impasse procedures, a review of the costs associated compensation mechanisms, health benefits and pensions, and contract management. The course will cover negotiation and bargaining procedures, techniques, and strategies, as well as alternate dispute resolution methods.

PP 5340 Introduction to Public Policy and Management: This course focuses on the policy process, major policy domains, and ethics and decision making in public policy. Case studies serve as vehicles for improving writing and presentation skills. This course emphasizes professional writing in the context of policy and management memoranda.

PP 5345 Project Management in the Public Sector: In today’s public sector environment, delivering projects on-time and within budget while maintaining a focused project scope is increasingly expected. Successful project management comes down to the effective management of the project scope, schedule, and budget. This course emphasizes the management of these items throughout the phases of a public sector project. It discusses theory, principles, tools and techniques needed for strong project management skills. This course also covers topics essential to developing and leading high-performing teams such as project leadership, building teams, and the dynamics of teamwork. It is organized around the phases of a project: initiation, planning and design, execution, monitoring and control, and closeout.

MPA Course Descriptions

PP 5375 Economic Analysis for Public Policy and Management: This course applies basic microeconomic analysis to public policy and management problems. The principal goal of the course is to teach students economic reasoning so they can use the tools of microeconomic analysis to help untangle the complex policy problems they will confront as policy makers, policy analysts, and administrators. Some specific topics include supply and demand; budget constraints; utility theory; cost and production curves; the nature of markets; elasticity of demand, supply, and income; and application of economic tools to policy and management problems (cost-benefit analysis)

PP 5364 Public Finance and Budgeting: This course covers the techniques, practices, and organization of the financial functions in governmental administration. Some topics include tools for analyzing revenue systems; analysis of specific revenues (such as income, sales, and property taxes); analysis of financial statements; costs concepts; budget cycles; and applied budgeting exercises.

PP 5361 Theory and Management of Public Organizations: This course provides students with core management and behavioral concepts to effectively lead a public organization. It provides tools needed to understand organizational phenomena, solve organizational problems, and lead and manage individuals and groups. The course covers topics such as designing organizational structure, leadership, organizational culture, organizational politics, team dynamics, strategic planning, managing organizational performance, effective communication, and organizational change.

PP 5365 Human Resource Management: In this course students learn about public and nonprofit managers’ human resource management responsibilities. The course covers personnel functions such as job analysis and design, recruitment and selection, and performance appraisal. A portion of this course is devoted to understanding how to influence employees’ learning, growth and performance through motivation, effective communication and feedback, and professional development. This course also covers current issues within human resource management such as diversity at work, labor-management relations, and volunteer management.

PP 5370 Applied Research Design: In PP 5370 students learn the application of the tools and methods of social science research in order to develop the requisite skills to design high quality research. The course also enables students to be better consumers and translators of research reported in the news media and in professional journals. Students learn to frame applied research and display quantitative data effectively. Some topics include fixed effect regression, regression with binary dependent variables; and instrumental variable regression, conceptualization; research questions; research designs; validity; reliability;; and tools of analysis such as survey research and sampling, and other qualitative methods. Requires material covered in PP 5397 Quantitative Methods for Public Administration.

PP 5376 Applied Quantitative Methods: This course enables students to develop an intuitive and practical understanding of statistical techniques to understand, evaluate, generate, and present data and information. The course will review the following key elements of statistics: descriptive statistics, exploratory data analysis, probability theory, statistical inference, hypothesis testing, and regression analysis. By the end of the semester, students will gain facility with how to describe a data set, use it to make inferences about the world, and begin to analyze public policy, programs, or public opinion issues.