Jul 19, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Public Administration, MPA

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Program Coordinator:  Alethia Cook (125-A Brewster Building; 252-328-5869; cooka@ecu.edu)

The Public Administration, MPA program is designed to provide students with basic administrative skills which can be utilized in a variety of administrative careers. It is based on a core curriculum of required public administration and quantitative analysis courses with a variety of related electives that will provide students with a choice of emphases depending upon career objectives.

The program offers two concentrations. The traditional concentration requires a 42 s.h. and is for pre-service students. The executive concentration requires 36 s.h. and is for those with a minimum of five years of relevant professional experience, at least 3 of which are at the mid- or upper-level.

The degree requires 36 or 42 s.h. as follows: 

2. Internship - 3 s.h.

Pre-service students enrolled in the traditional concentration are required to complete a 3 s.h. internship (approximately 300 hours of work). This requirement may be waived by the internship director and the MPA director if the student has substantial previous or current work experience in public sector or non-profit employment. To have this requirement waived, the student must submit a request documenting the nature of this work experience to the internship director. The internship director will provide guidelines for this documentation to the student seeking a waiver from this requirement. After submission of the documentation, the waiver will be granted if the student has had significant public sector work experience. Students who are exempted from this requirement will complete 39 s.h. instead of 42 s.h.; however, no academic credit will be awarded for work experience.

In-service students enrolled in the executive concentration are not required to complete an internship. 

To complete the internship requirement students must earn 3 s.h. from the following:


Graduate certificates taken by MPA students generally require 12-15 s.h. Students should consult the MPA program coordinator prior to choosing a graduate certificate to assure the credits will be counted as electives.

4. MPA professional paper - 3 s.h.

All students must enroll in PADM 6900  and complete a professional paper in which they identify a public management problem or policy issue and develop a problem-resolution strategy. The completed paper must be successfully defended before the MPA faculty. As the capstone course, students must have completed all of their core classes before taking PADM 6900. The course is offered almost exclusively in spring semesters. Students are encouraged to work with the program coordinator to assure they are pacing their course work accordingly. 

Comprehensive assessment requirement

A comprehensive assessment is required for all graduate programs at ECU. The comprehensive assessment for this program is the completion and defense of the professional paper (PADM 6900 ).

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