Public Administration

Master of Public Administration

Learn more about this degree

The MPA Degree, offered by the Institute for Public Service, provides a pragmatic approach to education in public service management. The program consists of eight (8) required courses and six (6) electives. It emphasizes the development of knowledge and expertise, enabling students to perform managerial and administrative work at all levels of government. nonprofit and public service institutions.

Accreditation

Established in 1974, the Suffolk MPA is one of only five MPA programs in New England to be fully accredited by the NASPAA Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation. For more information, visit NASPAA's website.

Concentrations

MPA students have the option to concentrate in four (4) public service areas: State and Local Government; Community Health; Nonprofit Management; or Information Systems, Performance Management, and Big Data Analytics. Working with faculty advisors, students can tailor their elective choices to focus in areas of career choice.

Continuing and Professional Studies Program (CAPS)

The MPA program offers an opportunity for students intending to pursue a graduate degree to take a maximum of two (2) graduate courses (6 credits) before applying for degree status.

MPA Curriculum

The MPA curriculum is a 42-credit program (14 courses).

The curriculum consists of seven (7) required courses, one (1) capstone course, and six (6) electives.

Required Courses

Foundation in Public Service Courses

Credits:

3.00

Description:

This introductory graduate-level course provides an overview of public administration and service and serves as a basis for further advanced studies in the MPA program. This course covers the structure, functions, and process of public service organizations at various levels, including governments and nonprofit organizations. Students explore historical trends, ethical considerations, and political rationale for the present operations of public service.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

This course demonstrates how issues, problems, and questions surrounding public policies, program operations, and administrative systems can be structured as hypotheses and made amendable to resolution through the application of social science research techniques. The elements of research design such as surveys, true experiments, quasi-experiments, case studies and non-experimental studies are described, as well as sampling techniques and descriptive statistics. Ethical issues related to employment of these methods in the policy making process are also explored. The course content is presented as a way to reduce managerial uncertainty regarding alternative courses of action.

Prerequisites:

PAD 712

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Pre-requisite: PAD 712 Quantitative analysis introduces basic statistical techniques used to analyze and draw conclusions from citizen and client surveys; program and policy evaluations; and performance and operations data. These techniques include chi square, lambda, gamma, correlations, and analysis of variance, t test correlations, and multivariate regression. Knowledge of these statistical techniques empowers managers by giving them the ability to evaluate the work of consultants, access the policy and management of literature, and analyze data using the analytical tools available in commonly uses statistical software, such as Microsoft Excel and the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS).

Managing Public Service Organizations Courses

Credits:

3.00

Description:

This course introduces the fundamentals of budgeting, financial management, and revenue systems. Course goals include: A heightened awareness of the democratic ideals and values that must inform budgeting and financial management decisions, including a commitment to ethics, transparency and accountability; an understanding of the budget process and the distinctive features of budgetary decisions making; an understanding of the critical linkage between budgeting and financial management systems and the capacity of an organization to achieve its strategic goals; the ability to use the budget and financial reports as planning and management tools; knowledge of the basic principles of taxation as well as the structures and functions of federal, state, and local revenue systems. The course emphasizes knowledge and skills essential to the full range of public service careers.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

This course will explore complex issues in public and non-profit human resource management (HRM) by examining policies and practices that support and enhance the value and contribution of individuals in these organizations.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Students explore small groups and organization operations, practices, behaviors, and structures. They develop techniques for maximizing efficiency and/or effectiveness; evaluations analysis; concepts and applications of Classicists; leadership; organizational development, and result-oriented management; as well as elements of reorganization, innovation and change.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Leadership is a critical ingredient of successful communities and organizations. This course develops a diagnostic framework as well as strategies and tactics to mobilized adaptive work, engage multiple government, no-profit, and business stakeholders, and build awareness and momentum for actions at all levels of government and community and in one's organization. It introduces the catalytic model of leadership and applies it to the ethical handling of societal and organizational problems. Students' leadership competencies are reviewed and improved. This course is designed for people from diverse backgrounds with varied experienced in the leadership role.

Capstone Course

Prerequisites:

Restricted to students that have completed 30 credits.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Prerequisite: Students must have completed 30 credit hours. Students will integrate the substance of previous courses in order to develop a capacity for strategic management based on a personal perspective of the role of the professional manager in the policy making process. This holistic perspective is expressed in an extensive research paper that describes the leadership role of the professional manager and defines a basis for ethical action. The course features the review of research articles, the discussion of case studies, and a consideration of future trends in public and non-profit management.

MPA Electives (18 credits)

Choose 6 PAD electives. Students are allowed to take 2 electives outside of the MPA program.

Students with no professional public service management experience are required to take PAD 859 (internship). This 3-credit course will count as one of your 6 electives.

Students must complete all prerequisites prior to registering for healthcare courses. More information is available at suffolk.edu/mha. MPA students may not enroll in HLTH 890.

Students may take up to 2 elective courses in another Suffolk University graduate degree program after consultation with MPA Faculty Advisor.

PAD Electives

PAD core courses are 700-level courses and electives are 800- or 900-level courses. Some electives are only offered every 1.5-2 years.

MPA Learning Goals & Objectives

Learning Goals Learning Objectives

Demonstrate ability to apply analytical reasoning skills to enhance the efficiency, effectiveness and responsiveness of public service delivery systems.

(Analytical Reasoning)

  1. Identify the problem and related issues.
  2. Identify key assumptions.
  3. Generate salient alternatives.
  4. Examine the evidence and source of evidence.
  5. Identify conclusions, implications, and consequences.

Have been exposed to a variety of leadership styles and theories, as well as limitations on leadership imposed by the political environment and the responsibilities inherent in the democratic process.

(Public Service Leadership)

  1. Demonstrate the ability to identify the environmental factors that determine effective leadership in specific situations.
  2. Demonstrate the capacity to adopt appropriate leadership styles.
  3. Demonstrate a knowledge of basic leadership competencies.
  4. Demonstrate an ability to work effectively in groups and teams.
  5. Demonstrate the capacity to interact positively with diverse citizens and a changing workforce.

Understand and respond to the social, political, legal, and ethical factors vital in a democratic process.

(Ethics)

  1. Understand the inherent conflicts between professional bureaucracy and democracy, as well as the ethical dilemmas they may entail.
  2. Identify the ethical issues associated with policy leadership by professional managers.
  3. Communicate a clear and coherent philosophy of engaging the diverse constituencies that comprise the political environment as a professional manager.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to think critically about the public interest and to commit to the pursuit of public value while remaining open to diverse views of the public interest.
Demonstrate oral communication skills to effectively communicate with co-workers, citizens, clients, and all organizational stakeholders.

(Oral Communication)

  1. Organize the presentation effectively.
  2. Deliver the presentation with attention to volume, clarity, grammatical correctness and precision.
  3. Develop the topic.
  4. Communicate with the audience.
  5. Use communication aids effectively.
  6. Summarize the presentation.

Demonstrate written communication skills to effectively communicate with co-workers, citizens, clients, and all organizational stakeholders

(Written Communication)

  1. Develop a topic with supporting details.
  2. Organize written communication effectively and logically.
  3. Use correct word choice and effective sentence structure.
  4. Employ normal conventions of spelling and grammar.
  5. Provide examples and supporting evidence.
  6. Communicate accurate quantitative information.

MPA Concentrations

Students must complete the 7 core MPA courses to earn their MPA degree. They may use 12 credits of their elective course options to complete one of the following concentrations.

Information System, Performance Management, and Big Data Analytics Concentration

Public sector and nonprofit organizations are moving toward new management and performance systems, thus more attention needs to be given to new skills and the techniques that support the gathering, analysis, interpretation, and application of data to decision making. This concentration focuses on these various aspects of applied performance management systems.

Required Courses:

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Analyzes various real world business problems and explores the full scope of MS Excel's formulas, functions and features to create data models and present solutions. Students analyze data, design custom charts, graphs, PivotTables and Pivot charts, create three-dimensional workbooks, build links between files and endow worksheets with decision-making capabilities. Students conduct What-If Analysis, utilizing Scenario Manager, Solver, Data Tables and Goal Seek. This course provides the skills necessary to pass the Microsoft Office Specialist Certification in Excel.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Introduces business intelligence and data analytics. Business intelligence and data analytics help organizations in strategic and operational decision making by improving performance management, optimizing customer relations, monitoring business activity, and improving decision support. On a macro-level, the class will discuss business cases for the adoption of business intelligence and data analytics. We will discuss technologies and processes for gathering, storing, accessing, and analyzing data to provide users with better insights and business decisions. On a micro-level, students will use a variety of tools to build their skills in analyzing data to solve business problems. In summary, this course provides a conceptual understanding of business data resources and the development of capabilities for data preparation, warehousing, selection, description, mining, interpretation, visualization, communication, and innovation.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

A decision-making course focusing on applying high speed information systems to support administrative and managerial functions. PMIS incorporates organizational assessments leading to purchasing computer hardware and software, office automation, and diverse communications including electronic automation, and diverse communications including electronic mail, Internet, telecommunications, and networking. Current events, professional journals and the technology presently used will be highlighted.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Regardless of your interest or field, data is essential to public managers on a daily basis. Through readings, lectures, casework, guest speakers, and field visits, students will be immersed in both the successes and limitations of this pioneering tool that has reshaped public policy. Through course work students will mine and manipulate data to propose public policy changes that can affect a program, a community, a state, or a country of their choosing. This relevant course is designed to prepare students to be effective leaders in an ever changing world.

Community Health Concentration

This concentration focuses on preparing nonprofit and public service managers for positions in community healthcare, community advocacy organizations, and government health agencies to manage and lead in a dynamic and changing healthcare environment.

Required Course:

Credits:

3.00

Description:

This course presents an overview of the origins, components, organization, and operation of the health system in the United States. It is an introduction to the major health issues and institutions, including the settings in which health services are delivered, providers of these services, and the public and private payers for services.

Choose 9 credits worth of courses from the following list:

Prerequisites:

HLTH-701;

Credits:

3.00

Description:

This course provides a framework for understanding the economics of the U.S. healthcare industry. The industry is experiencing great pressure to reduce costs, even as it strives to do better at both improving the health of the population and engaging patients in their care. This course enables students to apply the perspectives and tools of health economics to the tasks of understanding and improving the business of healthcare. Students analyze and evaluate current and evolving healthcare markets, public policies, payment methods, mechanisms for bearing and sharing financial risk, and the economic impact of changes in technology and the health professions. Students participate in envisioning the future and designing better ways for healthcare leaders, managers and policy makers to meet the challenges facing the industry.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Innovations in technology, products, practices, and organization are continually re-shaping healthcare. The outcomes of healthcare innovation will evolve, as will the processes through which innovation is developed and then adopted by healthcare providers and consumers. For these reasons, every healthcare leader and manager must understand the causes and effects of innovation, as well as how to successfully initiate and manage innovation. The primary purpose of this course is to build students' skills as both thinkers and doers, helping them to better understand, work with, develop and lead innovation in healthcare. The course explores some of the leading prompters of innovation and examples of innovation in the organization and delivery of healthcare services, as well as the development and use of innovations in personal healthcare, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, medical devices and diagnostic equipment. In particular, the course explores how innovation happens-i.e., how players across the healthcare industry identify, pursue, create and support or impede opportunities for innovation. Those players include healthcare professionals and delivery organizations, university researchers, medical products and technology companies, government agencies and entrepreneurs. The course also examines healthcare innovations that are expected-and hoped for-in the future. This will enable students to become better futurists who can anticipate innovations and their implications for healthcare and, as a result, position themselves as effective leaders, managers and consumers of innovation.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

This course provides an overview of healthcare management. Students develop knowledge and skills required for effective management of organizations that deliver high quality, patient-centered, cost-effective care. The course examines forces that are shaping healthcare organizations and draws on management theory and practice to explore a wide range of topics, including: governance and control; strategy; organizational structure, tasks and positions; culture and ethics; leadership and motivation; communication: planning; decision making and problem solving; recruiting and retaining human resources; teamwork; cultural competence and diversity management; managing people and performance in clinical and support services; and organizational change.

Prerequisites:

HLTH-701;

Credits:

1.50

Description:

This course serves as an introduction to the financial accounting of healthcare organizations. Understanding the important principles of a healthcare organization's income statement and balance sheet is the essence of this course. Focused attention will be given to the interpretation and analysis of financial statements, including the implications of assuming risk in an era of managed care.

Prerequisites:

HLTH-701;

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Students investigate the structural and functional aspects of the legal, institutional, and political factors that condition the character of the US healthcare industry, the role of the healthcare manager, the legislative process, administrative policy-making, and national trends related to political parties and interest groups. Topics in healthcare law include medical malpractice, informed consent, confidentiality of patient information, healthcare liability, and administrative law.

Prerequisites:

HLTH-701; MHA students are required to take HLTH 824. MBA/H students are required to take MBA 640. Non-MHA and MBA/H students need permission from the Health Department before registering;

Credits:

1.50

Description:

This course serves as an introduction to the financial management of healthcare organizations. Using financial information for decision making is the essence of this course. Students will gain a perspective on the critical factors related to managing a healthcare organization in a marketplace that is demanding cost effective services. Focused attention will be given to managerial accounting, cost allocation, budgeting, and variance analysis.

Prerequisites:

Take HLTH-701 HLTH-824 HLTH-826;

Credits:

3.00

Description:

In our complex and ever-changing healthcare industry, leaders and managers must understand the financial drivers that are shaping the strategic planning and decision making at all levels of healthcare organizations. This advanced course builds on the healthcare financial management techniques introduced in HLTH 824 and HLTH 826 and is intended for students seeking to enhance their analytic and financial management skill set. Through in-depth research of a healthcare organization's financial statements, students will gain practical experience using the latest tools and analytic methodologies employed by healthcare managers. Our work will focus on financial statement analysis, benchmarking, forecasting, revenue cycle management (including the implications of capitation and pay-for-performance), and capital budgeting (including capital acquisition, lease/buy decisions, and access to capital markets). A group project, guest speakers and course readings aim to develop practical financial management skills that will enable students to make effective managerial decisions that lead to the financial success and long-term viability of their healthcare organizations.

Prerequisites:

HLTH 701;

Credits:

1.50

Description:

Healthcare industry trends point toward increasing need for meaningful measurement of the health of populations- from the population of patients who use a particular health service to the populations of nations. Healthcare managers must measure the need and demand for health services as well as the quality, safety and effectiveness or services. This course provides the fundamental information and enables students to develop the skills to apply principles and techniques of epidemiology in planning, delivering and evaluating health services.

Prerequisites:

Take HLTH-701 and either HLTH-812 or SBS-604. MHA and MSBA students only.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Students are introduced to concepts and analytic tools and techniques in operations management, such as project management, process improvement, queuing theory, forecasting, capacity planning, and supply chain management. Students will be challenged to examine the distinctive characteristics of health services operations, understand process improvement and patient flow, and explore the means for making optimal managerial decisions. In-class exercises, applied concept assignments, guest speakers, and exams are used to help students understand ways to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of healthcare organizations.

Prerequisites:

HLTH-701;

Credits:

1.50

Description:

The 'production' of health care is a service of significant personal and social consequence and high on the agenda of every healthcare executive. Today's consumer actively seeks evidence about the quality of care they can anticipate while payers are offering financial incentives to providers who can demonstrate superior patient outcomes. This course will focus on the complexities and processes of assuring quality performance in healthcare organizations.

Prerequisites:

HLTH-701

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Examines health policy development and implementation as well as important and cutting-edge U.S. health issues, including their policy and ethical implications. Topics may change each year, but usually include state and federal healthcare reform, access and health disparities, medical errors, healthcare quality, evidence-based practice and shared decision making, chronic illness and disabilities, behavioral health, stem cells and genetics, the consumer paradigm, emergency response management, and end-of-life issues.

Prerequisites:

Take HLTH-701 AND HLTH-831;

Credits:

3.00

Description:

The imperative to improve and assure the quality and safety of services is of paramount importance to clinical providers, managers, and executive leadership. This course builds on the basic principles, concepts, tools, and analytic methods addressed in HLTH 831. Among the topics explored in this advanced course are: creating a culture of safety; establishing and sustaining organizational alignment; quality/safety implications for accreditation and regulatory compliance; measuring and improving the patient experience; mistake-proofing the design process; and principles and strategies to improve reliability. The course will provide a foundation for the learner to: 1.Compare and contrast definitions of quality from a variety of stakeholder perspectives. 2.Classify medical error and identify means to reduce risk and/or take effective corrective action. 3.Explore sense-making and its applicability to transformational change in healthcare quality. 4.Identify leadership strategies for establishing an organization-wide culture of safety. 5.Apply essential healthcare team concepts, especially collegiality and collaboration, in complex circumstances of quality improvement. 6.Define mistake-proofing and mistake-proofing approaches and design applied to patient safety. 7.Apply reliability principles to performance improvement in complex systems. 8.Complete an actual healthcare performance improvement project that involves the use of knowledge and skills acquired in the pre-requisite course HLTH 831: Performance Improvement and Patient Safety as well as this course.

Prerequisites:

Take HLTH-701;

Credits:

1.50

Description:

Healthcare is among the most complex and dynamic industries in the United States. It is characterized by: changing demographics, health conditions and consumer wants and needs; continuous innovation in programs, services, treatments, technology and delivery systems; increasing complexity of care; intense competition among some providers, and mergers and affiliations among others; increasing shortages of key personnel; rising costs; mounting pressure to deliver quality care and manage costs; changing laws, regulations and payment systems; 45+ million Americans without health insurance, resulting in disparate levels of service accessibility and quality; and a growing movement to make health insurance available and affordable for more Americans. In such an environment of challenge and change, healthcare leaders and managers must be able to understand current reality, anticipate the future, and continuously design and implement change. Healthcare organizations must be change-able: i.e., equipped with the orientation, skills and approaches to manage change across a wide range of leadership, management and service delivery dimensions). Accordingly, this course enables students to: 1. examine key external and internal forces for change that face healthcare organizations, and 2. begin to develop the orientation and skills to envision, design, lead, and implement change in healthcare organizations. Drawing on theory and case studies of organizational change, the course covers such topics as: the nature of organizational change; why the ability to create desired change is so important; key external and internal factors that require healthcare organizations to change; aspects of healthcare organizations that support and resist change; designing and implementing successful and lasting change; sources of greatest leverage for achieving desired change; and key requirements for success.

Prerequisites:

HLTH-701;

Credits:

1.50

Description:

Reviews global health needs, including those related to infectious and chronic diseases, injuries, behavioral health, women, children, and families, and complex emergencies such as natural disasters and war. Case studies stimulate discussion of ways to address these needs. Student papers identify needs and evaluate healthcare organization and financing in selected countries.

Prerequisites:

Take HLTH-701 and HLTH-840;

Credits:

1.50

Description:

Builds on HLTH 840 with a review of global health systems and organizations. In class and student issue papers, the course covers critical health-related policy issues such as world trade, poverty, population growth, the nutritional crisis, the water wars, and environmental issues/global climate change. The course closes by examining the challenges of how to prioritize scarce resources and mobilize together to save civilization.

Prerequisites:

HLTH-701;

Credits:

1.50

Description:

This course covers health information and a range of healthcare IT applications as well as topics related to IT planning and management. Applications include medical records, order entry, decision support, and emerging applications. Planning and management topics include data security, IT cost, systems interoperability, project management, IT implementation, and governance.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

The primary focus will be on understanding the operational and strategic leadership aspects of managing mission driven, public service organizations. Specific emphasis will be placed on nonprofit corporations, including coursework that explores the legal, structural, and operational issues that are particular to such organizations.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

PAD 819 covers both Grant seeking and Grant writing. Students, individually, but most often in teams, work with a nonprofit or government organization to develop a project idea and prepare a Master Grant Proposal and a Grant Application to be submitted to a most-likely-to-fund Grand maker. Classes focus on step-by-step Grant writing & Grant seeking process, and the instructor also consults with student-Grant writers individually an via Blackboard.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

This course is designed to build financial management skills for students who wish to start or advance nonprofit management careers and for students who are likely to interact with nonprofits, through grants, contracts, or partnerships. The course focuses on the effective allocation of resources to programs which, in turn, have been designed to achieve the strategic goals of a nonprofit organization. From this point of view, financial management is not a disconnected management function, but an integral part of what managers do to fulfill as nonprofit organization's mission. Basic financial management knowledge and skills - including financial analysis, budgeting, full-cost accounting, pricing services, performance measurement, control of operations and financial reporting are taught within the context of the organization's strategic goals.

Note: Many of the Healthcare electives are 1.5 credits per course. You must complete 9 credits of electives from this list to graduate with a concentration in Community Health.

State & Local Government Concentration

This concentration prepares state and local government managers and officials to function as effective leaders able to respond to the changing climates of government.

Required Course:

Credits:

3.00

Description:

This course is built on the premise that state and local government leaders have an obligation to fully develop the human resources, network relationships and physical assets available to them so as to increase the value of their organizations to the public. Through case studies, students will explore the successes and failures of state and local government leaders and their strategies in major policy arenas, such as public safety, health and welfare, education, then environment and economic development. Through readings, students will examine state and local government structures and functions, political culture, and administrative reforms.

Choose 3 courses from the list below (9 credits):

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Students review the basis for administrative practice. They learn legal interpretation of statutes, regulations, and proposed legislation that impact public administration and public policy.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Examination of patterns of intergovernmental operations and administration. Special emphasis on changing techniques of intergovernmental management and emerging patterns of intergovernmental relations. Issues such as regionalism, program mandates, and resource management will be explored.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

PAD 819 covers both Grant seeking and Grant writing. Students, individually, but most often in teams, work with a nonprofit or government organization to develop a project idea and prepare a Master Grant Proposal and a Grant Application to be submitted to a most-likely-to-fund Grand maker. Classes focus on step-by-step Grant writing & Grant seeking process, and the instructor also consults with student-Grant writers individually an via Blackboard.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Recessions and economic stagnation, loss of economic base, and natural disasters have significant consequences for the effectiveness of governments and nonprofits, yet during times of fiscal crisis these organizations carry more responsibility as people look to these organizations for leadership and relief from hardships. This course addresses strategies to prepare for and cope with fiscal crises. Students will learn to assess economic and financial vulnerability, develop management and budget methodologies that are adaptable to changing economic conditions, and develop strategies to ensure long-term financial viability and effectiveness of governments and nonprofits.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Students develop techniques and directives related to communication processing. Both interpersonal communication and electronic information flow will be examined. Communication skills, styles, and strategies will be stressed through use of all media. Students will also analyze the theory and practice of public service marketing in relation to the administration of multiple sectors including private, public, nonprofit and health care by looking at innovative public service products and services.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Participants in this course will examine a variety of innovations that attempt to reap the benefits of diverse engagement by bringing together varied parties to forge new solutions to public service challenges. Across a variety of policy areas, practitioners have developed innovative policies and practices that engage citizens in public problem-solving, giving power to groups made up of citizens and public employees, and holding them accountable for producing and measuring results. Citizens play a critical and increasingly influential role in government decision-making and performance. As a result, leaders must understand the complexity of citizen participation and build skills for effective citizen engagement.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

In this course, students study the ethical, moral, and legal dilemmas in public and private managerial operations. The gray areas of decision-making provide case studies for exploration of effective ethical practices. Management approaches to deter fraud, waste, abuse, and corrupt practices are identified as are the tools and strategies to strengthen the organizational ethic and culture in business and government. Ethical management strategies designed to improve productivity within organizations are explored.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Workplace and labor law affects every manager's ability to achieve the goals and objectives of the organization. Ignorance of the relevant statutes and case law leads to misunderstanding, mismanagement, and substantial legal costs and controversies. This course reviews some of the more significant legal requirements associated with recruitment and selection, performance appraisal, discipline, wages and benefits, etc. Teaching method includes lecture and case analysis.

Nonprofit Management Concentration

This concentration covers the field of public service with special attention given to the additional intricacies of nonprofit management.

Nonprofit Management Required Courses (12 credits):

Credits:

3.00

Description:

The primary focus will be on understanding the operational and strategic leadership aspects of managing mission driven, public service organizations. Specific emphasis will be placed on nonprofit corporations, including coursework that explores the legal, structural, and operational issues that are particular to such organizations.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

PAD 819 covers both Grant seeking and Grant writing. Students, individually, but most often in teams, work with a nonprofit or government organization to develop a project idea and prepare a Master Grant Proposal and a Grant Application to be submitted to a most-likely-to-fund Grand maker. Classes focus on step-by-step Grant writing & Grant seeking process, and the instructor also consults with student-Grant writers individually an via Blackboard.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

This course is designed to build financial management skills for students who wish to start or advance nonprofit management careers and for students who are likely to interact with nonprofits, through grants, contracts, or partnerships. The course focuses on the effective allocation of resources to programs which, in turn, have been designed to achieve the strategic goals of a nonprofit organization. From this point of view, financial management is not a disconnected management function, but an integral part of what managers do to fulfill as nonprofit organization's mission. Basic financial management knowledge and skills - including financial analysis, budgeting, full-cost accounting, pricing services, performance measurement, control of operations and financial reporting are taught within the context of the organization's strategic goals.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

This course provides a practical framework for understanding the legal and ethical challenges continually faced by nonprofit human and social service organizations. Students learn about the various levels of legal influence, including federal, state, and city, as well as the "internal" laws of the corporation, and will explore the impact these laws can have on the day-to-day operation of the nonprofit organization. Students develop a methodology for identifying issues that can trigger a legal response and processes for best protecting their organizations, their clients, and themselves.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

This course provides an in-depth look at today's philanthropic trends, patterns, and best practices in fundraising techniques.

Below are examples of possible public service career focus areas. Career options are not specialized degrees or concentrations and will not appear on your transcript or diploma.

  • Public Service Policy and Leadership Management
  • Public Budgeting and Financial Management
  • Law & Public Policy
  • Public Service Leadership
  • Policy Analysis and Evaluation
  • Philanthropy and Media
  • Public Safety
  • Information Resource Management

Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management

Learn more about this certificate


Curriculum

5 Courses
15 Credits

Program Length
4 months full-time study
9-16 months part-time study


Required Courses (9 credits)

Credits:

3.00

Description:

This introductory graduate-level course provides an overview of public administration and service and serves as a basis for further advanced studies in the MPA program. This course covers the structure, functions, and process of public service organizations at various levels, including governments and nonprofit organizations. Students explore historical trends, ethical considerations, and political rationale for the present operations of public service.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

This course introduces the fundamentals of budgeting, financial management, and revenue systems. Course goals include: A heightened awareness of the democratic ideals and values that must inform budgeting and financial management decisions, including a commitment to ethics, transparency and accountability; an understanding of the budget process and the distinctive features of budgetary decisions making; an understanding of the critical linkage between budgeting and financial management systems and the capacity of an organization to achieve its strategic goals; the ability to use the budget and financial reports as planning and management tools; knowledge of the basic principles of taxation as well as the structures and functions of federal, state, and local revenue systems. The course emphasizes knowledge and skills essential to the full range of public service careers.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

This course will explore complex issues in public and non-profit human resource management (HRM) by examining policies and practices that support and enhance the value and contribution of individuals in these organizations.

Electives (6 credits)

Select two (2) courses from the Nonprofit Management concentration course list.

Residency Requirement

To be awarded a graduate certificate from the Sawyer Business School, students must successfully complete a minimum of 15 credits, within the Sawyer Business School, as well as meet the individual requirements of a particular program.

Time for Completion

All graduate certificate programs must be completed within five (5) years after the start of graduate work unless otherwise noted by a particular program. All graduate courses must be satisfactorily completed and an overall average of 3.0, "B" or better, achieved for the entire graduate certificate program. Students requesting an extension for the time of program completion must submit it in writing and it will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Advising

Upon enrollment, students are assigned an academic advisor from the Public Administration Academic Department. Students are encouraged to discuss their academic interests and goals with their assigned academic advisor especially when choosing elective courses.


Waiver/Transfer Policy

Graduate certificate courses, if waived, will need to be substituted with an approved elective. To substitute an approved elective for a required course, a student must have successfully completed equivalent academic coursework at the undergraduate/graduate level in the five (5) years prior to matriculation, with a grade of "B" or better, and provide official transcripts (with English translations, if applicable).

Candidates who apply within one year of completing their graduate certificate will have applicable courses applied to a Sawyer Business School (SBS) graduate degree program in the same discipline as the certificate as long as a grade of "B" or better was earned in that course.

Candidates who apply beyond one year of from a certificate program outside their discipline will have coursework evaluated on a case-by-case basis for relevancy, current degree requirements, and current Sawyer Business School waiver and transfer policies.

Transfer credits from the graduate certificate must have an earned grade of "B" or better and have been taken within five (5) years prior to entering a SBS graduate degree program. However, at the discretion of the program director, some courses may not be transferred if the subject material has changed significantly since completion.

Gainful Employment Disclosure

View the Gainful Employment Disclosure for the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management.


Graduate Certificate in State and Local Government

Learn more about this certificate


Curriculum

5 Courses
15 Credits

Program Length
4 months full-time study
9-16 months part-time study

Required Courses (15 credits)

Credits:

3.00

Description:

This introductory graduate-level course provides an overview of public administration and service and serves as a basis for further advanced studies in the MPA program. This course covers the structure, functions, and process of public service organizations at various levels, including governments and nonprofit organizations. Students explore historical trends, ethical considerations, and political rationale for the present operations of public service.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

This course introduces the fundamentals of budgeting, financial management, and revenue systems. Course goals include: A heightened awareness of the democratic ideals and values that must inform budgeting and financial management decisions, including a commitment to ethics, transparency and accountability; an understanding of the budget process and the distinctive features of budgetary decisions making; an understanding of the critical linkage between budgeting and financial management systems and the capacity of an organization to achieve its strategic goals; the ability to use the budget and financial reports as planning and management tools; knowledge of the basic principles of taxation as well as the structures and functions of federal, state, and local revenue systems. The course emphasizes knowledge and skills essential to the full range of public service careers.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

This course will explore complex issues in public and non-profit human resource management (HRM) by examining policies and practices that support and enhance the value and contribution of individuals in these organizations.

Electives (6 credits)

Select two (2) courses from current State and Local Government concentration course list.

Residency Requirement

To be awarded a graduate certificate from the Sawyer Business School, students must successfully complete a minimum of 15 credits, within the Sawyer Business School, as well as meet the individual requirements of a particular program.

Time for Completion

All graduate certificate programs must be completed within five (5) years after the start of graduate work unless otherwise noted by a particular program. All graduate courses must be satisfactorily completed and an overall average of 3.0, "B" or better, achieved for the entire graduate certificate program. Students requesting an extension for the time of program completion must submit it in writing and it will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Advising

Upon enrollment students in the GCSLG are assigned Public Administration faculty advisor. Students are encouraged to discuss their academic interests and goals with their assigned faculty advisor.

Waiver/Transfer Policy

Graduate certificate courses, if waived, need to be substituted with an approved elective. To substitute an approved elective for a required course, a student must have successfully completed equivalent academic coursework at the undergraduate/graduate level in the five (5) years prior to matriculation, "B" or better, and provide official transcripts (with English translations, if applicable).

Candidates who apply within one year of completing their graduate certificate will have applicable courses applied to a Sawyer Business School (SBS) graduate degree program, in the same discipline as the certificate, as long as a grade of "B" or better was earned in that course.

Candidates who apply beyond one year from a certificate program outside their discipline will have coursework evaluated on a case-by-case basis for relevancy, current degree requirements and current Sawyer Business School waiver and transfer policies.

Transfer credits from their graduate certificate must have earned a grade of "B" or better and have been taken within five (5) years prior to entering a SBS graduate degree program. However, at the discretion of the program director, some courses may not be transferred if the subject material has changed significantly since completion.

Gainful Employment Disclosure

View the Gainful Employment Disclosure for the Graduate Certificate in State and Local Government.


Dual Degree with JD

The MPA is available as a Dual Degree with the Juris Doctor.
View the MPA/JD Dual Degree Curriculum.

Dual Degree with MAAP

The MPA is available as a Dual Degree with the Master of Arts in Applied Politics: 
View the MPA/MAAP Dual Degree Curriculum.

Dual Degree with MAGPP

The MPA is available as a Dual Degree with the Master of Arts in Global Public Policy.
View the MPA/MAGPP Dual Degree Curriculum.

Dual Degree with MSCJS

The MPA is available as a Dual Degree with the Master of Science in Criminal Justice Studies.
View the MPA/MSCJS Dual Degree Curriculum.

Dual Degree with MSMHC

The MPA is available as a Dual Degree with the Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling.
View the MPA/MSMHC Dual Degree Curriculum.

Dual Degree with MSPS

The MPA is available as a Dual Degree with the Master of Science in Political Science.
View the MPA/MSPS Dual Degree Curriculum.

Public Administration Graduate Course List

Credits:

3.00

Description:

This introductory graduate-level course provides an overview of public administration and service and serves as a basis for further advanced studies in the MPA program. This course covers the structure, functions, and process of public service organizations at various levels, including governments and nonprofit organizations. Students explore historical trends, ethical considerations, and political rationale for the present operations of public service.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

This course demonstrates how issues, problems, and questions surrounding public policies, program operations, and administrative systems can be structured as hypotheses and made amendable to resolution through the application of social science research techniques. The elements of research design such as surveys, true experiments, quasi-experiments, case studies and non-experimental studies are described, as well as sampling techniques and descriptive statistics. Ethical issues related to employment of these methods in the policy making process are also explored. The course content is presented as a way to reduce managerial uncertainty regarding alternative courses of action.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

This course introduces the fundamentals of budgeting, financial management, and revenue systems. Course goals include: A heightened awareness of the democratic ideals and values that must inform budgeting and financial management decisions, including a commitment to ethics, transparency and accountability; an understanding of the budget process and the distinctive features of budgetary decisions making; an understanding of the critical linkage between budgeting and financial management systems and the capacity of an organization to achieve its strategic goals; the ability to use the budget and financial reports as planning and management tools; knowledge of the basic principles of taxation as well as the structures and functions of federal, state, and local revenue systems. The course emphasizes knowledge and skills essential to the full range of public service careers.

Prerequisites:

PAD 712

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Pre-requisite: PAD 712 Quantitative analysis introduces basic statistical techniques used to analyze and draw conclusions from citizen and client surveys; program and policy evaluations; and performance and operations data. These techniques include chi square, lambda, gamma, correlations, and analysis of variance, t test correlations, and multivariate regression. Knowledge of these statistical techniques empowers managers by giving them the ability to evaluate the work of consultants, access the policy and management of literature, and analyze data using the analytical tools available in commonly uses statistical software, such as Microsoft Excel and the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS).

Credits:

3.00

Description:

This course will explore complex issues in public and non-profit human resource management (HRM) by examining policies and practices that support and enhance the value and contribution of individuals in these organizations.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Students explore small groups and organization operations, practices, behaviors, and structures. They develop techniques for maximizing efficiency and/or effectiveness; evaluations analysis; concepts and applications of Classicists; leadership; organizational development, and result-oriented management; as well as elements of reorganization, innovation and change.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Students review the basis for administrative practice. They learn legal interpretation of statutes, regulations, and proposed legislation that impact public administration and public policy.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Examination of patterns of intergovernmental operations and administration. Special emphasis on changing techniques of intergovernmental management and emerging patterns of intergovernmental relations. Issues such as regionalism, program mandates, and resource management will be explored.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

The primary focus will be on understanding the operational and strategic leadership aspects of managing mission driven, public service organizations. Specific emphasis will be placed on nonprofit corporations, including coursework that explores the legal, structural, and operational issues that are particular to such organizations.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

This course is built on the premise that state and local government leaders have an obligation to fully develop the human resources, network relationships and physical assets available to them so as to increase the value of their organizations to the public. Through case studies, students will explore the successes and failures of state and local government leaders and their strategies in major policy arenas, such as public safety, health and welfare, education, then environment and economic development. Through readings, students will examine state and local government structures and functions, political culture, and administrative reforms.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Students examine the major processes of labor management relations: union organizing, elections and certification, negotiation, and contract administration, including the grievance-arbitration process. The class will be applicable to all sectors: private, public, profit, and nonprofit.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

PAD 819 covers both Grant seeking and Grant writing. Students, individually, but most often in teams, work with a nonprofit or government organization to develop a project idea and prepare a Master Grant Proposal and a Grant Application to be submitted to a most-likely-to-fund Grand maker. Classes focus on step-by-step Grant writing & Grant seeking process, and the instructor also consults with student-Grant writers individually an via Blackboard.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

A decision-making course focusing on applying high speed information systems to support administrative and managerial functions. PMIS incorporates organizational assessments leading to purchasing computer hardware and software, office automation, and diverse communications including electronic automation, and diverse communications including electronic mail, Internet, telecommunications, and networking. Current events, professional journals and the technology presently used will be highlighted.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

An introduction to the health system, its origins, its components, and how they are organized and interrelated; determinants of health and disease; the role of professions, institutions, consumers, and government; landmark legislation, and social responses to the system.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Recessions and economic stagnation, loss of economic base, and natural disasters have significant consequences for the effectiveness of governments and nonprofits, yet during times of fiscal crisis these organizations carry more responsibility as people look to these organizations for leadership and relief from hardships. This course addresses strategies to prepare for and cope with fiscal crises. Students will learn to assess economic and financial vulnerability, develop management and budget methodologies that are adaptable to changing economic conditions, and develop strategies to ensure long-term financial viability and effectiveness of governments and nonprofits.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Students develop techniques and directives related to communication processing. Both interpersonal communication and electronic information flow will be examined. Communication skills, styles, and strategies will be stressed through use of all media. Students will also analyze the theory and practice of public service marketing in relation to the administration of multiple sectors including private, public, nonprofit and health care by looking at innovative public service products and services.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Participants in this course will examine a variety of innovations that attempt to reap the benefits of diverse engagement by bringing together varied parties to forge new solutions to public service challenges. Across a variety of policy areas, practitioners have developed innovative policies and practices that engage citizens in public problem-solving, giving power to groups made up of citizens and public employees, and holding them accountable for producing and measuring results. Citizens play a critical and increasingly influential role in government decision-making and performance. As a result, leaders must understand the complexity of citizen participation and build skills for effective citizen engagement.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Students examine disability issues of health, mental health, substance abuse, special education, long-term illnesses including HIV/AIDS, sensory impairments, and early-life and end-of-life issues, including genetics.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

In this course, students study the ethical, moral, and legal dilemmas in public and private managerial operations. The gray areas of decision-making provide case studies for exploration of effective ethical practices. Management approaches to deter fraud, waste, abuse, and corrupt practices are identified as are the tools and strategies to strengthen the organizational ethic and culture in business and government. Ethical management strategies designed to improve productivity within organizations are explored.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Students learn effective approaches to leadership by examining leadership models, styles, and strategies. Emphasis is placed on the values and ethics of successful managerial leadership in public, private, and nonprofit sectors

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Workplace and labor law affects every manager's ability to achieve the goals and objectives of the organization. Ignorance of the relevant statutes and case law leads to misunderstanding, mismanagement, and substantial legal costs and controversies. This course reviews some of the more significant legal requirements associated with recruitment and selection, performance appraisal, discipline, wages and benefits, etc. Teaching method includes lecture and case analysis.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

This course will examine the professional career of Robert Moses - the "man who built New York City" - from his start as an idealistic member of the political reform movement in the early twentieth century, to his realization that nothing gets done without power and his ascension to "the most powerful man in New York," to accumulation and apparent exercise of power for the sake of power and his fall from his lofty heights in the 1960s. Through this survey of Moses' life the class will examine the growth of the administrative state, the tension between expertise and democracy, the relationship between the public and private sectors, the intergovernmental aspects of service delivery, and the nature of what Wildavsky called "the existential situation" of the public manager.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

This course is designed to build financial management skills for students who wish to start or advance nonprofit management careers and for students who are likely to interact with nonprofits, through grants, contracts, or partnerships. The course focuses on the effective allocation of resources to programs which, in turn, have been designed to achieve the strategic goals of a nonprofit organization. From this point of view, financial management is not a disconnected management function, but an integral part of what managers do to fulfill as nonprofit organization's mission. Basic financial management knowledge and skills - including financial analysis, budgeting, full-cost accounting, pricing services, performance measurement, control of operations and financial reporting are taught within the context of the organization's strategic goals.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

This course provides a practical framework for understanding the legal and ethical challenges continually faced by nonprofit human and social service organizations. Students learn about the various levels of legal influence, including federal, state, and city, as well as the "internal" laws of the corporation, and will explore the impact these laws can have on the day-to-day operation of the nonprofit organization. Students develop a methodology for identifying issues that can trigger a legal response and processes for best protecting their organizations, their clients, and themselves.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

This course provides an in-depth look at today's philanthropic trends, patterns, and best practices in fundraising techniques.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

This course will review all areas of Alternative Dispute Resolution. Mediation, arbitration, negotiation, conciliation, and mini trials will be discussed within the contexts of labor, management and governmental applications as ADR rapidly grows as an option to resolve disputes and manage litigation costs.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Instructor's signature required for registration. Students with no public administration work experience will be required to take PAD 859 (Internship) at admission. This is a 3-credit course that requires both class attendance and a 300-hour work requirement. If you are required to take PAD 859, it will count as one of your PAD elective. If you are interested in a career change, and you are not required to take the internship at admission, you may take PAD 859 as an elective.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Regardless of your interest or field, data is essential to public managers on a daily basis. Through readings, lectures, casework, guest speakers, and field visits, students will be immersed in both the successes and limitations of this pioneering tool that has reshaped public policy. Through course work students will mine and manipulate data to propose public policy changes that can affect a program, a community, a state, or a country of their choosing. This relevant course is designed to prepare students to be effective leaders in an ever changing world.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Linda Melconian served as a Massachusetts State Senator from 1983 to 2005 and was appointed the first woman Majority Floor Leader of the Massachusetts Senate in 1999. Previously, she served as Assistant Counsel to U.S. Speaker of the House Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr. She brings years-worth of experience and immense wisdom into all of her courses. Professor Melconian will use her years of experience working on Beacon Hill and getting things done to give students an inside look at how politics & government work at the state level. This incredibly relevant course is designed to give students the tools, connections, and knowledge they need to navigate state government in whatever career they choose.

Prerequisites:

Restricted to students that have completed 30 credits.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

Prerequisite: Students must have completed 30 credit hours. Students will integrate the substance of previous courses in order to develop a capacity for strategic management based on a personal perspective of the role of the professional manager in the policy making process. This holistic perspective is expressed in an extensive research paper that describes the leadership role of the professional manager and defines a basis for ethical action. The course features the review of research articles, the discussion of case studies, and a consideration of future trends in public and non-profit management.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

When offered this course focuses upon a special topic in the field of public administration. The course may be retaken for credit when the topics differ. Courses are wither three or 1.5 credits. Examples of 1.5 credit courses are: lobbying, housing, transportation, and managed care.

Credits:

1.00- 6.00

Description:

Instructor and Dean's Approval required for registration. This elective course option involves a student- initiated proposal to a willing and appropriate faculty member for a directed study project. The faculty member and student must concur on a written proposal and final report. Approval by the Office of the Dean is necessary prior to registration.

Fellowships

Moakley Fellowship

Moakley Fellows' Public Policy and Public Management Internships in Washington, D.C. are in the fine public service tradition of former Massachusetts Congressman and Suffolk alumnus, John Joseph Moakley.

  • The Moakley Fellowship program, jointly cosponsored by the Moakley Center for Public Management and the Institute for Public Service, is open to graduate students matriculating in the MPA or MPA dual degree programs.
  • A graduate student awarded a Moakley Fellow receives a paid 10-week summer internship totaling $5,000 in salary and expenses in a key Washington public policy-making office, beginning in June and ending in August (dates may vary according to placement office).
  • Moakley Fellows participating in the program have worked: in the office of Congressman Stephen Lynch; on Senator Edward Kennedy’s Health Education and Labor (HELP) Committee; at Capitol Associates, a bipartisan health, nonprofit and education government relations firm; and with WolfBlock, a large national lobbying firm.
  • For more information contact Linda Melconian lmelconi@suffolk.edu or Sandy Matava mmatava@suffolk.edu.

The Suffolk University/Commonwealth of Massachusetts Fellowship

The Suffolk University/Commonwealth of Massachusetts Fellowship provides the means for high performing employees of the Commonwealth to pursue an MPA. In addition to full tuition, the fellowship recipient will receive 100% salary while attending the MPA program and will maintain his or her job on a half-time basis.

An applicant for the fellowship must:

  • Occupy a full-time Executive Branch position in an active status, be paid from the AA subsidiary, be classified in a management or professional position or be a Massachusetts State Police Department employee classified as Sergeant or above, and be recommended by the supervisor, appointing authority, and cabinet secretary or division director;
  • Be admitted into the MPA Program;
  • Possess at least four years of professional work experience in federal, state, municipal or county government in a professional position;
  • Possess a strong commitment to continue serving the public interest upon completion of the program;
  • Be willing to sign an agreement to continue serving in Massachusetts State Government in the same or higher position for a minimum of two years following graduation or to repay the salary received while attending the program if one defaults on the agreement.

For more information on the Commonwealth Fellowship contact Deidre Travis Brown (617) 878-9896.

Rapport Institute Summer Fellowship – Public Service Fellowship Program

The Rappaport Public Service Fellowship program, open to graduate students in policy-related fields at Harvard, Suffolk, BU, and MIT, places 12 students in policy research and management summer positions at state and local offices and agencies in Greater Boston. A $7,000 stipend enables students to give the public sector a try, and our seminar series and mentoring program place fellows’ experiences in a broader context. This also provides another source of advice and support during the fellowship and beyond.

The program is made possible through the generosity of the Jerome Lyle Rappaport Charitable Foundation and is administered at the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

To be eligible, a student must be studying in programs with public policy implications for the Greater Boston metropolitan area or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The student also must be continuing their study in the following academic year. The application process consists of a cover letter, resume, statement of interests and writing sample. The application deadline is mid-to-late January.

For more information, visit the Rappaport website: http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/rappaport.