College of Arts & Sciences

A listing of all course descriptions, core and elective classes, associated with the MPA program.
PSMA 6001 The Environment of Public Service Management
Political, social, legal and ethical realities affecting managers in public and nonprofit organizations such as government agencies, churches, schools, museums and community service organizations. Theoretical as well as operational perspectives, particularly as they distinguish public administration from business administration. The power of the public service professional and values of public service systems. Political processes, legal factors and other mechanisms of accountability are emphasized. 3 credits
PSMA 6002 Research Methods and Statistical Analysis
Introduces both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. Topics include descriptive and inferential statistics, issues in sampling and hypothesis testing, analysis of variance, regression and time series analysis, as well as survey design. Computer software is used for statistical analysis. 3 credits
PSMA 6003 Public Policy Process, Analysis and Evaluation
The administration of public policy depends on knowledge of the policy process. This course focuses on those stages of the policy process of most interest to public administrators, specifically policy formation, implementation and evaluation. Among the questions to be addressed: How are programs designed? What happens after a policy is made? What methods are used to measure and assess public policy outcomes? What are the methodological, theoretical, political, administrative and ethical problems encountered in policy analysis? The course draws on a variety of substantive policy areas for illustration purposes. Students are encouraged to relate the general material of the course to their specific policy interests. 3 credits
PSMA 6004 The Economic Environment of Public Service Management
Economic system as the setting within which nonprofit, healthcare, arts and public service organizations function. Introduction to microeconomic principles, with some coverage of fiscal, monetary and regulatory policies, as well as public goods and problems of market failure. Economic concepts and tools as they relate to the management of public service organizations. 3 credits
PSMA 6005 Financial Management and Control
An introduction to basic financial, budgetary and accounting concepts, processes and techniques relevant to healthcare managers; how and why financial decisions are made; how they affect healthcare operations; use of financial documents and analysis. 3 credits
PSMA 6007 Organizational Theory
Course is designed to introduce students to the conceptual and practical perspectives and tools for perceiving and managing organizational phenomena. Explores formal and informal realities in organizations, including group dynamics, power, and organizational culture, organizational change and resistance; and external environmental factors such as turbulence and shifting priorities. Cases and simulation exercises are incorporated to familiarize the students with practical applications of theoretical concepts. 3 credits
PSMA 6008 Information and Computers in Public Service Management
Information and computer technologies (ICT) have profoundly and permanently changed the way that nonprofit and public sector organizations conduct business. Examples include the use of ICT by nonprofit organizations for fundraising purposes and the electronic dissemination of public documents by government agencies.  Information, and the computer systems that process it, are increasingly seen as strategic resources that effective public and nonprofit administrators must know how to use, evaluate and manage. This course will provide students with skills necessary to serve as an interface between persons focused primarily on organization policy and those focused primarily on ICT operations. In addition, the course will explore wide variety of cutting edge ICT tools and how these tools can be integrated into a traditional organization. 3 credits
PSMA 6009 Managerial Decision Making
Introductory course in applied decision and game theory. Introduces students to decision trees, Nash equilibria, winning strategies, tit-for-tat, auction theory and end-games. Competitive scenarios are an intrinsic part of the course, as are problem sets and simulations. 3 credits
PSMA 6010 Managing Human Resources in Public Service Organizations
Examines the strategies used to manage human resources effectively in public service organizations. The best human resource practices of public and other service organizations are discussed, including workforce legal issues, teams, performance assessment and leadership. Additional topics covered include management strategies for encouraging positive, interpersonal relationships, managing conflict and creative thinking approaches to human resource issues. 3 credits
PSMA 7121 Public Service Leadership: Involving Groups and Communities in Decision Making
This course examines techniques of effective leadership, including defining purpose, mobilizing external support and leading stakeholders that have been successfully developed for use by servant leaders in our communities. Particular emphasis is placed on mobilizing communities for social change. Students will investigate the applicability of course concepts to their own experiences and community settings. This course will foster the skills necessary for effective collaborative leadership within a civil society. 3 credits
PSMA 7122 Strategic Management of Collaborative Governance
Explores the theoretical and practical tools available for strategically managing collaborative governance and planning. An emphasis will be placed on planning efforts across sectors (public, private and nonprofit) and among citizens and organizations alike. The historic origins of collaborative governance are explored. 3 credits
PSMA 7124 Finance and Budgeting for Effective Governance
Successful managers must be able to forge relationships among partners while effectively managing complex financial and budgetary issues. This course introduces students to the fiscal pressures and budgetary constraints facing leaders in our society and provides them with the tools and knowledge necessary to manage these issues in an era of increasingly scarce resources. An overview of the budget process and the policy implications of this process is included as well. 3 credits
PSMA 7311 Foundations of the Nonprofit Sector
Promotes a thorough understanding of the nature of nonprofit organizations and the nonprofit sector as a whole. Explores size, scope and dimensions of the sector as well as its history, the various perspectives of philanthropy and the changing role of the nonprofit sector in contemporary society. 3 credits
PSMA 7312 Leadership and Management in Nonprofit Organization
Explores various areas of responsibility in leading and managing nonprofit organizations with particular emphasis on the relationship and interaction between the chief executive and the board of directors. Course is intended as a follow-up to and extension of PSMA 7311. 3 credits
PSMA 7313 Resource Development in Nonprofit Organizations
Examines principles, techniques and issues surrounding resource development in nonprofit organizations. Focuses on raising funds from private sources, including individuals, corporations and foundations. Annual funds, capital campaigns and endowment support are among topics covered. The board's role in resource development, ethical issues and government regulations is discussed. 3 credits
PSMA 7314 Financial Management of Nonprofit Organizations
Addresses particular financial, budgetary and accounting issues in tax-exempt organizations. Assumes some knowledge of finance and budgeting. 3 credits
PSMA 7315 Managing Volunteers in Nonprofit Organizations
Volunteers provide the lifeblood of many nonprofit organizations. Course covers topics of volunteer administration - planning, marketing, recruitment, screening and selection, training, supervision, evaluation and recognition. Understanding legal issues surrounding the use of volunteers and designing effective volunteer policies are also discussed. 3 credits
PSMA 7321 Grantsmanship
Provides students with a comprehensive overview of grants and contracts from the perspective of furthering the mission of the nonprofit or governmental agency. Trends in grantmaking, grantwriting, funding source identification, and relationship development with funders are among the topics covered. 3 credits
PSMA 7712 Program Evaluation Methods: Outcome Assessment
A review of the approaches to program evaluation focusing on evaluation methodology, design, interpretation and formal report development and presentation. Methods for developing and using standards, indicators and measurements for ascertaining impacts and outcomes will be covered. Provides a special focus on assessing program appropriateness, effectiveness, adequacy, efficiency and cost benefit. Students will be required to complete a program evaluation during the semester. 3 credits
PSMA 7715 Ethics in Public Service
Probes the ethical realities faced by professionals in government, healthcare, religious, educational and other nonprofit organizations. It is designed to develop and broaden awareness and appreciation of the power wielded by the public service professional, of the values public service professionals are expected to maintain, and of the ethical dimensions of public service management. The course is geared to developing operational skills for ethical analysis and action. 3 credits
PSMA 8111-8129 Topics in Public Service: Leadership, Governance and Policy
Designed to meet special needs and interests that are not addressed in other courses and in which faculty expertise exists. Topics include information management for public service, sustainable development, grantsmanship, advocacy and legal issues. 3 credits
PSMA 8311-8329 Topics in Nonprofit Management
Selected topics in nonprofit management chosen by the instructor. 3 credits
PSMA 8312 Nonprofit Advocacy and Lobbying
In addition to their role in service delivery to the community, nonprofits serve an important function as advocacy organizations, providing information to policy makers on their particular areas of expertise, lobbying government for change, and providing information on particular policy positions. This course provides students with an overview to the nonprofit functions of advocacy and lobbying, examining ways that nonprofits may and may not become involved in the public policy process. The role of advocacy in advancing issues of democracy and social justice are explored, as well as strategies to build social capital within communities. International case studies of innovative and successful advocacy campaigns will be introduced as examples of advocacy strategies that worked and why. The interdisciplinary curriculum draws on theories from sociology, political science, organization theory and social work. 3 credits
PSMA 8313 Legal Issues in Nonprofit Organizations
This course helps current and future managers of nonprofit organizations understand the legal issues facing them as leaders in the nonprofit sector. Thorough understanding of the legal issues requires not only a firm grasp of the letter and application of the law but also recognition of the context in which the law arose and in which it currently is implemented. This course promotes a deep understanding of nonprofit organizations and their activities and the environments in which they exist, all as illustrated by the ever more complex legal issues that provide the framework within which all nonprofits must operate. 3 credits
PSMA 8317 Nonprofit Marketing and Public Relations
This course examines the special challenges for successful promotion of the nonprofit organization. Integrated marketing communications (public relations, marketing and advertising) will be explored. Emphasis will be on marketing strategies, written tactics, and ways to develop a successful communications program. 3 credits
PSMA 8322-8327 Topics in Nonprofit Management
Course is designed to meet special student needs and interests in aspects of arts administration and policy not addressed in other courses and in which faculty expertise exists. Topics include: Administration of Arts Education Programs, Arts and Community Development, etc. 3 credits
Applied Research and Practice Experience
*Pre-service students are required to take PSMA 7991. Other students are required to take PSMA 7991, PSMA 7992, or PSMA 7993.
PSMA 7991 Internship
Designed for pre-service students or for those with fewer than two years of management experience, this course affords students an opportunity to learn management skills through onsite experience. The students must complete a minimum of 300 hours of managerial or administrative work under the tutelage of a public service, nonprofit, arts or healthcare administrator and complete all assignments given by the professor of the seminar associated with the internship. 3 credits
PSMA 7992 Practicum
Consists of a 3-credit, group-consulting project related to an area of public service, nonprofit, arts or healthcare administration or management. The practicum typically requires the writing of a management report and the delivery of an oral presentation for the subject organization. All work is completed under faculty supervision. 3 credits
PSMA 7993 Research Seminar
Designed for students currently working full time on a supervisory or management level in the healthcare, nonprofit, or public sector, as well as in the arts, this course gives each individual the opportunity to design and conduct a research project that focuses on a management or policy problem at his/her place of employment or in the public arena. The student presents methodology, results and recommendations both as a written capstone project and as an oral presentation. Students who have completed all degree requirements except the research seminar (PSMA 7993) must register for Thesis Continuation (THCN 7999) for the first semester subsequent to the research seminar (PSMA 7993) registration, and THCN 8000 from the second subsequent semester until the completion and presentation of the culminating research project. 3 credits

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