Master of Public Administration

General

Program Description

The Masters of Public Administration program at Sam Houston State University is an online graduate program offering a concentration in disaster and emergency management. A student may, with the permission of the graduate director, pursue a concentration in other disciplines deemed more relevant to the student’s professional goals.

Students who need a flexible schedule due to their current career or family responsibilities find a perfect home in our online program. Whether you are in Texas or anywhere else in the world, you will learn from professors who have real-world experience in public and nonprofit organizations and use it to conduct relevant applied research. In addition, most students are full-time professionals, so you will not only learn from experienced professors, but you will interact and network with your peers. Faculty pride themselves in creating interactive, online learning environments that engage students in in-depth discussion and analysis. As you move through the program, you will develop personal and professional relationships with your peers.

Our alumni work as directors of county agencies, city managers, directors of nonprofits, and serve in key leadership positions within emergency service agencies. Active-duty military and Foreign Service officers are also represented.

Online course enrollment is capped at 20 for most courses (and 12 in more demanding courses); therefore, professors are able to give you the attention you deserve. Although course enrollment is capped, ample course offerings each semester ensure that you are given the opportunity to progress through the program at a pace that fits your professional needs.

*Students who lack relevant job experience will be required to complete a 3-hour internship course.

Quick Facts

  • Talented and credentialed professors.
  • Small class sizes and around the clock support.

About Your Degree

At SHSU Online, we understand that your degree needs to work for you. Your degree isn’t just a piece of paper — it signifies your accomplishment and expertise to the world.

  • Accumulating Credit
    • You earn a degree from SHSU by accumulating course credit hours.
  • All Credits Are Equal
    • You earn course credit hours by completing in-person courses and/or online courses, or through transferred credits from another institution.
  • Your Degree Will Not Say “Online”
    • Neither will your transcript— even if you earn all of your course credit hours online. Your degree will be the same regardless of how you earn your credit hours.
  • All SHSU Degree Programs Are Fully Accredited
    • Sam Houston State University is accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Some programs are also accredited by a governing professional body.

Program Breakdown

  • Catalog Entry: Master of Public Administration (MPA)
  • Length: 36 Credit Hours
  • Enrollment: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admissions

Applications to the online Master of Public Administration (MPA) Program are reviewed on a rolling basis, with application deadlines of August 1st for the fall semester; December 1st for the spring semester; and May 15th for the summer semester. The MPA Program’s admission considerations include the following:

  1. Graduate Admissions Application: The Graduate Studies Application is an institutional application required by SHSU. Students must provide biographical and educational information and information relevant to determining the State of Texas residency.
  2. Application Fee: An application fee is required for all applications to graduate programs at SHSU.
  3. Transcripts documenting all prior degrees.*
  4. A current resume or curriculum vitae.
  5. A writing sample of scholarly or professional work.
  6. A statement of interest that summarizes the applicant’s professional goals, how an MPA degree will help the applicant obtain their professional goals, and how the applicant’s personal and professional experiences have prepared them for the MPA program. The statement should be no more than two single-spaced pages.
  7. Names and contact information for at least two individuals who can speak to the applicant’s academic and professional potential.
  8. Applicants who do not possess a graduate degree from an accredited institution, are expected to have earned a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 from the accredited institution granting the undergraduate degree.  
  9. Applicants who do not possess a graduate degree and have an undergraduate GPA below 3.0 may submit additional information as evidence of their academic and professional potential. Additional information may include but is not limited to GRE scores, a narrative that provides an explanation for the applicant’s low GPA and why the GPA is not indicative of the applicant’s academic and professional potential, etc.

*Applicants may submit unofficial transcripts for review by the admissions committee. However, under university policy, admission decisions are contingent upon receipt of official transcripts.

Applicants must submit all application materials directly to the Office of Graduate Studies by the relevant deadline. A holistic review of each applicant’s file will then be completed with admission to the MPA Program offered to applicants on a competitive basis.

Curriculum 

Political Science Core Courses

  • PADM 5381 Dynamics of Public Administration, 3 hours
  • PADM 5383 Program Evaluation, 3 hours
  • PADM 5384 Organizational Theory & Behavior, 3 hours
  • PADM 5386 Human Resource Management, 3 hours
  • PADM 5387 Public Budgeting and Finance, 3 hours
  • PADM 5388 Ethics in Government, 3 hours
  • PADM 5389 Public Management, 3 hours
  • POLS 5377 Scope & Mth of Political Science, 3 hours

Total Hours: 24

Areas of Concentration

A concentration of 12 hours is required for this degree. The department offers a concentration in disaster and emergency management. On rare occasions, students may, with the permission of the graduate director, pursue a concentration in other disciplines deemed more relevant to the student’s professional goals.

Concentration in Disaster and Emergency Management

  • PADM 5390 Global Disaster Politics, 3 hours
  • PADM 5391 Emergency Management, 3 hours
  • PADM 5392 Decision Making in Public Administration, 3 hours
  • PADM 5393 Disaster Resilience, 3 hours

Total Hours: 12

Degree Plan

MPA in Public Administration

  • Specified Courses
    • PADM 5381 Dynamics of Public Administration, 3 hours
    • PADM 5383 Program Evaluation, 3 hours
    • PADM 5384 Organizational Theory & Behavior, 3 hours
    • PADM 5386 Human Resource Management, 3 hours
    • PADM 5387 Public Budgeting and Finance, 3 hours
    • PADM 5388 Ethics in Government, 3 hours
    • PADM 5389 Public Management, 3 hours
    • POLS 5377 Scope & Mth of Political Science, 3 hours
  • Concentration
    • Concentration in Disaster and Emergency Management:
      • PADM 5390 Global Disaster Politics, 3 hours
      • PADM 5391 Emergency Management, 3 hours
      • PADM 5392 Decision Making in Public Administration, 3 hours
      • PADM 5393 Disaster Resilience, 3 hours

Total Hours: 36

Marketable Skills

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) marketable skills initiative is part of the state’s 60x30TX plan and was designed to help students articulate their skills to employers.  Marketable skills are those skills valued by employers and/or graduate programs that can be applied in a variety of work or education settings and may include interpersonal, cognitive, and applied skill areas.

The M.P.A. is designed to provide graduates with the following marketable skills:

  • Develop students’ analytical and writing skills.
  • Develop students' ability to utilize technology to solve problems and accomplish goals.
  • Prepare students for professional careers in the 21st century.
  • Prepare students to make meaningful contributions to local, state, national, and global communities.
Last updated Aug 2020

About the School

For more than 137 years, Sam Houston State University has been preparing students for meaningful lives of achievement. Its motto, “The Measure of a Life is its Service,” echoes across SHSU’s seven col ... Read More

For more than 137 years, Sam Houston State University has been preparing students for meaningful lives of achievement. Its motto, “The Measure of a Life is its Service,” echoes across SHSU’s seven colleges and beyond its Texas campus through student research, creative endeavors, service learning, volunteering and more. Read less