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Core Requirements

Selection of courses is to be made in consultation with the student’s academic advisor.

Each MPA student is required to complete 18 semester credit hours of approved MPA course work in the following core courses.

These core courses emphasize the knowledge and skills necessary to be effective in public service management and leadership. Each class includes an exploration of student values and public service ethics.

  1. PUBADM 500: Administration in the Public Sector
  2. PUBADM 501: Public Policy Process
  3. PUBADM 502: Organizational Theory
  4. PUBADM 503: Research Methods in Public Administration
  5. PUBADM 504: Public Budgeting and Financial Administration
  6. PUBADM 505: Public Personnel Administration

Area of Emphasis Requirements

Each MPA student is to complete a minimum of 18 additional semester credit hours. These credit hours are in the student’s area of emphasis. An area of emphasis is a concentration or major in the program. Students may choose to complete six credits of a research project or directed research as part of their emphasis.

  • Emphasis in General Public Administration:

    This area of emphasis is provided to accommodate those students desiring preparation in public administration as a “generalist” rather than a “specialist” in a particular area. Students should select the 12 credit hours of course work from the MPA courses listed in the catalog or offered as selected or special topics. Students may also work with an advisor to identify relevant graduate coursework in other programs at Boise State University.

  • Emphasis in State and Local Government Policy and Administration:

    All students in this area of emphasis must take:

    PUBADM-560 STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION (3 CR)

    This course examines state and local government administration in a political and organizational context and the attendant inter-unit, inter-sector, and inter-jurisdictional cooperation and conflict in policy administration. Attention is paid to management in a federal system with a focus on nation-state-local relations.


    And students must select nine credits from approved Selected or Special Topics or from the following courses:

    PUBADM 511 DECISION-MAKING IN PUBLIC AND NONPROFIT MANAGEMENT (3 CR)

    (3-0-3)(F/S). Designed to introduce decision theory and optimization techniques and tools in public and nonprofit organizations to provide basic techniques related to planning, monitoring, managing, and measuring program performance.


    PUBADM 512 INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND PUBLIC POLICY (3 CR)

    (3-0-3) (F/S)(Alternate years). Examines implications of information technology for policymaking and policy analysis as well as the management of knowledge and information in and between organizations.


    PUBADM 513 ECONOMICS OF PUBLIC POLICY (3 CR)

    (3-0-3)(F/S)(Alternate years). Contributions of economic analysis to the justification, design, and implementation of economic policy, especially as it relates to the market economy and the benefits and costs associated with government intervention.


    PUBADM 514 INTRODUCTION TO NONPROFIT MANAGEMENT AND COLLABORATION (3 CR)

    (3-0-3)(F/S)(Alternate years). The course examines the implementation of public policy through nongovernmental organizations. Students will gain a general understanding of the history of philanthropy in selected nations and will explore the various social, economic, and political assumptions that found contemporary cross-sector delivery systems.


    PUBADM 515 POLICY IMPLEMENTATION AND PRACTICE (3 CR)

    (3-0-3)(F/S) (Alternate years). Examines mechanisms, assumptions, and measurement issues surrounding various forms of public policy implementation including the use of direct service delivery by public organizations, collaborative systems and the use of for-profit and nonprofit organizations.


    PUBADM 516 CITY-COUNTY GOVERNANCE AND ADMINISTRATION (3 CR)

    (3-0-3)(F/S). Introduction to different urban and rural political systems, governance and administration including variations in electoral structures, governing bodies, and an analysis of political parties, interest groups and emerging policy issues.


    PUBADM 517 RESOURCE MANAGEMENT IN NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS (3 CR)

    (3-0-3)(F/S/SU). Explores the unique political and legal environment facing nonprofits and best practices in effectively and efficiently managing human and financial resources.


    PUBADM 518 INTRODUCTION TO CONTRACT MANAGEMENT (3 CR)

    (3-0-3)(F/S/SU). Explores issues, trends, ethics, and best practices in contract management from the pre-award phase through post-award.


    PUBADM 530 ADMINISTRATIVE LAW AND REGULATION

    (3-0-3) (F/S). Sources of power and duties of administrative agencies, rules and regulations made by agencies through investigation and hearings, judicial decisions and precedents relating to administrative activities.


    PUBADM 571 ETHICS IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR (3 CR)

    (3-0-3)(F/S). Examination of ethical dilemmas facing civil servants and elected officials utilizing case studies, current ethics statutes, and approaches in the public administration literature to the subject.

  • Emphasis in Environmental, Natural Resource and Energy Policy and Administration:

    This emphasis is designed to provide a basic understanding of environmental and natural resources policy and administration. Special attention is given to four substantive areas: environmental regulatory policy, energy politics, natural resource policy and administration, and public lands. The students should leave the program with a broad understanding of the interrelationships between these environmental/natural resource areas and administration in the public sector. Areas of special concern include regulatory federalism, the policy process, the key elements of policy change (actors, institutions, ideas), and the importance that politics plays in policy formulation and implementation.

    All students in this area of emphasis must complete the following course:

    PUBADM-540 CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN NATURAL RESOURCE AND ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION (3 CR)

    This course examines current issues, actors, and policies in the area of natural resources and the environment. Topics include land and water management and use, the natural resource policy environment, the roles and behaviors of natural resource agencies, and alternative natural resource policy futures. Students will address current issues in natural resource and environmental policy.


    And students must select nine credits from approved Selected or Special Topics or from the following courses:

    PUBADM-541 ENVIRONMENTAL AND REGULATORY POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION (3 CR)

    This course begins with a general overview of the state of the environment in the United States today. This includes a brief historical review of the environmental movement with a special emphasis on growth. This is followed by a general discussion of regulation, deregulation, the administrative state, and the politics of regulatory change (all within an environmental framework). Next the course explores the different aspects of environmental and regulatory administration. Various regulatory techniques are presented as they are applied to the politics of environmental regulation. Discussion focuses on the interrelationship between environmental politics and the administrative state.


    PUBADM-542 SCIENCE, DEMOCRACY AND THE ENVIRONMENT (3 CR)

    The course begins with an overview of the characteristics that define a democratic society and a discussion of how science and citizenship are linked together in the environmental decision-making process. This issue of clean air policy will serve as a starting point for this discussion. Next, students will examine the structure of our present Research and Development system as we (as a society) attempt to connect the successes in the scientific world to the success in building a better society. Students will then investigate the linkage between science and democracy in the context of the U.S. Congress and its use of expertise in making environmental policy decisions. The course concludes with a discussion of the science-policy linkage as viewed from the perspective of natural scientists.


    PUBADM-543 PUBLIC LAND AND RESOURCE POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION (3 CR)

    This course examines the major issues, actors, and policies affecting the public lands and natural resources of the U.S. Special attention is given to the processes, institutions, and organizations, which influence how public land and natural resource policy is made. Attention is also paid to substantive issues such as wilderness, the politics of subsidies, and the role of science in public decision-making. Idaho, like most of the western states, is a public land state. Many of the most contentious natural resource and environmental policy disputes involve the public lands. This course will help the student make sense of public land and natural resource policy and administration.


    PUBADM-544 ENERGY IN THE WESTERN U.S. (3 CR)

    Examines energy resources, uses, reserves, and the perspectives of citizens impacted by resource extraction and use in the U.S. West. Emphasis is placed on current resource extraction developments in the oil, gas, coal, oil shale, tar sands, nuclear, and renewable industries


    PUBADM-545 ENERGY POLICY (3 CR)

    Explores the key issues in the development of major energy policy choices in the U.S. with attention paid to issues with international ramification.


    PUBADM-546 CLIMATE CHANGE POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION (3 CR)

    Considers multiple aspects of climate change, global warming, and related issues such as mitigation, adaptation, resilience, and vulnerability in relation to public policy and administration. Considering climate change is defined through science, politics, competing perspectives, alternate and available solutions will frame the course.


    PUBADM-547 WATER RESOURCES POLICY AND MANAGEMENT (3 CR)

    Considers water resource policy, management, and politics in the U.S. with attention to the clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, water allocation, public trust doctrines, and current water resource issues.