Although students may begin in any term, course schedules are arranged to best serve the needs of students who matriculate each fall. Students should schedule PAD 5050 and PAD 5700 during their first semester. PAD 5700 is a prerequisite for PAD 5701 which should be taken the following term. PAD 6908 should be scheduled in the last term following completion of PAD 5035. This sequencing enables us to develop your skills in research and writing further than was possible before we instituted the prerequisite requirements. For most students not on a graduate assistantship, three courses (or nine credit hours) is a full-load of courses.

The following schedule lists an appropriate sequence of MPA courses for a program of study that spans five semesters.

It is extremely important that you take and complete PAD 5701 early in your coursework. Do not make the mistake of waiting until your last couple of terms as it is a very difficult class and could hold your graduation.

First Semester

  • PAD 5050 The Profession of Public Administration, and
  • PAD 5700 Research Design, and
  • One (or two) other core or specialization course

Second Semester

  • PAD 5701 Research Methods, and
  • One core courses, and
  • One (or two) specialization course(s)

Third Semester

  • PAD 5035 Policy Development and Management
  • Internship (if required to graduate) or in fourth semester, and
  • One or two specialization courses

Fourth Semester

  • One core course, and
  • Two specialization courses

Fifth Semester

  • PAD 6908 Action Report
  • One specialization course

Most of the core courses are taught once every semester, including summer sessions. The specialization courses are taught at most once a year and occasionally only every four or five semesters, so you should watch for the specialization courses as they are taught and take them. If you are in a specialization track, you should take the core course of that topic area as soon as possible so you will have the prerequisite for the advanced course, e.g., take PAD 5227 before you can take PAD 6226 or PAD 6207. During the summer semester, generally most of the core courses but only a few specialization courses are offered. There is also a limited offering of graduate courses in other departments. Students who plan to enroll for summer courses should plan to “save” one or more of the core courses for the summer.