Political Science and Public Administration

http://www.uab.edu/mpa

Interim Chair:  Angela Lewis, Ph.D.

The Department of Government offers a graduate program of study leading to the Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree.

UAB's nationally ranked Master of Public Administration (MPA) program is NASPAA (National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration) accredited.  Our MPA program prepares students for successful careers in public service where they can serve the greater good.  We have graduates locally and across the country who have become successful leaders and managers in local, state, and federal government positions, and in nonprofit organizations.

To obtain specific admissions requirements on how to apply to Graduate School, prospective students should visit this page:https://www.uab.edu/cas/government/graduate-program

Degree Offered: MPA
Director: Akhlaque Haque, Ph.D.
Phone: (205) 934-4653
E-mail: mpa@uab.edu
Website: http://www.uab.edu/mpa

MPA Program Mission

In line with the mission of the University, the MPA program is committed to excellence in graduate education through teaching, research, service, and practice.  The program focuses on building the next generation of global leaders and responsible decision makers by enhancing their intellectual and social capacities through knowledge and skills provided within the framework of public service values embedded in the MPA curriculum. The Master of Public Administration Program prepares individuals for positions of leadership in the public and nonprofit sectors. It is a professional graduate degree for both pre-career students and in-service administrators. The program is designed to develop the insights and skills needed to plan and formulate policy, and to organize, manage, and implement programs and operations. The MPA program is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). Its Board of Advisors consists of internal and external stakeholders comprised of community members, alumni and students.

The MPA curriculum is designed to ensure that students achieve competency in five domains:

  • To lead and manage in public governance.
  • To participate in and contribute to the policy process.
  • To analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems and make decisions.
  • To articulate and apply a public service perspective.
  • To communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry.

Degree Requirements

Students in the MPA program must complete a total of 42 semester hours or the equivalent, with an overall grade average of at least B. . Students without professional public service experience are required to do a three hour internship in addition to required coursework. Previous graduate work at UAB or another NASPAA accredited MPA program may be credited toward the degree if it is directly applicable. Students may select the thesis option or the non-thesis option.

Joint Degree and Certificate Programs

Admission Requirements

Because of its multidisciplinary nature, persons from all undergraduate majors are considered for admission to the program. Applicants must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and submit scores. The following are eligible for a GRE Waiver:

Students with a graduate degree from an accredited college or university.

Students with at least 5 years professional, full-time, progressively responsible mid-to-senior level management experience. The Statement of Interest and resume should provide clear evidence to for this waiver.

The LSAT may be substituted for the GRE only by JD/MPA applicants. Standardized GMAT score may be substituted at the discretion of the Program Director.

**

IMPORTANT Applicants who are applying for a waiver or substitution of other test scores must contact the MPA Director for the official approval. The applicant should submit a formal request accompanied by a resume to the MPA Program Director via postal mail or email attachment.

Two letters of reference are also required. Application for admission should be made online by visiting the UAB Graduate School website (uab.edu/graduate) and clicking the ‘Apply Now’ button. Admissions will be made fall and spring semester. Deadlines for submitting application for admission are listed on the UAB Graduate School website.

Deadline for Entry Term(s): Each semester
Deadline for All Application Materials to be in the Graduate School Office: Fall: July 1 Spring: November 1
Number of Evaluation Forms Required: Two
Entrance Tests: GRE (TOEFL and TWE also required for international applicants whose native language is not English.). GRE waived for senior professional. See guidelines above.

Financial Aid

The Department of Government has a limited number of graduate assistantships awarded on a competitive basis, which can be awarded during any semester as vacancies occur. The Department has two scholarships which are awarded on a competitive basis each spring. Other financial resources are available through the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Internships and Placement

Students may apply for an internship placement at any time. A few paid opportunities do arise, although the majority of internships are non-paid. Typical placements are in city and county government, planning departments, public health agencies, social service agencies, state government agencies, and various nonprofit organizations. The Department has placed several students in the prestigious Presidential Management Internship Program, which provides an excellent opportunity for eventual employment in the federal government. Students are also encouraged to use the services of the UAB Student Development Office in the University Center for career planning and placement. The faculty in the program also assists students in job placement. Please click here to see what some of our graduates are doing now.

Joint Degree Programs

Coordinated MPA/MPH Program

The MPA/MPH is designed to train individuals for administrative positions in public health and related health organizations. The Master of Public Administration degree prepares students for careers as administrators in public and nonprofit agencies, and the Master of Public Health provides a background in public health principles and programs. Students must apply and be accepted into both programs, meeting each program's entry requirements. Students are required to complete a total of 60-64 semester hours for the coordinated degree. Core requirements of 21 hours from the MPA program and 39-43 hours from the MPH program are required. Full-time students should be able to complete all degree requirements within three years.

Coordinated MPA/JD Program

The MPA program at UAB and the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University offer a coordinated MPA/JD program. The offering of this dual degree reflects recognition of the complex interrelationship between the legal system, public policy analysis, and public management. It will be particularly applicable to those pursuing careers in government and/or public interest law. Students must apply and be admitted to the MPA and JD programs separately. The requirements for each degree must be met. Close communication with both programs is required. Depending on prior experience, a field placement may be required.

Coordinated MPA/MSCJ Program

The MPA/MSCJ is targeted toward individuals who wish to gain competencies in public management and the theory/practice of criminal justice. Students must apply and be accepted into both programs, meeting each program's entry requirements. Students are required to complete a total of 60 semester hours for the coordinated degree. Core requirements of 24 hours from the MPA program and 18 hours from the MSCJ program; an additional 12 hours of electives, 3 hours of internship and a 3 hour capstone course are required. Full-time students should be able to complete all degree requirements within three years.

MPA Alumni Association

An active alumni association welcomes graduates of the program into membership. The association makes both advisory and financial contributions to the program and seeks to elevate the level of professionalism in public administration through a variety of projects and services. One of the best qualities of our alumni is their willingness to remain in contact with the MPA program. Our students benefit from talks and events in which our alumni engage, shared their experiences, and mentor the next generation.

Contact Information

For additional information refer to the web site of the UAB MPA program: www.uab.edu/mpa. Inquiries concerning program admission or other questions about the program should be directed to the MPA Program Program Coordinator.

MPA Coordinator
Graduate Studies in Public Administration
Department of Government
University of Alabama at Birmingham
HHB 415, 1530 3rd Avenue South
Birmingham, Alabama 35294-1152
Telephone  (205) 975-3413 or  (205) 934-2339
Email: mpa@uab.edu

Master of Public Administration

A total of 39 hours are required to complete the MPA program. For pre-career students an additional 3 credit hours of internship (20 hours/week) is also required. For a total of 42 hours, a full time student, taking 3 courses per semester, plus one additional course over the summer, should be able to complete the program within two years. All courses are offered in the evenings to accommodate working professionals.

Plan I: thesis

RequirementsHours
Core
MPA 600Administrative Ethics3
MPA 601The Public Policymaking Process3
MPA 602Scope of Public Administration3
MPA 603Public & Nonprofit Budgeting3
MPA 604Human Resources Management3
MPA 605Information Management for Government3
MPA 606Foundations of PA Research3
MPA 607Quantitative Methods for PA3
MPA 698Internship in Public Administration 13
Admission to Candidacy
MPA 696Independent Study in Public Administration 13
MPA 699Thesis Research6
Electives6
State and Local Government Administration
Women in Public Administation
Crisis Management
City County Management
Administrative Law
Intergovernmental Relations
Marketing and Fundraising
Nonprofit Management
GIS for Managers
Equity and Diversity in Public Policy
Strategic Planning
Local Government Planning
Economic Development
Grants Management
Program Evaluation
Public Managerial Economics
Total Hours42
1

 Students taking the thesis option (Plan I) must takes three hours of Independent Study under the guidance of the thesis chair prior to taking the six thesis hours (total 9 hours for thesis).

Plan II: non-thesis

RequirementsHours
Core
MPA 600Administrative Ethics3
MPA 601The Public Policymaking Process3
MPA 602Scope of Public Administration3
MPA 603Public & Nonprofit Budgeting3
MPA 604Human Resources Management3
MPA 605Information Management for Government3
MPA 606Foundations of PA Research3
MPA 607Quantitative Methods for PA3
MPA 698Internship in Public Administration 13
Portfolio
MPA 697Graduate Learning Portfolio 13
Electives12
State and Local Government Administration
Women in Public Administation
Crisis Management
City County Management
Administrative Law
Intergovernmental Relations
Marketing and Fundraising
Nonprofit Management
GIS for Managers
Equity and Diversity in Public Policy
Strategic Planning
Local Government Planning
Economic Development
Grants Management
Program Evaluation
Public Managerial Economics
Total Hours42
1

 During the last semester of study, students opting for the non-thesis (Plan II) must register for MPA 697, Graduate Learning Portfolio (GLP) and complete a comprehensive portfolio based on the course work, mission/vision, and career plans.  

Courses

PSC 501. Seminar in American Government. 3 Hours.

Multiple theoritical approaches employed in study of American political culture, behavior, institutions, and policy making; their usefulness in understanding domestic politics. (AG).

PSC 502. Seminar in Comparative Politics. 3 Hours.

Multiple theoretical approaches employed in study of comparative politics; their usefulness in cross-national analysis of political systems. (CP).

PSC 503. Seminar in International Relations. 3 Hours.

Multiple theoretical approaches employed in study of International relations; their usefulness in investigating issues in world politics. (IR).

PSC 504. Seminar in Political Theory. 3 Hours.

Multiple approaches employed in study of political theory; their usefulness in forming normative judgements. (PT).

PSC 505. Urban Affairs Seminar. 3 Hours.

Investigation of topics of current interest in urban studies.

PSC 515. Political Economy and Race in Birmingham. 3 Hours.

This course provides a critical analysis of race in the political economy of Birmingham from the postbellum period to the era of civil rights.

PSC 516. Gays Lesbians and the Politics of Sexual Diversity. 3 Hours.

Examination of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender politics in the U.S. since the mid-twentieth century focusing on the regulation of sexuality and gender, the liberation and assimilationist approaches to political action, and contemporary issues including discrimination in employment, in the military, and in education, domestic partnerships, HIV/AIDS, and family law. (AG).

PSC 521. Politics Planning and Urban Design. 3 Hours.

Relationship among policies, planning, and urban design. (AG).

PSC 530. American Constitutional Law I. 3 Hours.

Decisions of the U.S. Supreme court as related to the development of important doctrines of constitutional law. Role of judiciary; extent of federal executive and legislative power; federal taxing and commerce powers. (AG).

PSC 531. American Constitutional Law II. 3 Hours.

Decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court as related to the development of important doctrines of constitutional law. Guarantees of Bill of Rights regarding both national and state governments; 14th Amendment. (AG).

PSC 561. International Political Economy. 3 Hours.

Increasing interaction of politics and economies in international and transnational arenas of current global systems. (IR).

PSC 565. International Law. 3 Hours.

Historical roots, theoretical foundations, and substantive development of law governing relations among nations; functioning of present international legal system. (IR).

PSC 566. The United Nations. 3 Hours.

Organizational framework, evolving experiences and continuing problems of United Nations system for maintenance of international peace and security and for international economic and social cooperation. (IR).

PSC 571. Contemporary Political Issues. 3 Hours.

Topics of current poitical importance and interest. Issues identified in class schedule. May be repeated for credit with permission of department chair.

PSC 572. Environmental Policy. 3 Hours.

Institutions, processes, actors, and issues in U.S. and international environmental policy.

PSC 573. Urban Environmental Issues. 3 Hours.

Examination of environmental issues, focus on Birmingham area.

PSC 574. The Politics of Aging. 3 Hours.

Role of aging in political process. Political demands made by elderly, role of aging in political decision making and policy outputs relevant to older population. (AG).

PSC 585. Environmental Disasters. 3 Hours.

Examines the growing worldwide problem of chemical and nuclear accidents with a particular focus on understanding the community impacts of such accidents. Case studies of several chemical and nuclear disasters are reviewed from a multidisciplinary perspective, and the human service and public policy implications of environmental accidents are discussed.

PSC 595. Special Topics in Political Science. 3 Hours.

Group investigation of topics of current interest in political science.

PSC 596. Independent Studies and Special Projects. 1-3 Hour.

Selected readings or research under supervision of member of PSC department.

PSC 597. Honors Research. 3-6 Hours.

Independent research for political science honors students.

PSC 598. Public Affairs Internship. 1-3 Hour.

Individually arranged assignment in public or non-profit agencies or organizations, monitored and evaluated by member of department.

Faculty

Ertas, Nevbahar, Associate Professor, 2009, B.S., M.S. (METU, Ankara), Ph.D. (Georgia State and Georgia Institute of Technology)
Gunther-Canada, Wendy A., Professor, 1992, B.A. (Utah), M.A., Ph.D. (Rutgers)
Haque, Akhlaque, Professor, 1995, B.S. (Dhaka), M.A., Ph.D. (Cleveland State)
Jones, Peter, Assistant Professor, 2015, B.S., M.P.P., Ph.D. (Kentucky)