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Public Administration

  • Accelerated
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Erie, Pennsylvania
View Curriculum
  • Program Overview

    Public administration focuses on the delivery of public goods and services, the implementation of public policy, and the execution of laws and rules. Its studies, however, are much broader to include the functioning and leading of large and complex organizations. By definition and necessity, public administration is both science and art: science in that it is a study of how bureaucracies function and art in that it is a study of how to steer and manage organizations.

    Political appointees of the past are rapidly being replaced by a new type of public sector managers, more similar to executives, engineers, and accountants of the private sector. Governments, agencies, foundations, and authorities are seeking highly motivated individuals with communication, critical analysis, public budgeting and human resources management skills, strategic planning abilities, grant-writing experience, program development capabilities, organizational skills, and the ability to solve problems creatively.

    Mission Statement

    Gannon’s MPA program prepares its graduates to be competent administrators, professionals and leaders in public and nonprofit organizations, domestically and internationally. The program educates socially responsible world citizens through civic and community engagement and innovation and develops a worldview by infusing international perspectives and activities into the curriculum. The program is dedicated to emphasizing public service values such as public interest, efficiency, effectiveness, democratic representation and participation, equity, diversity, sustainability, and accountability.

    Our central location to city, county, state, and federal government offices makes Gannon a virtual public administration laboratory.  Our close proximity allows for continuous interaction with government and agency leaders who visit classes on a regular basis and often serve as instructors themselves.  This is a program in which real world case studies are often the focus of seminar deliberations and class projects.  In addition, internship opportunities abound. This practical experience adds balance to academic life.

    STEM Designated Degree Program

    Gannon's Master of Public Administration is a STEM Designated Degree Program. The STEM designation also has special implications for international students who are studying in the United States on a student F-1 visa. For most international students, there is an opportunity to complete work experience following the completion of their degree through a program called Optional Practical Training (OPT). The standard duration for OPT is 12 months. However, if the student has completed a STEM approved program, OPT can be extended by as much as 24 months for a total of 36 months. For any clarification of the I-20 purpose, please contact Gannon University’s Office of Global Admissions and Outreach. To be eligible, students must have a STEM degree from an accredited U.S. school and must secure employment with an employer that includes a minimum of 20 hours of work per week and formal training within the STEM field.

    This designation reflects the program's commitment to the traditional MPA coursework with an emphasis throughout the curriculum on utilizing today's technology for data-driven decision making.

    Gannon University’s MPA program has uniquely infused quantitative methods into the traditional MPA curriculum focused on the quantitative approaches and analysis. The STEM MPA program utilizes quantitative methods to analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems and make decisions. In addition to the public budgeting and finance course that tries to balance both revenue and expenditure with quantitative approaches, the research methodology course stresses on quantitative methods compared to qualitative methods of analysis, and research design and implementation. The Capstone Project course also focuses on quantitative data collection and analysis to better align with the STEM designation of the MPA program. These adjustments make the Gannon University’s MPA program unique that the graduates will be equipped with data-driven decision skills and competency in today’s consistently changing environment.

    Program Director

    Mengzhong Zhang, Ph.D.


    Core Courses (27 Credits)

    GMPA 510 Introduction to Public Administration

    GMPA 520 Administrative Ethics

    GMPA 530 Public Personnel Administration

    GMPA 532 Public Budgeting & Finance

    GMPA 533 Public Organizations and Management

    GMPA 540 Applied Statistics for Public and Nonprofit Administration -OR- GOLL 806 Fundamentals of Applied Statistics

    GMPA 630 The Public Policy Cycles

    GMPA 797 Public Administration Capstone Project

    GMPA 799 Research in Public Administration

    Elective Courses

    Students will select three courses (9 credits) in specific disciplines in order to complete one of the concentrations:

    • Global Public Administration
    • Organization Learning & Leadership
    • Nonprofit Organization and Management
    • Customized Concentration

    Program Outcomes

    As the basis for its curriculum, the MPA program will adopt a set of required competencies related to its mission and public service values. The required competencies will include five domains:

    1.      The ability to lead and manage in public governance;

    2.      To participate in and contribute to the policy process;

    3.      Utilize quantitative methods to analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems, and make decisions;

    4.      To articulate and apply a public service perspective; 

    5.      To communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry.

    Job Market

    The traditional MPA graduates are expected to be the administrative staff and assuming managerial roles in public and nonprofit organizations. The MPA STEM Designated Program graduates are expected to do policy analysis in public and nonprofit organizations. Graduates of the MPA STEM Designated Program will be prepared for employment across a broad spectrum of disciplines, including public, nonprofit and private sectors

    Specifically, job options for individuals with MPA STEM Designated Program degrees include:

    • Political positions such as working for a federal and state legislator, or local official.
    • Non-political options within the government sector, ranging from program analysis, program management and administration at all levels of government, and international government agencies.
    • Within the nonprofit arena, public policy graduates can conduct policy research; do advocacy work on specific policy issues or be entrepreneurs starting their own nonprofit or non-governmental organization (NGO)
    • Increasingly, the private sector is looking for master of public policy graduates as businesses begin to recognize the role policy development and implementation plays in influencing and affecting their business decisions.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will lead and manage in public governance.
  2. Students will participate in and contribute to the policy process.
  3. Students will utilize quantitative methods to analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems, and make decisions.
  4. Students will articulate and apply a public service perspective.
  5. Students will communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry.
Temulin Batjargal

Temulin Batjargal Master of Public Administration

"I have broadened my knowledge and skills in the field of public administration through the teaching of engaging professors, highly intellectual readings, and comprehensive class discussions and research projects with diverse and well-rounded classmates."