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Master of Public Administration

  • Director of Graduate Studies: Elizabeth Fredericksen
  • Environmental Research Building, Room 1149, Mail Stop 1935
  • Phone: (208) 426-1476
  • E-mail:

Master of Public Administration

Course Number and TitleCredits
MPA students must successfully complete at least 39 semester credit hours of approved MPA course work. Twenty-one semester credit hours comprise the general and research core courses. PUBADM 500 should be completed as a pre- or co-requisite for PUBADM 501, PUBADM 502, PUBADM 504, and PUBADM 505.

PUBADM 533 should be completed as a pre- or co-requisite for PUBADM 534, PUBADM 535, PUBADM 536 AND PUBADM 537.

The eighteen additional semester credit hours are in the student’s area of emphasis and/or in the electives requirement. Some students may also be required to complete the public service internship which is explained below.
Course Selection
Selection of courses is to be made in consultation with the student’s academic advisor.
Core Requirements
Each MPA student is required to complete the following core courses. The 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.
PUBADM 500 Administration in the Public Sector3
PUBADM 501 Public Policy Process3
PUBADM 502 Organizational Theory3
PUBADM 504 Public Budgeting & Financial Administration3
PUBADM 505 Public Personnel Administration for Public Service3
PUBADM 692 Capstone Course3
Research Core Requirements
Students must take PUBADM 533 Research Design and Measurement1
Students must select at least two credits from the following sequence of classes:
PUBADM 534 Descriptive Statistics (1 cr)
PUBADM 535 Inferential Statistics (1 cr)
PUBADM 536 Introduction to Survey Research (1 cr)
PUBADM 537 Advanced Statistical Techniques (1 cr)
Area of Emphasis Requirements
An area of emphasis is a concentration or major in the program. Each MPA student is to complete 12 semester credit hours in one of the following three areas of emphasis. Selected Topics courses will be offered to supplement area of emphasis requirements.

1. 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 non-core MPA courses listed in this catalog.

2. Environmental, Natural Resource, and Energy Policy and Administration:
Students in this area of emphasis should select twelve credits from the following courses:
PUBADM 540 Contemporary Issues in Natural Resource and Environmental Policy and Administration (3 cr)
PUBADM 541 Environmental and Regulatory Policy and Administration (3 cr)
PUBADM 542 Science, Democracy and the Environment (3 cr)
PUBADM 543 Public Land and Resource Policy and Administration (3 cr)
PUBADM 544 Energy Policy in the Western U.S. (3 cr)
PUBADM 545 U.S. Energy Policy (3 cr)
PUBADM 547 Water Resources Policy and Management (3 cr)

3. 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
Students must select nine credits from approved Selected or Special Topics or from the following courses:
PUBADM 516 City-County Governance and Administration (3 cr)
PUBADM 540 Contemporary Issues in Natural Resource and Environmental Policy and Administration (3 cr)
PUBADM 541 Environmental and Regulatory Policy and Administration (3 cr)
PUBADM 550 The Executive and the Administrative Process (3 cr)
CRP 501 Introduction to Community and Regional Planning (3 cr)
Students must complete 6 elective semester credit hours in addition to their area of emphasis and core requirements. These credits may be taken as course work or as a Directed Research (PUBADM 696) which relates to their area of emphasis.
Public Service Internship
Those MPA students without at least one year of administrative experience in a public sector or other public affairs agency are to complete a public service internship. The internship is served in a government office at the local, state or national level or in an appropriate public affairs organization, such as a private, nonprofit agency. The credits received for the internship are in addition to the 39 semester credit hours from the core area and area of emphasis. The internship component comprises six (6) semester credit hours. The internship is meant to be a meaningful experience for both the MPA student and the organization in which the internship is served. Through the internship, students can further enhance their preparation for administrative work. At the same time, they are expected to make a valuable contribution to their assigned organizations. The internship is usually served when the student is near completion of the MPA program. Students who believe they are eligible for a waiver of the internship requirement should contact the graduate director.
Transfer of Graduate Courses
Because of a cooperative agreement made with Idaho State University and the University of Idaho, the MPA credits earned at those institutions can, with approval, be accepted into the Boise State University program. Transfer of credit from all other institutions is limited to twelve (12) semester credits.