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Graduate School of Public and International Affairs—Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Public Administration is a field practiced at the intersection of the government, nonprofit, and private sectors.  GSPIA’s MPA program trains managers to balance the needs of each community with its resources, promoting neighborhood development, effective local government, ethical leadership, and responsible business practices.  Students acquire an incredibly diverse and flexible set of professional skills appropriate for careers in nonprofit agencies, government offices, and private businesses worldwide.

The 48-credit MPA degree is designed to advance the core value of social equity fundamental to today’s public management.  GSPIA’s programs in urban affairs and nonprofit management are consistently ranked among the very best in the country.  Additionally, GSPIA’s Center for Metropolitan Studies and the Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership bridge the gap between theory and practice, allowing students to work directly with local government and nonprofit leaders.

Requirements for the Master of Public Administration 

 

 

GSPIA Core Requirements (See Master's Degree Requirements) 18 credits
Degree Core Courses: 9 credits
PIA 2117 Program Evaluation (pre-reguisite PIA 2022)
PIA 2104 Financial Management
PIA 2096 Capstone Seminar (pre-requisite PIA 2028)
or
PIA 2099 Thesis (pre-requisite PIA 2028 + PIA 2003 + approval
Major Courses 12 credits
Electives 9 credits
Minimum Required Credits 48 credits

 

MPA students are required to select a major from among the four listed below. These four majors (energy & environment, policy research & analysis, public & nonprofit management, and urban & regional affairs) are also offered as minors for the MPA, MPIA, and MID degree programs.

Energy & Environment (E&E)

Energy & Environment explores the politics and policies of the worldwide energy industry, examining ways to meet global energy needs in a sustainable, environmentally conscious way. Pittsburgh is a global epicenter of one of the biggest energy revolutions of the 21st century – the shale gas boom. New technologies like “fracking” are making billions of dollars of natural gas accessible to world markets for the first time, generating thousands of new jobs from Europe to North America. Western Pennsylvania sits atop one of the largest and most productive shale deposits anywhere on the planet, raising major questions about how to extract the gas responsibly, how to protect communities from environmental harm, and how to tax and regulate the rapid growth. GSPIA Students study the economics of the global energy industry, environmental sustainability, and regulatory policy in one of the world’s best living laboratories. Graduates are prepared for jobs at environmental protection agencies, energy corporations, and a host of local, state, and national government offices that make energy policy.

The major curriculum, comprising 12 credits, follows:

 

GSPIA Core Requirements (See Master’s Degree Requirements)

18credits

Degree Core Courses

9 credits

Major Courses

12 credits

     PIA 2231  Current Controversies – US Energy Policy

                       OR

     PIA 2523  Global Energy Policy

     PIA 2115  Environmental Economics

                       OR

     PIA 2502  Global Environmental Policy

 

     PIA XXXX Approved E&E major course

 

     PIA XXXX Approved E&E major course

 

Electives

9 credits

Minimum Required Credits

48 credits

 

Policy Research and Analysis (PRA)

Today’s policymakers require analytical skills from a variety of disciplines: quantitative, economic, political, and organizational.  Students in the policy research & analysis major enjoy access to a rich array of resources to help them prepare for careers in both the public and private sectors.  Recent graduates of our program have gone on to work in such careers as budget examiners for the state of New York, analysts for the Government Accountability Office and the U.S. Mint and consultants for the leading firm Booz Allen Hamilton.

Motivated and inquisitive people looking to acquire the technical skills and knowledge to contribute to research and policymaking decisions will appreciate our curriculum.  It is infused with a rich variety of interdisciplinary viewpoints to give students a well-informed view of policy analysis that is both national and international in scope.

The major curriculum, comprising 12 credits, follows:

 

GSPIA Core Requirements (See Master’s Degree Requirements)

18credits

Degree Core Courses

9 credits

Major Courses

12 credits

     PIA 2023 Intermediate Quantitative Methods (pre-requisite PIA 2022)

     PIA XXXX Approved PRA major course

     PIA XXXX Approved PRA major course

     PIA XXXX Approved PRA major course

Electives

9 credits

Minimum Required Credits

48 credits

 

Public and Nonprofit Management (PNM)

Public service is a discipline practiced at many levels: local, national and international often with ripple effects across each.  Through grassroots contributions and global applications, GSPIA students pursuing a public & nonprofit management major acquire a deep understanding of the many contexts in which public and nonprofit organizations operate.  Many look forward to the opportunity to leverage change in a mixed economy.

Our curriculum stresses responsible leadership and our students develop the skills to diagnose leadership challenges and opportunities from a variety of ethical and moral frameworks.  Our interdisciplinary approach draws from a variety of fields such as philosophy, law, organizational design and political science.  Our approach gives students the skills they need to meet the challenges of a world in which services increasingly span boundaries among business, government and nonprofit organizations.

The major curriculum, comprising 12 credits, follows:

 

GSPIA Core Requirements (See Master’s Degree Requirements)

18credits

Degree Core Courses

9 credits

Major Courses

12 credits

     PIA 2103 Managing People in the Public and Nonprofit Sector

     PIA 2185 Strategic Management (pre-req. 2020 or 2170)

     PIA XXXX Approved PNM major course

     PIA XXXX Approved PNM major course

Electives

9 credits

Minimum Required Credits

48 credits

 

Urban and Regional Affairs (URA)

The major in urban & regional affairs prepares students to meet the challenge of addressing complex issues of today’s evolving urban landscape, such as community development and organization, affordable housing, safety, cleanliness and quality of life.   Our students – some of the most accomplished scholars in the nation – are engaged in research that addresses economic, social and demographic trends and their policy consequences.

Enthusiastic, motivated, and technically astute applicants will find a wealth of challenging, hands-on opportunities in the major.

The major curriculum, comprising 12 credits, follows:

 

GSPIA Core Requirements (See Master’s Degree Requirements)

18credits

Degree Core Courses

9 credits

Major Courses

12 credits

     PIA 2125 City & Region Theory & Practice

     PIA 2715 GIS for Public Policy

     PIA 2740 Planning & Analysis Sustainable Regions

     PIA XXXX Approved URA major course

Electives

9 credits

Minimum Required Credits 48

 




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