Department of Public and Nonprofit Studies
College of Behavioral and Social Sciences

History, Mission, & Learning Outcomes

Georgia Southern’s Master of Public Administration Program History

Since 1973, Georgia Southern University’s  MPA program has been a leader in the advancement of public and nonprofit education.  Today, the MPA program is recognized as one of the top graduate programs at Georgia Southern University, boasting a dedicated core faculty and an alumni base of nearly 700 and counting!

The MPA program’s curriculum has been structured to meet the needs of both pre-service students and mid-career practitioners.  Most courses are scheduled in the evening at the University’€s main campus in Statesboro, Georgia, and meet only one time per week.  Moreover, the curriculum is designed for full-time or part-time study.

In 2011, the MPA Program gained membership in the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council (NACC), which is comprised of academic programs and institutions committed to furthering research and education in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector.  The MPA program is also accredited by the NASPAA Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation and listed on the Annual Roster of Accredited Programs in conformity with NASPAA Standards.

On July 1, 2012, in recognition of the MPA program’€s continued growth and development, the program was made part of the newly established Institute for Public and Nonprofit Studies (IPNS).  Also in 2012, the program expanded its graduate-level offerings with the introduction of a Certificate in Public and Nonprofit Management.  The certificate is offered completely online through web-based instruction.  The certificate is intended for mid-career practitioners who are interested in furthering their education with professional training in several core areas of public and nonprofit administration.

In 2018, the IPNS became the Department of Public and Nonprofit Studies.  The department serves as the focal point for scholarship, teaching, and professional service in the field of Public Administration, Public Policy, and Public and Nonprofit Management at Georgia Southern University, throughout southeast Georgia, and beyond.  It is one of six academic departments in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.

The Department added to its growing undergraduate curriculum with the addition of two undergraduate minors (Public Policy and Nonprofit Management) in Fall 2019.  These minors, along with the Minor in Public Administration, are open to all students seeking training in the public and nonprofit sectors.  Students in the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) program may also pursue program concentrations in these areas.

Mission of the Master of Public Administration degree

The Master of Public Administration program prepares students for careers in public service and nonprofit organizations by providing outstanding academic and practical instruction in public administration. Preparing a corps of technically proficient, ethical and service-oriented public administrators will improve the quality of life and governance for all the region’s citizens and this is our primary mission.

MPA Student Learning Outcomes

  • Using the major theories underlying the field of public administration students can synthesize relevant information to address public problems.
  • Students can articulate and apply a public service perspective in their demonstrated knowledge of the structure, components, goals and objectives of the public and nonprofit sectors.
  • Students are able to participate in the public policy process through analysis and application of quantitative and qualitative empirical evidence to determine the effectiveness of a public policy or program.
  • Students are able to describe the public policy process and the administrator’s role in that process.
  • Students are able to identify ethical problems in public administration, assess the nuances and ambiguities of those ethical problems, and create appropriate solutions using moral reasoning skills.
  • Students will participate in and contribute to the policy process through preparation and analysis of a public budget in order to lead and manage in public governance.
  • Students can manage the major components of a personnel system within an organizational setting, understand the nuances of effectively motivating and managing personnel, and communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry.

The MPA program’s learning outcomes align with the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) universal required competencies.  The required competencies include 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.

Last updated: 10/21/2019

Department of Public and Nonprofit Studies • P.O. Box 8048 • Statesboro, Georgia • 912-478-1400

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