Course Descriptions

Core Curriculum

Principles of Public Administration
An introduction to the development of the discipline of public administration, the evolution of institutional forms both in the United States and in international settings, concepts of decision-making, ethics in the public sphere, human resource management in the public and non-profit sector and society.

Budgeting for Public Sector and Non-Profit Organizations
This course introduces students to the theory and practice of public budgeting and financial management. Students will learn the fundamentals of budgeting for government and non-profit organizations. The course will adopt a problem solving approach as students gain an understanding of how to use budgetary information in organizational planning, control, reporting, and analysis.

Human Resource Management for Public Sector and Non-profit Organizations
An introduction to the knowledge and practical skills that public leaders need to strategically deploy human resources in government and non-profit organizations. Topics include managing teams, discrimination and labor law, working with unions, motivating employees, privatization, recruitment, the aging workforce, and performance evaluations. Particular emphasis is given to developing human resources practices that support core organizational mission and objectives. 

CM 502 Strategic Communications in the Digital Age I
This course introduces students to the foundations of strategic communication. We will explore how to develop, maintain, and strengthen relationships with various constituencies using traditional and new communication platforms. Special attention will be given to the creation and application of PR tools in the digital age.

Data Analytics and Information Technology for the Public Sector
An overview of the use and leveraging of data in order to allow government and nonprofit organizations to make better decisions and improve operations. Topics to be covered will include the concepts of data management and governance; the latest trends in terms of data-related technologies, tools, and practices; current challenges such as privacy and security; and developing data capacity and awareness.

Public Policy and Law
‪Legal decisions and the law have an impact on the creation and implementation of public policy. This course explores the relationship between laws and public policy and the impact court decisions have on policy formulation and implementation by government agencies.

SW 524 Human Diversity and Social Justice
The purpose of this course is to provide students with a framework for understanding how diversity characteristics shapes the human experience and is critical to the formation of identity. The dimensions of diversity are understood as the intersection of multiple factors including age, class, color, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, immigration status, political ideology, race, religion/spirituality, and sexual orientation. Social workers appreciate that, as a consequence of difference, a person’s life experiences may include oppression, poverty, marginalization, and alienation as well as privilege, power, and acclaim. This course includes integration of a social justice and human rights perspective in line with the Catholic Intellectual Tradition. Students will develop beginning skills in assessing and intervening in macro practice that addresses social inequities, oppression, and equitable access to resources.

The capstone course is the culminating experience of the MPA and where students demonstrate mastery of the full range of competencies. During the capstone seminar, students work with a client in a public service or non-profit agency to identify a problem and write a paper to address the problem integrating what they have learned using the knowledge and skills acquired during the program.

Non-profit Management Electives

Non-profit Management and Leadership
The course will examine the role of non-profit boards and executives in providing leadership at the organizational, community and societal levels.

Fundraising for Non-Profits
Structures in which organized fundraising and resource development occurs within philanthropy.

Program Development and Evaluation
The course will analyze basic evaluation methods and tools that can be deployed to determine program impact.

Financial Management for Non-profits
The theory and practice of non-profit finance including concepts such as liquidity, solvency, cash flow strategies and the various types of revenue pursued by non-profits.

Social Entrepreneurship
The implementation of entrepreneurial principles to solve social, cultural and/or environmental problems.  The course will emphasize cross-sector collaboration and innovative methods of finance, delivery and organization.

Emergency Management Electives

Emergency Planning and Preparedness
Provides an understanding of the issues associated in developing plans and policies to prepare for disasters, both natural and man made. Overview of nature of challenges posed by different kinds of disasters; discussion of regulatory requirements, sample plans, equipment requirements, collateral and mutual aid support agreements, and methods for testing and updating plans.

Disaster Operations Response and Recovery
Provides an understanding of how people, groups, organizations, communities and governments manage disaster in the immediate aftermath and long-term including social, physical, business, and infrastructure problems as well as intra and inter-organizational issues.

Communications and Crisis Management
Provides an understanding of the various interactions that may be required between the emergency management official and a full spectrum of relevant stakeholders, including the emergency services and other responding or responsible agencies, the general and disaster impacted public, the private and NGO sectors, mutual aid partners and other neighboring jurisdictions, the media, and many others.

Risk Assessment and Decision-making
Participants in this course will discuss the underlying risk assessment and analysis theory, and explore the key steps and actions that can be taken to manage risk including: studying and understanding the community or entity at risk, establishing a context for hazards risk management; identifying and profiling hazards; understanding the influence and effect of risk perception; analyzing and assessing hazard risk; communicating risk; understanding, assessing, and acting on risk mitigation options; and assessing the overall process risk management process.

CJ 514 Domestic and International Terrorism
Examines the history, current developments, and responses to both international and domestic terrorism. Emphasis is on the examination of the law enforcement response to terrorism, and the sociological models of consensus and conflict in an effort to better understand the nature of terrorism. Assesses the strategies of terrorists, their funding and their use of the media, and examines the efforts of terrorist victimization.