2017-2018 Academic Catalog 
    Sep 30, 2020  
2017-2018 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Public Administration, MPA

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Master of Public Administration Overview

The Clark University Master of Public Administration (MPA) program is designed to strengthen and advance the managerial and analytical skills of mid-career executives in both public organizations and nonprofit institutions.  This widely accepted professional credential is also ideal for students who have a commitment to public service and are seeking a career in a non-profit organization or a position with federal, state, or local government. The goal of this graduate level, professional program is to develop administrators who can effectively address the varied managerial, economic and political aspects of public issues and programs. The program also assists professionals from other fields who wish to make the transition to the administration of government, nonprofit, or other public institutions.

The 12 unit degree provides skills required for leadership roles in a wide range of public service careers. A Clark Master of Public Administration equips students with a solid academic foundation and training in research methods, public management, and public affairs. Students gain knowledge and can implement policies, projects, and programs within government and non-profit organizations. A graduate of this program will be able to address public needs in effective and imaginative ways so they may lead a career of consequence for their constituents.

Course of Study

All MPA students must successfully complete 12 graduate courses, the seven core courses listed below and five electives. Electives may be selected from courses offered in the M.P.A. program or from other relevant graduate courses offered by the School of Professional Studies. Further options for selecting electives that suit individual interests may be discussed with the Director of the MPA program.  Students work with their advisor prior to selecting courses.

Required Core Courses

The seven core courses below are listed in order of general recommended sequence. Though there is no specific requirement that they be taken in this order, Policy Analysis and Issues and Cases should be taken early, and the Capstone Practicum should be taken last.  Students who feel they have extensive professional experience in any of the required core courses, or who have taken similar courses in their graduate and/or undergraduate work, may petition for the requirement to be waived. Those who feel they may qualify for such a waiver should consult with the MPA Program Lead. If their petition is approved, the waived core course may be replaced with an elective course.


An internship option is available to students who enter the program and want to build a base of experience.

List of Concentrations

Students need to work with the MPA Progam Lead when choosing a concentration. Graduate students are permitted to select courses offered in all School of Professional Studies graduate degree programs. They may also petition to take graduate courses offered by other departments at Clark University.  Such petitions are decided on a case-by-case basis, and students should consult with the MPA program Lead regarding all such requests.

MPA Concentration (four electives from a chosen area of concentration and one elective of choice from any SPS course)

Non Profit Leadership

This concentration focuses specifically on the management of nonprofit organizations, including strategic marketing, fundraising, change management and the role of non-profit leaders in the delivery of services to various constituents.

Public Sector Leadership

This area of concentration is focused on developing and enhancing managerial skills required in all types of public organization. Curriculum emphasizes both the quantitative aspects of management (analytical skills and critical thinking) and the qualitative aspects of management (transformational leadership, change management and negotiations) within the public sector.

Healthcare Administration

This concentration centers on developing the skills and knowledge required to ensure healthcare organizations can achieve their strategic goals.  The key focus of this concentration is how to efficiently manage all the aspects of healthcare administration (policy formulation, management, professional knowledge of the healthcare sector, marketing and finances) to ensure an efficient and effective healthcare operation.

Educational Leadership

This concentration is designed to develop and enhance managerial and leadership skills of professionals working in school systems as an academic or non-academic leader. The curriculum emphasizes both the quantitative aspects of management (analytical skills and critical thinking) and the qualitative aspects of management (transformational leadership, change management and negotiations) within a school system.

Elective Courses

Students are free to select their elective courses according to their own preference. Often, however, students prefer to concentrate their electives in one particular area. There are presently 4 areas of concentration in the MPA program.

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