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Public Administration, M.P.A. 

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Online MPA Program

ULM offers a 36-hour online-only MPA Program designed for graduate students anywhere in the world. MPA courses are offered in eight-week and sixteen-week formats every semester, allowing the degree to be completed in as little as 12 months. Students may enter the program any semester. To participate in the online MPA program, students must have Microsoft Office™, high-speed Internet access, and computer equipment with audio and video capability, including a headset, microphone, and a webcam. ULM’s online-only MPA Program offers credit for participation in the Delta Regional Authority Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy.

ULM Student Fast-Track Option

For entry into the MPA program as a current undergraduate student, the Coordinator of the MPA Program in conjunction with the Committee on Admissions for Political Science will waive the GRE admissions requirement for ULM undergraduate students who are entering their senior year and majoring in political science. Students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA, with no less than a “C” in any political science course. Current ULM undergraduate students who are not political science majors may enter the MPA program as an undergraduate if they have completed POLS 1001, 2001, 2002, and 3001, with no less than “C” in any of these courses, as well meeting the requirements that they are a senior and have a minimum 3.0 GPA. Undergraduate students can earn up to 18 MPA degree credits while an undergraduate student.

For entry into the MPA program, the Coordinator of the MPA Program in conjunction with the Committee on Admissions for Political Science will waive the GRE admissions requirement for ULM undergraduate students earning a bachelors degree who majored or minored in political science and graduated with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 2.75. This entry option is contingent upon ULM political science graduates beginning their MPA classes within five years of receiving their B.A. degree.

Program Admission

In addition to the university requirements for admission to the Graduate School at ULM, applicants for admission to the Master of Public Administration degree program will meet two of the following criteria:

1. A minimum cumulative undergraduate grade-point average of 2.75; and/or

2. A minimum combined score of 900 on the GRE General Test (Verbal plus Quantitative); and/or

3. A minimum formula score of 1875 using the following formula: the combined total of the Verbal and Quantitative scores on the Graduate Record Examination multiplied by the student’s grade point average on all undergraduate work pursued.

Applicants who fail to meet the above standards may be admitted with conditional status at the recommendation of the Coordinator of the MPA Program in conjunction with the Committee on Admissions for Political Science. Admission exceptions to waive the GRE are:

1. A graduate from an accredited school who graduated with a 2.75 or higher GPA within the past five years. Under this exemption, one enters the MPA program as a “Non-Degree AutoAccept to Conditional or Regular” status without taking the GRE if one earns at least a ‘B’ in their first six hours of graduate courses at ULM taken in non-degree status.

2. MPA applicants with an approved professional or terminal degree (i.e., Ph.D., M.D., J.D., PharmD) from an accredited institution. Master’s degrees are not allowed for this GRE exemption waiver.

3. MPA applicants who have more than two years of experience in local, county, regional, state or federal administrative agencies; the office of elected officials; nonprofit or not-for-profit organizations; or health sector-related organizations. Consideration will be based upon duration, roles, and responsibilities.

Decisions by the Coordinator of the MPA Program in conjunction with the Committee on Admissions for Political Science are based on a broad range of criteria, and no particular level of academic performance or test scores will guarantee acceptance.

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In-Service and Pre-Service Requirements

Upon admission, all students will be designated as in-service or pre-service. In designating in-service or pre-service status, the program will consider the duration, roles, and responsibilities of previous work experience in local, county, regional, state or federal administrative agencies; the office of elected officials; nonprofit or not-for-profit organizations; or health sector-related organizations. Students lacking at least two years of administrative or policy-related experience will be designated a pre-service student.

Pre-service students will be required to enroll in an internship, POLS 5093: Public Administration Internship, bringing the total hours required for their degree to 39. The internship will demand approximately 300 hours of work for a local, county, regional, state or federal administrative agency; the office of an elected official; nonprofit or not-for-profit organization; or a health sector-related organization. Students cannot enroll in POLS 5093 until at least nine (9) hours of core MPA courses have been completed.

Requests from pre-service students to have the internship requirement waived will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Coordinator of the MPA Program in conjunction with the Committee on Admissions for Political Science. Such requests may be granted in a situation where, for example, a student’s existing public service evolves into a permanent position and exceeds programmatic minimums during the course of their MPA studies and prior to enrolling in the internship course.

In-service students, those with at least two years full-time work experience, will not be required to complete the internship, though they will not be discouraged from participating in this option as well.

Program Requirements

The Master of Public Administration degree program consist of 36 credit hours. Each student completes eighteen (18) hours of core courses and eighteen (18) hours within a designated concentration chosen by the student in consultation and with the approval of their advisor. The core requirements are as follows:

For a total of 18 hours.

Concentrations:

Each concentration requires students to complete eighteen (18) hours from a list of courses designated for each concentration.

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Concentration:

Public Management (the general track) Requires the addition of eighteen (18) hours selected from the list below:

For a total of 36 hours.

Administration of Health

Requires the addition of:

• Fifteen (15) hours from the list below

• And, three (3) hours of Political Science electives (any 5000-level POLS course not listed among the core requirements)

For a total of 36 hours.

Administration of Justice

Requires the addition of:

• Fifteen (15) hours from the list below

• And, three (3) hours of Political Science electives (any 5000-level POLS course not listed among the core requirements)

For a total of 36 hours.

Administration of Education

Requires the addition of:

• Fifteen (15) hours from the list below

• And, three (3) hours of Political Science electives (any 5000-level POLS course not listed among the core requirements)

For a total of 36 hours.

Administration of Management

Requires the addition of:

• Fifteen (15) hours from the list below

• And, three (3) hours of Political Science electives (any 5000-level POLS course not listed among the core requirements)

For a total of 36 hours.

Graduate Courses

Note: To receive graduate credit for a 4000-level course designated ‘For Undergraduate and Graduates,’ a student must be in graduate admission status at the time credit is earned in the course. Credit earned in undergraduate admission status cannot be changed to graduate credit.

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