Skip to main content

Department of Public Administration University of Illinois Springfield

MPA Core Courses

Students enrolled previous to fall 2015 will need to satisfy the following requirements.

The UIS MPA Program involves 40 credit hours of course work, a total of 10 courses, half of which are core courses.  The material covered in the core courses is designed to provide professional-level competence in each of the five basic areas of public administration.  The core courses are:

  • PAD 501-Introduction to the Profession     4 credits
  • PAD 502-Organization Dynamics                4 credits
  • PAD 503-Analytical Tools                            4 credits
  • PAD 504-Budget and Finance                     4 credits
  • PAD 505-Human Resource Management    4 credits

Students enrolling in fall 2015 and after will need to satisfy the following requirements for a total of 36 hours.

  • PAD 501-Introduction to the Profession        3 credits
  • PAD 502-Organization Dynamics                   3 credits
  • PAD 503-Analytical Tools                               3 credits
  • PAD 504-Budget and Finance                         3 credits
  • PAD 505-Human Resource Management       3 credits
  • PAD 506-Public Policy for Managers              3 credits
  • PAD 507-Information for Decision Making    3 credits

Students are also advised to try to take the courses in order to the degree to which their schedules allow, since the later courses build on topics covered in the earlier courses.

Closure Requirement

All MPA majors take PAD 571-Capstone, a course to complete the degree.  This course is designed to synthesize the topics you have studied across the public administration curriculum, and is generally taken in the last semester of study.  The faculty strongly recommends that majors enroll in the Capstone Seminar after completing PAD 501-505; however, majors may enroll simultaneously in the Capstone Seminar with no more than one core course yet to be completed during their last semester in the degree.


The elective portion of the curriculum allows the MPA student to meet his or her own career development needs through advanced professional development courses.  You should talk with your adviser before taking electives.  Your discussion with your adviser can clarify goals and allow you to strategize the most appropriate schedule.

Important elective information for all majors:

  • Majors must take at least two PAD electives.
  • Any combination of PAD 400 or 500 level elective courses may count toward the MPA degree.
  • Remaining electives may be from UIS 400- and 500- level courses. Only one 400-level elective from a program outside the PA Department may be counted toward the MPA.
  • A total of four hours of internship credits are creditable toward the MPA and are considered inside elective credits. Additional credits from internships or courses related to internships are not allowable.
  • Courses that duplicate or cover prerequisite-level material, even at the 500 level or higher, do not count.

Please note that the courses toward the Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Labor Relations and Graduate Certificate in the Management of Nonprofit Organizations may fulfill the MPA electives.

Grading Policy

Public Administration students may apply up to eight credit hours of C work toward the MPA Degree (grades of C- or lower will not be accepted), provided that 1) each credit hour of such work is offset by a credit hour of A work (A- work will not offset) earned in a 500-level PAD course, and 2) an approved Student Petition is on file in the Office of Records and Registration. All course work applied toward the MPA under this arrangement must be earned at the University of Illinois at Springfield while the student is enrolled in a graduate degree at UIS.