Prerequisite Requirements

Required Prerequisites

U.S. Government Prerequisite: Successful completion of any standard introductory political science course in U.S. government meets this prerequisite. Graduation from a U.S. high school or approved exam will also meet this prerequisite requirement.  Required for program completion and enrollment in PAD 501-Introduction to Profession and PAD 504-Budget and Finance.

Micro-economics Prerequisite: A microeconomics course or an approved exam fulfills this prerequisite.  For some students, a principles of economics course or some other economics survey course may fulfill the requirement.  The subject matter in these courses should include exposure to such concepts as interest rate determination in capital markets, discounting, and market demand analysis. Examples of course options are below. Required for program completion and enrollment in PAD 504-Budget and Finance.

Computer Literacy Prerequisite: The computer literacy prerequisite may be met in a variety of ways, in or out of the classroom and in or out of the workplace.  Meeting this requirement includes the following competences learned in a spreadsheet package, such as EXCEL to accomplish the following basic tasks: (1) data entry; (2) data manipulation (sorts, column fills, editing commands); and (3) production of program generated graphics (pie charts, bar graphs, regression lines, scatter diagrams) from the data base.  If you believe you have met the computer literacy prerequisite, select the appropriate menu item on the application drop down list (with relevant documentation, if appropriate).  Required for program completion and enrollment in PAD 504-Budget and Finance.

Prerequisite Completion Advice

Upon notification of admission to the MPA Program, you may note that some prerequisites you thought you had fulfilled through prior course work were not accepted.  This could be because the grade you earned was lower than “C” or the course title did not clearly reflect the prerequisite requirement.  You may need to provide the MPA office with a syllabus or catalog copy describing the course in question.   Should you believe that prior course work has not been acknowledged for a prerequisite that you have completed, discuss the situation initially with your faculty adviser and then the MPA Admissions Committee chair.   The best way to fulfill MPA prerequisite requirements is to complete them as part of your baccalaureate degree electives, since then they will count toward your undergraduate degree.  Courses taken to fulfill prerequisite requirements will not be counted toward the 40 credit hours required for the MPA.

Students may take the prerequisite courses from the university or junior college of their choice.  To assure the prerequisite course taken will count, please contact the MPA department chair and provide a description of the course.  Both Lincoln Land Community College (LLCC) and UIS offer courses tailored for your needs.  For local residents, the LLCC courses identified below will qualify.  UIS Graduate Assistants or Graduate Public Service Interns may only be eligible for UIS tuition waivers and may not meet LLCC requirements for resident tuition.  These students may find UIS courses a better choice for completing prerequisites.  The following is a list of prerequisites and the UIS and LLCC courses that meet them. Other courses may also work, please check with your adviser.


  • POS 101 American Politics (LLCC)
  • PSC 201 Intro to the American Political System (UIS)


  • ECO 131 Principles of Economics (Micro) (LLCC)
  • ECO 315 Economics for Administration (UIS)

Computer Literacy

  • CMP 121 Computer Systems and Business Apps. (LLCC)
  • CSC 317 Software Packages (UIS)
  • CSC 318 Computer Literacy (UIS)

Any courses taken for the prerequisites must be taken for a grade, not credit/no-credit.  Credit for audited courses will not be given under any circumstances.  Grade points earned from completed UIS 300-level prerequisite course work are not computed into the total number of grade points for purposes of your GPA (grade-point average) for the MPA degree.

It is your responsibility to provide the MPA office with transcripts reflecting successful completion of your prerequisites.  You will be notified in writing upon completion of all prerequisite requirements and your achievement of full admission status. Give top priority to completing your prerequisites early in your degree program.  By putting off prerequisites beyond the 12- hour/one year mark, you risk having to stop MPA course work altogether until you finish the prerequisites.  You may also risk losing your financial aid (see Financial Aid and Other Support.)