MPA Course Requirements

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. For more information, see the catalog description.

  • 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.  ** For classes needing special approval, please see Special Approval.

Important note:  Students who have entered the program prior to fall 2015 will need to register for one additional hour (PAD 599) for every course they take.  Since all PAD classes are three hours beginning in fall of 2015 and students who began before fall of 2015 need four credits per class, the additional hour is essential to have enough credits to graduate.  The only exception to this rule is for four hour electives outside of the PAD department.  Use the special permission for one hour class form for these one hour additions. Students will also need to submit petitions for each additional hour to ensure that these will count toward the correct graduation requirements.

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.

Before registering for the PAD 571 course, students must be granted permission to take the class. To request this, students need to fill out the “special approval” form.

Campus policy requires that PAD majors who enrolled in PAD 571 Capstone Seminar, but who did not complete the course in one semester, must enroll in PAD 572 Capstone Seminar Continuing Enrollment (zero credit hours, one billable hour), each fall and spring semester until the work is completed.


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 six credit hours (eight hours for students who enrolled in the program prior to fall 2015) 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.