• James Vike, PhD

    • Director, MPA Program
    • Kapelski Learning Center, Room 229
    • tel: 610-499-1120
    • jevike@widener.edu
  • Gertrude Depew

    • Administrative Assistant, MPA Program
    • Kapelski Learning Center, Room 226
    • tel: 610-499-4365
    • gmdepew@widener.edu

Curriculum, Master in Public Administration

Master in public administration (MPA) students are able to establish an enduring professionalism by completing course work that blends theory with practical applications and experience.

The MPA program includes a core curriculum combining coursework in basic administrative and leadership skill areas with courses emphasizing the institutional, political, and ethical environments of the public and nonprofit sectors.

The instructional philosophy of the MPA program is to promote learning through discussion, and courses include small seminar-style classes and a diverse enrollment representing a variety of age groups, occupations, and educational backgrounds.

Sample Courses

View a selection of courses students may take as a graduate student in public administration. 

PA 625 Local Government Administration

In this course, students will examine the multiple functions, processes, and challenges of local government management. Students will review the theories and strategies of local government administration and focus on developing the skills and competencies required of successful government management professionals.

PA 681 Nonprofit Advancement

This course covers the fundamentals of advancement for non- profit organizations. The key focus is on helping managers build high performance nonprofit organizations. Topics include improving management skills, board development, volunteer management, and coordinating organizational effort across functions, such as fundraising, grants, marketing, public relations, and special events. Advancement activities are examined in the context of strategic planning and consistency with organizational mission.

PA 687 Fundraising For Nonprofits

Students examine various fundraising procedures and programs, types of campaigns and strategies, and constituency analysis. Topics are annual and capital campaigns, endowment campaigns, planned giving, stewardship, and volunteerism.

PA 660 Ethics in the Public and Nonprofit Sectors

Students examine the ethical issues confronting practitioners in the public and nonprofit sectors and the different strategies for responding to them. Attention is given both to the ethical features of differing types of policy as well as to the behaviors of individual practitioners and organizations. 

PA 506 Public Finance and Budgeting

Students examine the economic and political aspects of finance and budgeting as they relate to the public sector. Focus is on revenue sources and expenditures, deficit and debt, intergovernmental fiscal relations, and budget constraints. Relevant public policy and administrative issues are considered. 

For more information about courses and requirements for the MPA degree, please refer to page 8 in our course catalog.