A Message to Prospective Students
This is an exciting time to pursue a public service career and the demand for motivated, knowledgeable and skilled professionals continues to grow. If you have a passion for public service and a desire to improve your community through professional service in the public or non-profit sector, we invite you to look more closely at what the Department of Public Administration at Binghamton University has to offer. We offer a variety of academic program options, all centered around our Master of Public Administration (MPA) program which is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA).
The focus of the MPA program at Binghamton University is to prepare people to handle the growing challenges facing local governments and nonprofit organizations in communities near and far. The department brings together the energy and expertise of faculty and staff who have active research agendas, strong records of community service and growing national and international reputations. Our diverse student body includes recent graduates of some of the top undergraduate institutions in the United States, representatives from a variety of other countries, as well as practicing public administrators with many years of professional experience.
The MPA Program is a 42 credit hour program, comprised of:
- a core of seven courses (25 credits) where students are introduced to the knowledge and skills they need for professional public service
- a three-course (9 credits) specialization or set of electives
- two courses (3 credits) to practice application of learning
- a culminating experience consisting of two courses (5 credits) to demonstrate competencies.
It typically takes full-time students 2 years to complete our MPA Program.
1. PAFF 510 - Research Design & Methods (4 credits)
2. PAFF 521 - Foundations of Public Service (4 credits)
3. PAFF 520 - 21st Century Governance (4 credits)
4. PAFF 527 - Budgeting & Financial Management (4 credits)
5. Evidence-Based Decision Making (4 credits): Students can fulfill this requirement with one of several courses including Policy Analysis, Program Evaluation, Survey Research, and Performance Analysis.
6. Managing People in Organizations (3 credits): Students can fulfill this requirement with one of several courses including Human Resource Management, Organization Theory, Organization Behavior, and Managing Networks.
7. PAFF 526 - Managing Information and Technology (2 credits)
SPECIALIZATION OR ELECTIVES
(3 courses = 9 credits)
Three specializations are available within the Department of Public Administration:
Nonprofit Management & Leadership
Local Government Management & Leadership
The Department also has relations with the School of Nursing for students interested in Health Policy Administration, and with the Department of Geography for students interested in Environmental Policy. Dual degree students complete specialization/elective courses in the discipline of their other degree. Additionally, students are offered the opportunity to choose elective courses suited to their specialized academic interests from various other graduate academic departments.
APPLICATION OF LEARNING
PAFF 594 - Internship (2 credits)
PAFF 591 - Problem Definition (1 credit)
CULMINATING EXPERIENCES/DEMONSTRATION OF COMPETENCIES
PAFF 595 - Capstone Project (3 credits)
PAFF 590 - Praxis through Cases (2 credits)
All applicants must submit the following:
- Online graduate degree application and application fee
- Transcripts from each college/university you have attended
- Two letters of recommendation
Letters of recommendation should be from individuals who know the applicant in a professional capacity, such as professors, work supervisors, and professionals from organizations where the applicant has served as a volunteer or in another capacity. When evaluating the letters of recommendation, the admissions committee looks for evidence of academic achievement, community involvement, and personal characteristics that suggests the applicant has the capacity to foster an institutional culture that advances democratic administration and governance.
- Personal statement
The personal statement should be no more than 500 words or two (2) double-spaced, typed pages and should answer the question,"Why do I want an MPA?" You may wish to describe your reasons for pursuing graduate studies in public administration, your career aspirations, your special interests within your field, and any unusual features of your background that might need explanation or be of interest to your program's admissions committee. In the personal statement, the committee assesses the student's commitment to public and/or nonprofit administration as well as his/her ability to communicate in writing.
- Resume or curriculum vitae (max. 2 pages)
Significant work experience (5 or more years in the public and/or nonprofit sectors) can earn applicants a positive adjustment to their admissions scores. However, the lack of work experience does not result in a penalty.
- The GRE is not required.
If GRE scores are submitted, the admissions committee evaluates them by averaging the applicant's quantitative, verbal, and analytical writing scores.
And, for international applicants:
- International Student Financial Statement form
- Official bank statement/proof of support
- Official TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic scores