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Master's in Public Administration


Course Description

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

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.

COURSES

Core Courses
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
Sustainable Communities

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

Visit the Master's in Public Administration page on the Binghamton University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Stephen Capobianco, MPA '12

3539.jpg Spanish Language and Literature and Public Administration, BA-MPA
“I hope to affect public health policy in innovative and effective ways.”
Stephen Capobianco is ambitious. As part of Binghamton University's combined BA-MPA program, he expects to complete both a bachelor's degree in Spanish language and literature as well as an MPA degree. Students typically complete the combined degree program in five years, instead of the usual six. Stephen enrolled in the MPA program to broaden his perspectives on public policy and build a solid foundation for his future endeavors. “The smaller size of the program,” he says, “allows students to develop their own academic and professional interests while receiving attention from multiple faculty members.” Stephen’s work focuses on public health and the connections between health policy and government. As an MPA student, Stephen participated in a study-abroad course in Shenzhen, China, where he researched the effect of the hukou system on Chinese public health. He also interned at the United Way of Broome County as a health program officer, where he helped develop several evidence-based decision-making tools for the organization.
After graduating from the MPA program, Stephen plans to attend medical school. He aspires to integrate his “passion for serving the public good with the clinical practice…of a physician. In the future, I hope to affect public health policy in innovative and effective ways.”

(Student Profile)

Robert Cohen, MPA '14

4915.png After Action Report Coordinator
New York City Emergency Management

I work with teams from NYC Emergency Management and other city agencies to identify what went well and why, and what didn't go as well as they had hoped, in the city's emergency responses and drills.

I always wanted to volunteer. I was sixteen when I started with my local fire department but I was

interested in volunteering even before that. Volunteerism is something that is really important to me. It's an important force in the community and that's not just emergency services, any volunteer provides an important service in the community.

Part of my interest in looking at how governments and nonprofits can provide services to people was from my interest in volunteerism.

I came to the MPA program at Binghamton because I did my undergraduate studies here, which I loved, and I had heard good things about the MPA program. I'd been active as a volunteer with Harpur's Ferry Ambulance on campus and a few of our alum from Harpur's Ferry came through the MPA program, were successful, and found it a really positive experience. I applied to several different programs but Binghamton struck me, more so than the other places, that it was a more open. I thought that the courses had great material and were structured in a way that wasn't rigid, it felt like I could come here and research what I wanted to research and I could be involved in different extracurricular pieces of the program as well. It looked like a good balance: academic rigor, involvement outside of the classroom, and rigor with enough flexibility that I could make my MPA into "my" MPA.

Both local government classes I took inform the work that I do now. One was planning for disasters and the other was recovering from disasters, floods in particular. The local government class in planning and in recovery solidified a concept in me, that the whole community approach is real. It has to be real. That was important to me.

I had a great experience in the MPA program at Binghamton. I would do it again.

(Student Profile)

Arsen Stepanyan, MPA '14

4916.JPG Country Director
Save the Children Armenia

With my 30-member team, I work to create lasting change for children in need in Armenia and around the world. We work to improve child protection systems, education infrastructures, and children's rights throughout the country.

My work has included administering programs in the organization and I am engaging more into policy. The Armenian office has a rich history of working in service provision and community development. We are now expanding into sustainability and accountability issues. I am expanding our policy work in Armenia and the 6 nearby offices in Eurasia. Our lead agencies are Save the Children United States and Netherlands.

In 2005 I made a life-changing shift from working for the Armenian Parliament to becoming a nonprofit sector architect. Back then, my bachelor's degree in Economics and MA in Political Science seemed to be a strong combination. Working the next eight years in the nonprofit sector I realized that successful nonprofit leaders need a select set of knowledge, skills and connections to lead their organizations. That understanding brought me to Binghamton's MPA program.

In my job at Save the Children, it did not take much time to appreciate the value of the MPA program. I cannot name a single class that I would not take if starting the program again. Today, I use a lot of content from Dr. Appe's policy analysis class, including the policy cycle and policy analysis, Dr. Campbell's nonprofits class, and Professor Brennan's human resources class.

My undergrad years were the first years of independence of Armenia from the Soviet Union. During that time the concept of a nonprofit sector, or the civil society, was not common. My early obsession was with politics and legislatures. When working for the Armenian Parliament until 2005 I became a true advocate of civic participation, and I was very upset about the level and quality of participation of nonprofits in policy work. 2005 was a turning point for me, when I decided to work from "the other side of policy barricades" and started my policy advocacy career. I have always believed that everyone should enjoy what he or she does. Today, looking back at my career, I can see that I have a proof of that. I even have my bonus. Working with Susan Appe together in Armenia to inspire the next generation of change makers is something I could have not dreamed even in my most far going dreams. Thank you!

(Student Profile)

Zhanna Harutyunyan, MPA '12

4917.JPG Project Expert
Women in Local Democracy (WiLD) United Nations Development Program Armenia

We work in close cooperation with the Republic of Armenia Ministry of Territorial Administration and Emergency Situation to increase women's representation in local governance in all ten regions of Armenia.

We also support communities to develop and use strategies to ensure residents' participation in decision making processes at the local level.

By the time of application to the program, I already had 8 years of project management experience. I wanted to take a break from the practical work in the field and enrich my theoretical knowledge about nonprofit management.

For my current position as a Project Expert, it requires a lot of research and proposition of new solutions to old issues! I definitely use knowledge from Research Design & Methods, Managing Information and Technology, and Issues in Nonprofit Administration, in particular, topics related to social entrepreneurship. The 21st Century Governance class changed my perspectives to approaching management and the importance, and challenges, of collaboration.

Yes. The nonprofit field is very young in Armenia and when for the first time I attended an English club at the YMCA in 1998 in my small town I realized: "This is what I want to do" even though at the time I was a student at the teaching university. Since then I am very much engaged in nonprofit work in Armenia!

(Pictured: Zhanna Harutyunyan, L, with Assistant Professor Susan Appe).

(Student Profile)

Dawn Bartolomeo, MPA '09

4918.jpg Management Analyst
US Department of Agriculture

Before coming to the MPA program, Dawn spent a lot of time volunteering with local not-for-profits and working in positions that sought to improve the welfare of children, college students and the surrounding community. Her decision to enroll at Binghamton was motivated by her desire to obtain, “a degree that would allow me to perform a social service.”

Now a management analyst for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Bartolomeo is responsible for duties ranging from drafting regulatory policy and managing state grants to preparing correspondence for communication with constituents and members of Congress — recently receiving a merit award for accomplishments in her current position.

“The faculty,” she says, “successfully plan courses that enhance your understanding of MPA competencies including leadership, creativity, complexity, dynamics and changeability.”

Bartolomeo also emphasizes the importance of “community-based projects that enable students to see the impact of their work within the ‘real-world' " and the structure of Binghamton’s program in providing the foundation necessary to succeed in her career. “During my free time, I continue to volunteer and seek opportunities to help and educate others, she says. “There is such a great need within this country and in the world for individuals who possess specialized skills to use them to improve the lives of others.”

(Student Profile)

David Hubeny, MPA '10

4919.jpg Director of Emergency Management
Binghamton University

David Hubeny’s desire to pursue a graduate education began with his career as emergency manager for Binghamton University. “As someone who was already ‘in career,’ I wanted to enhance my administrative and management skills to become more effective in my job,” Hubeny says. “I spend all of my professional time, both career as well as volunteer activities, in the public sector and the MPA degree was the best option for me to develop and refine the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to succeed professionally.”

As a full-time University employee, husband, father of three, captain of the Broome County Hazardous Materials Team and member of the board of directors for the University’s nonprofit Harpur’s Ferry Student Volunteer Ambulance Service, Hubeny’s chief concern was maintaining a work/life balance. He explains the benefit of pursuing his Master in Public Administration degree right here at Binghamton, saying, “I was able to register as a part-time student and balance my personal, professional and academic responsibilities in such a way that none suffered. The academic expectations are reasonable and a part-time program was exactly what I needed to allow me to thrive professionally and personally for the duration of the MPA program.”

“As my duties include the direct management of personnel, finances and policies, the MPA education has proven to be invaluable,” Hubeny reports. “Classes in budget management, human resources and labor relations are all able to be applied in my professional career on a daily basis. The MPA refined and polished my skills and has allowed me to become more effective and efficient in my job.”

The MPA Program at Binghamton was perfectly suited to meet Hubeny’s needs for flexible scheduling and professional development. But he adds that “it is the department faculty who truly elevate the program …[T]he passion and knowledge of the faculty allow them to move beyond theoretical discussions and help students successfully apply the concepts that are learned. By bringing the classroom to life through internships and community involvement, faculty guide the learning process and allow the students to develop the skills needed to excel professionally.”

(Student Profile)

Elizabeth Monaco, MPA '09

4920.jpg Executive Director
United Way, Chenango County

“Holding this well-respected degree has given me a higher level of credibility within my community and the nonprofit sector.”

When Elizabeth Monaco entered Binghamton University’s MPA program, she was already the executive director and chief professional officer of the Chenango (N.Y.) United Way. Monaco joined the MPA program to learn best practices and increase her effectiveness as an executive.

She was not disappointed. Binghamton’s MPA program gave her “a new perspective on the public administration field.”

“I am much more self-confident and willing to try new approaches to tackling tough issues in the nonprofit sector,” she says. The program helped her “shape a new personal standard for ethics in the workplace,” and it sharpened her focus on the “legal and fiduciary responsibilities” of a nonprofit executive.

“I also believe that holding this well-respected degree has given me a higher level of credibility within my community and the nonprofit sector,” she says.

The MPA program’s “warm and welcoming environment” made it a fast fit. Monaco praises the faculty for being easy to work with and ready to share a wealth of information. She appreciates the variety of reading and research materials that her coursework covered, and she enjoyed the interactive format of her classes.

After graduating from the MPA program, Monaco returned to Binghamton as an adjunct faculty member. “This was a very rewarding experience for me,” she says. “I was given the rare opportunity to share my experiences and to give back to my peers in the program that I loved.”


(Scholarship)

Axtell Promise Award - No. of awards TBC

The College of Community and Public Affairs (CCPA) offers a variety of fellowships and scholarships to students in the community and public affairs, public administration, social work and student affairs administration programs. To view the full listing of CCPA funding opportunities and other specific details, please visit the CCPA website.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Various

Eligibility

Awarded to matriculated graduate students with a demonstrated record of academic excellence and a commitment to public service. Selected by the Dean of the College of Community and Public Affairs.

Application Procedure

Letter of interest submitted to department chair

Further Information

http://binghamton.edu/ccpa/services/scholarships.html


(Scholarship)

Barnes and Noble Scholarship - No. of awards TBC

The College of Community and Public Affairs (CCPA) offers a variety of fellowships and scholarships to students in the community and public affairs, public administration, social work and student affairs administration programs. To view the full listing of CCPA funding opportunities and other specific details, please visit the CCPA website.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Various

Eligibility

Scholarships are available to graduate students matriculated in or admitted to the College of Community and Public Affairs. Selected by faculty committee.

Application Procedure

All interested candidates should complete the application form, which is available on the CCPA website.

Further Information

http://binghamton.edu/ccpa/services/scholarships.html


(Scholarship)

Helen Hudda Gow Graduate Scholarship - No. of awards TBC

The College of Community and Public Affairs (CCPA) offers a variety of fellowships and scholarships to students in the community and public affairs, public administration, social work and student affairs administration programs. To view the full listing of CCPA funding opportunities and other specific details, please visit the CCPA website.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Various

Eligibility

Awarded to a graduate student with demonstrated financial need maintaining a minimum GPA of 3.0. Selected by the Dean of the College of Community and Public Affairs.

Application Procedure

All interested students should complete the application form, which is available on the CCPA website.

Further Information

http://binghamton.edu/ccpa/services/scholarships.html


(Scholarship)

College of Community and Public Affairs Scholarships - No. of awards TBC

The College of Community and Public Affairs (CCPA) offers a variety of fellowships and scholarships to students in the community and public affairs, public administration, social work and student affairs administration programs. To view the full listing of CCPA funding opportunities and other specific details, please visit the CCPA website.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Various

Eligibility

Awarded to matriculated students with demonstrated financial need. Selected by CCPA Scholarship Committee.

Application Procedure

Requirements:
-Complete the Application Form (available on the CCPA website)
-Demonstrated financial need
-Good academic standing
-Matriculated as a graduate student in CCPA

Further Information

http://binghamton.edu/ccpa/services/scholarships.html


(Scholarship)

Latin American Partnership Fund - No. of awards TBC

The College of Community and Public Affairs (CCPA) offers a variety of fellowships and scholarships to students in the community and public affairs, public administration, social work and student affairs administration programs. To view the full listing of CCPA funding opportunities and other specific details, please visit the CCPA website.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Various

Eligibility

Awarded to matriculated students, faculty and staff with interests in South America. Can support study abroad, research or other activities.

Application Procedure

Requirements
-Complete the Application Form (available on CCPA website)
-Demonstrated financial need
-Evidence of the application for or availability of other funds, and additional evidence of applicant's interests in Latin America, which should be outlined in detail in the application

Further Information

http://binghamton.edu/ccpa/services/scholarships.html


(Scholarship)

The Maureen C. White Adult Learner Scholarships - No. of awards TBC

The College of Community and Public Affairs (CCPA) offers a variety of fellowships and scholarships to students in the community and public affairs, public administration, social work and student affairs administration programs. To view the full listing of CCPA funding opportunities and other specific details, please visit the CCPA website.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Various

Eligibility

Awarded to matriculated students age 25 years or older with demonstrated financial need. Selected by CCPA Scholarship Committee.

Application Procedure

Requirements:
- Complete the Application Form (available on the CCPA website)
-Demonstrated financial need
-Good financial standing
-Matriculated
-25 years of age or older

Further Information

http://binghamton.edu/ccpa/services/scholarships.html


(Scholarship)

The Reeves-Ellington Study Abroad Scholarship - No. of awards TBC

The College of Community and Public Affairs (CCPA) offers a variety of fellowships and scholarships to students in the community and public affairs, public administration, social work and student affairs administration programs. To view the full listing of CCPA funding opportunities and other specific details, please visit the CCPA website.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Various

Eligibility

Awarded to matriculated graduate or undergraduate students with demonstrated interest in international study or languages. Selected by CCPA Scholarship Committee.

Application Procedure

Requirements
-Complete the Application Form (available on the CCPA website)
-Good financial standing
-Matriculated graduate student
-Interest in international study or languages

Further Information

http://binghamton.edu/ccpa/services/scholarships.html


(Scholarship)

Clifford D. Clark Diversity Fellowship for Graduate Students - No. of awards TBC

The Clifford D. Clark Diversity Fellowships for Graduate Students, named for Clifford D. Clark, a former president of the University, are designed to support students who contribute to the diversity of the student body. The Clark Fellowship funding package, which is awarded on the basis of academic merit, includes an academic-year stipend, full-tuition scholarship, health insurance, research and travel opportunities and other benefits. Clark Fellows are guaranteed to receive support for a specific period, assuming satisfactory academic progress.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Various

Eligibility

Candidates must:
-Be U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents;
-Be newly admitted to a graduate program; and
-Demonstrate how they will contribute to the diversity of the student body in their program.

Application Procedure

To apply, answer "yes" to the Clark Fellowship question on the graduate degree program application and submit the Clark Fellowship Essay.

Further Information

http://binghamton.edu/grad-school/cost-aid-funding/financial-support/clifford-clark-fellowship.html


(Scholarship)

Change Maker Scholarship - No. of awards TBC

N/A

Value of Scholarship(s)

Various

Eligibility

The Change Maker Scholarship is an annual merit-based award for beginning, full-time students with outstanding leadership abilities who aspire to create positive change through a management career in the public or nonprofit sector. Depending upon applicant qualifications, students may receive up to a full-tuition scholarship and stipend.

Application Procedure

Application required. See the Department of Public Administration for details.

Further Information

http://binghamton.edu/grad-school/cost-aid-funding/financial-support/assistantships-fellowships.html#mpa-changemaker


(Scholarship)

Elizabeth A. Knapp Scholarship for Adult Women - No. of awards TBC

Established in 1985 by colleagues of Elizabeth A. Knapp to honor her 19 years of service to the University, this scholarship assists non-traditional female students with demonstrated financial need who have experienced delays pursuing their education.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Various

Eligibility

The scholarship is awarded to women at least 25 years of age who are admitted to or currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program, with planned enrollment of at least 6 credits per semester.

Application Procedure

To apply or for more information, see the Elizabeth Knapp Scholarship webpage.

Further Information

http://binghamton.edu/financial-aid/scholarship_pages/elizabeth_knapp_scholarship.html


(Scholarship)

University Women Female Graduate Student Scholarship - No. of awards TBC

Other criteria considered include overall financial need; a recent or current demonstrated commitment to community service; and a clear vision of intended career goals. The scholarship is renewable if the recipient continues to meet the criteria.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Various

Eligibility

Established in 2003 by the University Women's Club, this scholarship is awarded annually to a full-time, second-year female graduate student who demonstrates academic merit and a GPA of at least 3.7.

Application Procedure

To apply, complete and submit the University Women Female Graduate Student Scholarship Application form.

Further Information

http://binghamton.edu/grad-school/cost-aid-funding/financial-support/assistantships-fellowships.html#university-women



Entry Requirements

A bachelor's degree or its equivalent from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university; AND Complete set of your undergraduate and graduate transcripts. At minimum, a 3.0 GPA is required.

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Recipient: Binghamton University

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