Prepare for public leadership 
and administration to lead change.

Prepare for public leadership
and administration to lead change.


Students in the MPA degree program are expected to complete 36 credit hours of course work, including 24 credit hours of core course work, 9 credit hours of elective course work, 2 credits of Social Justice Practicum and 1 credit hours of Capstone or Thesis course work. Elective coursework is grouped into designated 3-course concentrations.

Core Coursework

  • Theories of Public Policy & Administration
  • Political Economy & Economic Analysis in Public Policy
  • Ethics in Public Service  
  • Organizational Theory and Public Personnel Management
  • Public Finance
  • Research Methods: Models and Analytics
  • Research Applications
  • Public Management and Leadership
  • Capstone Project Experience in Public Administration I-II
  • Social Justice Practicum I-IV

Concentration Coursework

  • Elements of Sustainability and Livable Communities
  • Tools for Sustainable Development
  • Strategic Planning for Sustainability
  • The Psychology of Conflict and Operations Other Than War
  • Supporting Functional Needs Populations in Disasters
  • Leading in Times of Crisis
  • Ethics, Morality and Social Justice in the Military
  • Culture and Diversity in the Military
  • Continuum of Care for the Military, Veterans, and their Families

Social Justice Practicum

The Social Justice Practicum (SJP) is a first-year, non-clinical and non-discipline specific experiential practicum that begins in the second course period of the student’s program. Students gain the knowledge, skills, and perspectives to utilize collective power and social justice strategies to build a more equitable society. The SJP is designed to help students learn how to work alongside different communities as agents of social change; and serves as the catalyst for students to realize and understand their own strengths and responsibility to contribute to social equity. The SJP unites our academic institution and larger communities, which is an anchor of student learning at Adler University.  This experiential learning process includes attending monthly workshops to explore civics, intersectionality, and community organizing and completing a practicum at community-based organizations to work on projects that will strengthen the social justice missions of our community partner members. Click here to learn more about the Social Justice Practicum.



The Capstone provides students with the opportunity to apply a myriad of skills, strategies, and approaches to improving a policy or service area within the purview of Public Administration in an area of student interest.  Working independently or in teams, students will design a comprehensive approach to improving a public policy or service that aligns with the University’s mission of social justice and creates or significantly strengthens a viable, sustainable solution.  Guided by a faculty instructor, the student or student team will identify and examine a policy or service area of concern, applying research methods of analysis, and propose the necessary steps towards a solution that specifically outlines the requisite authority necessary for the change, i.e. legislative, regulatory/administrative.  The plan will include a timeline and the specific components of the policy or service solution, funding where indicated, and training or other support mechanisms for implementation.  The plan will include the perspectives of the effected community, where applicable, and associated advocacy and stakeholder groups to help define the problem as well as the solution.