Message from the Director
The Master of Public Administration is a truly unique degree, opening up careers in both the nonprofit and public sectors and teaching a skill set that is both broad-based and specialized. Students enrolled in the Fairfield University MPA program are future leaders in local and regional governments, or are the next generation of managers for the charitable organizations that provide vital services to those in need. Successful graduates of an MPA program enter a career that entails a wide array of exciting challenges, including managing complex organizations, administering new programs, and identifying needs and designing initiatives to meet those needs.
Those choosing the Fairfield MPA program will learn not only the essentials of public administration, such as financial budgeting and human resource management, but also the fundamentals of good leadership and ethics. After completing the six core courses, students will acquire vital skills, such as grant writing and project management, as part of their concentrated area of study. Students in the Nonprofit Track will learn the critical competencies to lead in the charitable sector, while those in the State and Local Government Track will acquire the crucial abilities to enable them to excel in the public sphere.
If you are considering public service as a vocation, Fairfield University’s MPA Program offers exciting courses and a dynamic faculty. If you would like to explore the possibility of a public administration degree at Fairfield, please contact:
Director of the MPA Program
MPA 0400 Financial Management and Budgeting3 Credits
This course will examine the proper role government has to play in today's economy and will provide the fundamental and technical skills necessary to understand public budgeting and finances. Topics include the reasons for government involvement in the economy (market failure and redistribution), budgeting techniques at all levels of government, and sources of tax revenue. There will be a strong emphasis on issues related to state/local governments. By the end of this course students should have a strong understanding of the budgetary process at all levels, but in particular at the state/local level of government.
MPA 0405 Research Methods3 Credits
This course will introduce students to research methodology and hypothesis testing. The first part of the course will focus on understanding basic research techniques in the social sciences, including data collection, data analysis and reporting of results. The second half of the course will emphasize methodology. Students will be required to conduct a major research project in a laboratory setting and produce a finished report. Students must have taken a prior statistical methods class.
MPA 0410 Introduction to Public Administration3 Credits
This course provides an overview of the history, practical nature, function of public administration and policy making at the federal, state at the local levels. It will examine the theories and concepts of bureaucracy, as well as the formulation and implementation of policy. Among the topics covered are organization theory, federalism and regulation, ethics and accountability, decision-making, and leadership and budgeting. Case studies will be used to facilitate class lectures and discussions.
MPA 0425 Grant Writing3 Credits
This course will prepare participants to write effective proposals and reports. It will also provide information on planning special fundraising events, requesting funds from donors and seeking funds from corporations and foundations. Students will learn to define and write problem statements, objectives, plans of action, assessment documents, budgets and project summaries. In addition, students will sharpen their teamwork, editing, writing, audience awareness and design skills as they engage in collaborative projects with a nonprofit organization or government agency.
MPA 0430 Economics of the Nonprofit Sector3 Credits
This course will examine both the role that nonprofits play in the U.S. economy and how charitable organizations are managed and financed, including the interplay between the government and the Third Sector. Particular attention will be paid to distinctions between successful (impactful) nonprofits and those that are less effective in pursuing societal needs. New forms of philanthropic organizations will be examined, including benefit corporations and social marketing enterprises. In addition, new ethical practices, including impact investing, will be surveyed. Case studies will be utilized to illuminate the economic circumstances that can impact Individual nonprofits.
MPA 0450 State and Local Government3 Credits
Prerequisite: MPA 0410.
This examines the political processes and institutions of U.S., state, and local governments. By the end of the course, students will be able to discuss the state/federal/local relationships within the context of the American Constitution and political process, examine the various governmental structures and functions of state and local governments and how these structures impact the political process, demonstrate an understanding of the role states and localities play in the elections and the political process, understand the institutions of state and local governments including how they vary, and the various policy issues before the states and local governments.
MPA 0470 The Dynamics and Challenges of Administrative Corruption3 Credits
Corruption is a reality in the public sphere, both in the nonprofit and governmental sectors. The various forms of corruption, from simple gratuities to outright subversion of the political process will be examined. The modern democratic state has necessarily instituted controls that suppress corruption, but the complexity of governance may enable the undermining of those controls. Public administration students will likely encounter numerous instances of corrupt practices in their careers, and understanding corruption will enable students to respond professionally when confronted by malfeasance. This course will also cover institutional structures that either encourage or discourage corruption in other nations.
MPA 0500 Internship3 Credits
Students are required to complete six credits of internship at a position relevant to their interests. Those in the city/state government track will be assigned to internships at local government and state offices, while those in the nonprofit track will be offered relevant positions at local not-for-profits. This requirement may be waived for those who already have experience working for a nonprofit or a government agency.
MPA 0510 Capstone Experience3 Credits
The Capstone Experience is intended to complement the student's coursework and complete the chosen program of study. It is undertaken with the close supervision of a faculty advisor and can take the form of a specially designed course, independent study, or a master's thesis.
Professors in the program are full-time faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Dolan School of Business, or are affiliated faculty with expertise in critical areas.
LeClair, Director (Economics)