Message from the Director
Why Public Administration? Many challenges that face our localities, states, and the U.S. as a whole lie outside the realm of the private sector. Concerns persist about our educational and healthcare systems, homelessness and access to affordable housing, and strains on our infrastructure and transportation systems. It is the nonprofit and governmental sectors that ultimately address these public issues when a market-based mechanism does not provide a solution. Nonprofit and government organizations, the public sector, deliver programs and services we, as community members, depend on.
At Fairfield University, we aim to prepare our students for their career choice as dedicated public service professionals. As an MPA program at a Jesuit institution, we value service, justice, diverse viewpoints, accountability, and inclusiveness. These are also key values found in public administration. We are committed to training our students to work with, and for, public sector organizations to implement and enhance the quality of the programs and services that affect us all.
Fairfield University’s MPA program allows students to personalize their degree. Our courses offer flexibility and convenience while still maintaining an exceptional graduate education. Faculty members have decades of experience working in the public sector as well as diverse academic backgrounds. Our students have a variety of academic backgrounds and professional experiences. This all creates a rich, vibrant classroom experience.
At our annual MPA Summit, held every spring, alumni, current students, faculty, and community leaders, come together for discussions on issues that are affecting our community. This remarkable forum not only provides a platform for civic engagement, but also creates an opportunity for students to network with alumni, faculty, and industry leaders. Students can also work directly with community partners through the Center for Social Impact’s Community Based Research program. In doing so, students gain a hands-on research based learning experience that benefits the local community. Our students have used this opportunity to present research, gain internship experience, and complete their research project.
Why wait? Take the first step towards your journey in cultivating, enhancing, and expanding your knowledge, skills, and talents for a career in public service. I am confident that by applying and enrolling into Fairfield University’s MPA program it will be inspiring and rewarding.
For those interested in this exciting and rewarding course of study, please contact the Graduate Admissions Office or the Director of the MPA Program:
Director of the MPA Program
PUAD 5400 Data Analysis for Public Administrators 3 Credits
Public administrators use data in a variety of ways. Data analysis is necessary for conducing policy analysis or evaluating programs and policies. Therefore, being able to understand, utilize, and apply data is a necessary part of public administration. In this course, students will learn how to utilize statistical concepts in their roles as public administrators. Students will also learn a variety of diﬀerent techniques used by public administrators to analyze and evaluate programs, services, and policies.
PUAD 5405 Introduction to Public Administration 3 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. Previously MPA 0410.
PUAD 5410 Financial Management and Budgeting 3 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. Previously MPA 0400.
PUAD 5415 Human Resource Management 3 Credits
This course is designed to acquaint students to both the theory and practice of human resource management in the public and nonprofit sectors. The class will consist of readings, discussions, and exercises that will demonstrate public personnel management techniques and strategies. Students will leave the course with a deeper understanding of the difficulties involved in effective public personnel management. Previously MPA 0415.
PUAD 5420 Research Methods 3 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. Previously MPA 0405.
PUAD 5425 Administrative Leadership and Ethics 3 Credits
This course explores leadership within the public sector. It focuses on leadership theories, leadership skills and how to develop them within an ethical framework. What can, or should, we expect from our leaders in the public sector? What can, or should, our public leaders expect from us? What is the nature of the relationship between the two? How do we ensure ethical behavior as public administrative leaders? Previously MPA 0420.
PUAD 5430 Economics of the Nonprofit Sector 3 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. Previously MPA 0430.
PUAD 5435 Grant Writing 3 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. Previously MPA 0425.
PUAD 5440 State and Local Government 3 Credits
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. Previously MPA 0450.
PUAD 5445 Urban Policy 3 Credits
This course examines how decisions shape the ways in which people live in cities. Over the past century and a half, cities have become the center of social, economic, political, and cultural activity. With a focus on urban policy from post-WWII to present, students will examine at theories and solutions to urban problems, such as housing, economic revitalization, transportation, socio-spatial segregation, health and welfare, sustainability, while paying particular attention to the roles and responsibilities of levels of government, how politics can influence policy, and the relationship between government, non-profit, and private sectors. Previously MPA 0451.
PUAD 5450 Dynamics and Challenges of Administrative Corruption 3 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. Previously MPA 0470.
PUAD 5455 Healthcare Management 3 Credits
This course covers the management and financial aspects of healthcare provision in the United States. The transitions that are underway in the market that have influenced the manner in which healthcare is provided will be examined. The course will also discuss the rising cost of treatment and changes in the how services are provided. Students will examine the structure of management within various healthcare organizations, hospitals, networks, and small providers, and how that influences quality of care. The final part of the course will examine the financial nature of various organizational forms within the medical industry. Previously MPA 0480.
PUAD 5460 Introduction to Public Safety Administration 3 Credits
This course provides an introduction and foundation for critical issues related to homeland security and emergency management. Managers in public safety agencies deal with several challenges arising from environmental and natural disasters to man-made disasters. Managers in such institutions are responsible for the development and administration of mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery programs that arise with disasters. Public managers also need to consider the issues related to social, economic, and political vulnerabilities, community resilience, and ethical responses to risk managements. The course addresses these issues within the context of disaster and emergency management, homeland security, criminal justice, and fire/emergency management.
PUAD 5465 Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery 3 Credits
This course provides an introduction to policy, planning, and management of the response to disasters and emergencies, both natural and man-made. It explores the full spectrum of emergency planning: mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery; profiles infrastructure preparedness, techniques used to develop strategic plans, on-site crisis management; and addresses the critical need for accessible and accurate information and communication.
PUAD 5470 American Public Policy 3 Credits
This course is an introduction into the study of public policy. Students will learn about the various models and theories surrounding the study of public policy. Several specific policies will be covered, such as healthcare policy, civil rights policy, and environmental policy. By the end of this course, students will have an understanding of significant public policies, how public policies are formulated, the tools and techniques used in making public policy, and the ability to assess public policies.
PUAD 6980 Internship 3 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. Previously MPA 0500.
PUAD 6999 Capstone Experience 3 Credits
This 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. Previously MPA 0510.
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.
Alberda (Politics), Director