IntroductionThe Department of Urban Affairs & Geography offers the Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree. The National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration accredited Wright State Universitys MPA program through 2008-09, and it is the only accredited MPA program in southwest Ohio.
The primary mission of the MPA degree program is to prepare students to be public and nonprofit administrators and managers in today's urban and global environment. The program is composed of both part-time and full-time students. Classes are offered by full-time faculty and distinguished practitioners from the greater Dayton region who serve as affiliated faculty.
Students may, in concert with their advisor, design their MPA curriculum to emphasize subfields, such as public and nonprofit management, community, and economic development, or public planning. Other areas of emphasis may be developed with the careful selection of elective courses offered by other WSU departments. In addition, the MPA program offers a specialized concentration in communication, and offers a certificate in nonprofit administration sponsored by the national American Humanics Association.
The majority of MPA students complete their program of study in two years. To accommodate the scheduling needs of all students, one-year and three-year programs of study are also available.
For further information, please visit the MPA program website at www.wright.edu/cupa/graduate/htm or contact the MPA Program Director at 937-775-4451.
AdmissionStudents interested in the MPA program must first present a baccalaureate degree, preferably in the social or behavioral sciences, with an overall undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale. Students who cannot meet this grade point average requirement should review the policies of the School of Graduate Studies and the Department of Urban Affairs and Geography for other options.
Applicants must submit transcripts of all previous university work, three letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with their academic achievements and/or ability to meet the rigorous requirements of graduate studies, and a 400-word written essay outlining professional and personal goals and how the MPA degree will help them achieve these goals.
Applications should be completed at least six weeks prior to the start of Fall quarter. However, applicants requiring financial assistance should complete their applications at least four months prior to the start of Fall quarter.
Students are strongly encouraged to begin their studies in the Fall quarter due to the sequence of course offerings. Although admissions to the MPA program at other times during the academic year are not encouraged, exceptions may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
AdvisingUpon gaining acceptance into the program, students must attend the departments Fall orientation. In addition, MPA students are assigned a faculty advisor upon acceptance into the program and must meet with their advisor to complete a program of study. The program of study identifies courses to be completed, the timing of these courses, and the planned date of graduation from the MPA program. Faculty advisors are available to MPA students throughout their enrollment in the program and beyond.
Degree RequirementsThe MPA curriculum consists of 52 credit hours of approved course work. The curriculum requires: (1) 28 credit hours of core courses, (2) 4 credit hours of a capstone project or an applied research paper (URS 724) or 8 credit hours of thesis (URS 799), (3) 4 to 8 credit hours of internship (URS 723), and (4) elective courses that are approved by an advisor for the remainder of the credit hours.
Internships are designed to meet the needs of students with no prior experience in the public or nonprofit sectors and to assist in post-graduation job placement. In-service students may substitute an elective course for the internship requirement.
Students completing the URS 724 requirement have the option of participating in a team-based capstone project or completing an independent applied research paper focusing on an approved public or nonprofit administration issue. The capstone project utilizes small student teams that use research methods to analyze and solve an administrative issue for a local community, public agency, or nonprofit organization.
FacultyThe teaching philosophy of the faculty emphasizes analytical thinking, ethical conduct, public leadership, and critical administrative skills. MPA faculty are experienced in current public administration and urban management issues, and they require students to apply their coursework to address, analyze, and potentially resolve public policy and management problems within the region and beyond. In addition to extensive traditional and applied scholarship, the faculty also serve on governing and advisory boards in the metropolitan area and on behalf of national associations.
Jack Dustin Ph.D. (Chair and Director of the Center for Urban and Public Affairs), city and regional administration, comparative administration, technology and environmental policy
Jerri Killian Ph.D., (MPA Program Director) administrative ethics, organizational theory, human resource management, administrative reform
Mary V. Wenning Ph.D. (AH Program Director), policy analysis, housing and
land use policy, urban/regional planning, research methods
Jennifer Subban Ph.D., comparative administration, nonprofit management, social/welfare policy, race/ethnicity and gender theory
Daniel Johnson, Ph.D. candidate (ABD) geographic information systems, urban geography, medical geography, cartography., quantitative analysis
Financial AssistanceThe department awards Graduate Research Assistantships (GRAs) and Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs) annually to qualified students, based on the availability of funds and grants. Students in degree status and not employed in a public/nonprofit administrative position are encouraged to apply for a GRA/GTA position. Applications are available from the department.
The department grants a tuition waiver and pays a stipend to each GRA/GTA. GRAs and GTAs are required to work 20 hours per week during the academic year. The departments chair assigns GRAs to projects that will develop their analytical and problem solving skills, and knowledge of public policy and administration. The chair also assigns GTAs to undergraduate courses in which they may assist faculty or may teach the assigned courses.
Course of Study
E344 Student Union
Voice: (937) 775-2976
Fax: (937) 775-2453