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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

MPA / CPM Programs

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Masters in Public Administration and Certificate in Public Management

The MSU Department of Government offers a Certificate in Public Management (CPM) and a Master of Public Administration (MPA) at both the Mankato campus and the Edina campus (at 7700 France Avenue in Edina).  The MPA program has two tracks to choose from:  American Administration and International Administration.  Information about both programs are listed below.


Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Research and Writing Capstone - 36 credits
Thesis Plan - 36 credits 
Pre-Doctoral Plan - 36 credits
Alternate Paper Plan - 36 credits


The MPA program is designed for persons already in or preparing to enter public service.  The program is designed to enable the student to perform management or staff functions in such areas as finance, budget analysis and personnel management.  Students are prepared with knowledge of political and legal processes of government and with an appreciation for managerial decision-making skills required by public agencies.  MPA students can choose which type of capstone project they want to pursue.  The recommended option (and most common) for most students is the Research and Writing Capstone Plan, but students may instead choose to take the Thesis Plan or the Alternate Plan Paper Plan with advisor permission. All capstone plans require a total of 34 credits for program completion.

MPA Admission requirements:

1. A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale or by using other factors (e.g. promising public or private sector work experience, having already taken some graduate credits) to demonstrate that the program can be successfully completed.

2. A letter of intent

3. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university; and 

4. All students need to have a reasonable background knowledge in government and quantitative methods. In some cases, the student's advisor may require that knowledge and skill deficiencies be remedied.


MPA Program Requirements:

Common Core (21 credits)

POL 600 Research Methods 3
POL 606 Organizational Theory 3
POL 622 Seminar: Theory & Practice of Public Administration 3
POL 650 Ethics and Values in Public Administration 3
POL 662 Human Resource Management 3
POL 663 Budget & Fiscal Management 3
POL 669 Seminar: Public Policy Analysis 3

Restricted Electives

In consultation and with approval from their academic advisor, students select 12 credits of elected courses that fit into one of the following areas of study: American Administration, International Administration or Public Safety Administration.

Unrestricted Electives

Students may be required to complete electives: 0-2 credits, depending on the number of credits taken for the capstone course and may vary based on the student's academic plan.

Other Graduation Requirements

All students in the Masters in Public Administration (MPA) program must successfully pass a comprehensive exam.

Research/Methods Course(s)

The College of Graduate Studies and Research requires all students to take a research methods course. Students who take POL 600: Research Methods in the Common Core of the MPA program automatically fulfill this requirement.

Capstone Course (1-6 credits)


Pol 693 is recommended for most students in the Masters in Public Administration (MPA) Program, and does not require advisor permission. POL 694, 696 or 699 are only available with advisor permission. 


POL 693 Research and Writing Capstone 3
POL 694 Alternate Plan Paper 1-2
POL 696 Pre-doctoral Capstone 1-6
POL 699 Thesis 3-6



Certificate in Public Management (CPM)

The Certificate in Public Management (CPM) is designed for persons already in or preparing to enter public service, and can usually be completed within one year. Students successfully completing this certificate will be trained in human resource management, budgetary analysis, management theory and public policy analysis.  Students may complete the Certificate in Public Management while working toward their MPA degree.


CPM Requirements:

Take four of the following for a total of 12 credits.  Students must take either POL 600 and/or POL 669.  Students must also take POL 662 and/or POL 663.

• POL 600: Research Methods (3 credits)
• POL 662: Human Resource Management (3 credits)
• POL 663: Budget and Fiscal Management (3 credits)
• POL 628: Seminar: Public Management (3 credits)
• POL 665: Seminar: Bureaucracy & Administrative Process (3 credits)
• POL 606: Organization Theory (3 credits)
• POL 622: Seminar: Theory and Practice (3 credits)
• POL 669: Seminar: Public Policy Analysis (3 credits)


Classes in the Twin Cities

In addition to classes at the Mankato campus, both the MPA and CPM programs are offered at 7700 France Avenue in Edina, MN. Program requirements for students taking courses in the Twin Cities (Edina) are the same as the on-campus program described immediately above and any exceptions for Twin Cities students must be approved in the student's plan of study by the student's advisor and the MPA Program Coordinator. The Department is committed to offering each of the core courses at least every two to three years in Edina.


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