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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato


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The Department of Government at Minnesota State University, Mankato offers a Master of Public Administration (MPA) at both the Mankato campus and the Edina campus (at 7700 France Avenue in Edina) as well as a Certificate in Public Management.  The MPA program has two tracks to choose from:  American Administration and International Administration.  Graduates of these programs are successfully pursuing a variety of challenging careers. Many occupy important positions with federal, state, or local units of government.  Others who have gone on to receive doctorates are teaching at colleges and universities, consulting, or doing policy/administrative analysis with large businesses and organizations.


The MPA admission requirements are:

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.

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.

Note:  When candidates do not meet the normal admission requirements, they may be recommended for admission by the department subject to removal of deficiencies or other conditions.  The GRE is not required for admission to either program, but could be used to demonstrate the program can be successfully completed.

For information about applying to the MPA program, please visit the College of Graduate Studies and Research application page:

Or contact the College of Graduate Studies and Research directly:

College of Graduate Studies
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Wigley Administration Center 125
Mankato, MN 56001

Telephone:  (507)389-2321
Toll-Free:  1-800-722-0544


Master of Public Administration

The Master of Public Administration (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 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.

Program Requirements (effective Fall 2011)

Required Core (22 credits)

• POL 600: Research Methods (3 credits)
• POL 606: Organizational Theory (3 credit)
• POL 611: Orientation for Graduate Students (1 credits)
• POL 622: Seminar: Theory and Practice (3 credits)
• POL 662: Human Resource Management (3 credits)
• POL 663: Budget and Fiscal Management (3 credits)
• POL 665: Seminar: Bureaucracy and Administrative Process (3 credits) or POL 628: Seminar: Public Management (3 credits)
• POL 669: Seminar: Public Policy Analysis (3 credits) or 3 credits of elective(s) with demonstrated foreign language proficiency.

American Administration Track: 9 credits

ONE of the following (totaling 3 credits):

• POL 550: Topics in Public Law (with permission)
• POL 560: Topics in Public Policy/Administration (with permission)
• POL 562: Collective Bargaining: Public Sector
• POL 563: Public Personnel Administration
• POL 570: Topics in Institutions & Process (with permission)
• POL 571: Public Opinion and Polling Methods
• POL 572: Urban Government
• POL 573: Legislative Process
• POL 574: Executive Process
• POL 580: Topics in Political Methodology (with permission)
• POL 660: Seminar: Public Administration
• POL 670: Seminar: Public Law
• POL 680: State-Urban Governance

and TWO of the following (totaling 6 credits):

• POL 610: Seminar: American Politics
• POL 650: Seminar: Ethics and Values in Administration
• POL 691: Internship (with permission)

International Administration Track: 9 credits

ONE of the following: (totaling 3 credits):

• POL 530: Topics in International Relations (with permission)
• POL 532: International Law
• POL 533: International Organization
• POL 534: US Foreign Policy
• POL 535: Capitalism, Nationalism and Democracy
• POL 536: International Political Economy
• POL 537: International Conflict Resolution
• POL 539: Comparative Social Policy
• POL 540: Topics in Comparative Politics (with permission)
• POL 548: Political Change and Development
• POL 549: Comparative Criminal Justice Systems

and TWO of the following: (totaling 6 credits):

• POL 620: Seminar: Issues in Comparative Government and Administration
• POL 630: Seminar: International Relations
• POL 650: Seminar: Ethics and Values in Administration

Students may be required to complete electives: 0-2 credits, depending on the number of credits taken for the capstone plan (Research and Writing Plan, Thesis Plan, Alternate Plan Paper Plan).

Certificate in Public Management

This certificate is designed for persons already in or preparing to enter public service. 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.

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)

Graduate Assistantships & Financial Aid

The Department of Government is usually able to award  two or more graduate assistantships per year.  Tuition reciprocity is available to residents of several different states in the U.S. and Canada and for senior citizens.  This allows students to pay resident tuition of the home state.  The combination of tuition stipend and assistantship salary more than meets the tuition and fee expenses for the MPA program.  Graduate assistants are required to be full-time graduate students. The assistants help faculty with special projects, research and classes.  Students must be admitted to a graduate program to qualify for consideration for an assistantship.  Decisions on assistantships in the Department of Government are made in the spring for the following academic year.  The normal deadline for applications is April 1, although other deadlines may apply.  Other assistantships are available from Federal Work Study, Student Affairs, the Memorial Library, and the Residential Life offices of the University.  A listing of available graduate assistantships is maintained at the Career Development and Counseling Center and the Graduate Office.  Assistantship applications can be obtained at the Graduate Studies Office or Career Development and Counseling Center.  Completed applications are submitted to the office or department offering the assistantship.  The Financial Aid Office has guaranteed student loans, part-time student loans, and other programs.  For more information about these sources of aid, contact:

Office of Financial Aid
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Wigley Administration Center 109
Mankato, MN 56001

Telephone:  (507) 389-1185
Toll-Free:  1-800-722-0544

Plagiarism Policy

Departmental Plagiarism Policy (Adopted on February 15, 2013)

  • All faculty members in the Department of Government agree to inform students in their classes that our department has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic dishonesty and that these types of violations of academic conduct can result in serious consequences, including the maximum penalty of failing the course, expulsion from the program, and/or referral to the Office of Student Affairs for further action at the university level.  The manner and format of this announcement remains at the discretion of each individual faculty member.
  • Each faculty member retains full discretion as to the initial determination of whether or not plagiarism occurred and which sanction(s) to use against the student found in violation of this policy.
  • If a faculty member determines that plagiarism took place and makes a decision to fail the student in the course and/or expel the student from the program, he/she should also notify the department chair.  The department chair will keep this information on record for future reference and/or appeal, if necessary.


The University's Memorial Library provides excellent opportunities for study and research through its own holdings, the statewide MINITEX, and a state-of-the-art information retrieval system. The Academic Computer Center provides students access to computers, a large open lab, access to five different types of computers, mainframes, national internet network, color and black and white laser printers, multimedia technology lab and classroom, and five computerized classroom labs. The Department of Government has a substantial investment in personal computers and obtains additional support from the University's Computer Services.

The University & the Community

Minnesota State University, Mankato is a state university with over 15,000 students and over 100 different graduate programs including master’s, specialist, certificate, and doctoral programs. MSU has offered a graduate degree in public administration since 1970.  The University was founded in 1867 with the first graduate program authorized in 1953.  MSU is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.  All of the University's facilities, located on a 40 acre campus, are modem and well maintained.  Most buildings are interconnected for easy access.  The greater Mankato community, consisting of Mankato and North Mankato, has a population of approximately 60,000 people.  The community is situated in the scenic Minnesota River Valley approximately 65 miles southwest of the Twin Cities to which it is connected by convenient transportation.  This location provides good opportunities for employment and for practical professional experiences.  The Mankato area offers superior educational, cultural, and recreational opportunities both within the immediate area and within a 90-minute drive.


For more information about the MPA program, email us at:  Or call or visit us:

Department of Government
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Morris Hall 109
Mankato, MN 56001

Chair:  Avra Johnson, Ph.D.

Graduate Director: Kevin Parsneau, Ph.D.

Phone: (507) 389-2721
Fax: (507) 389-6377
Toll-Free: 1-800-722-0544

Graduate Faculty

Abdalla Battah, Associate Professor, Ph.D., American University; International Relations, International Organizations, International Conflict Resolution, Comparative Politics, Middle East Politics.

Sue Burum, Professor, J.D., U. of North Dakota, M.A., Hamline Univ.; Legal Research, Federal Indian Law, Criminal Law and Procedure, Constitutional Law, Civil Liberties.

Scott Granberg-Rademacker, Professor, Ph.D., U. of Nebraska - Lincoln; Research Methods, Public Policy, Public Administration, American Government.

Tomasz Inglot, Professor, Ph.D., U. of Wisconsin - Madison; International Relations, Comparative Politics, Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, Comparative Social Welfare Policy, Nationalism.

Avra Johnson, Associate Professor, Ph.D., Indiana University - Bloomington; American Government, Public Administration, Public Budgeting, Collective Bargaining (Public Sector), Public Policy Analysis.

Eiji Kawabata, Associate Professor, Ph.D., U. of Pittsburgh; Comparative Government, World Politics, International Relations, International Political Economy, East Asia/Pacific Rim Politics.

Joseph Kunkel, Professor, Ph.D., U. of Minnesota; U.S. Politics, Campaigns and Elections, Political Philosophy, Early and Modern American Political Thought.

Pat Nelson, Assistant Professor, Ph.D., Walden University; Terrorism and Political Violence, Seminar: Public Safety Organizational Leadership, Seminar: Public Safety Crisis Leadership and Communications, Seminar: Public Safety Leadership Law, Ethical Conduct and Diversity.

Kevin Parsneau, Associate Professor, Ph.D., U. of Minnesota; Presidency, Bureaucracy, Public Administration, State Politics.

Fred Slocum, Associate Professor, Ph.D., U. of Iowa; American Politics, Environmental Politics, Political Parties, Public Opinion and Polling Methods, Racial/Ethnic Politics, Political Psychology, Southern Politics, American Legal Philosophy.

Jacqueline Vieceli, Professor, Ph.D., Indiana University - Bloomington; Comparative Politics, South Asia Politics, African Politics, Human Rights, Nonwestern Political Theory.

Tamara Wilkins, Associate Professor, Ph.D., Florida State University; Comparative Criminal Justice Systems, Juvenile Justice, Race and Ethnicity in Law Enforcement.

Minnesota State University, Mankato is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity University.
This document is available in alternative format to individuals with disabilities by calling the
Department of Government at (507) 389-2721 (V) or (800) 627-3529 (MRS/TTY).