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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

MAUS Program

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Master of Arts in Urban Studies (MAUS)

The Master of Arts is a multidisciplinary degree program orientated toward examining and understanding the broad range of problems and opportunities associated with the nation's urban and regional areas. Students in the degree program may prepare themselves for professional careers in local government, or use the degree as preparation for Ph.D. study. The program requirements are designed to provide flexibility while ensuring a multidisciplinary, problem-solving perspective.

The program is housed in the Urban and Regional Studies Institute, a division of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

MAUS Mission Statement

The Master of Arts in Urban Studies (MAUS) prepares students for professional local and regional public service leadership careers in the US system by instructing in the application of law, ethics, equity, and current trends in governance through a combination of public administration theory and applied skills training.

Program Specific Goals

  • Our goal is to provide comprehensive training for careers in local government agencies, regional level county agencies, and other public service agencies such as nonprofits and consulting firms that have local governmental clients.
    • How do we accomplish this? By offering a broad range of elective options in addition to a required common core, and ensuring students have hands-on experience through a required internship and Studio project.
  • Our goal is to prepare students for long term professional service in the public sector by providing cross-training in a variety of skills so students can find the career path that best suits them.
    • How do we accomplish this? By ensuring MAUS students are exposed to other fields within local and regional government agencies, such as planning, economic development, governmental sustainability practices, and other skills through the common core. It is the departmental philosophy that managers and administrators (in essence, the MAUS students) can better lead if they understand the ‘parts of the whole.’
  • Our goal is to use the United States government system as a framework for training, but to focus on skills that will translate into the governmental systems for our international students.
    • How do we accomplish this? Because the majority of our students end up practicing in the United States, the common core courses use the United States governance and administrative system to shape course curriculum for MAUS students. But the curriculum also includes training in theoretical concepts that can be transferred to administrative agencies abroad. Additionally, elective offerings provide such theoretical concepts and broad-based training, and students can choose to take those courses.
  • Our goal is to instruct MAUS in the laws required to perform administrative and managerial jobs in public service.
    • How do we accomplish this? By requiring a core course that is significantly structured around teaching the basic laws of the administrative and managerial profession. Additionally, students must apply their skills in a required internship and Studio course, where all work must conform to U.S. and state administrative laws.
  • Our goal is to ensure students learn the professional management ethics and ethical codes used by professional managerial and administrative organizations and apply them in their public service careers.
    • How do we accomplish this? MAUS students are instructed on ethical government practices in each of our core courses. MAUS curriculum stresses equitable application of law, and requires students demonstrate the ability to perform their public service job in an unbiased manner through faculty assessed assignments, exams, and other means.
  • Our goal is to ensure MAUS students are well versed in current trends and methodologies used by public service administrative agencies, understand when to apply them, and understand how to benchmark results.
    • How do we accomplish this? MAUS faculty are allotted funds for professional development and training opportunities. These training opportunities allow faculty to update their curriculum based on new findings and techniques used in the public administration profession.
  • Our goal is to prepare “street ready” professionals who have the theoretical knowledge to make informed long-range administrative decisions and the skills to perform the technical aspects of an administrative/ managerial career.
    • How do we accomplish this? MAUS students are required to demonstrate practical, applicable administrative skills through a required internship, through the required graduate studio course (URBS 667). Other MAUS courses also require professional contact and application of practical administrative skill.

Program profile/ Plan of study

Credits Required to Complete the Program: 36

Core Courses/Program Focus Courses That Must Be Completed By All MAUS Program Students (24 Credits):

  • URBS 501, Foundations (3 Credits)
  • URBS 502, Urban Analysis (3 Credits)
  • URBS 512, Public Information and Involvement (3 Credits)
  • URBS 603, Organizational Environment (3 Credits)
  • URBS 650, Administrative Services (3 Credits)
  • URBS 651, Urban Finance Systems (3 Credits)
  • URBS 667, Studio (3 Credits)
  • URBS 697, Internship (3 Credits)

Restricted Elective Courses (12 Credits): Courses, within the department, selected by the student that bring value to the plan of study while enhancing the students’ preparation for local government service, AND allow the student to explore topics of interest to them. The advisor must approve restricted elective courses.

Program Duration

2 years (4 semesters) for full time students. Full time is defined as six credits per semester.

Modes Of Program Delivery

Most program courses are offered (in a rotating schedule):

  • At the main campus in Mankato, MN
  • Online
  • Hybrid of online and in person instruction
  • Through Telepresence (2 classrooms in distant cities connected via technology)


Term Total Enrolled New to Program in Select Term
2011, Fall 15 5
2012, Spring 16 3
2012, Fall 17 5
2013, Spring 13 N/A
2013, Fall 20 10
2014, Spring 19 3
2014, Fall 18 4
2015, Spring 20 2
2015, Fall 18 4
2016, Spring 13 1
2017, Fall 5 0
2018, Spring 2 1
2018, Fall 4 0

Program Diversity

The program has averaged, since Fall 2011:

  • A 21.56% diversity (student of color) student enrollment
  • Gender enrollment in the program is 59.5% male and 39.5% female
  • International students account for 37.5% of program enrollment

Per University policy, and the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (MN Statutes, chapter 13), diversity details per year are aggregated with the past five years of diversity data to protect individual student privacy.

Program Graduation Rate

Historically, 48.08% of students admitted into the MAUS program graduate from the program within 2 years, 64.03% graduate within 3 years, 72.87% graduate within 4 years and, in total, 80.78% of students admitted into the MAUS program graduate within 6 years.

Post-Graduation Employment

Historically, 98.45% of program graduates find employment within 1 year of graduating (80.3% find employment s professionals working in the field).

  Year of Gradation
Employer 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016
National or central government in the same country as the program            
State, provincial, or regional government in the same country as the program 1     1   1
City, county or other local government in the same country as the program   2   3 2 6
Government not in the same country as the program (all levels) or international quasi-governmental            
Nonprofit domestic oriented           1
Nonprofit/ NGOs internationally oriented            
Private sector – Research/ Consulting           1
Private sector but not Research/ Consulting            
Obtaining further education 2   1   1  
Military service            
Unemployed, not seeking employment            
Unemployed, seeking employment     1      
Employed, non-related field 1     1    
Status unknown           1
Total Graduating 4 2 2 5 3 11

Note: Primary data is reported by the Career Development Center Survey. Graduate statistic reports by major are available at this link: Career Development Center Graduate Statistics. Response is voluntary.

Graduate career data by major can be found at Career Development Center Graduate Statistics.

Occupational Demand And Outlook

Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Minnesota Department of Employment and economic Development, industries served by this program will see a increase in jobs between 2015 and 2022: 603 jobs in the state of Minnesota, 34,200 jobs nationwide.

Internship Requirement: Professional preparation for real world jobs

Internships are required of all students in the MAUS program. Consistently, MAUS program students complete their internships at Local (city, county, or regional) Government Management agencies. Philosophically and functionally, the MAUS program is dedicated to the concept that internships at local government management facilities are a valuable, perhaps critical, facet of the educational experience.

Students must perform at least 300 hours of internship duties, or apply for an internship waiver. Waivers are granted ONLY if students are currently working full time in the profession and have been in a related position for a minimum of two years.

Type of Internship Internships Completed
  2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018
National or central government in the same country as the program            
State, provincial, or regional government in the same country as the program 2 2     3 4
City, county or other local government in the same country as the program 7 6 6 6 6 13
Foreign government (all levels) or international quasi-government            
Nonprofit domestic oriented 2     1    
Nonprofit/ NGOs internationally oriented            
Private / Business Sector 1       1 2
Internship Waivers Granted to Students (who would normally be required to complete one)            
Other (specify)            
Total 12 8 6 7 10 19

Admission Criteria

Program admission is a competitive process through which students that have the required undergraduate preparation the motivation to succeed may begin the rigorous preparation for a rewarding career in public service.

In addition to meeting the general admission requirements of College of Graduate Studies, admission to the program as a degree-seeking student requires:

  • Undergraduate course in research methods/statistics, or equivalent
  • Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0/4.0 in the last two years of coursework
  • Two recommendations assessing potential for successful graduate study
  • Resume or CV
  • Personal statement:
    • describing academic and work background;
    • reason for selecting graduate study in this degree program, and
    • particular interests/skills you would bring to the program (especially technological skills such as computer programs with which you are familiar - GIS, web page, etc.).

Admission to the program on a provision basis may be approved for applicants with a GPA of at least 2.6 in the last two years of coursework and who demonstrate special circumstances and potential. Absence of specific undergraduate coursework in urban studies or statistics will result in the assigning of deficiency coursework which must be completed before graduation.

To apply online, go to Graduate Studies Applications page.

Admission criteria can be found at:

Tution & Fees

The Urban and Regional Studies Institute and the programs within (MAUS, MAUP) follows the tuition guidelines of the University, and its students are required to abide by these tuition rates. A link to this information can be found at Tuition Rates and Fees.

You must enroll in at least six graduate credits to be considered a full time student. Costs will vary depending on number of credits you are enrolled in.

Cost per credit, on campus, in-state and out of state $ 395.60 per credit
Out of state tuition, FT enrollment, on campus $ 2,373.60
In state tuition, FT enrollment, on campus $ 2,373.60
Fees, out of state, FT enrollment $ 245.58
Fees, in-state fees, FT enrollment $ 245.58
Total cost, out of state tuition and fees $ 2,619.18
Total cost, in-state tuition and fees $ 2,619.18
Online credits $ 431.85 per credit
Online fees 1-11 credits, $40.93 per credit, $492.55 for 12 credits, plus $.47 (MSUSA fee) per credit from 12-18 credits.

Financial Aid

Details about university financial aid programs can be found at Student Financial Services. MAUS program financial awards can be found at Financial Aid and Scholarships on the URSI department web site.


The six MAUS faculty all have doctorates in public administration, urban planning, or related fields. Every faculty member has professional experience, working for public service agencies in a staff capacity. Full profiles, credentials, and biographies are available on the URSI web site, by clicking on the links below.

Dr. Miriam Porter (Chair)

Dr. Tom Walkington (Department Coordinator)

Dr. Raymond Asomani-Boateng

Dr. Beth A. Wielde Heidelberg

Dr. Russell Fricano

A Sample of MAUS Faculty Publications, Presentations, and Projects

Dr. Miriam Porter

  • "Disaster Preparedness in a Developing Economy: Ghana, a Case Study”. The International Journal of Civic, Political and Community Studies Volume 13 Issue 4, 2015 (refereed)
  • “Rolling Hills” In Conduff and Vossmer (Ed.) Democracy at the Doorstep, Too (Chapter 30, pp. 184-192). Elim Group Publishing, 2012.
  • 2015 International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities “Disaster Preparedness in a Developing Economy: Ghana, a Case Study” University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. June, 2015
  • 2012 University of Michigan. STEM – Africa Conference in collaboration with Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana. Presentation: “Disaster Preparedness and Research Collaboration”, May 2012.
  • 2012 NASPPA Annual Conference: Horizons in Public Affairs; Visions, Innovations, Strategies”, Austin, Texas. Presentation: Civic Engagement in the Local Level of Government”. October, 2012.

Dr. Jan Cherrington

  • Urban Studies, Students and Communities: An Deal Partnership--A Case Study of Urban Studies Service Learning, Partnerships: A Journal of Service Learning and Civic Engagement," Boone, North Carolina, Appalachian University, Vol.2 No.2, Fall 2012 (refereed journal).
  • "Public Information & Involvement ," Minnesota Women in City Government , Fall 2011 newsletter.
  • "Roots Rich in History, Living for Today Branching out for Tomorrow," Minnesota Women in City Government , Fall 2010 newsletter.
  • "St. James: Endless Opportunity," Minnesota Women in City Government , Spring 2010 newsletter.
  • "Community-University Partnerships: Helping Small Towns with Strategic Marketing," Journal of World Universities Forum, Melbourne, Australia, Common Ground Publishing, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2008.

Dr. Raymond Asomani-Boateng

  • Asomani-Boateng, Raymond. "Local Networks Commodity Queens and the Management of Organic Solid Waste in Indigenous Open-Air Markets in Accra, Ghana." Journal of Planning Education and Research 36, no. 2 (2016): 182-194.
  • Asomani-Boateng, Raymond, Russell J. Fricano, and Frank Adarkwa. "Assessing the socio-economic impacts of rural road improvements in Ghana: A case study of Transport Sector Program Support (II)." Case Studies on Transport Policy 3, no. 4 (2015): 355-366.
  • Asomani-Boateng, Raymond. "Borrowing from the past to sustain the present and the future: indigenous African urban forms, architecture, and sustainable urban development in contemporary Africa." Journal of Urbanism: International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability 4, no. 3 (2011): 239-262.
  • Asomani-Boateng, Raymond. "Closing the loop community-based organic solid waste recycling, urban gardening, and land use planning in Ghana, West Africa." Journal of Planning Education and Research 27, no. 2 (2007): 132-145.
  • Asomani-Boateng, Raymond. "Urban cultivation in Accra: an examination of the nature, practices, problems, potentials and urban planning implications." Habitat international 26, no. 4 (2002): 591-607.

Dr. Beth A. Wielde Heidelberg

  • Heidelberg, B.A. (2015). Managing ghosts: Local government involvement in dark tourism. Journal of Heritage Tourism. Vol 10, Number 1. Routledge, Taylor & Francis.
  • 2015 City of Maplewood, MN Heritage Preservation Commission.Mid Century Modern Historic Resources.
  • Schultz, D. and Wielde, B.A. (2010). Mr. Smith goes to the movies: Images of dissent in American cinema. In Homer Simpson marches on Washington. Timothy Dale and Joseph Foy (ed.) University Press of Kentucky.
  • Schultz, D. and Wielde, B.A. (2007) Public administration and pop culture. PA Times. Vol 30, Number 11.
  • Schultz, D. and Wielde, B.A. (2007). Wonks and Warriors: Public servants in popular culture film. Public Voices. Volume 9, Number 2.

Dr. Russell Fricano

  • Asomani-Boateng, R., Fricano, R. and Adarkwa, F. (2015). Assessing the socio-economic impacts of rural road improvements in Ghana: A case study of Transport Sector Program (II). Case Studies on Transport Policy. 3, 355-366.
  • Fricano, R. (2015). Do urban agriculture approaches meet expectations? A critical look at Urban agriculture growth and decline in U.S. cities. Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, Houston TX, October.
  • Fricano, R. and Grass, A. (2014). Evaluating American rainwater harvesting policy: A case study of three U.S. cities. Journal of Sustainable Development. 7 (6), 133-149.
  • Oluwoye, O., Khan, S. Oluwoye, J. Fricano, R., Gooding, E. Fobbs-Wilson, J., and Kapoor, J. (2013). Association of psychological factors to alcohol consumption behavior among U.S. college students. European Journal of Sustainable Development. 2, 3. Doi: 10.14207/ejsd.2013.v2n3p175
  • Urban Gentrification: Point/Counterpoint. With various contributing authors, Planning Forum 9, 2003