Next Generation's Leaders: The University of Michigan-Dearborn MPA degree
The program is designed to serve a diverse student body representative of a variety of human service organizations. MPA students are mainly mid-career administrators committed to learning and developing as individuals and professionals. Seminars are conveniently offered in evenings or online to accommodate working administrators. The seminars are designed to promote extensive sharing of professional experiences and the examination of issues important to contemporary administration.
The MPA curriculum emphasizes practical skills and information from a range of governmental, nonprofit and educational organizations. The classes are designed to develop technical administrative skills and competencies in leadership, finance, personnel, planning and evaluation. Given the diversity of candidate backgrounds and the agencies represented, MPA candidates are encouraged to develop their ability to work in a variety of organizational settings and with a diverse group of individuals.
Michigan Nonprofit Association Scholarship: Provides a scholarship valued at 20% of tuition and fees for the employees of Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA) member organizations. This scholarship is available for degree seeking students and can be used for undergraduate and graduate programs.
Degree Requirements & Advising
The MPA program requires successful completion of: 36 credit hours, including (1) a 15-credit hour core; (2) specialty courses approved by the candidate's program advisor, and (3) an Assessment Seminar at the conclusion of the degree. Several areas of specialization are offered, each with specific requirements. Some require additional credit hours.
Required Core Courses (15 Credit Hours)
- PADM 505 Introduction to Administration
- PADM 520 Leadership and Administration
- PADM 540 Administration of Financial Resources
- PADM 560 Administration of Human Resources
- PADM 580 Statistics and Information Systems
Specialty Courses (18 Credit Hours)
Graduate candidates, with the approval of their program advisor, must complete specialty course work. Specialty courses are offered in the areas of finance, human resources, leadership, and in educational, nonprofit, and governmental administration.
Assessment (3 Credit Hours)
At or near the conclusion of their program of study, candidates must complete PADM 650 Assessment Seminar. An internship (additive credit only) is required unless specifically waived by the student's adviser or director of the MPA program.
The full-time faculty of the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program provide academic advising regarding program requirements, the student's coursework, and educational interests. They ensure that the student experiences a smooth transition to the university, and the opportunity to have a productive graduate experience.
Upon admission, each student is assigned to a specific advisor. Students are encouraged to meet with their advisor after admission to discuss sequencing of courses, and other matters that will help ensure success in the MPA program. Students are encouraged to meet with their advisor regularly and consult with him or her in the planning of coursework and career plans.
to apply critical thinking skills to make decisions that enhance performance of governmental and nonprofit organizations or improve public policy and reflect awareness of key elements in these organizations’ external and internal environments
Human Resource Management
to effectively manage human resources within governmental and nonprofit organizations
Financial Resource Management
to effectively manage financial resources of governmental and nonprofit organizations
to understand and exhibit behaviors that enable effective leadership of governmental and nonprofit organizations
to communicate proficiently orally and in writing in a manner that facilitates shared understanding, growth, and high performance
to act in a manner that exemplifies professional ethical standards for governmental and nonprofit administration
Appreciation for Diversity
to demonstrate respect for the diverse cultures, values, and perspectives in society in the development, administration, and provision of public services
to uphold professional standards of equity in the development, administration, and provision of public services
to appreciate the role of political, administrative, policy, and organization theory in understanding and structuring practice in public and nonprofit administration and a continuously strive to improve practice through the application of theory
An internship (additive credit only) is required unless specifically waived by the student's adviser or director of the MPA program.
The internship process
Congratulations! You have reached a point in your academic career in which you will experience the world of public administration through the internship program.
Please take a few minutes to read and follow the instructions below. If you should have any questions about the process, please feel free to contact the internship coordinator or your advisor.
1. Meet with your academic advisor
Determine whether or not you need to complete and internship as part of your degree and how many internship credits you need to register for (this should be done during your initial advising meeting when you complete your plan of study).
2. Meet with the internship director
About midway through the semester prior to your planned internship, you will need to complete the online application form which will also enable you to attach your resume. After your application is received, the director will contact you about possible placement options.
If necessary, you will make plans to meet with the internship director to discuss internship expectations and placement opportunities and provide information that is required for placement.
Internship Director: Dr. Nancy Kursman
Phone: 313-593-5164 Fax: 313-593-5645
3. Secure your internship position
This will be done with the assistance of the internship director.
4. Complete the Internship Agreement
Internship Agreement: word doc (to be downloaded and completed)
- Discuss, and agree upon, with the on-site mentor, specific responsibilities and experiences associated with the internship.
- Document the agreed upon responsibilities and experiences on the Internship Agreement.
- Forward the agreement to the internship director for review and sign-off.
- If changes are needed, the internship director will explain them to you, and you will need to negotiate changes with the on-site mentor.
- If approved by the internship director, the director will sign the agreement and return it to you to secure your signature and the signature of the on-site mentor.
5. Forward the signed copies of the agreement to the internship director
Who will forward it to the CASL Graduate Programs office for your file and notify the Graduate Program Office of her approval for you to register for the internship credits.
6. Contact the CASL Graduate Programs office
Arrange pick up or emailing of your registration authorization form. Go to the Registrar’s Office with the authorization form to register for the internship credits.
Past placement locations
City of Ann Arbor
City of Dexter
City of Dearborn Heights
City of Phoenix
City of Royal Oak
City of Grosse Pointe
City of Lincoln Park
City of Highland Park
For more information
Internship Director: Dr. Nancy Kursman
Phone: 313-593-5164 Fax: 313-593-5645
MPA Program News
The Master of Public Administration graduate advocates for inclusion through educational and awareness programs.