Public Administration and Policy

The Master of Public Administration and Policy (MPAP) program serves a diverse student body representing a variety of public service organizations. MPAP students are mainly mid-career professionals working in government or nonprofit organizations and committed to learning and developing as individuals, administrators, and policymakers. Our seminars are conveniently offered to accommodate full-time jobs. 

The MPAP curriculum emphasizes the integration of practical skills and knowledge with an understanding of the concepts and theories that help leaders adapt those skills in an ever-changing environment. Our classes will develop and improve your skills in policy development and implementation, as well as leadership, personnel, strategic management, fundraising, and program evaluation. You will engage with your peers coming from various backgrounds, learn from each others' professional experiences, and master your ability to work in different organizational settings with diverse groups of individuals. You will engage with faculty whose research, academic training, and professional experience covers a wide array of public administration and policy areas and whose primary goal is to build a cadre of high caliber public and nonprofit leaders to enable our region, state, and nation to address contemporary and future challenges successfully.

Master of Public Administration and Policy Accelerated Program Option (4+1 program)

The Master of Public Administration and Policy Accelerated Program, or 4+1 program, is designed for those undergraduate students having an interest in nonprofit or public service careers and demonstrated ability to pursue graduate studies. The program is designed to allow students who complete a B.A./B.S. at the University of Michigan-Dearborn to fulfill the requirements of the Master of Public Administration and Policy with one additional year of graduate study. This will be achieved by "double counting" of credit hours - the graduate credits hours that the students complete within the proposed 4+1 program will also satisfy the their undergraduate degree requirements. Specific 4+1 program requirements are described below.

To be eligible for the program, a student must:

  • Be enrolled in an undergraduate program at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.
  • Have a 3.2 cumulative GPA or better.
  • Have earned at least 60 credits at the undergraduate level.

Double Counting Credits
The 4+1 Masters program allows current UM-Dearborn undergraduate students to complete both their Master of Public Administration and Policy degrees in an accelerated format. 4+1 students can double-count up to 16 credits of the 500-level courses. The courses eligible to be double-counted include:
PAPP 502
PAPP 505
PAPP 540
PAPP 560
PAPP 580
PAPP 586
PAPP 520
PAPP 523
PAPP 527
PAPP 537
PAPP 545
PAPP 548
PAPP 555
PAPP 561
PAPP 564
PAPP 581
PAPP 582
PAPP 583
PAPP 584
PAPP 585

Below are the 4+1 undergraduate equivalencies/substitutions:

PAPP 505 - PAPP 405
PAPP 527 - PAPP 427
PAPP 537 - ECON 437
PAPP 545 - PAPP 445
PAPP 548 - PAPP 448
PAPP 555 - PAPP 455
PAPP 561 - PAPP 461
PAPP 581 - PAPP 481
PAPP 583 - PAPP 483
PAPP 584 - POL 484
PAPP 585 - PAPP 485
PAPP 586 - PAPP 486

Students enrolled in undergraduate programs can count these courses as electives towards the undergraduate degree. Students who do not have room for any more elective credit in their plan of study can still complete this program, but may end up with more than the minimum number of undergraduate credits required for their program.

At least one additional year of graduate work (at least 21 credits) would be needed to complete the Master in Public Administration and Policy Program.
The double-counted classes appear on both the undergraduate and graduate transcripts. Students are graded based on the graduate grading scheme for all graduate courses elected.

Admission to the Program
1. Participation in the 4+1 program is limited to students who have:

  • completed at least 60 undergraduate credit hours
  • earned a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2

2. Admission to the 4+1 program is at the discretion of the MPAP Program Director.

3. Applicants to the 4+1 program must apply for the Master in Public Administration and Policy Program through the online graduate program application and indicate a "Yes" response to the 4+1 accelerated program question. Students must submit a letter of recommendation from a UM-Dearborn faculty member or instructor and official transcripts.

4. 4+1 students must enroll in the Master in Public Administration and Policy Program for a minimum of two full terms, paying graduate tuition rates. 4+1 students do not dual register and should utilize their graduate registration, not their undergraduate registration, to complete the remaining credits of the graduate program.

5. Students must earn a grade of B or better in each 500 level class double-counted or transferred to the graduate program. Failure to do so may result in removal from the 4+1 program. Students may be given the opportunity to retake courses once they complete their undergraduate degree.

Feasibility of this Program
To complete the 4+1 program in five years students will have to complete any remaining required courses in the Master in Public Administration and Policy Program's plan of study. The following table shows a sample course schedule for the last two years of the accelerated program. In this schedule it is assumed that students take 15 credits of graduate coursework as undergraduates, which leaves them with 21 credits to complete as graduate students. Students taking less than the full 15 credits as undergraduates may require more than one year to complete the Master’s program. The courses shown in the table are only the graduate level courses that would be required to complete the Master in Public Administration and Policy Program. It is assumed students would fill in other requirements for their undergraduate degree as needed during year 4 and will be taking 2 classes both in the fall and in the winter semesters. Alternatively, the student can take 1 class in the fall and one class in the winter semesters during years 3 and 4. 

Sample Course Schedule (MPAP)

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
FallCredit Hours
PAPP 505 Intro to Public Admin 3
PAPP 586 Ethics of Admin & Public Pol 3
 Credit Hours6
PAPP 502 Politics of Public Policy 3
PAPP 560 Admin of Human Resources 3
 Credit Hours6
PAPP 545 Grant Writing & Management 3
 Credit Hours3
PAPP 580 Stat Method for Decisionmaking 3
PAPP 540 Government & Nonprofit Finance 3
 Credit Hours6
PAPP 583 Program Evaluation 3
PAPP 650 Admin & Policy Capstone 3
PAPP 582 Policy Analysis & Development 3
 Credit Hours9
PAPP 537 Behavioral Public Policy 3
PAPP 555 Network Collaboration 3
 Credit Hours6
 Total Credit Hours36

Program Notes
The undergraduate degree for 4+1 students can be conferred upon completion of the undergraduate degree requirements, rather than after completion of the graduate degree.

Major Requirements 

Major Requirements

Required Courses
PAPP 502Politics of Public Policy3
PAPP 505Intro to Public Admin3
PAPP 540Government & Nonprofit Finance3
PAPP 560Admin of Human Resources3
PAPP 580Stat Method for Decisionmaking3
PAPP 586Ethics of Admin & Public Pol3
PAPP 650Admin & Policy Capstone3
Elective Courses (choose 5)15
Topics in Pub Admin & Policy
Govt & Nonprofit Leadership
Administrative Law
Pub Relations for Govt/Nonprof
Behavioral Public Policy
Grant Writing & Management
Network Collaboration
Organization Develop & Theory
Govt & Nonprof Labor Relations
Performance Appraisal
Strategic Mgt for Pub Admin
Policy Analysis & Development
Program Evaluation
Revitalizing Cities
Admin Tech in Organizations
Direct Study in Pub Adm/Policy
Pub Admin/Policy Internship
Total Credit Hours36

Optional Concentrations

12 credits required

Evaluation & Assessment

PAPP 537Behavioral Public Policy3
PAPP 564Performance Appraisal3
PAPP 580Stat Method for Decisionmaking3
PAPP 582Policy Analysis & Development3
PAPP 583Program Evaluation3

Human Resources

PAPP 520Govt & Nonprofit Leadership3
PAPP 555Network Collaboration3
PAPP 560Admin of Human Resources3
PAPP 561Organization Develop & Theory3
PAPP 562Govt & Nonprof Labor Relations3
PAPP 564Performance Appraisal3

Public Policy

PAPP 502Politics of Public Policy3
PAPP 523Administrative Law3
PAPP 537Behavioral Public Policy3
PAPP 582Policy Analysis & Development3
PAPP 584Revitalizing Cities3
PAPP 586Ethics of Admin & Public Pol3

Learning Goals

  1. Decision-Making 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
  2. Human Resource Management to effectively manage human resources within governmental and nonprofit organizations
  3. Financial Resource Management to effectively manage financial resources of governmental and nonprofit organizations
  4. Leadership to understand and exhibit behaviors that enable effective leadership of governmental and nonprofit organizations
  5. Effective Communication to communicate proficiently orally and in writing in a manner that facilitates shared understanding, growth, and high performance
  6. Ethical Standards to act in a manner that exemplifies professional ethical standards for governmental and nonprofit administration
  7. Appreciation for Diversity to demonstrate respect for the diverse cultures, values, and perspectives in society in the development, administration, and provision of public services
  8. Equity to uphold professional standards of equity in the development, administration, and provision of public services
  9. Theory-Practice Links 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

PAPP 500     Topics in Pub Admin & Policy     1 to 3 Credit Hours

This course will examine a major topic or set of related topics in public administration and/or public policy. The topics may change and, therefore, it is possible to take the course more than once. (OC)

Cannot enroll if Level is Graduate

PAPP 502     Politics of Public Policy     3 Credit Hours

This course explores how public policy is made in the United States, with a special emphasis on inter-relationship of policy and politics. We examine how political and other variables converge to create an often maddening, but inescapable, set of contradictions (a.k.a. paradoxes) that both hamper rationality and enable sustainability of our governmental systems. Policy and politics are inseparable. This course will help you understand why and assess the benefits and disadvantages of this reality. (W,YR)

Can enroll if Level is Rackham or Graduate

PAPP 505     Intro to Public Admin     3 Credit Hours

This introductory course provides an overview of topics encountered in government or nonprofit administrator positions. Topics emphasized in the seminar include decision making, finance, human resource, leadership, performance, accountability, organizational responsiveness, and strategic management. (F,YR)

Can enroll if Level is Rackham or Graduate

PAPP 520     Govt & Nonprofit Leadership     3 Credit Hours

This course examines the complex but critical top of leadership in public affairs. It examines leadership theories, styles, and practices and how these affect the way that public and nonprofit organizations operate. (F,AY)

Can enroll if Level is Rackham or Graduate

PAPP 523     Administrative Law     3 Credit Hours

This class will focus on important legal and regulatory issues as they relate to public, education, and nonprofit organizations. It will consider the various court and administrative decisions which affect these. Numerous case situations will be used to facilitate the students' learning.

Can enroll if Class is Graduate

PAPP 527     Pub Relations for Govt/Nonprof     3 Credit Hours

This seminar explores the interaction of government and nonprofit organizations with the public. It is particularly concerned with the way these organizations communicate with citizens and organizations and engage them in their operations and decision-making. (S,AY)

Can enroll if Level is Rackham or Graduate

PAPP 537     Behavioral Public Policy     3 Credit Hours

This course teaches you to apply the insights from behavioral economics and psychology to public policy design. Empirically-based behavioral science offers policy makers the opportunity to decrease the impact of psychological limitations of lazy or boundedly rational individuals. In this course we consider various public policies that are informed by behavioral science research in the areas of retirement savings, household borrowing, health care, energy use and choice of nutrition. (S,AY)

Cannot enroll if Class is
Can enroll if Level is Rackham or Graduate

PAPP 540     Government & Nonprofit Finance     3 Credit Hours

This course provides a critical understanding of finance for governmental and nonprofit organizations. Students examine how revenue is derived and spent, how organizations craft and manage budgets, and how accounting and financial reporting aid operations and transparency. Special attention is given to the ways in which the publicness of government and nonprofit organizations creates significant differences between their finances and those of business. (F, W)

Can enroll if Level is Rackham or Graduate

PAPP 545     Grant Writing & Management     3 Credit Hours

This course prepares students planning careers in public and nonprofit organizations to win and manage grants for their organization. Students will learn how to research and identify strong grant prospects, build relationships with foundation program officers, draft letters of intent and full proposals, and manage grant funds once they are received. Students will also become familiar with public sector risk management associated with grant stewardship. (S,YR)

Can enroll if Level is Rackham or Graduate

PAPP 548     Fundraising     3 Credit Hours

The course provides a thorough grounding in the principles and practice of fundraising. It examines the lifecycle of fundraising from planning your fundraising strategy to reporting to donors about the impact of their support. Broad topics, such as the history of fundraising, ethics of fundraising, and donor behavior will, as well as specific practices, such as developing a case for support and developing relationships with donors will be covered. (F, AY).

Can enroll if Class is Graduate

PAPP 555     Network Collaboration     3 Credit Hours

This course focuses on collaboration as a form of service delivery by government and nonprofits. It examines different types of collaboration across sectors, focusing on collaborative governance. Emphasis is placed on practical skills such as designing, managing, and evaluating collaborations, but critical conceptual aspects of network collaboration are also addressed. NOTE: The online course may require some synchronous participation in simulations and group exercises; dates and time will be determined by student groups. (S, AY).

Can enroll if Level is Graduate

PAPP 560     Admin of Human Resources     3 Credit Hours

This seminar will examine human resource administration activities in public, educational and nonprofit settings. Issues such as recruiting, selection, planning, performance appraisal, contracting and collective bargaining will be related to the overall administrative activities. Emphasis will be placed on the connections between human resource issues in public, education, and nonprofit organizations.

Can enroll if Class is Graduate

PAPP 561     Organization Develop & Theory     3 Credit Hours

This course focuses on organizational change. Students will learn why and how organizations pursue planned change to improve outcomes. They will explore topics of organization theory, such as organization culture, structure, power, and environmental influences on organizations, as well as behavioral science theories on individual and group behavior. Students will apply this knowledge in examining specific techniques used to stimulate and guide organizational change. (F,AY)

Can enroll if Level is Graduate

PAPP 562     Govt & Nonprof Labor Relations     3 Credit Hours

The seminar considers conceptual and practical aspects of management-labor relations in public and nonprofit settings, with an emphasis on labor unions, collective bargaining, and civil service. It also develops initial competency in the various activities associated with collective bargained situations. (OC)

Can enroll if Level is Graduate

PAPP 564     Performance Appraisal     3 Credit Hours

Evaluating the performance of employees is crucial to the motivation of the individual and the success of the organization. Evaluating the performance of organizations helps leaders direct resources to areas where they can have the most impact. This class will consider the available methods for assessing individual and organizational performance in public and nonprofit settings. (S,AY)

Can enroll if Level is Graduate

PAPP 580     Stat Method for Decisionmaking     3 Credit Hours

This course introduces students to descriptive and basic inferential statistics and how organizational leaders can use them to aid decision making. (F,W)

Can enroll if Level is Rackham or Graduate

PAPP 581     Strategic Mgt for Pub Admin     3 Credit Hours

This course examines concepts, tools, and actions used by administrators to ensure that their organizational resources are continually devoted to accomplishing the organization's mission. Crafting and communicating effective missions and visions, developing and implementing strategic plans, measuring & assessing performance, monitoring environmental influences, conducting needs assessments, and incorporating mission-oriented criteria into financial and human resources management are examples of the topics covered. (F, OC).

Can enroll if Level is Graduate

PAPP 582     Policy Analysis & Development     3 Credit Hours

Policy formulation involves two different activities: 1) identifying and assessing alternative courses of action, i.e., deciding what, if anything, needs to be done about a problem; and 2) developing the policy, regulation or law that will carry an agreement in principle into effect. Both aspects of policy development will be covered in the course. (W, AY).

Can enroll if Level is Graduate

PAPP 583     Program Evaluation     3 Credit Hours

This class will examine procedures for evaluating programs in public, education and nonprofit settings. The concern will be to examine the various techniques available to determine whether a program is doing what it was intended to do. Students will utilize various techniques in examining a variety of case situations. (W, AY).

Can enroll if Class is Graduate

PAPP 584     Revitalizing Cities     3 Credit Hours

What have we done to address decline in city neighborhoods and downtowns? Why? How has it worked? Why? What's the hope for the future? This course uses a public policy lens to engage students in a quest for answers to these questions. (W, AY).

Can enroll if Level is Rackham or Graduate

PAPP 585     Admin Tech in Organizations     3 Credit Hours

We examine strategies and practices used by government and nonprofit administrators to plan for and manage technology effectively within their organizations. (F, OC).

Can enroll if Level is Graduate

PAPP 586     Ethics of Admin & Public Pol     3 Credit Hours

This course critically examines ethical issues encountered by public administrators and policymakers. It examines ethical considerations related to managing people and other organizational resources and designing and implementing public policy. It seeks to help students identify, understand, and deal effectively with the ethical dimensions of leadership in the public and nonprofit sectors. (F,W)

Can enroll if Level is Graduate

PAPP 650     Admin & Policy Capstone     3 Credit Hours

This "capstone" seminar involves the assessing MPAP degree candidates' knowledge, skills and abilities in core program areas. Students complete capstone projects, finalize and present professional portfolios, and assess their experience in the MPAP program. (F,W)

Can enroll if Level is Graduate

PAPP 690     Direct Study in Pub Adm/Policy     1 to 3 Credit Hours

This course will permit students to explore subjects not currently offered in regular course but within the capacity of existing faculty and under that faculty member's supervision. To be elected only with the permission of the program director and an instructor. (OC)

Can enroll if Level is Graduate

PAPP 720     Pub Admin/Policy Internship     1 to 3 Credit Hours

Students who lack the necessary experience in responsible administration will be afforded the opportunity to gain the experience in the internship. The class and the number of hours will be arranged to fit the needs of the students as determined by their advisors. Credits for this course do not count towards the minimum credits required for core or elective courses to complete the MPAP program. (F,W,S)

Can enroll if Level is Graduate