The capstone seminar option includes a thesis, or a major research project or paper in lieu of the final comprehensive examination, which has no credit hours. Those who elect this option may reduce their electives by three semester hours to accommodate the seminar option credit. This option is desirable for those students who wish to focus on specific subject matter of an interdisciplinary nature or who would like to continue their education at a higher level. Students electing this option must use this as one of the graduate electives.
In addition to the institutional and degree level learning outcomes objectives, the Master of Public Administration seeks the following specific learning outcomes of its graduates:
* Apply leading theories and approaches to managing public organizations and administering federal, state, and local levels.
* Test the concepts, theories and methodologies to conduct research in the public sector.
* Evaluate the philosophical and practical issues related to ethical decision-making in the public sector.
* Formulate and articulate positions and issues that intersect the dynamics of politics, policy, economics, administration, and management in the public sector.
* Compare and contrast the government and private sector budgeting process and funding of specific government programs and activities.
* Analyze the role of federal administrative organizations - to include Congress, the president, the courts, and interest groups - in the public policy development and implementation.
* Assess the emerging trend and implications of the private and not-for-profit sectors providing government services.
* Formulate a strategy for developing a needs assessment, outcome expectations, program outcome evaluations, and impact assessments.