The M.A. in Public Affairs program is designed for full- and part-time students who are seeking, or are currently engaged in, professional careers as administrators, project directors, staff analysts, supervisors in government and human service agency delivery systems, trade unions, and interest groups and teachers of social studies. This M.A. provides students with interdisciplinary education in “core” public administration skills such as policy analysis, administrative management, budgeting, and public administration. This program is also designed for those students interested in international development and comparative administration or becoming Foreign Service professionals. Students choose one of the six following areas of specialization: Local Government Management, Human Resources Management, Planning and Regional Development, Human Services Administration, Criminal Justice Administration, or International Development Administration. Descriptions of each of these specializations are below.
The requirements for admission are: (1) an undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 2.8 or better; (2) undergraduate coursework in political science, economics, and public or international affairs, or equivalent professional experiences (in some cases this may require specific remedial coursework that will not count toward degree requirements); (3) for international students, a TOEFL score of 550 or better.
The Master of Arts in Public Affairs requires 36 or 39 graduate credits, including a thesis or a practicum. Students develop a core competence in methodology and in public administration, and also select one of the six interdisciplinary field specializations.
Students must complete both of the following two courses:*
PLSC 500 Research Methods in Political Science*PLSC 674 Analytical Techniques
plus one additional course from the following:
CRIM 605 Research MethodsGEOG 612 Quantitative Techniques in Geography and Regional PlanningGSR 615 Elements of ResearchSOC 761 Microcomputing Applications in Sociology
* A student whose undergraduate transcript shows a “B” or better in a political science research methods course and who passes a research methods exam administered by the Political Science Department may petition the MAPA coordinator for exemption from PLSC 500.
Students must complete the following four courses:
PLSC 570 Introduction to Public AdministrationPLSC 666 Public Policy AnalysisPLSC 671 Seminar in Public AdministrationPLSC 668 Public Sector Financial Administration
A. Local Government Management: 15 credits
Field Core: 9 creditsPLSC 554 Metropolitan ProblemsPLSC 555 Intergovernmental RelationsPLSC 575 Public Sector Leadership Accountability
Electives: 6 creditsGEOG 532 Urban GeographyGEOG 534 Political GeographyGEOG 564 Land Use PolicyELR 621 Labor RelationsPLSC 631/Human Resource Management in the Public SectorELR 631
B. Human Resources Management: 15 credits
Field Core: 9 creditsELR 610 Employee Rights LawPLSC 631/Human Resource Management in the Public SectorELR 631ELR 632 Compensation Administration
Electives: 6 creditsELR 526 Case Studies in Labor-Management RelationsELR 622 Discrimination in EmploymentELR 641 Contract AdministrationELR 651 Conflict Resolution
C. Planning and Regional Development: 15 credits
Field Core: 6 creditsGEOG 550 Introduction to PlanningGEOG 552 Planning Methods
Electives: 9 creditsGEOG 531 Population GeographyGEOG 554 Planning DesignGEOG 558 Land Use LawGEOG 564 Land Use PolicyGEOG 568 Planning TheoryGEOG 614 Thought and Philosophy in Geography and PlanningGEOG 623 Regional Development
D. Human Services Administration: 15 credits
Field Core: 9 creditsSOC 711 Human Services AdministrationSOC 754 Social InequalitySOC 756 Social Change
Electives: 6 creditsSOC 710 Sociology of Human ServicesSOC 721 Sociology of Health CareSOC 732 Addiction and the FamilySOC 740 Community Development and Social PolicySOC 757 Aging and Society
E. Criminal Justice Administration: 15 credits
Field Core: 9 creditsCRIM 600 Criminological TheoryCRIM 610 Legal Issues in CriminologyCRIM 632 Organizational Dynamics within the Criminal Justice System
Electives: 6 creditsCRIM 601 ProseminarCRIM 765 Criminal Justice Planning and EvaluationCRIM 770 Seminar in Contemporary Corrections
F. International Development Administration: 15 credits
Field Core: 6 creditsPLSC 521 International OrganizationsPLSC589 Developing Nations
Electives: 9 credits (at least 3 credits must be at 600 level)PLSC 520 International LawPLSC 587 Latin American Politicsor PLSC 582 African Politicsor PLSC 583 Asian Politicsor PLSC 584 Middle East PoliticsECON 545 International TradeECON 546 International PaymentsGEOG 531 Population GeographyGEOG 623 Regional DevelopmentELR 621 Labor Relations in the Public SectorSOC 710 Sociology of Human ServicesSOC 711 Human Services Administration
Students must complete one of the following:
A. PLSC 795 ThesisB. PLSC 690 Practicum
The summer practicum combines significant professional work experience in an agency appropriate to the student’s field with a concurrent seminar in public administration practice. Students are expected to complete a research project and a series of administrative assignments as part of the practicum. For non-traditional students and mid-career professionals, the focus of the practicum will be to create and conduct field-based research.
David D. Chambers — Ph.D., University of Illinois (Political Science), 1990. Joined IUP Political Science Department in 1988. Teaching and research areas and interests include American Public Policy, Public Administration, the Presidency, Intergovernmental Relations, and Research Methods.
Dighton Mcglachlan Fiddner, Jr. — Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh (Public and International Affairs). Began teaching for IUP in 1999; joined IUP Political Science Department full time in 2004. Teaching and research areas and interests include World Politics, Information Security Policy, Intelligence Process, National Security, and Military Affairs. Dr. Fiddner is the advisor to the Political Science Student Leadership Committee.
Mary Jane Kuffner Hirt — Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh (Public Administration), 1986. Joined IUP Political Science Department in 1992. Teaching and research areas and interests include State and Local Politics, Public Sector Leadership and Ethics, and Research Methods. Dr. Hirt is the advisor to Pi Sigma Alpha.
Steven F. Jackson — Ph.D., University of Michigan (Comparative Politics and World Politics), 1994. Joined IUP Political Science Department in 1994. Teaching and research areas and interests include Comparative Government, International Relations, and Asia/Pacific Rim Politics.
John F. Sitton — Ph.D., Boston University. Joined IUP Political Science Department in 1987. Teaching and research areas and interests include Political Theory—Classical, Modern, and American; Marxism; and American Politics. Dr. Sitton is the department’s chairperson.
Gwendolyn Torges — Ph.D., University of Arizona (Political Science), 2004. Joined IUP Political Science Department in 1998. Teaching and research areas and interests include Constitutional Law, Judicial Process, American Government, Federal Indian Law, and International Studies. Dr. Torges is the university’s Pre-Law director and is the co-advisor to the Political Science Student Leadership Committee.
Sarah Wheeler — Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh (Public Affairs and International Affairs), 2001. Began teaching at IUP in the Political Science Department in 2001 and joined the department full time in 2002. Teaching and research areas and interests include Latin American Politics, Developing Nations, and World Politics. Dr. Wheeler is the advisor to Pi Gamma Mu and the department's graduate coordinator.
PLSC 500 Research Methods in Political Science: 3 creditsProvides students with a working knowledge of the statistical techniques commonly applied to the study of political phenomena and an understanding of the basic assumptions, limitations, and theoretical foundations of these various techniques. Focuses on measurement principles, research design and data collection, univariate distributions, sampling, and bivariate analysis.
PLSC 520 International Law: 3 creditsStudy of the development, nature, and function of international law, including recent trends.
PLSC 521 International Organizations: 3 creditsInquiry into the purposes, structures, and actions of contemporary international political organizations, such as the United Nations, regional, and functional organizations.
PLSC 550 The Presidency: 3 creditsExamines the office of the President with attention to constitutional foundations, evolution, structure, powers, and functions. Comparisons are made between presidential and parliamentary systems and between the offices of the president and governor.
PLSC 551 Legislative Process: 3 creditsLegislative process in the U.S. with emphasis on Congress. Focus on organization and function of legislative bodies, with American legislative institutions compared with those of other nations.
PLSC 554 Metropolitan Problems: 3 creditsAnalyses multiplicity of problems facing our metropolitan areas, such as urban renewal, shrinking tax base, federal aid to cities, subsidized mass transit, municipal authorities and political consolidation.
PLSC 555 Inter-governmental Relations: 3 creditsExplores the characteristics of the federal system of government with emphasis on theories, origins, institutions, and problems in intergovernmental relations in the U.S. Federal system.
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