master of arts in Public service

With a strong emphasis on social responsibility and civic engagement, the master of arts in public service is a graduate degree program that gives students the skills necessary to confront the challenges of today's metropolitan environment and its diverse populations. The program is designed to create effective and compassionate leaders. Unique to Public Service program is its focus on social justice, which provides an ethical and service-oriented anchor to our students' work on nonprofit sector organizations, health care administration, urban public policy approaches, and governmental-nonprofit sector relations.

  • Professors and instructors bring a combination of advanced academic training and practical experience. Through their course work and integrated learning options, students learn to apply theories and approaches from their classes to the practical settings of the nonprofit sector or health care administration workplace.
  • Students receive hands-on training in public service in one of the following areas of specialization, designed to match students' professional interests:

  • Students must choose one of the two specializations above.
  • Full-time students taking three courses per semester can complete the program in as few as two years. Part-time students, on average, complete the program in three to four years. Students must complete the program in six years.
  • In addition to class time, students spend an average of 12 hours per week on course work outside of class for every 3-credit course.


Course Work

Students must complete a minimum of 36 credit hours (12 courses), including:

    • 12 credit hours (four courses) of required core course work.*
      • PUBS 6000: History & Theory of Leadership & Ethics
      • PUBS 6025: Research Methods

        or POSC 6101: Contemporary Political Research

      • PUBS 6205: Urban Policy & Public Service Administration

        or POSC 6954: Research Seminar in American Politics**

      • PUBS 6210: Ethics in Public Service
    • 12 credit hours (four courses) of specialization-focused course work.
    • 6 credit hours (two courses) of elective course work.
    • One of two 6-credit-hour, integrated learning optionsa professional project or a comprehensive examination.
      • Students selecting the professional project option will take PUBS 6998 (Professional Project in Public Service) plus one additional 3-credit course related to the professional project. Students choosing this option must submit a project outline to be approved by their program adviser and by the Graduate School.
      • Students selecting the comprehensive examination option will take 6 credits of additional course work followed by a comprehensive exam. Students typically take the comprehensive exam during their final semester in the program.

    * Depending on your selected specialization, these courses may vary. Please check with your academic adviser for specifics.

    ** Students taking POSC 6954 must choose the section subtitled "Urban Public Policy."


    Learning Outcomes

    • Apply public service concepts to a community issue.
    • Identify ethical issues and apply ethical principles, values, theories or frameworks to public service practice.
    • Demonstrate the cultural and communication skills necessary to interact in a reciprocal exchange that honors the human dignity of all people.
    • Apply theory and principles of group dynamics that assist in solving complex urban problems.
    • Apply quantitative and qualitative research methods to issues in public service.


    Contact Information

    • Prospective students interested in the Public Service M.A. program are encouraged to contact the program's Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Lowell Barrington. Dr. Barrington can be reached at 414-288-5234 or by email.