Curriculum for MPA | Political Science | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Liberal Arts

students at morris library


As an MPA student, you must complete a minimum of 40 semester hours of academic work.  This consists of 28 hours of required coursework including a 1 semester hour pre-professional seminar in public administration and a 3 hour internship (POLS 595) for pre-service students.  All students must completed and successfully pass a comprehensive examination to graduate from the program.

Students take 12 semester hours of elective credit.  At least 21 semester hours (excluding the 3 hours of internship) of graduate level coursework must be taken from courses offered within the Political Science Department.

Our program works closely with its advisory board, which is staffed with local, state, federal, and non-profit professionals from around the country.  MPA students and faculty meet with the advisory board twice a year to ensure curriculum and extracurricular activities effectively prepare students for a career in public service.

All MPA students, with the exception of those concentrating in aviation, take the following courses for 28 hours of credit.  This curriculum reflects NASPAA accreditation requirements. Students concentrating in aviation administration take POLS 557 Financial Administration instead of POLS 539 Program Evaluation.

Required Courses for All Specializations:

  • POLS 503 (3 Credits) Research Methods for Public Administrators
  • POLS 540 (3 Credits) Seminar in Public Management
  • POLS 542 (3 Credits) Public Budgeting and Fiscal Management
  • POLS 543 (3 Credits) Human Resource Management
  • POLS 545 (3 Credits) Organizational Theory and Behavior
  • POLS 546 (3 Credits) Leadership in Public Administration
  • POLS 594 (1 Credits) Pre-professional Seminar in Public Administration
  • POLS 595 (3 Credits) Internship in Public Affairs (for pre-service students only)

Required Courses that Differ between All Specializations:

General Track:

  • POLS 535 (3 Credits) Ethical Foundation of Public Service
  • POLS 539 (3 Credits) Program Analysis and Evaluation


  • POLS 535 (3 Credits) Ethical Foundation of Public Service
  • POLS 557 (3 Credits) Public Financial Admin

Joint MPA/JD:

  • POLS 539 (3 Credits) Program Analysis and Evaluation

Electives for All Specializations:

General Track:

  • 12 elective credits.


  • AVM/POLS 551-3 (3 Credits) Aviation Policy, Law and Regulation
  • AVM/POLS 552-3 (3 Credits) Advanced Airport Administration
  • AVM/POLS 553-3 (3 Credits) Advanced Aviation Safety Administration
  • AVM/POLS 554-3 (3 Credits) Aviation Planning
  • AVM/POLS 555-3 (3 Credits) International Aviation

Joint MPA/JD:

  • 15 elective credits.

View MPA Course Chart for Students of All Specializations below: