The mission of Jacksonville State University’s MPA Program is to provide a diverse student population with the knowledge and core competencies to become effective public administrators. Through the use of a standardized public administration curriculum and interdisciplinary cooperation, our program is able to prepare students for leadership roles in a variety of public and non-profit organizations. Utilizing traditional classroom and on-line formats, our program is able to provide quality graduate education that promotes the values and ideals of public service to all students.
Deadline dates for applications and receipt of all required application materials are:
|July 1||Fall Admission|
|November 1||Spring Admission|
|April 1||Summer Admission|
Any exceptions to these deadlines must be granted by the graduate program chair.
Application Materials Required for the MPA with a Concentration in Political Science
Applicants for the MPA must submit all of the following documentation to Graduate Admissions:
Jacksonville State University
700 Pelham Road North
Jacksonville, Alabama 36265-1602
- Completed JSU Graduate Application for Admission.
- Non-refundable $35.00 application processing fee.
- Official transcripts from all colleges/universities with degrees posted. (Students who have previously attended JSU do not need to request a transcript from the university.)
- Official test scores on the General Test of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), the Miller Analogies Test (MAT), or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).
Only applicants who do not meet the criteria for unconditional admission and have a cumulative undergraduate GPA between 2.75 and 2.99 must submit test scores for the GRE, MAT, or GMAT to be considered for conditional admission.
- Three Graduate Reference Forms completed by individuals who can provide qualitative assessment of the applicant’s potential for success in graduate coursework. Reference forms will be submitted electronically. Instructions for submission will be sent through email to the applicant upon submission of the online graduate application.
- A statement of purpose/interest that shows why the MPA degree is important to the applicant, what the applicant will bring to the program, and how the degree will benefit the applicant’s career aspirations.
- A professional resume, including academic history, employment, and voluntary/community work. Applicants with at least one year of full-time (or two years of part-time) administrative experience working for a federal, state, or local government, or a nonprofit organization, must include this experience on their resumes. Applicants should also provide a letter of reference from the federal, state, or local government agency or nonprofit organization. This letter must be on agency letterhead stating the job title, dates of employment, and nature of administrative experience and responsibilities.
- International student applicants must see the International Student Applicants section of this catalog for other application and enrollment requirements.
Admission Requirements for the MPA with a Concentration in Political Science
A particular undergraduate major is not specified for admission to this program.
To be considered for unconditional admission, applicants must meet one of the following:
- A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.00 or higher on a 4.00 scale or
- A cumulative graduate GPA of 3.00 or higher on a 4.00 scale for applicants holding a graduate degree from an accredited institution
- Applicants who do not meet the criteria for unconditional admission and have a cumulative undergraduate GPA between 2.75 and 2.99 must submit test scores for the GRE, MAT, or GMAT to be considered for conditional admission.
- Applicants may be eligible for conditional admission to the program with a GRE mean score equal to or greater than 145, a MAT score equal to or greater than 375, or a GMAT score equal to or greater than 400.
Applicants who are granted conditional admission must achieve a GPA of at least 3.00 on the first 12 graduate hours attempted. Failure to meet these conditions will result in the student being dropped from graduate studies.
Minimum Requirements for the MPA with a Concentration in Political Science
An overall 3.00 GPA is required on all coursework attempted for the master’s degree. Transfer credit cannot be used to raise the GPA to the required 3.00.
|Required Public Administration Courses|
|PA 500||Foundations of Public Administration||3|
|PA 501||The Analysis of Policy||3|
|PA 502||Research Methods in Public Administration||3|
|PA 504||Administration Leadership and Ethics||3|
|PA 531||Public Personnel Administration||3|
|PA 532||Public Finance Administration||3|
|PA 540||Organizational Theory and Bureaucratic Structure||3|
|PA 546||Diversity in the Workplace||3|
|PA 597||Public Affairs Internship||3|
|Political Science Concentration Courses|
|Select twelve semester hours of the following:||12|
|The American Executive|
Political Science course by advisement 1
39 Graduate Semester Hours are Required for this Degree
The remaining graduate course (as noted above) will be selected from any of the political science classes for which students have met all prerequisites. This will be determined for each student based on interaction with their Political Science concentration advisor or the MPA Director.
- All degree candidates without a year of full-time (or two years of part-time) administrative experience in a federal, state, or local government agency or nonprofit organization must register for three semester hours of internship credit. The course PA 597 Public Affairs Internship (3) requires 112 hours of work in the student’s internship area during the semester in which the course is taken. Students may complete internship responsibilities in a government agency (federal, state, or local) or a nonprofit organization. Upon successful completion of the internship, students receive a passing grade for PA 597 Public Affairs Internship (3) (i.e., a Pass/Fail course).
- Students taking the PA 597 Public Affairs Internship (3) must enroll in the course during their last semester of coursework.
- Students who have at least one year full-time or two years of part-time prior administrative experience with a government agency (federal, state, or local) or nonprofit organization may request a waiver of the internship requirement. (Length of relevant administrative experience is considered at the time applicants seek admission to the MPA program.) A student with appropriate administrative experience may submit a letter from his/her employer to the MPA Program Director or Graduate Student Adviser. This letter should include the time frame the student has worked for the organization and the student’s primary duties. Once the letter is received, an internship waiver will be considered. The approval authority for the internship waiver is the MPA Program Director.
- The overall goal of the internship requirement is to ensure that all MPA students have appropriate prior administrative experience. This experience ensures that MPA students have acquired sufficient exposure to the public sector and its values prior to the awarding of the MPA degree.
Graduation and Comprehensive Exam
A comprehensive exam or capstone project is required for this degree; please see the graduate advisor for full details. All students must apply for graduation by the given deadline of the semester in which they plan to graduate. Please see the Graduation and Comprehensive Exam section of this catalog for more information.