Courses Master of Public Administration

Master of Public Administration

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Eight Required Courses

32 quarter credits

PSL7010, PSL7020, and PSL7030 taken in a prescribed sequence.

21st-Century Communication and Leadership

This course begins the three-course sequence designed to enhance professional communication, scholarly competencies, and leadership effectiveness. Learners apply theoretical models of leadership and interpersonal relations to practical situations in the workplace. Learners also use contemporary technology to communicate effectively as scholars and professionals in real-world situations.  Must be taken during the learner’s first quarter. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer or prior learning assessment.

4 quarter credits
PSL7020 *
Professional Practice and Collaboration in a Diverse and Dynamic World

Learners in this course examine a variety of social and professional situations to build their skills in effective and creative collaboration across an organization. Learners analyze and benchmark best practices from an organizational, team, and individual perspective to create an environment of inclusivity and collaborative results. In addition, learners examine conflict management, diversity management, group dynamics, cultural competence, ethical decision making, followership, and social responsibility. Prerequisite(s): Completion of or concurrent registration in PSL7010.

4 quarter credits
PSL7030 *
Introduction to Critical Analysis and Research

This course reinforces the leadership knowledge and skills gained during previous coursework, and enables learners to be more effective consumers of data and to better utilize research in applied and academic endeavors. Learners develop and demonstrate skills to evaluate source quality, credibility, and relevance to practice; assess research concepts and strengthen their ability to critically analyze; and apply information literacy, research ethics, and methods of inquiry. Prerequisite(s): PSL7010, completion of or concurrent registration in PSL7020.

4 quarter credits
PUAD7015 *
Theories and Concepts in Public Administration

Learners in this course investigate the structures, practices, and theoretical underpinnings of public administration. Learners acquire and demonstrate public administration knowledge and skills to provide high-quality professional services to the communities they serve. Prerequisite(s): PSL7020, completion of or concurrent registration in PSL7030. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer. 

4 quarter credits
PUAD7025 *
Ethics in the Public Sector

In this course, learners examine and apply the theoretical and conceptual foundations of various ethical models and use them to analyze and evaluate practices in public administration. Learners also identify ways to ensure public sector agencies act in an ethical and legal manner, while ensuring the integrity of all public sector practices. Prerequisite(s): PSL7030, completion of or concurrent registration in PUAD7015. 

4 quarter credits
PUAD7035 *
Public Sector Policy Analysis

Learners in this course gain knowledge of differing theories associated with organizational structure, organizational environments, and organizational leadership in public sector settings. Learners also determine ways to effectively apply theories and skills needed to collaborate with diverse populations; manage human, technological, information, financial, political, and networking resources; analyze and formulate appropriate responses to public administration, public health, and public safety issues; communicate clearly and effectively; and maintain professional ethics and integrity. Prerequisite(s): PSL7030 and PUAD7015; or PSY8002. 

4 quarter credits
PUAD7045 *
Public Sector Budgeting

In this course, learners gain and implement skills needed to be sound stewards of public resources. Learners examine revenue streams used to fund government agencies. Learners also apply practices used to develop budgets that mirror public priorities and processes used to ensure funds are appropriately allocated. Prerequisite(s): PSL7030, PUAD7015.

4 quarter credits
PUAD7095 *
Integrative Project for Public Administration

In this course, learners apply the collective materials from their program into a facilitated research project. Learners conduct a cost-benefit analysis of a specific policy, project, or program in the public sector and demonstrate their mastery of the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in a real-world environment. For MS in Public Administration learners only. Prerequisite(s): Completion of all required and elective coursework. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer or prior learning assessment. 

4 quarter credits

Four Elective Courses

16 quarter credits

Recommended elective courses:

Issues and Innovations in Human Resource Management

In this course, learners examine and practice innovation, advocacy, organizational transformation, and change management. Learners investigate the foundational elements of human resource management and demonstrate their knowledge of current issues related to human resource management.

4 quarter credits
Project Management Framework

In this course, learners gain and demonstrate knowledge of project management roles, project scope, time management, and organizational structures. Learners assess various theories as well as communication and collaboration strategies. In addition, learners examine and apply the foundational elements of project management and identify current issues related to project management.

4 quarter credits
Employee Relations in Human Resource Management

Learners in this course develop the skills to effectively coach, mentor, and resolve conflict. Learners examine and apply the foundational elements and skills for human resource management development, intervention strategies, employee empowerment, and strategic change.

4 quarter credits
Project Management Principles and Practices

Learners in this course analyze project management within public administration, private sector organizations that provide public services, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies. Learners apply project management skills across varied sectors and demonstrate their understanding of project design, planning, and innovation.

4 quarter credits
Labor and Employment Relations

In this course, learners analyze labor relations and issues in employment relations that involve sectors of union employees and non-union employees. Learners develop and implement resolution methods for labor and employment disputes, job analysis and evaluation, compensation, and benefits policy.

4 quarter credits
Project Management Risks, Changes, and Challenges

In this course, learners develop their knowledge of project management roles as well as identify and prioritize project risks, communication and change management for project scope, and industry challenges.

4 quarter credits
Human Resource Information Systems and Communications

Learners in this course analyze the principles of information systems and resources with an emphasis on communication. Learners investigate current information systems and how these can impact project management.

4 quarter credits
Project Management Quality and Control

Learners in this course analyze quality assurance concepts, planning, control systems, and tools and techniques. Learners also apply their knowledge of the project management process and how it ensures effective communication and collaboration as well as high quality projects.

4 quarter credits


Choose any graduate course(s).


48 quarter credits 

* Denotes courses that have prerequisite(s). Refer to the descriptions for further details. 


If you have elective courses yet to satisfy in your program, you may be able to add a concentration and satisfy those degree requirements at the same time, with no additional program cost or time commitment. Concentrations available for this program include:

  • Human Resource Management
  • Project Management

What can I expect?

Each unit consists of readings, discussions, and other activities you will be expected to complete throughout the week. Assignments are due on Sundays, though not every course requires an assignment each week.

In each course, you will receive a detailed scoring guide that describes expectations for every graded assignment.

Grades are based on your participation in weekly reading discussions and completion of assignments. You will also be assessed on your ability to demonstrate an understanding of expected outcomes for your program or specialization. These outcomes are based on the needs and performance standards of your field or discipline.

Learn more about online learning at Capella.

Transfer Credits

There are many ways to reduce tuition costs, including transferring credits which may help save time and money. You can transfer up to 12 credits into this program.

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Whether you're completing additional credits for your own education, want to see if online learning is right for you, or are simply interested in a specific topic, you can enroll in many of Capella's online courses without committing to a degree program. We recommend speaking with an enrollment counselor to discuss your goals and ensure that the credits you earn now may be applicable to a Capella degree program.

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