Jun 16, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 2012 - 2013 
Graduate Catalog 2012 - 2013 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Public Administration, MPA

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Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs

Urban Affairs 231
(216) 687-2136

Jennifer Alexander, Graduate Program Director

Areas of Study

Public Management (General Public Management, Nonprofit Management, City Management,
Public Safety and Justice Management)
Economic Development
Health Care Administration (Public Health Management, Long-Term Care Administration)

Public Financial Management


The Master of Public Administration program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). Additionally, the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, which houses the MPA program, has been designated a Center of Excellence in Public Administration by Cleveland State University. The MPA program also was ranked second in the nation by U.S. News and World Report in the area of city management/urban policy.


The Master of Public Administration program’s mission is to advance intellectual and administrative leadership in public administration by preparing students to assume the challenges of public service. Course work gives a diverse student body a foundation in general public administration and specialized skills grounded in one of the program’s areas of expertise. It also helps students to discover, construct, interpret, and disseminate knowledge and understanding about the practice of public affairs. The MPA program also serves the Northeast Ohio region, including the professional community, by extending intellectual resources and applying knowledge.

The MPA program has built this mission on a commitment to nationally recognized excellence in public administration education and research, to the development of leadership in government, to public service for solutions to urban problems, and to an enhanced understanding of public policy and management in a global and diverse society. Through its activities, the Master of Public Administration program supports the educational, research, and public-service missions of the
Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs and Cleveland State University.

The Master of Public Administration program is multidisciplinary, drawing on the faculties of the Monte Ahuja College of Business, the Levin College of Urban Affairs, and the Department of Political Science. The principal objective of the program is to prepare its graduates for administrative positions in government, nonprofit, and public-service organizations. The program provides a broad educational base, as well as specific administrative techniques as preparation for positions carrying administrative responsibility. The program is designed both for in-service students and recent college graduates seeking careers in government and public-service organizations. Most courses are offered in the evening and a few on weekends, allowing students to take classes after work hours.

Current faculty information can be located on the Cleveland State University Faculty Profile page.

For updated MPA program information, visit the Web site at http://urban.csuohio.edu/academics/graduate/mpa/

Research Units

Students have the opportunity to work with the faculty and staff in the research, public-service, and training centers of the Levin College. See http://urban.csuohio.edu/urban_center/ for information on the Levin College facilities.

College Computing and Technology

Two general purpose computer labs are located in UR 39 and UR 40. Software available in the labs include applications for word processing, spreadsheet analysis, database, computer aided presentation, Geographic Information Systems, ArcInfo, Internet access, and statistical analysis. The labs provide access to laser printers for high-quality black-and-white output, a color laser printer for GIS maps, and a color scanner for capture of graphics. Each lab is equipped with a permanently mounted LCD projector for teaching computer-based classes. Levin College students are provided with disk space on the networked server for conveniently storing class work and for creating personal web pages. The Interactive Media Lab (IML) is available for production of DVDs, CD-ROMs, video/audio streams, and advanced graphics. Digital video/audio capture equipment is available. The IML is equipped with Apple Macintosh computers and a Quicktime streaming server. Additional computing information may be found at the College Web site at urban.csuohio.edu.

Career Information

The Levin College—through the Office of Student Services and the faculty— provides a variety of services related to career planning to help students and graduates find employment related to their program of study. Current job postings are maintained in the Office of Student Services and on the College Web site. Cleveland State’s Career Services Center also provides graduate students and alumni with career advice and career-development assistance, including resume review. See the section on Campus Services and Programs: Career Services in the front of this Catalog.

Financial Assistance

The Levin College provides graduate assistantships on a competitive basis to full-time students. Although the deadline for receipt of graduate-assistantship applications is March 1, fullest consideration is given to those who have submitted all application materials for the MPA program by February 1.

The College also offers paid internships and tuition grants to eligible degree-seeking students. Application forms are available from the Levin College Office of Student Services. See also the section on Graduate Assistantships  in this Catalog.

Admission Information

Applicants to the Master of Public Administration Program must meet the minimum requirements established by the College of Graduate Studies and the MPA program faculty:

  1. A minimum undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0.
  2. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, with an average Verbal and Quantitative score at the 40th percentile or above, and an Analytical Writing score of at least 4.0.

    Students with a graduate degree from an accredited college or university are exempted from this requirement.

    The LSAT may be substituted for the GRE only by JD/MPA applicants. Other standardized admission examinations may be substituted at the discretion of the Program Director.
  3. Two letters of recommendation, using the Recommendation Form for Graduate Admission (available online at (http://www.csuohio.edu/gradcollege/admissions/pdf/recommend.pdf).
  4. Non-native English speakers must demonstrate English-language proficiency as indicated in the front of this bulletin under “Admission Requirements for International Students and Permanent Residents”.

Apply Now: http://www.csuohio.edu/gradcollege/admissions/apply.html

Types of Admission

The academic status of a graduate degree-seeking applicant is determined after a review of admission credentials. Graduate Program Committees, in concurrence with the Office of Graduate Admissions, may recommend admission of applicants as regular or conditional graduate students. Please refer to the Admission to the College of Graduate Studies  section of this catalog for information on admission categories.

Program Requirements

The curriculum for the MPA program consists of forty-two to forty-six credit hours of study, depending on the method of degree completion. The program is divided into core courses, a specialization, electives, and a Public Administration Capstone.

Core Courses

The core of the MPA curriculum (16 credit hours) is required of all students and consists of the following:


Students in the Economic Development track must also take UST 617/PSC 605 - Public Administration and the Political Process .

An assessment of quantitative skills is required for all MPA students, regardless of admission type. This assessment determines whether students must enroll in UST 501: Fundamentals of Applied Reasoning.

Areas of Specialization

All students complete a minimum of three courses in an area of specialization. The  areas of specialization and related options are listed below. See the Graduate Programs Advisor for specific curriculum plans.

  • Public Management (General Public Management, Nonprofit Management, Public Safety Management)
  • Economic Development
  • Health Care Administration (Health Care Management, Long-Term Care Administration)
  • Public Financial Management

Elective Credit

All students are required to take elective courses chosen with the approval of the Academic Coordinator of their track specialization. The combined hours of core, track, and electives must be at least forty-two credit hours. The electives are designed to enhance current skills, to fill gaps in substantive areas, or to develop an additional concentration. For example, students may take additional courses in Human Resources Management, Public Finance and Budgeting, Urban Planning, or Environmental Policy. Students in the Health Care Administration specialization may emphasize Public Health Management or Long-term Care Administration. Completion of the option in Long-term Care Administration can be used to fulfill the educational requirements for licensure of the State of Ohio Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators.


Capstone Requirement

UST 692 is a generalist public administration capstone course that provides a final common experience for MPA students. In this course, students integrate learning from the MPA core curriculum with professional practices encountered in public and nonprofit organizations. Students are expected to prepare and defend a capstone paper.

Off-Campus Locations

The Levin College of Urban Affairs offers MPA coursework in two additional locations: Youngstown State University and MetroHealth Medical Center.

The CSU/YSU MPA degree program allows students in Youngstown to complete some coursework from YSU via distance learning classes from CSU, web-based classes from CSU, and traditional YSU courses. Students receive an MPA degree conferred by Cleveland State.

MetroHealth employees and CSU students may complete many core courses and Health Care Administration specialization courses at MetroHealth Medical Center.

Students may also complete coursework toward the MPA degree at Chung-Ang University in Seoul, South Korea. Some courses are taught in English. Students who are interested in studying in Seoul should contact the Graduate Advisor and the MPA Program Director well in advance to plan a program of study.

More information on these off-campus opportunities is available on the MPA program Web site.

The 5-year BA+MPA Program

Through the BA+MPA program, students may complete a BA in Urban Studies and an Master of Public Administration through the Levin College of Urban Affairs in five years, instead of the six academic years normally required of full-time students. High performing undergraduate students may apply to the 5-year program during the third year of undergraduate study and, if accepted, complete MPA coursework during the fourth year and a transition term. Students may then complete all remaining MPA coursework in two semesters of full-time graduate study.

Admission and Requirements

In addition to meeting the admission requirements for the conventional MPA program, students applying to the 5-year BA+MPA program must have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 and submit two letters of recommendation from Cleveland State University faculty. Upon successful completion of the fourth year and transition term, students are awarded the BA in Urban Studies. In order to be admitted to the final year of the BA+MPA Program, students must complete the BA with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and receive grades of B or better in designated coursework.

For more information and curriculum plans, please consult the Levin College Office of Student Services, at 216-687-3884.

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