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AMPA - Public Administration

Program Delivery

Online Program

Program Level


Degree Designation

Master Public Administration

Program Type



College of Graduate & Continuing Studies

Program Description

Program Directors: Linda Ratsep, Toni Raftery.

The Master of Public Administration program is designed for working professionals who seek to become leaders in the field of the administration of public services. The curriculum places a high emphasis on experiential learning with a focus on demonstrating knowledge of the principles and concepts of leadership, implementation of ethical principles in operations, program evaluation, critical analysis of operational practices, policy-making, and strategic planning, management of groups, workforce development, fostering community relations and identifying stakeholders.

The Master of Public Administration program provides students with the tools to meet these objectives by creating an environment of academic interaction between the students and faculty, all of whom are leaders in the field of public administration. Emphasis is placed on problem-solving, using scenarios that replicate real-world operational and policy-oriented situations. Each student is required to submit a capstone paper and, prior to the completion of the program, a shorter publishable paper addressing the capstone project.


The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program prepares and supports diversified adult learners who are military and non-military, to become knowledgeable, innovative public sector leaders. The MPA program develops leadership characteristics driven by fundamental public administration values, including those that are at the core of Norwich’s history and tradition. Norwich MPA faculty members are academically and professionally prepared to advance the mission with practitioner-oriented educational experiences available through state-of-the-art, online course delivery, and external partnership. Culminating experiences of a Capstone Project, and portfolio development.


  • Prepare and support diversified learners

  • Help students become knowledgeable innovative public sector leaders based on better communication

  • Reinforce public administration best practices

  • Use Practitioner-oriented learning

Program Specific Admission Requirements

  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, or an equivalent degree from a foreign institution, as evaluated by WESIERFSpanTran, or CED.

    • Undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or higher

  • If English is not your first language, proof of English language proficiency is required. This can be demonstrated in one of three ways:

    • TOEFL - a minimum score of 550 (paper-based test) or 80 (Internet-based test) is required.

    • IELTS – a minimum composite score of 6.5 is required.

    • The applicant holds a baccalaureate or master’s degree from a college/university/institution in which the primary language of instruction was English.

All eligibility requirements are expected to be met unless noted in specific articulation agreements or memoranda of understanding (MOUs).

Up to 12-semester graduate credits for study conducted elsewhere may be awarded. Norwich complies with VA regulations and guidelines as it pertains to transfer credits.

Additional Program Information

In addition to core courses, one concentration is required.

Criminal Justice and Public Safety Concentration

The Criminal Justice and Public Safety concentration is designed to help students develop the skills needed to pursue or further their careers in law enforcement or transition into another area of public service. This concentration explores the best practices of law enforcement agencies, corrections administration, and public safety management.

Fiscal Management Concentration

This concentration explores the legal and regulatory foundation of financial reporting and accountability for public organizations. Topics include the development of transactions, enactment of appropriations, and incurrence of obligations or encumbrances. Other topics include financial reporting, analysis of governmental financial performance, costing of government services, and auditing governmental organizations.

Students will be provided with the current study guides published by the Association of Government Accountants' Certified Government Financial Manager, designed specifically to prepare professionals and students for the CGFM certification examination. This concentration also introduces students to four major areas of financial concern: preparation of budgets, creating management strategies for the organization based on the principles of strategic financial management, obtaining financial resources by issuing bonds and levying taxes, and managing cash and employee retirement funds. Students will also examine contemporary perspectives on professional ethics and ethical behavior of leaders in the public sector, particularly in regard to their fiduciary responsibility in investing and managing public funds

Nonprofit Management Concentration

The Nonprofit Management concentration focuses on these key areas of study:

  • Nonprofit leadership and management

  • Nonprofit Administration

  • Transformational Organizational Culture, Human Resource Development and Management

  • Resource Development and Efficiency by Nonprofit Organizations, and

  • Healthcare Management.

The seminars explore key best practices for nonprofit leadership in areas such as workforce focus, volunteer staff management, leadership and governance, nonprofit law, ethics, grant writing, accounting and economics, healthcare information technology, and knowledge management. Seminars will provide a skill set that includes interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary competence, effective leadership and management skills, and action plan development and implementation.

Public Sector Leadership & Crisis Management Concentration

The Public Sector Leadership & Crisis Management concentration provides fundamentals of management and leadership in the public sector. Students explore major models of leadership from theoretical, ethical, and practical perspectives. Students develop a thorough understanding of leadership concepts and how to apply them in their own work environment. Leading in crisis situations, including how discussions are made and implemented, how information is communicated in critical situations, how political leaders are held accountable in crisis situations, and how communities can be returned to a state of normality after a critical incident has occurred are key topics covered in this concentration.

The concentration's seminars explore key best practices for public sector leadership and management in areas such as workforce focus, leadership and governance, ethics, information technology, and knowledge management. Seminars include interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary competence, effective leadership and management skills, and action plan development and implementation. The seminars also cover how to create and maintain intergovernmental relationships, form partnerships with elected officials, staff, and private sector business.

Procurement and Government Contract Management

Provides a foundation to analyze data and craft plans to conduct and actively engage public procurement, contracting, and contract management processes from a functional and management vantage.

Critical Infrastructure Protection and Cyber Crime

This concentration examines the security of information critical to national security and the nature of conflict in cyberspace. Strengthens knowledge of supervisory control and data acquisition systems (SCADA) in the flow of resources such as electricity, water, and fuel. Courses provide leverage to the benefits of Internet technologies while minimizing the risks that such technologies pose to their organizations. These include the sectors of banking, securities and commodities markets, industrial supply chain, electrical/smart grid, energy, transportation, communications, water supply, and health. Special attention is paid to the risk management of information in critical infrastructure environments through an analysis and synthesis of assets, threats, vulnerabilities, impacts, and countermeasures.

Human Resources Leadership Concentration

The Human Resources Leadership concentration focuses on two key areas of study: human resources leadership and leveraging human capacity for strategic results. These two seminars will explore key Human Resources Leadership concepts and best practice development related to strategic and operational planning, process management, maximized use of supportive technology and human capital resources.

Organizational Leadership Concentration

The Organization Leadership concentration requires that students embark on an independent research project, complete it in three phases, by the end of the sixth (last) course. Students are encouraged to identify a corporate partner to focus on in a case study and with whom to practice the skills gained in the organizational concentration courses. If students are unable to use their own employer, they may select another enterprise. Students will receive instructions for completing each phase of the independent research project in the first week of the three concentration courses.

Project Management Concentration

The Project Management concentration focuses on the ability to communicate and interact effectively among managers in order to accomplish business goals. The concentration will first focus on the application of sound project management principles and practices, then focus on project leadership and team building, and finally, on the application of both as a project manager overseeing and managing a project in real-time.

Following the Project Management Institute practices into the classroom -- first teaching principles and practices to the students and applying these principles and practices in the management of a project.

Supply Chain Management Concentration

The Supply Chain Management concentration focuses on three key areas of study, strategy planning, and operation; logistics design and execution; and, optimization.

These focal areas will explore key supply chain concepts related to strategy, planning, processes, technologies, warehousing, distribution, transportation, procurement, contracts, networks, inventory, capacity, business operations, tools supply and demand, forecasting, and the language of supply chain management. The concentration will provide a solid foundation of supply chain management concepts, principles, application, and assessment, with a focus on continuous improvement. In effect, addressing three important business questions related to supply chain management, "What are we going to do?" (Strategy); "How do we implement?" (Logistics); and, "How do we improve upon what we are doing?" (Optimization).

Energy Management Concentration

The Energy Management concentration focuses on three key areas of study, Energy Resources and Markets; Managing Energy Savings and Efficiency Projects; and, Managing Corporate Energy Needs. The curriculum is designed to help students develop strategic solutions that enable corporations or institutions to become more energy efficient by reducing their energy demands and usage.

These focal areas will explore key energy management concepts related to strategy, planning, processes, technologies, resources, distribution, transportation, procurement, contracts, networks, markets, energy operations, energy supply and demand, regulations, and forecasting corporate energy needs. The concentration will address three important business questions related to energy management, “What are we going to do?” Develop strategic solutions for corporations or institutions on their energy needs; “How do we implement it?” By analyzing all options in energy markets and developing a specific procurement plan for the organization and, “How do we improve upon what we are doing?” By learning to achieve a systematic and continuous energy auditing inside the organization in order to optimize its use in all processes.

Non Specialized Concentration

The non specialized MPA Concentration provides a foundation through in-depth public administration and management courses ideal for specialized career goals. Areas of focus will offer an understanding to apply key concepts used in the primary functional areas of public administration; apply critical and creative thinking skills and recommend implementable solutions that meet objectives; and, demonstrate the ability to communicate and interact effectively among departments and the public.

Exit Portfolio

The Exit Portfolio is a graduation requirement. Upon entering their sixth and final course, students are required to submit their portfolio to include the final graded assignment from each of their first five (5) courses. The student's final course instructor will assess the portfolio and assign a grade of Satisfactory (S) or Unsatisfactory (U) and provide an assessment summary for each student, noting the student's strengths, interests, and improvements.