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Public Administration


College of Graduate & Continuing Studies

Program Level


Degree Designation

Master Public Administration

Program Academic Focus

Online Program

Program Description

Program Director: Rosemarie Pelletier

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

Additional Program Information

In addition to core courses, one concentration is required.

Criminal Justice and Public Safety Concentration

Our 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

Municipal Governance Concentration

The Municipal Governance concentration focuses on three key areas of study:

  • Municipal Governance in general,

  • Rural Municipal Governance,

  • Urban Municipal Governance.

The seminars explore key best practices for municipal leadership, including the challenges of providing direction to a wide scope of departments and agencies necessary to serve the needs of communities. The seminars will also study how to create and maintain intergovernmental relationships, and form partnerships with elected officials, staff, and private sector businesses. Studies in these three seminars will provide a skill set that includes interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary competence, effective leadership skills, and action plan development and implementation.

 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,

  • 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.

Policy Analysis and Analytics Concentration

The Public Policy Analysis and Analytics concentration focuses on these key areas of study:

  • Policy, Politics, and Planning,

  • Methods of Policy Analysis,

  • Policy and Policy Implementation,

  • Tools for Policy Analysis, and

  • Economics and Decision Making.

The seminars explore key best practices for policy planning, implementation, analysis, and analytics. Data mining, data gathering, decision-making based upon analysis and analytics all contribute to a growing field of policy analysis and the need for those who understand public administration, public policy, and the process of analysis using up-to-date tools.

Public Administration Leadership and Crisis Management Concentration

Provides fundamentals of management and leadership in public administration. 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 administration leadership and management in areas such as workforce focus, leadership and governance, ethics, information technology, and knowledge management. Seminars will a skill set that includes interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary competence, effective leadership and management skills, and action plan development and implementation.

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.

Cyber Law and International Perspectives on Cyber Space

Blends the fields of policy, law, technology, international cyber policies, and cyber security, much as the “real world” is blended. Students will study and learn side-by-side with Information Security students.

Because the overwhelming majority of cyberinfrastructure is owned and operated by the private sector, the course focus is on those laws that affect the interaction between government and the private sector information technology industry, including the privacy rights so often implicated in modern data storage systems. After completing this concentration, students have the ability to better understand these specific fields of laws, policies, and regulations that specifically address topics and the impact these have on public administration.

Critical Infrastructure Protection and Cyber Crime

Will examine 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.

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.

Founded in 1819, Norwich University serves students with varied work schedules and lifestyles. Discover our online degree programs, certificates and professional development offerings via our virtual learning platform. Connect with Norwich’s exceptional faculty and students from across the country and around the world.

Norwich University admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

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