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Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)

School of Public Service and Education

The Doctor of Public Administration (DPA) degree program is designed for working public administration professionals seeking advanced leadership responsibilities. The curriculum emphasizes how public policies and practices enhance public value and collaboration. Learners in the program analyze and integrate theoretical approaches from policy development to implementation. Learners develop research competencies that support practical, complex, site-based, and profession-based problem solving. Through the collection and analysis of evidence essential for implementing public service strategies, learners gain the ability to apply research specific to their interest and goals within public administration. 

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Twenty Required Courses

 

74 quarter credits

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

PSL7010
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
PSL-V8926 *
Doctoral Project Development – Topic Development

In this ten-week virtual residency, learners apply writing, research, and critical thinking skills by identifying a problem, developing project questions, and finalizing a project topic that is appropriate for the program. Learners use evidence to support the selection of theories, problems, and questions to guide further refinement of their topic. Learners establish an appropriate topic area, preliminary project design, and begin development of a literature review. Further development of the doctoral project is determined through a project topic framework. This residency includes required synchronous sessions. For DPA, DSW, PhD in Criminal Justice and PhD in Emergency Management learners only. Grading for this course is S/NS. Prerequisite(s): Completion of or concurrent registration in RSCH7864.  Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

3 quarter credits
PSL-V8927 *
Doctoral Project Development – Framework Development

In this ten-week virtual residency, learners apply advanced research and writing skills through the development of a detailed project framework based on work in prior residencies. Learners develop a project framework that includes methodological and/or research design, sampling or participant recruitment plan, intervention plan (if applicable), strategies for data collection, analysis, and outcomes of the project. Further development of the doctoral project is determined through an assessment of the project framework, which is finalized once the learner enters the advanced doctoral stage of the program. This residency includes required synchronous sessions.  Learners must complete Track 3 prior to beginning the comprehensive examination phase of the program. For DPA, DSW, PhD in Criminal Justice and PhD in Emergency Management learners only.  Grading for this course is S/NS. Prerequisite(s): PSL-V8926, completion of or concurrent registration in PSL8110 or PSL8120 or RSCH7868. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

3 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
PUAD8015 *
Operational Strategic Management and Planning

Learners in this course build their understanding of operational strategic management and planning concepts. Learners analyze processes as well as collaboration, cooperation, and coordination practices within and among organizational operations. Learners apply these concepts to real-life situations and organizational operations through the examination of their internal and external environments, the allocation of resources, and the translation of strategic plans into tactical operations. Prerequisite(s): PUAD7015, PUAD7025. 

4 quarter credits
PUAD8025 *
Organizational Leadership and Theory Within Public Administration

In this course, learners examine the roles of public administration leaders and managers. Learners analyze operational change management, systems theories, organizational behavior, and culture from applied and theoretical perspectives. Learners evaluate local, state, federal, elected, appointed, and employed government structures to gain a further understanding of the respective leadership and operational requirements. Prerequisite(s): Completion of or concurrent registration in PUAD7035; PUAD8015. 

4 quarter credits
PUAD8035 *
Diversity Within the Global Society

Learners analyze the cultural values and styles of effective communication, reasoning, and decision-making across various cultural boundaries. Learners also identify the challenges of working cross-culturally to create and enhance public value and equitable solutions. Specifically, learners investigate effective public administration systems and policies that improve operational processes and best practices. Prerequisite(s): PUAD8025. 

4 quarter credits
PUAD8045 *
Public Administration Strategic Accounting and Finance

In this course, learners analyze and implement strategic finance and accounting concepts within public administration. Learners investigate the policies and practices associated with public organizations in conjunction with the operational fiscal climate. In addition, learners apply the skills required to construct and evaluate budget documents and assess the strategic operational financial needs. Prerequisite(s): PUAD8025.

4 quarter credits
RSCH7860
Survey of Research Methods

Learners in this course critically evaluate research in order to gain an understanding of the scientific methods of inquiry and the ethical considerations of research. Learners develop and apply skills needed to become educated consumers and creators of research. Learners also use their research design skills to analyze and apply research methodologies, validity, reliability and other components of scientific research related to their field of interest. Learners may only earn credit for PSY7860 or RSCH7860. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
RSCH7864
Quantitative Design and Analysis

In this course, learners investigate the fundamental concepts needed to conduct quantitative research. Learners examine and apply quantitative research techniques; appropriate applications of quantitative research; research design, measurement, and analysis, and their associated interdependencies; variable types and levels of measurement; sampling; descriptive and inferential statistics; and hypothesis testing. Learners define the strengths and limitations of descriptive statistics, analyze the quantitative scales of measurement, review the logic of probability and null hypothesis testing, and leverage technology when applicable. Learners also determine the steps necessary to ensure human subjects protection, and consider methodological adaptations when conducting research with vulnerable and diverse populations. Learners may only earn credit for PSY7864 or RSCH7864. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
RSCH7868 *
Qualitative Design and Analysis

Learners in this course assess the fundamental concepts needed to conduct qualitative research. Learners practice qualitative research techniques; appropriate applications of qualitative research; the strengths and weaknesses of qualitative research design, sampling, and analysis and their associated interdependencies; and leverage technology when applicable. Learners also determine the steps necessary to ensure human subjects protection, and consider methodological adaptations when conducting research with vulnerable and diverse populations. Learners may only earn credit for PSY7868 or RSCH7868. Prerequisite(s): RSCH7860. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits

Choose one from the following courses:

PSL8130 *
Action Research for Public Service Leadership

In this course, learners attain a conceptual understanding of action research methods in public service leadership. Upon successful completion of this course, learners are able to evaluate research methodologies, analyze an action research study, and prepare an action research plan. Prerequisite(s): RSCH7868.

4 quarter credits
PSL8140 *
Program Evaluation for Public Service Leadership

Learners in this course gain knowledge and skills in different types of program evaluation, including needs assessment, formative and summative research, process evaluation, and the design and use of logic model monitoring of outputs and outcomes. Learners build and apply practical experience through the design of a conceptual framework and a logic model, as well as the development of indicators and an evaluation plan to measure impact. Prerequisite(s): RSCH7868.

4 quarter credits

Upon completion of all required and elective coursework, learners must register for PSL9971 a minimum of four times to fulfill their program requirements.

PSL9971 *
Doctoral Capstone

This course provides learners with resources, guidance, and support as they fulfill the required milestones toward completion of a doctoral capstone. Learners apply scholarly research within a particular professional context to advance their knowledge in the science and practice of the profession and solve organizational, institutional, or community concerns. Department consent is required for registration. Grading for this course is S/NS. DPA learners must register for this course a minimum of four times to fulfill their program requirements. DSW learners must register for this course a minimum of three times to fulfill their program requirements. Prerequisite(s): Completion of all required and elective coursework with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

3 quarter credits

 

Total

 

74 quarter credits

 

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