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George Mason University

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Program Description: George Mason University's Master of Public Administration (MPA) program and courses are designed for people who hold or aspire to hold leadership positions in organizations that participate in the development and implementation of public policy. The mission of the MPA program is to give graduate students the opportunity to build their knowledge of politics, public policy and management and to enhance their analytic, problem solving, and communication skills.

MPA Application Process: Those interested in applying to the MPA program should complete Mason's Application for Graduate Study (available online). Information about the application process can be found here:

Non-degree Application: Students may also take classes as non-degree seeking students, and must also complete an online application available here:

Students who enroll initially through non-degree studies should submit their application to the MPA program in the first semester of study. Only nine credits taken in non-degree status may be transferred to the degree program.

Contact Information: For additional information, please contact Amanda Myers, Graduate Program Coordinator at the Department of Public and International Affairs Graduate Office at 703-993-9466 or and George Mason University website is available at

Federal Government Courses: A variety of courses are available to Mason students, but those of particular interest to the Federal Government professionals include the following:

Complete course catalog available at:

PUAD 502 - Administration in Public and Nonprofit Organizations: Graduate introduction to field of public administration. Focuses on structure, functions, and processes of executive branch agencies of national, state, and local governments. Emphasizes nonprofit organizations as co-actors with government in policy-making/policy implementation nexus.

PUAD 520 - Organization Theory and Management Behavior: Considers behavior in context of public organization, and consequent changes required in management. Focuses on such issues as perception, attitude formation, motivation, leadership, systems theory, communication and information flow, conflict theory, and decision theory.

PUAD 540 - Public Policy Process: Processes of making public policy, including detection of public issues, consideration of alternatives, and adoption and implementation of solutions. Highlights major actors in policy process, and environment within which they work.

PUAD 662 - National Budgeting: Examines formulation of overall national fiscal policy and budgetary priorities through presidential and congressional budget processes, including decisions over spending and revenues.

PUAD 670 - Human Resource Management in the Public Sector: Overview of range and complexity of functions, responsibilities, and expectations of human resource staff and line managers in public sector. Focuses on human resources management in context of political, legal, and managerial systems. Human resource functions, such as hiring, performance, and development, are also presented.

PUAD 672 - Human Resource Reforms for Public Administration: Explores recent reforms in human resources management in federal, state, and local governments. Covers pay for performance systems, flexible assignment patterns, incentives for productivity, work-life balance, job design, and changes resulting from higher levels of contracting for government programs.

PUAD 700 - Ethics and Public Administration: Topics of ethical dimensions including constitutionalism, democratic values and traditions, standards of conduct and ethics, and conflicting values of public officials and social equity of public programs.

PUAD 703 - Third-Party Governance: Examines design and management of government programs relying on other levels of government and private sector for delivery, with focus on such governmental tools as contracts, grants, loans, regulation, and tax credits.