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MPA Program Foundations

Designed as a sustainability MPA, the program features a curriculum that supports three program foundations and develops eight program learning outcomes.

Sustainable Systems

Principles of systems thinking and sustainability ground the entire curriculum and are woven into every course. A whole-systems orientation rests on coursework in systems thinking, sustainability literacy, ethics and social justice. Students learn to apply these concepts to shape business strategy and practice.

  • Social, Economic and Ecological Systems:
    Understand the interdependencies of social, economic and ecological problems and those of business, government and civil society, as well as how to develop integrated solutions.
  • Organizations, Institutions and Policy:
    Conceptualize the interconnections of large systems and apply systems-thinking principles and tools to design and plan public policy and administrative models.
  • Policy Modeling:
    Apply systems-thinking principles and tools to design public policy.

Sustainable Leadership

The transition to a sustainable future requires the capacity to engender positive change through varying spheres of influence, from the self, to the team, to the organization and ultimately to society as a whole. With an emphasis on collaboration, engagement and cross-sector cooperation, the coursework is designed to build competencies in personal efficacy, resilience, adaptability, relationship management and organizational change.

  • Insight, Creativity and Leading for the Long Term:
    Practice creativity, self-assessment and ethical decision-making, and forge a shared commitment to systemic strategies and long-term solutions.
  • Engagement and Collaboration:
    Include, understand and respect diverse stakeholder perspectives in decision-making to motivate and mobilize collective action to achieve solutions to complex problems.

Public Administration Foundations

Foundational courses focus on building practitioner-oriented competencies to develop and manage effective, high-impact nonprofit and governmental organizations. Coursework includes public administration and policy, research methods and policy analysis, public sector finance, managerial economics, macroeconomics, ecological economics, capital markets, public administration implementation and information management and technology.

  • Sustainable Management:
    Understand sustainability and its application in a practical, historical and global context, and incorporate sustainability in public finance and budget management.
  • Ecological and Social Issues:
    Interpret and prioritize ecological and social issues that have an impact on the public good.
  • Frameworks:
    Apply the principles and frameworks of sustainable management and performance measurement to orient and guide policymaking and public administration.
  • Information and Communication Technology Literacy:
    Use and critically assess available and new Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to achieve ethical and sustainable management outcomes.