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Thread: MPA courses for a MURP student

  1. #1
    Jun 2005
    Miami, Florida

    MPA courses for a MURP student

    What kind of Public Admin courses would be most useful to a MURP student wanting a career in Planning but with oppurtunities to become a director? Here are some of the courses on the Public Administration Masters that could be options:

    Introduction to Public Administration
    Public Organization Theory
    Public Financial Management
    Labor Relations in Government
    Public Administration and Public Policy
    Analytical Techniques
    Law and Procedures
    Administrative Ethics
    Local Government Administration
    Productivity in Government

    I would assume that the intro course might be quite good, but not if its one of these pointless mandatory courses that are so generic they dont really teach you any useful skills/knowledge at all.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
    Dec 2005
    Wishing I were in Asia somewhere!
    Blog entries
    I did a Public Administration/Political Science degree as an undergrad. While not having begun my MCRP at Rutgers yet, I do work for the county. The most useful classes I had were Public Budgeting/Accounting and Public Policy. The Intro to Public Admin was a lame duck course for me personally, basically just detailed the history of formal PA and overviews of budgets, HR, personnel, accountabilty, etc.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Clore's avatar
    Mar 2006
    I'd look into these:

    Public Financial Management
    Public Administration and Public Policy (?)
    Analytical Techniques
    Law and Procedures
    Local Government Administration

    With a question by the second because it's not quite clear what the course will address. Financial management and Law would be important, as well as analytical techniques if you are goiung to be doing any types of studies or data gathering/analysis.
    The local government admin would help if you (obviously) will be dealing with local governments and trying to make policy changes/get things to happen on a local level.

    Btw- I was a Pub Ad major, not planning, so take it from my perspective!

  4. #4
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
    Jun 2003
    at the neighboring pub
    I'm a planner putting the finishing touches on a MPA. While I don't know what each course you listed is specifically about, I'd STRONGLY recommend courses in public finance and personnel management--those are the two areas most lacking in planning programs, IMHO. If you have space in your schedule, you can't go wrong with a public law course either.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  5. #5


    I agree with what most people said about public finance. I found the Public Financial Management course to be one of the most useful electives I took at Clemson. How does money flow into government? How is it allocated? What do you do when there's a revenue shortfall? Most importantly, how do you justify departmental funding increases to the budget office? All relevant issues for folks working in planning departments who will one day be planning directors.

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