MPA Curriculum and Course Descriptions


The Master of Public Administration online courses offered by Gannon University give students the flexibility of a customized degree program. The Administration specialization focuses on the business-minded, data-driven decision-making processes emphasized in the public sector today. The Organizational Leadership specialization focuses on the skills to develop an organizational vision and to create and implement plans to make it a reality, as well as the motivation and management of employee teams.

The 36 credit-hour program includes 24 credit hours of core courses and 12 credit hours of courses in your specialization of choice: Administration, Organizational Leadership or a personalized track.

MPA Core Courses (27 credits)

GMPA 502 Elements of Public Administration (3 credits)
This course will provide you with an overview of the field of public administration: its origins; its evolution; differences and similarities between public, private, and nonprofit management; various theories of organization; policy formulation, implementation, and evaluation; the role of law; ethics in public policy; and the future of public administration.

GMPA 511 Administrative Decision Making Skills (3 credits)
A study of the technical aspects of the administrative decision-making process. This course will teach you how to use accounting and financial information to support administrative decisions. Also included is an overview of budgeting and marketing concepts as they relate to the offering of public services.

GMPA 522 Ethics and Public Policy (3 credits)
This course explores special problems public administrators face in the decision-making process. We will discuss the policy cycle and use case studies to stimulate your thoughts regarding ethical/unethical behavior; provide you with a framework for making tough decisions; and get you to think about where you stand on various issues of public policy and ethics.

GMPA 531 Administrative Law and Ethics (3 credits)
Basic legal principles and the rules and ethics affecting the administrative process, legislative delegation of powers, administrative investigations, rule making, discretionary powers, adjudication, and judicial review. Legal and political contexts of regulatory administration.

GMPA 601 Strategic Planning (3 credits)
This course will teach you how to do effective strategic planning. Strategic planning is the art and skill of deliberately matching the organization’s resources to the environment in order to maximize the contribution of its mission and its customers.

GMBA 631 Organizational Culture, Creativity and Change (3 credits)
The course addresses the application of the behavioral sciences to management. The focus is on the analysis of structure and behavior in work organizations as well as classical organizational theory.
Prerequisite: GMBA 531

GMBA 525 Statistical Analysis (3 credits)
A survey of the elements of probability theory and methods of statistical inference which are useful for decision making. Correlation, regression, and significance testing are also covered.

GMBA 531 Management and Marketing Concepts (3 credits)
An overview of managing the modern organization, including a discussion of the functional areas of the organization, history of management thought, and the structure of organizations. Approximately half the course involves discussion of the elements of marketing management.

GMPA 799 Research in Public Administration (3 credits)
Through a program of directed study and seminar-type deliberations, this course will seek to conclude and integrate your Public Administration experience. You will apply principles and concepts of Public Administration and develop a culminating portfolio.
Prerequisites: Course must be taken during the last semester in the MPA Program

Administration Track Courses (9 credits)

GMBA 501 Financial Accounting
GMBA 561 Fundamentals of Financial Management OR GMBA 601 Managerial Accounting
GMPA 763 Leadership Environment Administration OR GMBA 651 Strategic Marketing Management

GMBA 501 Financial Accounting (3 credits)
A study of basic accounting concepts, techniques, and systems with a focus on reporting, analysis, and interpretation of accounting data used for decision making.

GMBA 561 Fundamentals of Financial Management (3 credits)
A survey of financial decision making, using ratio analysis, the time value of money, the cost of capital, and capital budgeting concepts. Considerable time is spent outlining the environmental (macro-finance) factors that affect financial decisions.
Prerequisite: GMBA 501

GMBA 601 Managerial Accounting (3 credits)
A study of the accounting information utilized in the control and evaluation of managerial decision making. The focus is cost accumulation, cost allocation and control. Critical attention is placed upon budgeting, cost-volume-profit relationships, and variance analysis as they relate to production, working capital management, and marketing decisions.
Prerequisite: GMBA 501

GMPA 763 Leadership Environments of Administration (3 credits)
Administration, whether it is in the public, private, or non-profit sector, is strongly influenced by various contexts internal and external to the bureaucracy. The major contexts are: cultural, economic, political, governmental, legal and administrative. This course will survey each in an effort to understand its role and, through seminar deliberations, formulate strategies for better performing leadership and managerial roles within large, modern complex organizations.

GMBA 651 Strategic Marketing Management (3 credits)
An examination of the marketing system and the use of various marketing applications such as marketing research, advertising research, and consumer behavior to assist the marketing manager in the major decision areas of targeting, product planning, channels of distribution, personal selling, pricing, promotion, branding, and development of integrated marketing programs.
Prerequisites: GMBA 531

Organizational Leadership Track Courses (9 credits)

GMPA 632 Nonprofit Management and Leadership (3 credits)
Through extensive reading and site visits, you will explore the many challenges facing nonprofits and examine the functions and roles of nonprofit staffs and boards. You will also reflect on the similarities and differences between the business, government, and nonprofit sectors and the effective ways in which these three sectors collaborate.

GMPA 745 Community Development Process (3 credits)
Defining community problems and establishing priorities and objectives for the response of the public and private sectors. Program planning and administration, with emphasis on developing comprehensive, coordinated and innovative approaches. Citizen participation and community control.

GMPA 763 Leadership and Environments of Administration (3 credits)
Administration, whether it is in the public, private, or non-profit sector, is strongly influenced by various contexts internal and external to the bureaucracy. The major contexts are: cultural, economic, political, governmental, legal and administrative. This course will survey each in an effort to understand its role and, through seminar deliberations, formulate strategies for better performing leadership and managerial roles within large, modern complex organizations.

Personalized Track (9 credits)

Select a combination of 9 credits of electives from the Administration and Organizational Leadership tracks (courses must be approved by Program Director).

To learn more about the curriculum of the Gannon University’s online Master of Public Administration program, request more information or call 877.497.5854 to speak with an admissions advisor.