The MPA program is designed to ensure that students become proficient in the knowledge, skills and ethical values needed to become effective managers of public sector agencies (on the federal, state, and local levels) and not-for-profit organizations. Our graduates serve as town and county managers, economic developers, agency directors, and are employed in leadership roles in public safety and nongovernmental agencies. Over 400 graduates have completed the MPA degree at Appalachian since its inception in 1988.
Students in the MPA program are required to choose one of the following open concentrations:
- Administration of Justice Concentration (279D): This concentration is designed to prepare persons for administrative/management positions in a variety of law enforcement, court, and correctional agencies at the local, state and federal levels.
- Not-for-Profit Management Concentration (279F): This concentration is designed to prepare individuals for management and policy positions in governmental and not-for-profit organizations.
- Public Management Concentration (279B): This concentration is designed to allow individuals to develop a program to suit specific needs in such areas as budget analyst, personnel administration, etc., or to prepare students with a generalist background in public administration.
- Town, City and County Management Concentration (279C): This concentration is designed to prepare persons for managerial roles in towns, cities, and county governments or in organizations and agencies related to towns and counties.
We also offer a Non-Profit Administration Graduate Certificate.
The Master of Arts in Political Science program is designed to prepare students for careers in the public and private sectors, and for further work at the doctoral level. With a student/faculty ratio of nearly 2 to 1, students receive the individual attention they expect and deserve, and the guidance needed to pursue their professional goals. The program prepares students for a variety of roles related to government relations, legislative affairs, advocacy, research, consulting, education, nonprofit organizations, and federal, state, or local government. Students in the program gain analytical and research skills, alongside a specialized focus from one of our three concentrations:
- American Government (267C): This concentration offers students an understanding of the political institutions and behavior of public and political actors in America.
- Environmental Politics and Policy Analysis (267F): This concentration offers students an understanding of the interplay among policy, politics, and economics in the environmental realm, and the skills necessary to analyze environmental policy issues.
- International Relations/Comparative Politics (267E): This concentration offers students an understanding of the dynamics of global politics, and the institutions and behaviors of foreign countries and transnational actors.