Graduate Programs

Master of Public Administration

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.

Master of Arts Political Science

The Master of Arts program in political science is designed to prepare students for careers in a variety of government, educational, and private settings, and for further graduate work at the doctoral level. Students in our program may choose from one of three concentrations: American Government, Environmental Politics and Policy Analysis or International Relations/Comparative Politics. Our enrollment over the last 10 years has fluctuated between 15-20 students. With a student/faculty ratio of 3 to 1, we are able to provide our students with the individual attention they expect and deserve. While we have two basic curriculums, the interests and aspirations of our students are quite diverse and therefore we allow each student, in consultation with the Program Director, to develop a program of study which meets his or her unique interests and aspirations.

  • American Government (267C): concentration promotes student understanding of the institutions of American Politics and the behavior of the public and political actors.
  • Environmental Politics and Policy Analysis (267F): concentration promotes a multidisciplinary curriculum and provides students with the hard skills necessary for conducting analyses of environmental policy issues.
  • International Relations/Comparative Politics (267E): concentration promotes student understanding of world politics and U.S. interactions with other nations.

While the issue content of each concentration varies, all three curriculums provide students with the methodological and analytic skills necessary for further graduate work at the doctoral level and careers in government, non-profit organizations, and the private sector