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Planning Your Courses

The Master of Public Administration program requires nine core courses and five elective courses. Core courses are offered two times a year, with the exception of PADMN 6300 Administrative Theory (Fall Only). Below is a complete list of core courses and the semesters they are offered. There is also a sample schedule table that can assist you in creating an outline for your MPA. If you have any additional questions about scheduling courses, please contact Program Manager JaTara Smith:

Core Courses:

  • PADMN 6300 Administrative Theory - Fall Only
  • PADMN 6550 Nonprofits/Nongovernmental Organizations - Fall/Spring
  • PADMN 6289 Research Design - Fall/Spring
  • PADMN 6360 Public Human Resource Management - Fall/Spring
  • PADMN 6380 Public Budgeting and Finance - Fall/Summer
  • PADMN 6335 Governance and the Economy - Spring/Summer
  • PADMN 6210 Public Administration and Law - Spring/Summer
  • PADMN 6870 Ethics - Fall/Summer
  • PADMN 6890 Capstone - Fall/Summer


Course Planner:

Semester Class Title Is it a core or elective? Day/Time Credit Hours
Fall 2018 PADMN 6300 Administrative Theory1 Core Monday 6-9PM 3
  Elective Elective TBD 3
Spring 2019 PADMN 6550 Nonprofits/NGOs Core TBD 3
  Elective Elective TBD 3
Summer 2019 PADMN 6380 Public Budgeting and Finance Core TBD 3
  Elective Elective TBD 3
Fall 2019 PADMN 6360 Public HRM Core TBD 3
  PADMN 6289 Research Design Core TBD 3
Spring 2020 PADMN 6210 Public Administration and Law Core TBD 3
  Elective Elective TBD 3
Summer 2020 PADMN 6335 Governance and the Economy Core TBD 3
  PADMN 6870 Ethics2 Core TBD 3
Fall 2020 PADMN 6890 Capstone3 Core TBD 3
  Elective Elective TBD 3


Note: This is a preferred order of courses. Only PADMN 6300, 6870, and 6890 are to be taken in a specific semester.

1- PADMN 6300 Administrative Theory must be taken in the first semester.

2 - PADMN 6870 Ethics must be taken at the end of your program. 

3 - PADMN 6890 Capstone must be taken at the end of your program.


Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Approved electives lists are distributed every semester with courses you can take in other departments. There are links to recent elective lists below.

You can adjust the MPA schedule to fit your personal needs. You can take four 3-course semesters and one 2-course semester to finish in two years.

Yes. The University of Utah front-loads fees on to the first credit hour in a semester. Each additional semester you add to your degree incurs an additional $500 in mandatory university fees, in addition to tuiton and other fees.

Governance and the Economy (core) and Policy Analysis (elective) are both offered online during the course of a school year.

All of your courses are preparing you for your Major Research Paper, but Research Design specifically approaches the concepts and theories in your MRP. Research Design can also help you develop a topic or area of interest for your paper.

Most students choose to take two courses per semester while working full-time. You can opt to take a three-course semester if you want to expedite your program.

No. You are welcome to take courses in as many fields of study as you would like. If you are interested in local government administration, for example, you can take all five of your elective courses in different aspects of local government law, administration, management, etc.

Ethics and Capstone should be taken towards the end of your program, but do not necessarily have to be taken in your last semester. You must finalize your MRP Adviser before enrolling in Capstone.

Based on current student demand and teaching capacity, it best fits the needs of the students and  program to offer core courses twice per year. Please refer to the Course Planner to ensure that you are planning for future semester class offerings.

Yes, you can email Program Manager Erin Moore ( with a course description and syllabus from the course to see if you can enroll.

Graduate-level study abroad courses are eligible for elective course credits.

The internship requirement is a separate graduation requirement and cannot be used towards elective credit.




Approved Elective Lists

Spring 2019

Fall 2018 

Last Updated: 4/7/21