Trad MPA Program: Contact FAQ
Q. What are the pre-requisites for the program?
A. POSC 2103 Introduction to U.S. Government and ECON 2333 Economic Issues & Concepts (or similar, or higher) with grades of “C” or better are both required to be taken either prior to or during the first two semesters of the program. These are background courses that the MPA Committee believes will enhance your chances for success in the program.
Q. How do I find out when courses will be offered?
A. Either on the ASU website, or there is also always a paper copy of the course schedule for the department on the wall outside the main Political Science office on the 3rd floor of the HSS Building. Also the regular course rotation is in the MPA Policy document.
Q. What do I need to do to register for courses each term?
A. You will have an advising hold on your account each semester. As registration time for the following semester gets close, email or stop by during Dr. Reese’s office hours, or make an appointment via email. Please note that whenever you email in order to register, you must give your name and your student ID number. It is helpful if you have an idea of what you want to take. This process needs to be followed every semester. Also, it is to your advantage if you get cleared for registration early. Do not wait until January to register for Spring! Do not wait until August to register for Fall! The courses might be full if you wait! Once Dr. Reese has submitted the advising hold release request to the department’s Administrative Assistant; any subsequent issues may be resolved via email to Vickie Gilmer at email@example.com. Dr. Reese and the Administrative Assistant work as a team to ensure that you are cleared for registration. Once that happens, and the first date of graduate registration occurs, you may register on your own whenever you wish.
Q. What is the order in which I should take courses?
A. The MPA program is designed so that you may take your courses in any order with the following exceptions (once your pre-requisites have been completed; see above). First, we strongly urge that you take Seminar in Public Administration in either your first or second semester. Second, the internship (if you need it; see below) may not be taken before you have completed at least 18 hours of coursework (with a minimum 3.0 GPA). Third, the MPA Capstone Experience must be taken in your final semester. Please also see the standard course rotation as shown in the MPA Policy document. Please also note that you must take either Public Budgeting & Finance or Administrative Ethics in your first Spring in the program. This is because they are typically offered on the same night of the week; therefore, you cannot leave both until the very end of your program.
Q. Can I take some of my courses in the Online MPA program?
A. No. Financial aid regulations require that you choose one program or the other and stick with it.
Q. Can I just do an independent study instead of taking one of the required courses?
A. No. The courses were carefully selected by the MPA Faculty with the advice of the MPA Advisory Board and under the guidance of NASPAA, our national accrediting body. Allowing substitutions potentially weakens the program.
Q. What if the last course I need is not scheduled until next year though?
A. As a part of your regular advising, you will be required to complete a degree plan/checksheet in conjunction with Dr. Reese by the end of your second semester. This Mid-Program Review should eliminate such problems as coursework being nearly completed with one course remaining that is not offered until the following year.
Q. I know that Arkansas State University requires that I take comprehensive examinations in order to graduate with a master’s degree. When and how do I do that?
A. Effective Summer 2013, the comprehensive examinations (“comps”) are included in the MPA Capstone Experience course, which is taken in your final semester.
Q. What is included in the MPA Capstone Experience course?
A. At present, the Capstone course involves completing a set of reflective exercises each week (over 7 weeks—Capstone lasts for the first 7 weeks of Fall, Spring or Summer semester).
Q. Can I take the MPA Capstone Experience one semester early?
A. Generally, no. See below.
Q. Can I just take the MPA Capstone Experience two semesters early? A. No! The capstone is designed to be the culminating experience of your degree. The case studies to which you must respond are selected by the MPA Faculty and will draw from all of your required subjects.
Q. If I walk at graduation, will I see some of my professors?
A. Yes, usually you will see most of us. Most of us attend most graduations. Those of us who attend graduation always congregate up in the reception area following the ceremony for at least 20 minutes. We hope that you will come up to see us and we would love to take pictures with you!
Please Note: If any of these are unclear or if you have suggestions for other Q/As that should be on here, please let Dr. Reese know at firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you!
Q. How can I join the MPA Alumni Spotlight?
A. Thank you for your interest in joining the MPA Alumni Spotlight. In order to join, please fill out the attached form and submit it to Dr. Catherine C. Reese at email@example.com.
MPA Alumni Spotlight form>>>
Q. How can I join the Honor Society of Pi Alpha Alpha Society?
A. In order to join the local chapter of Pi Alpha Alpha Society, the eligibility requirements for MPA students are minimum 18 hours completed and minimum 3.85 GPA. Dr. Reese requests a list of eligible students (from the A-State Registrar) who fit these criteria at the beginning of Fall, Spring, and Summer terms and then emails those students to join if interested.