Public Administration (MPA) - Graduate

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College of Community and Public Affairs

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The mission of the Department of Public Administration is to develop individual and institutional capacity for community-based public practice. The MPA degree does this by preparing students for positions of responsibility in local government administration and nonprofit administration.

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The Program

The master of public administration (MPA) program is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). The MPA is a 42-credit hour professional degree (40 hours for in-career students with at least three years of public and/or nonprofit administrative experience) and may be completed on either a full- or part-time basis. Students must earn a GPA of 3.0 or better in their first twelve credits in the MPA Program. Any students who fail to meet this standard will be severed from the MPA Program. Students who earn a grade of B- or below in any core (required) course must repeat that course and earn a grade of B or better. Students who fail to earn a B or better grade the second time they take a core (required) course will be severed from the MPA Program.

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The Curriculum

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Students admitted into the MPA program are required to complete 42 hours of coursework with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0. All students, including those with regular admission status, are required to earn a B or better in their first twelve credits towards their MPA degree. In addition, candidates must receive a B or higher grade in all required (core) courses. Students may retake any course only one time for credit provided their original grade was B- or lower.

The 42-credit hour MPA program consists of seven “core” or required courses (25 credits), twelve credits of electives, a two-credit internship, and an E-portfolio course (3 credits) which serves as a culminating experience and provides students an opportunity to demonstrate their competencies.

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Basic Skills Courses

Students may complete one or more of the basic skills courses (PAFF 502 - Basic Computer Skills; PAFF 503 - Introduction to Administrative Systems) while in the MPA program. Additionally, the MPA faculty strongly encourages all students who receive feedback that their background or skills need development to request admission into these courses. These courses do not count towards the MPA degree.

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The MPA program is a 42-credit hour program composed of 1) a core of seven courses (25 cr.), where students are introduced to the knowledge and skills they need for professional public service; 2) four elective courses (12 credits); 3) and internship (2 credits) to practice application of learning; and 4) an E-portfolio course (3 credits) to demonstrate competencies.  

Core Courses

The core courses provide students with an introduction to essential knowledge, skills and abilities, and provide a preliminary opportunity to obtain feedback on their competencies in key areas.

1. Research Design & Methods (4 cr.)

2. Foundations of Public Service (4 cr.)

3. 21st Century Governance (4 cr.)

4. Budgeting & Financial Management (4 cr.)

5. Evidence-Based Decision Making (4 cr.); to fulfill this requirement, students will complete one of the following courses: Policy Analysis, Program Evaluation, or Performance Analysis

6. Managing People in Organization (3 cr.); to fulfill this requirement, students will complete one of the following courses: Human Resource Management, Organization Theory, Project Management or Managing Networks

7. Managing Information and Technology (2 cr.)

Electives (4 courses = 12 credits)

The elective credits are designed to allow students to have some flexibility to design a program of study that best meets their individual professional aspirations. As their elective coursework, students may opt to take a three-course sequence in order to receive advanced training and professional preparation in a particular area.  

The Department of Public Administration offers two certificates:  

• Nonprofit Management and Leadership

• Local Government Management and Leadership

The Department also has relationships with the Decker School of Nursing for students interested in health policy administration and with the Geography Department for students interested in environmental policy. Dual-degree students complete elective courses in the discipline of their other degree. Students are not required to complete a certificate; students may select any combination of graduate electives in consultation with their MPA advisor.

Application of Learning

As a professional degree program, the MPA must certify a student's ability to apply knowledge and to link theories to practice, which  takes time and effort. In order to demonstrate competency in this area, students take a two-credit internship.  

Culminating Experiences/Demonstration of Competencies

The MPA program — as a condition of continued accreditation and as part of our responsibility to the profession — must assess the competencies of each student before degree completion. To do this, students take an e-portfolio class in which they prepare an e-portfolio of their work in the program. The e-portfolios are designed to help students synthesize and apply material from across the MPA curriculum, and demonstrate their competencies in key areas. 


Because the MPA is a professional degree, the faculty has a responsibility to future employers of our graduates and to the communities that those graduates will serve to ensure that students have essential competencies and demonstrate a high level of professionalism. Beyond completion of the required courses and credit hours, eligibility for internship placement and registration for the capstone course are contingent upon the student's receiving satisfactory assessments and MPA program authorization to proceed to the internship and capstone.

An internship in a public or nonprofit organization provides the student with an opportunity to apply knowledge and skills from their courses to a work setting. It is also a way for the program to demonstrate to professional public service organizations the contributions that MPA students can make to their organizations. Student performance in an internship is a direct reflection on the program. As such, the program has a responsibility to ensure that students have demonstrated not only the acquisition of knowledge and skills, but also a level of professionalism, maturity and reliability expected of an MPA student. Additionally, based on a student’s selection of courses and performance within those individual courses, some types of internship placements may be more suitable than others. The assessments are designed to provide both the MPA internship coordinator and the student with information on whether the student has demonstrated necessary levels of competence for an internship placement, if there are particular types of internships that would be appropriate for the student, or if there are particular competencies that need to be demonstrated before an internship placement can be authorized.

Following completion of 18 credit hours which must include PAFF 510 (Research Design and Methods), PAFF 520 (21st Century Governance) and PAFF 521 (Foundations of Public Service) and contingent upon satisfactory evaluations from the MPA faculty, students complete a 300-hour public administration internship. Students pursuing a local government or nonprofit certificate are generally expected to complete an internship in that sector (nonprofit or local government). Interns are expected to engage in professional tasks and projects in areas such as the development, planning, implementation and/or analysis/evaluation of policy, finance, management, supervision, strategy, program and other administrative functions. Students intending to complete their internships must register for the 2-credit PAFF 594 course to earn credit.

It is the student’s responsibility to identify and contact possible internship sites. They may contact the internship coordinator for assistance, if needed. After meeting with the internship coordinator and the site supervisor to discuss possible activities and responsibilities, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) defining the scope of work and specifying the goals, expectations, products/outcomes, conditions and relevant policies and procedures will be developed by the student. This MOU must be signed by the student, the site supervisor and the internship coordinator prior to the commencement of the semester during which the internship will be completed. The student may not begin his/her internship without the MOU being signed by all parties and submitted to the internship coordinator.

The student is responsible for maintaining a journal or log of his/her internship experiences throughout the semester. A group meeting and at least one individual meeting will take place with the internship coordinator early in the semester. It is the student’s responsibility to raise and address issues with the appropriate supervisor (internship coordinator and/or site supervisor) as needed. The internship coordinator will also have periodic contact with the site supervisor.

The intern will be expected to evaluate his/her experience at the end of the internship. The site supervisor will also evaluate the intern. Both forms must be completed and submitted by the end of the semester in order to receive a grade (either “Satisfactory” or “Unsatisfactory”) for the internship.

Students may be granted a waiver at time of admission if they show that they possess at least 3 years of public and/or nonprofit administrative experience. Students who receive waivers will not need to register for the internship course. To obtain a waiver, the student must submit a written request for a waiver, along with documentation of the extent and nature of work experience (e.g., a resume and job description). The internship coordinator and the director of graduate studies will review all internship waiver requests. A copy of the waiver documentation will be maintained in the student’s file and the student will receive written notification from the internship coordinator regarding whether or not the waiver was granted.

MPA students who are currently working in public or nonprofit administrative positions, but who do not have sufficient professional experience to qualify for an internship waiver, have an option to complete their internship at their place of work. These students will register for the internship course, complete a MOU and proceed with the process as described above.

More in-depth requirements, forms and additional information regarding the internship are located on the MPA website.


The e-portfolio course is the culminating experience of the MPA program and the place where students are required to demonstrate the full range of competencies. In their e-portfolios, students compile representative materials from their courses (papers, reports, memos, policy briefs, etc.) and/or by developing new products to demonstrate: core competencies, certificate competencies (if applicable), transferable skills obtained from the internship, and reflection on the MPA program experience. Successful completion of the e-portfolio course is the final assessment of the student’s readiness for graduation.

Because the e-portfolio course is intended for students to demonstrate the knowledge they have acquired through the core MPA courses, it is incumbent on the faculty to ensure that students have demonstrated the necessary preparation before enrolling in the e-portfolio course. Permission to enroll in the e-portfolio course is contingent upon satisfactory completion of at least six of the seven core courses and satisfactory completion of the internship (or evidence of an official waiver).

The program will make every effort to ensure that students who are permitted to enroll in the e-portfolio course have the knowledge and skills to be successful; it is possible that on occasion students who are authorized to enroll in the course will not demonstrate the expected competencies in the capstone course. Students who take the e-portfolio course and then do not demonstrate competence in one or more of the required areas will be counseled on an individual professional development plan and the steps necessary for successful completion of the e-portfolio. Depending on the individual circumstances, students may have to continue revisions of the e-portfolio after the end of the e-portfolio semester, repeat the e-portfolio course in a subsequent semester, or take additional courses or independent studies. In exceptionally rare circumstances, where professional development plans do not result in the required level of competency, a student may fail the e-portfolio course and be unable to complete the MPA degree.

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Academic Advising

All students are assigned a faculty advisor during the orientation for new students. Faculty advisors assist students in planning their curriculum and provide additional academic counseling as needed. Students are required to meet with their advisors once a semester. Failure to meet this requirement may result in severance from the program.

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Following the student’s satisfactory completion of coursework (including any required prerequisites), and the e-portfolio, the program recommends to the Graduate School that the candidate be awarded the MPA degree.

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Combined (Undergraduate/Graduate) Degree Programs

The Department of Public Administration offers several combined-degree programs with undergraduate majors including:

  • Political Science (BA) – Public Administration (MPA)
  • Asian and Asian-American Studies (BA) – Public Administration (MPA)
  • Spanish (BA) – Public Administration (MPA)
  • French (BA) – Public Administration (MPA)
  • Italian (BA) – Public Administration (MPA)
  • Theater (BA) – Public Administration (MPA)
  • Environmental Studies (BA) - Public Administration (MPA)
  • Judaic Studies (BA) - Public Administration (MPA)
  • Philosophy, Politics, and Law (BA) - Public Administration (MPA)
  • Economics (BA) - Public Administration (MPA)
  • Latin American and Caribbean Area Studies Program (LACAS BA) - Public Administration (MPA)
  • Philosophy (BA) - Public Administration (MPA)

These combined-degree programs allow exceptional students to complete both the BA and MPA in five years of full-time study. Undergraduate students who are interested in the combined degree should apply for conditional admission to the MPA program at the end of their junior year after consulting with their academic advisor. To be eligible for admission to a combined-degree program, students must possess academic qualifications at the end of their junior year that allow conditional admission into the master’s program. Students should begin the application process early in the junior year by submitting the materials required for the standard application for admission to the MPA program. Because of the challenging nature of combined-degree programs, only highly qualified students are admitted (those who have either: (1) a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.2 and a minimum major GPA of 3.5 OR (2) a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.5). During the senior year, students apply formally to the Graduate School. All admissions to combined-degree programs are conditional due to the nature of the program; regular admission status as a graduate student is only granted after the senior/4th year is completed satisfactorily.

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Dual (Graduate) Degrees

The MPA program currently offers three dual-degree opportunities that allow students to pursue two master’s degrees concurrently:

  • Public Administration (MPA) – Social Work (MSW)
  • Public Administration (MPA) – Nursing (MS)
  • Public Administration (MPA) – Student Affairs Administration (MS)

Students interested in pursuing either of the dual-degree programs should contact the director of graduate studies for additional information.

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Certificate Programs

There are several graduate certificate programs available at Binghamton University that may be completed independent of a master’s degree, as part of the MPA studies or in conjunction with another graduate major. The two certificate programs directly linked to the MPA curriculum include:

  • Non-Profit Administration
  • Local Government Administration
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Non-Profit Administration Certificate

The 15-credit Graduate Certificate in Non-Profit Management prepares students for service in the nonprofit sector, specifically professional management positions and volunteer board and community leadership activities. Students are required to complete:

  • PAFF 551. Introduction to Management and Leadership in Not-for-Profit Organizations (3 cr.)
  • PAFF 552. Issues in Not-for-Profit Administration (3 cr.)
  • PAFF 527. Budgeting and Financial Management (4 cr.)
  • PAFF 526. Managing Information and Technology (2 cr.)
  • Students may substitute an alternative to PAFF 552 with approval from the Department Chair if the Department has not made the PAFF 552 course available to students in time for their graduation.

An additional three credits from the following list:

  • PAFF 514. Proposal Preparation and Grant Management (3 cr.)
  • PAFF 553. Nonprofit Innovation and Social Enterprise (3 cr.)
  • PAFF 554. Strategy Development in Nonprofit Organizations (3 cr.)
  • PAFF 558X. Advanced Topics in Not-for-Profit Management (3 cr.)
  • PAFF 559. Workshop in Not-for-Profit Management (var. cr.)
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Local Government Administration Certificate

The 15-credit Graduate Certificate in Local Government Management is for individuals interested in positions in cities, counties, towns or villages. Students are required to complete:

  • PAFF 580. Forms and Structures of Local Governmnet (3 cr.)
  • PAFF 581. Functions and Services of Local Government (3 cr.)
  • PAFF 527. Budgeting and Financial Management (4 cr.)
  • PAFF 526. Managing Information and Technology (2 cr.)

An additional three credits from the following list:

  • PAFF 531. Law for Administrators (3 cr.)
  • PAFF 532. Intergovernmental Relations (3 cr.)
  • PAFF 538. Advanced Topics in Public Management (3 cr.)
  • PAFF 581. Local Government Financial Management (3 cr.)
  • PAFF 582. Emerging Issues in Local Government Management (topics vary, may be repeated for credit), (3 cr.)
  • Courses offered in other departments with a clear local government focus as approved by the director of Graduate Studies (for example, certificate students would be encouraged to complete courses on issues related to land use planning, economic development, GIS mapping and spatial analysis)

Shenzhen, China Study Abroad Opportunity

The Department of Public Administration has an exchange program with Shenzhen University in China. Through the program, students may travel to China as part of a course on contemporary China. For the course, students tour several Chinese cities and study at Shenzhen University. The course and study abroad opportunity may be offered either in the winter or summer terms. 

Service Learning in Peru

The Department of Public Administration in collaboration with the Office of International Programs (OIP) and the Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) have developed an innovative short-term study abroad program to Peru that combines interdisciplinary academic study of sustainable development and ethical considerations of international service learning.

The Program is organized around an academic course which begins prior to leaving the United States in late Spring and continues during a three-week study abroad experience in Cusco, Peru in June. The course provides an opportunity for students of diverse backgrounds and interests to learn about the dynamics of sustainable development with a focus on the Andean Region in Latin America. It situates local sustainable-development practice within its interconnection between environmental issues, economic viability, social equity as well as cultural identity. The course is designed to help students develop knowledge and skills that enable them to reflect on local development and their own roles in international service. Service‐learning is put into action when U.S. students work together with Peruvian community-based nonprofit organizations.

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Consideration for admission to the MPA program is open to all individuals with a BA or a BS degree from a recognized college or university that meets the admission requirements of Binghamton University’s Graduate School. The Graduate School can be contacted via its webpage:; by phone at 607-777-2151; or at

All students applying to the MPA program must submit their application materials through the Graduate School. Application materials include an application form, transcripts, two letters of recommendation, personal statement, and a résumé.

Those wishing to be considered for a graduate assistantship must have their applications in by a January deadline; applications are considered on a rolling basis until the April deadline; and any applications received after April are accommodated on a space available basis or are deferred until the next semester. Applications are accepted for both fall and spring semesters.

Each applicant is given a score based on his/her undergraduate GPA, letters of recommendation, personal statement, and work experience. Each applicant’s undergraduate GPA (or graduate GPA if the student has taken more than 12 credits at the graduate level) may then be “adjusted” based on the letters of recommendation (-0.2 to +0.2 points), personal statement (-0.2 to +0.2 points), work experience (0 to +0.2 points), and quality of university and/or degree program if known (-0.2 to +0.2 points). The admissions committee can deny admission if an applicant’s letters of recommendation and/or personal statement are below an acceptable level. When evaluating the letters of recommendation, the admissions committee looks for evidence of academic achievement, community involvement and personal characteristics that enables them to foster an institutional culture that advances democratic administration and governance. In the personal statement, the committee assesses the student’s commitment to public and/or nonprofit administration as well as his/her ability to communicate in writing. Significant work experience (five or more years in the public or nonprofit sector) can earn applicants a positive adjustment to their admissions scores; however, the lack of work experience does not result in a penalty.

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Guaranteed Admission for SUNY Graduates

Guaranteed admission for some SUNY graduates is designed to accommodate the strongest applicants from six of the most competitive SUNY schools. The program is open to students who hold a Bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.5 or higher from:

  • Binghamton University
  • University at Albany
  • University at Buffalo
  • State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
  • State University of New York at Geneseo
  • Stony Brook University

Students who meet these requirements and apply by the stated deadlines are guaranteed admission into the Master of Public Administration program.

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Transfer of Credits

Students may request a transfer of up to 12 graduate credits from other institutions or programs (including MPA courses taken as non-matriculated students) when these courses have been taken within five years of the time of entry into the program. Requests for transfer of credits from institutions other than Binghamton University must be accompanied by an “Application for Transfer Credit” form. Requests to apply credits from other programs at Binghamton University, or from non-matriculated status, must be made in writing to the director of graduate studies.

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Financial Assistance

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Graduate Assistantships

Each year the Provost's Office allocates funds for graduate assistantships to the College of Community and Public Affairs. The stipend level is a fixed amount, and the department will determine whether assistants will qualify for a tuition scholarship. Funding for these positions is provided by the state of New York, and is therefore subject to a degree of uncertainty and change from year to year. Currently, graduate assistants qualify for health insurance coverage. Students may receive assistantships for a semester or an academic year.

There are four possible sources of funding for graduate assistants in the MPA program:

1. University allocations provided on a “formula” basis from the Provost's Office. One full-time assistant is equal to one line. One-half line can be used to pay for a student for one semester or half the student’s costs for two semesters.

2. The Clifford D. Clark Diversity Fellowships for Graduate Students. This is a two-year fellowship that is funded half through the MPA department and half through the Graduate School. The Clifford D. Clark Diversity Fellowships for Graduate Students are named for a former president of the university (1975–1990), and are funded by the State University of New York and an endowment fund. Clark Fellowships are merit-based and designed to recruit and support students who have been admitted to graduate study and contribute to the diversity of the student body in the graduate program in which enrollment is sought. The funding package includes an academic year stipend, full tuition scholarship, health insurance, a guaranteed award period (with satisfactory academic progress), research and travel opportunities, and other benefits. Candidates for a Clark Fellowship must:

  • be U.S. citizens or have permanent resident status;
  • be newly admitted to a graduate program; and
  • demonstrate how they will contribute to the diversity of the student body in their program.

For full details (including procedures for nomination, stipend levels, award period, etc.), see

3. Departmental funding. The program may award assistantships using its own funds (either a portion of the state account, or Income Fund Reimbursable accounts).

4. Grant and contract funds. These awards are dependent upon the availability of resources created by the successful grant and contract activity of MPA program faculty.

Program faculty determine recipients of assistantships from University and departmental funding and makes recommendations to the Graduate School for Clark Fellowships. Assistantships funded by grant and contract funds should be awarded by the principal investigator(s) to students in good standing who meet their specific needs.

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Selection Process for Graduate Assistants

Continuing Assistants

Each year CCPA determines the number of assistantship lines available to the Department of Public Administration. Continuing students with previous support have the highest priority for an assistantship provided they:

  • have not exceeded their eligibility of four academic year semesters; and
  • are in good standing with the program.

An assistant is in good standing if he or she has earned at least a 3.0 in every course; is making timely progress toward completion of the degree; and has a positive written evaluation from the faculty supervisor(s). The department’s administrative assistant will provide a copy of the faculty evaluation to the student and place the original report in the student’s departmental file. Graduate assistants’ performance will be evaluated at the end of each semester after grades have been submitted, and any graduate assistant who is no longer in good standing will lose their graduate assistantship even if this change occurs midway through the contract period.

New Assistants

Currently enrolled students not receiving support and newly accepted students must notify the MPA program assistant of their interest in an assistantship by the due date published by the Graduate School. The MPA admissions committee will review the academic files of all students who have applied for new assistantships and will rank them according to the following criteria:

  • demonstrated ability to meet the academic rigors of graduate school as determined by undergraduate academic transcripts and writing samples;
  • demonstrated leadership ability;
  • demonstrated intellectual curiosity; and
  • good citizenship.

At the discretion of the admissions committee, it (or a subcommittee) may interview applicants to determine who will receive new assistantships.

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Job Description for University, Clark Fellowship and Departmental Awards

Graduate assistants must be in good academic standing at all times. Graduate assistants in the Department of Public Administration assist faculty in their research activities and may support other department initiatives. The activities include but are not limited to: conducting literature reviews; securing funding for research; collecting, organizing and analyzing data; and writing research papers and reports. Because of their close association with department faculty, their fellow students will perceive graduate assistants to be leaders within the program. Therefore, graduate assistants are expected to attend all department and CCPA-sponsored activities such as lectures, colloquia and social events and will actively support the MPA Graduate Student Organization. Their faculty supervisor may assign other duties.

At the discretion of the admissions committee, it (or a subcommittee) may interview applicants to determine who will receive new assistantships.

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Tuition Scholarships for Graduate Assistants

A supported student with less than 24 hours of graduate credits is eligible for a tuition scholarship for up to 12 credit hours (in-state rates) per semester. After 24 credit hours have been taken, a student is qualified for a tuition scholarship of only 9 credit hours per semester (in-state rates).

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Work Requirements for Graduate Assistants

Assistants receiving a full tuition scholarship and stipend shall work 20 hours per week. 

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Research Assistantships

From time to time, faculty write grants or win contracts to conduct work. The faculty member who is the principal investigator (PI) of a grant or contract may hire research assistants to assist him or her with the project. The PI may fund a research assistant position for a semester, an academic year or a summer. The terms of employment for the research assistant are negotiated between the PI and the assistant and the PI has sole authority for determining whether the RA is making satisfactory progress and should be renewed or not. All RA positions are temporary and contingent upon the availability of grant or contract funds. Financial assistance, including for research/teaching, partial tuition offset and fellowships (limited availability), is available to some qualified applicants. The MPA admissions committee will develop and publish criteria for making financial aid decisions, including application deadlines for awards.

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Academic Honesty, Professionalism, and Code of Ethics

Public administrators are expected to adhere to the highest ethical standards as they are entrusted by the citizenry with the implementation of public policy. Consequently, the Department of Public Administration takes violations of the Academic Honesty Code very seriously. However, the faculty understands the pressures of graduate school and urges students to seek consultation if they feel they are unable to complete assignments properly in a timely fashion. It is recognized that most students do not intend to plagiarize, but do so because of concerns that their work will not “make the grade.”

The Academic Honesty Code can be reviewed online at the University Bulletin: In the event a violation of the Honesty Code is suspected, the College of Community and Public Affairs’ procedures for resolving academic honesty cases will be followed.

The Department of Public Administration also holds students, faculty and staff to the Code of Ethics of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA).

The American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) exists to advance the science, processes and art of public administration. The society affirms its responsibility to develop the spirit of professionalism within its membership, and to increase public awareness of ethical principles in public service by its example. To this end, we, the members of the society, commit ourselves to the following principles:

I. Serve the Public Interest

Serve the public, beyond serving oneself.

ASPA members are committed to:

1. Exercise discretionary authority to promote the public interest.

2. Oppose all forms of discrimination and harassment, and promote affirmative action.

3. Recognize and support the public's right to know the public's business.

4. Involve citizens in policy decision-making.

5. Exercise compassion, benevolence, fairness and optimism.

6. Respond to the public in ways that are complete, clear and easy to understand.

7. Assist citizens in their dealings with government.

8. Be prepared to make decisions that may not be popular.

II. Respect the Constitution and the Law

Respect, support and study government constitutions and laws that define responsibilities of public agencies, employees, and all citizens.

ASPA members are committed to:

1. Understand and apply legislation and regulations relevant to their professional role.

2. Work to improve and change laws and policies that are counter-productive or obsolete.

3. Eliminate unlawful discrimination.

4. Prevent all forms of mismanagement of public funds by establishing and maintaining strong fiscal and management controls, and by supporting audits and investigative activities.

5. Respect and protect privileged information.

6. Encourage and facilitate legitimate dissent activities in government and protect the whistleblowing rights of public employees.

7. Promote constitutional principles of equality, fairness, representativeness, responsiveness and due process in protecting citizens' rights.

III. Demonstrate Personal Integrity

Demonstrate the highest standards in all activities to inspire public confidence and trust in public service.

ASPA members are committed to:

1. Maintain truthfulness and honesty and not to compromise them for advancement, honor or personal gain.

2. Ensure that others receive credit for their work and contributions.

3. Zealously guard against conflict of interest or its appearance: e.g., nepotism, improper outside employment, misuse of public resources or the acceptance of gifts.

4. Respect superiors, subordinates, colleagues and the public.

5. Take responsibility for their own errors.

6. Conduct official acts without partisanship.

IV. Promote Ethical Organizations

Strengthen organizational capabilities to apply ethics, efficiency and effectiveness in serving the public.

ASPA members are committed to:

1. Enhance organizational capacity for open communication, creativity and dedication.

2. Subordinate institutional loyalties to the public good.

3. Establish procedures that promote ethical behavior and hold individuals and organizations accountable for their conduct.

4. Provide organization members with an administrative means for dissent, assurance of due process and safeguards against reprisal.

5. Promote merit principles that protect against arbitrary and capricious actions.

6. Promote organizational accountability through appropriate controls and procedures.

7. Encourage organizations to adopt, distribute and periodically review a code of ethics as a living document.

V. Strive for Professional Excellence

Strengthen individual capabilities and encourage the professional development of others.

ASPA members are committed to:

1. Provide support and encouragement to upgrade competence.

2. Accept as a personal duty the responsibility to keep up-to-date on emerging issues and potential problems.

3. Encourage others, throughout their careers, to participate in professional activities and associations.

4. Allocate time to meet with students and provide a bridge between classroom studies and the realities of public service.

Enforcement of the Code of Ethics shall be conducted in accordance with Article II, Section 5 of the 1999 Bylaws. In 1981 the American Society for Public Administration's National Council adopted a set of moral principles. Three years later in 1984, the Council approved a Code of Ethics for ASPA members. In 1994 the Code was revised.