Public Administration, M.S.A.

Degree:Master of Science in Administration (M.S.A.)
Specialization:Public Administration
Certificates:Acquisition and Contract Administration
Managing Sustainability and Resiliency
Department:Administration and Law
Building 70, Room 101
College:Education and Professional Studies
CIP Code:52.0206
Semester Hours Required For Degree: 36

The Master of Science in Administration is designed to prepare students for leadership roles as managers and administrators in public, nonprofit, and private agencies. The core courses prepare students to assume positions in a variety of public administration settings and certificates are available to prepare them for management and administration in a specific field. There are two certificates from which students may choose: Acquisition and Contract Administration and Managing Sustainability and Resiliency.

In addition to general University requirements, students seeking the M.S.A. must meet the requirements listed below. No more than 49% of the program requirements for the M.S.A. degree may be taken in traditional business subjects.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the University graduate admission requirements described in the Admissions section of the catalog, the department bases decisions for regular admission on a holistic review of credentials in which the following criteria are used to assess the potential success of each applicant:

  • Submission of one of the following graduate admission tests:**
    • Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
    • Miller Analogies Test (MAT)
    • Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT)
  • Undergraduate transcripts and institutional GPA
  • Graduate GPA, if applicable
  • Submission of letter of intent describing the candidate’s work experience and reasons for pursuing the degree program, including how the degree relates to career goals.
  • Overall fit with the program

** - The requirement for submission of one of the graduate admissions tests will be waived by the department for those students with a minimum of a 3.25 institutional undergraduate GPA. 

Program Requirements

All students in the M.S.A will complete 6 hours of business core, a common public administration core, and at least one 9 credit hour certificate. Students must earn a “C” or above in all courses. 

M.S.A Business Core

GEB 5872MBA Foundations: Financial Management I1.5
GEB 5875MBA Foundations: Management Skills and Applications1.5
MAN 6156Management and Organizational Behavior3
Total Hours6

The Public Administration Specialization is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills to effectively manage agencies and people in public and nonprofit organizations. All students will complete the MSA core (6 semester hours) and Public Administration Specialization (21 semester hours). Students will also select one certificate (9 semester hours). The program requires 36 total hours for completion. Students must earn a “B” or above in all courses.

M.S.A. Core (6 sh)

See Program Requirements

Public Administration Specialization (21 sh) 

PAD 6041Public Service Ethics3
PAD 6053Public Administration: Theory and Practice3
PAD 6227Public Budgeting3
PAD 6275Political Economy of Public Administration3
PAD 6417Public Service Human Resource Management3
PAD 6946Public Administration Capstone3
PUP 5045Public Policy Analysis3
Total Hours21

Certificate (9 sh) 

Students will choose either the Managing Sustainability and Resiliency or the Acquisition and Contract Administration Certificate to complete the degree requirements. 

The University of West Florida’s Acquisition and Contract Administration Certificate prepares students to enter positions in public acquisition management, with coursework that can create additional opportunities for career professionals. The curriculum acquaints students with contracting from pre-award to contract close-out, providing both practical and theoretical knowledge to create a solid foundation for a rewarding career in government contracting, nonprofits, or with civilian contractors who engage in public sector contracts.

Students study the entire public contracting life cycle, including planning, solicitation, selection, negotiation, award, post-award administration, and close-out. Classes will also examine the underlying legal and theoretical basis of public purchasing, considering the place and importance of acquisitions within the larger government structure. Through individual work products and team-based interactions, students apply knowledge to real-world circumstances. Students’ ability to see a contracting situation from various perspectives will be invaluable in achieving outcomes that are fair to all parties with the best value for the client.

 The 9-credit hour certificate program is offered completely online and may be applied to the certificate requirement of the MSA -Public Administration degree program. The certificate is also available to those students wishing to expand their knowledge and skills in relation to government acquisitions and contract administration without completing the full Master of Science in Administration degree program.

PAD 5635Government Contract Law3
PAD 5855Contract Planning and Formulation3
PAD 5862Contract Award and Administration3
Total Hours9

 The Managing Sustainability and Resiliency Certificate program provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to develop and apply sustainability and resiliency policies and strategies in their roles as managers and administrators of public service agencies. The 9-credit hour certificate program is offered completely online. The courses in the certificate program supplement the broader Master of Science in Administration – Public Administration degree program.

PAD 5434Leadership in Sustainability3
PAD 6357Sustainability and Resiliency Planning3
PAD 6335Strategic Management for Public Service Organizations3
Total Hours9

The certificate is also available to those wishing to enhance their knowledge and skills related to managing sustainability and resiliency without completing the full Master of Science in Administration/Public Administration degree program.