Academics

Overview

Overview

Welcome to the unique bilingual Masters of Public Administration (MPA) program at Gallaudet University, which offers courses in both American Sign Language (ASL) and English. Our program is designed to empower deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing professionals for impactful careers in government and nonprofit organizations. Our graduates are prepared for leadership and making a meaningful difference in the public sector. This leadership and impact include improving services for the Deaf community or working to create positive changes at all levels of government! 

What Sets Us Apart?

The MPA degree is an interdisciplinary, professional credential that prepares students for leadership roles in public service. At Gallaudet University, we prioritize diversity and community values, ensuring our graduates are equipped to lead in their diverse and intersectional communities. Our curriculum covers various courses, including budgeting, leadership, public policy, nonprofit management, and social equity, ensuring a comprehensive skill set. We prepare you for a career in public service here at Gallaudet University. 

Flexible Learning Tracks!

Our MPA Program offers two tracks for maximum flexibility. Whether you’re entering public service or already a professional, you can choose between a fully online track with biweekly (every two weeks) synchronous classes via Zoom or a hybrid track with a face-to-face component held on Gallaudet University’s campus every two weeks. Synchronous classes meet from 5:00 – 7:50 PM Eastern Time. This lets students balance coursework with work, internships, families, or fellowship programs.

Sample Two and three-year plans 

Testimonials from Alumni: 

Discover success stories from our alumni like Sabina Shysh, Jessica Fein, and Min Woo Lee, who highlight the supportive community, valuable skills gained, and incredible professional opportunities provided by Gallaudet’s MPA program.

  • Sabina Shysh, G-’21
    “The faculty and staff at Gallaudet University truly believe in you and the curriculum is designed to help you successfully complete your program. There is nothing like engaging in a small, close-knit cohort that continuously supports each other along the way. The skills and knowledge I have gained through this program have qualified me for so may incredible professional opportunities.”
  • Jessica Fein, G-’21
    “I am very thankful to have been a part of Gallaudet University’s MPA program. The faculty were very supportive and are clearly leaders in the field of public administration. My MPA degree has definitely opened doors for me aned empowered me to pursue my dreams.”
  • Min Woo Lee
    “Having great MPA professors with extensive experience in the 21st century world opened my mind. If you want to change the world for the better, Gallaudet is the right place for opportunities to learn how to use tools, resources, and other people in order to impact the world!”

Who Should Apply? 

We welcome students from diverse backgrounds—communication, government, business, psychology, and many more. Every major has a role in public service! Our program caters to individuals at all career levels, from recent graduates launching their public service careers to seasoned professionals seeking career advancement through a graduate degree in public administration.

About the MPA Program: 

Our exciting and challenging curriculum, taught in ASL and English, prepares students for careers in government and nonprofits. Our faculty, active researchers in public administration, bring the latest trends to the classroom. We emphasize social equity, training graduates to serve their intersectional communities, including the deaf community.

Mission Statement: 

The MPA Program equips students with professional, analytical, and practical leadership skills in government and nonprofits. We prepare students to advocate with integrity, excellence, and professionalism for more significant equity and inclusion in the workplace and society.

Teaching Philosophy: 

We embrace innovative bilingual English and American Sign Language teaching strategies, emphasizing real-world theory and practices. Our curriculum directly prepares you for professional careers, with class activities and assignments mirroring tasks in public service. We value high-quality teaching using innovative teaching methods for a professional graduate program.

Commitment to Students: 

Our commitment is to provide a safe, diverse, high-quality education. We celebrate and embrace diverse students from varied backgrounds. We support students from various racial, ethnic, geographic, countries of origin, Deaf, Deafblind, Hard of Hearing, gender, sexual orientation, gender, disability, language, and political backgrounds.

Professional Resources: 

Explore career opportunities and success stories in public administration. An MPA degree opens doors to leadership roles in nonprofits and various government sectors, including federal agencies like FEMA, the Department of Defense, and Homeland Security.

Courses: 

Our updated course offerings include core courses such as Organizational Change, Leadership Roundtables, Budgeting in the Public Sector, and Ethics in Public Administration. Elective courses cover Nonprofit Management, Successful Grant Writing, and Social Equity.

Join Gallaudet’s MPA program to shape your future in public service, where your journey is our priority. Apply now for a transformative educational experience your way and in your language!

Handbook:

Learn more about our program with the MPA Handbook!

Application Information:

All classes are taught bilingually in American Sign Language (ASL) and English, with high-quality teaching and learning practices. 

We admit MPA students for spring and fall semesters – the deadlines are:

Date of First Consideration for Spring: 

  • October 1

Date of First Consideration for Fall: 

  • February 15

Courses & Requirements

Summary of Requirements

In addition to the requirements below, students must complete 4 elective courses.

Students should consult the MPA Program Handbook for information on specific course sequences. Courses are offered in your modality (online or on campus) every two years, so the specific sequence of courses will vary year by year.

Required Courses

This course is a basic introduction to public administration for professionals working in public sector and non-profit agencies. Topics include the role of bureaucracy in the political process, theories of public organizations, bureaucratic discretion and accountability, policy implementation, and the changing nature of public administration. This course is designed to use lectures, student presentations, group discussion, and field assignments. The ultimate goal of the course is to help students develop a solid understanding of public administration theory and practice.

Credits: 3
Distribution: Graduate, Masters

This course examines the philosophical, political, and practical issues that surround the allocation of funds to publicly supported and not-for-profit agencies, institutions, and other entities. The course of study involves exploration of the structure of government in the United States at the federal, state, and local levels, along with various theories and strategies for raising and distributing public funds, especially within the educational sector. Case studies of public and private educational institutions provide capstones for student achievement.

Credits: 3
Distribution: Graduate, Masters

This course will provide students with an introduction to strategic leadership, strategic analysis, strategic planning, organizational structure and culture, performance based management, and organizational development and change. The focus is on developing innovative and ethical change aspects capable of utilizing internal and external environmental data to lead organizational transformation in complex organizations.

Credits: 3
Distribution: Graduate, Masters

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an introductory overview of the knowledge base in microeconomics and macroeconomics, with an emphasis on the concepts administrators will utilize in practice. At the completion of this course, the student will have first-hand practice critically analyzing common economic concepts such as supply and demand, prices, the price system, markets and market structure, utility, production and costs, marginal analysis, economic indicators, monetary and fiscal policy, international trade and data, opportunity costs and other pedagogies. Critical thinking skills will be gained through understanding of the underlying theoretical basis for these concepts, how they are interrelated with each other and with the overall economy, and how they are applied in policy decisions is also introduced in this course. In addition, students will, through examples based on business and government policies, obtain an introductory understanding of how these concepts are applied in everyday situations, providing additional critical thinking, communication and analytical skills.

Credits: 3
Distribution: Graduate, Masters

This course focuses on core principles of quality management in public and non-profit agencies; for example, customer focus, continuous improvement, employee involvement, and process improvement. Students analyze case studies and design a field project to gain first-hand knowledge of how to implement quality management principles. Students will also learn about the Baldrige National Quality Award program.

Credits: 3
Distribution: Graduate, Masters

Students are introduced to principles of organization theory and design. They examine topics such as organization design; the external environment of organizations; the impact of organizational goals on organizational effectiveness; organizational technology; organizational bureaucracy; classic organizational structures; the impact of structure on innovation, change, information, and control, decision-making in organizations; power and politics; integrating all parts of an organization; and organizational learning and renewal.

Credits: 3
Requisites:

MPA 838 or Permission of the Instructor.

Distribution: Graduate, Masters

Ethics is one of the four foundational pillars of public administration. Given the important role of ethics in public management, this required class is critical for your development as future public servants. Using a seminar format, this course focuses on practical and applied learning about ethical decision-making tools that you can use in the real world. Relying on texts, cases, and simulations, this challenging class will cultivate personal and professional growth to help you face complex public sector situations.

Credits: 3

This course is taken in the final semester of the MPA program. Students reflect on their experiences in the program and build a portfolio that demonstrates their best work. Students will complete various assignments to strengthen their portfolios for the types of jobs to which students are currently applying. At the end of the course, students will have a portfolio of their best work that to show to prospective employers.

Credits: 3

This course will help students review the skills needed to effectively and empathically navigate communication in the public sector. Using applied learning activities and real-world case studies, this course will highlight the importance for informed communication strategies in the public sector. Topics explored will include the fundamentals of writing as a professional, accountability for intent and impact of communication, and cultivating strong intrapersonal communication as a professional.

Credits: 3
Distribution: Graduate, Masters

Courses

Other

Women have an enduring, though often unacknowledged, legacy in public administration. This course will explore the intellectual history and persistent challenges of women in the field and practice of public administration. This class is a seminar class that focuses on student-driven learning and application about the role of women in public administration. Relying on texts, cases, and simulations, this class will enhance personal and professional knowledge of future public servants about the important role of women in public administration.

Information

Job Outlook

Faculty

Geoffrey Whitebread

Assistant Professor

Sean Maiwald

Lecturer I

Angela Cannella

Adjunct Faculty I

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