Astrid Merget, Ph.D., Dean
George O. Assibey-Mensah, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Public and
Mark Reshkin, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Public and Environmental Affairs and Professor Emeritus of Geology
The Trustees of Indiana University established the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) as a statewide program of the university in January of 1972.
The university has identified at least four groups that SPEA can serve: Indiana University students, both graduate and undergraduate, from all the university’s campuses; professionals and paraprofessionals presently working in public or environmental affairs careers; government agencies, local, state, and federal; citizen groups and professional organizations. In addition to regular graduate and undergraduate degree programs, the school offers special and innovative degree and nondegree programs for people already employed, including contract education projects for various public agencies and interest groups and professional organizations.
The Division of Public and Environmental Affairs and Political Science at IUN offers academic programs at the associate, baccalaureate, and master’s degree levels for both regular IUN students and for individuals presently working in public affairs, criminal justice, health services, human services, or environmental affairs settings. The division also operates a unit designed to address a variety of public issues and problems, in particular those of northwest Indiana. The Great Lakes Center for Public Affairs and Administration conducts research on public problems, provides services to public agencies, and engages in educational programs designed to aid public officials and to inform the public on a variety of public issues.
The general regulations and policies detailed in this bulletin apply to all students in the division.
General Scholarship Rule
Any student whose work is unsatisfactory or whose conduct is unethical may be dismissed from the division.
The Public Service Internship Program involves participation by both graduate and undergraduate students. Graduate students enroll in SPEA V585 Practicum in Public Affairs. Graduate students in the Master of Public Affairs program without professionally relevant experience must meet an experiential requirement, which can be met by enrolling in an approved internship—a minimum of 300 contact hours of internship work is required. In the graduate program, a maximum of 6 credit hours is allowed for participation in off-campus experiences.
Internship possibilities are developed by the division and involve specific job descriptions from public and private agencies willing to involve students in significant professional activities in public and environmental affairs. In all cases, specific job details and descriptions of supervisory capacity of the agencies must be filed before credit may be arranged. No off-campus experiences are approved for credit unless the necessary information is filed and approved before the assignment begins. Information can be obtained from the Division of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUN.
While the internship program is intended for students enrolled in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, students in related disciplines who have an interest in the public sector and meet eligibility requirements may be considered for admission on a provisional basis.
The graduate program of the Division of Public and Environmental Affairs and Political Science consists of the degree Master of Public Affairs (M.P.A.) and courses for credit toward the degree Master of Science in Environmental Science, which is offered on the Bloomington campus.
Admission to the Graduate Program
Complete transcripts of previous college and university work must accompany all applications. Indiana University graduates should ask the Office of the Registrar to send unofficial copies of their transcripts to this department. The student must request that all colleges and universities attended mail certified copies of transcripts to the director of the degree program selected.
Examinations for Admission
Note: See SPEA Graduate Programs Bulletin for program restrictions.
The Certificate in Environmental Affairs program is a 15 credit hour program of study in environmental affairs. The program is flexible enough to adapt to the needs of pre-career or in-service persons and to individuals with varying degrees of experience. Individuals currently employed in industry, non-profit organizations, and the public sector in environmentally related positions who have technical backgrounds but who see greater insight and formal education on economic, policy, and legal issues related to the critical environmental issues will find the program particularly beneficial.
The Certificate in Public Management is a focused 15 credit hour program of study in public management for those students interested in a less extensive course of study at the graduate level. The certificate program is flexible enough to be adapted to the needs of pre-career and in-service individuals and can accommodate people interested in a wide variety of public careers ranging from social work to criminal justice to health administration.
The certificate is ideal for those persons in public and community organizations or agencies who wish to supplement their primary fields of professional or technical competence, persons who are changing from professional or technical roles to managerial roles in the public service, career employees of public and community agencies who are interested in studying a sequence of core courses in public management, or students who wish to explore the field of public management before committing themselves to an extended degree program.
Candidates with a bachelor’s degree are admitted to the program from a variety of educational backgrounds. Credits earned for the certificate may later be applied toward the M.P.A. degree.
The Nonprofit Management Certificate is a 15 credit hour program of study, designed to serve the needs of individuals who would like exposure to the nonprofit sector and nonprofit management issues but who do not wish or need to pursue a degree in nonprofit management. The certificate complements other courses of study or career experience in such areas as social work, library science, and parks and recreation. Students pursuing a nonprofit management certificate gain an understanding of how to work in and with nonprofit organizations. This certificate program is designed to be parallel to the existing certificate program in public management offered by the School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
Previous graduate credit from other schools at Indiana University or other universities may be accepted toward a degree in the Master of Public Affairs program up to a total of 9 credit hours. The particular courses to be awarded credit will be arranged with the director of the division. A Transfer-of-Credit Form must be completed, and approval must be granted for each course for which transfer credit is desired. This is true both for previous work at Indiana University, outside the Division of Public and Environmental Affairs and Political Science, and for graduate work at other institutions. Courses outside the division planned in conjunction with the chairperson of the graduate program for the student’s course of study need not be petitioned.
Undergraduate course work that, in the judgment of the Graduate Committee, substantially duplicates degree requirements may be accepted in lieu of particular required courses, but the total number of credits required will not be reduced.
A—highest passing grade; B; C—lowest passing grade; D; F—failed; I—Incomplete; W—withdrawn; NR—no report; (+) or (-) may be attached to any of the grades A-D.
An Incomplete indicates that the work is satisfactory as of the end of the semester but has not yet been completed. This grade may be awarded only when the student’s work is of passing quality and upon evidence that personal hardship would render it unjust to hold that student to the time limits previously fixed for the completion of the work. Normally, faculty members are reluctant to give the grade of Incomplete. One calendar year is allowed for the removal of an Incomplete unless the chairperson of the graduate program authorizes an adjustment of this period due to exceptional circumstances. If those procedures are not followed, the I is changed to F.
Students cannot be certified for graduation until their records are clear of all Incompletes.
Grade Average, Provisional, and Probationary Status
The purpose of the midcareer option of the Master of Public Affairs graduate program is to enhance the professional capabilities of those with previous training or experience in public service. It is a program capable of being specially designed to meet the educational and professional needs of the individual.
Some administrators are engaged in professional capacities requiring deeper understanding of certain specialties. Others with considerable experience in a specialization may wish to broaden their knowledge and perspectives. The midcareer option can accommodate those needs.
Credit waiver may be granted to midcareer option students for significant administrative or policy-level work experience. This work experience may be of a managerial nature or may be in program or policy development (which may or may not include experience in management, e.g., as a planner). The work experience need not necessarily be with a governmental agency. Many private and quasi-public organizations have significant governmental contacts. Furthermore, much management-level experience in the private sector is applicable to the public sector.
Students wishing to take full advantage of the midcareer option should apply as soon as regular admission to the program has been granted. The Graduate Committee makes a determination of eligibility for the midcareer option for each applicant. Students granted the midcareer option for more than 6 credit hours may not take SPEA V585 Practicum in Public Affairs for credit. Decisions about the midcareer option are made separately from decisions about transfer of credit. Under no circumstances will the midcareer option and the transfer of credit total more than 21 credit hours of the 48 credit hour degree requirement. Students receiving the midcareer option should carefully plan their programs in consultation with an advisor as early as possible. Certification of the plan of study by the advisor is necessary.
The Master of Public Affairs (M.P.A.) program, which is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), is an integrated course of study that requires a minimum of 48 credit hours and is offered at the Bloomington, Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Northwest, and South Bend campuses of Indiana University. The program provides knowledge and experience that can be used by the professional in various roles within a changing public sector. It is also an interdisciplinary, professional program drawing on diverse faculty talents and resources. The goal of the program is to equip the individual with the necessary skills and knowledge to enter local, state, or federal government or quasi-governmental service and to broaden comprehension of the economic, environmental, political, and social context in which the public servant works.
The curriculum of this program as contained in the core requirements encompasses preparation in a broad range of skills relevant to the operation of public agencies. It is, therefore, interdisciplinary, based on the academic disciplines, but not limited to any one; it is also problem-oriented, bringing the disciplines to bear on critical social, environmental, economic, and administrative conditions.
Although the environment of public service is diverse and changing, effectiveness in that environment requires the development of special skills attained through detailed study in a chosen field of concentration. The fields of concentration span the variety of professional specialties found in public service. Thus, the program provides both expertise in a specific concentration area and in the core requirements, and a general working knowledge of public affairs.
Transfer of Credit
The general and core requirements of the M.P.A. degree are common to the five campuses where it is offered. However, concentration requirements may vary among campuses; therefore, the student should refer to the concentration requirements under the campus listings in this bulletin for concentration availability and/or requirements.
The Master of Public Affairs program requires a minimum of 48 graduate credit hours and completion of (1) the foundation requirement, (2) the core requirement, (3) the experiential requirement, and (4) the concentration requirement. The foundation requirement ensures that each student has the requisite background in the areas of computing, economics, government, and mathematics to facilitate the mastery of core course material. No graduate credit is given for work done to satisfy this requirement.
The core requirement consists of 21 credit hours of work in six to seven courses, six of which are required of all students pursuing an M.P.A. degree. The experiential requirement ensures that each graduate of the M.P.A. program has gained insight into the world of public service by way of an experience outside the classroom involving contact with prospective peers. This experience may or may not involve the accumulation of credit hours toward the degree. Each student must also complete the requirements of one concentration, which consists of 18-21 credit hours of work. The remaining credit hours necessary for graduation, if any, are general electives that can be used to add breadth to a student’s program; to further explore a field of concentration; or to enhance quantitative tools or administrative techniques.
The following seven courses are required.
Unusually well-prepared applicants may petition the program director to waive one or more of the core requirements on the basis of advanced work done elsewhere. Students may be exempted based on satisfactory equivalent course work or by an examination. Credit hours waived from the core will add to the electives a student may use. Students requesting course waivers should contact the appropriate program director for requirements and guidelines.
Concentrations give the student a focused educational experience in a substantive area of interest. The concentration is selected in conjunction with the faculty advisor and appropriate SPEA administrator. Concentrations offered include criminal justice, health services administration, human services administration, and management of public affairs.
The criminal justice concentration is for those interested in the issues, methods, and skills involved in the management of criminal justice or related agencies.
The health services administration concentration is for public administration students who plan to assume a managerial position in the health services field. This concentration affords the student the opportunity to study policy, issues, and programs related to the health services field.
This concentration prepares persons for management positions in federal, state, and local human resource agencies. Emphases include application of public management processes to human service organization; skills requisite to working with elected officials, administrative officials, and consumer groups; and practices of comprehensive departments of human resources, interagency administrative units, and multiservice centers.
The Public Management Concentration consists of a structured program that facilitates the development of a managerial perspective. The intent of the curriculum is to ensure breadth of coverage across those areas essential to a managerial career.
1 Only required if student is not proficient in quantitative skills.