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Master of Public
Administration (MPA)
in Human Resource

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230K+ Alumni Worldwide


The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program is for those looking to pursue a leadership career in government management at the federal, state, or local level and nonprofit management. The instruction, case studies, research, and presentations allow you to develop and strengthen skills in financial management, budgeting, quantitative methods, urban planning and redevelopment, personnel policies, politics, and grant writing.

The Human Resource Management (HRM) specialization prepares you to manage people, their needs, and their organizational performance. Coursework focuses on recruiting, selecting, training, evaluating, and compensating employees. You’ll explore changes in the workplace — such as governmental regulations, global competition, developing technologies, and organizational transformations — and their influence on worker performance. With technical knowledge and practical skills for supporting a multicultural workforce, you’ll be ready to bring new ideas, efficient tools, and leadership skills to managing an organization’s most valuable resource: its people.

Admission Requirements

A conferred bachelor’s degree or a master’s or doctoral degree from a regionally or nationally accredited academic institution.

Course Details

Required Courses

For the Master of Public Administration degree with a specialization in Human Resource Management, you must complete eight foundational courses and four specialization courses.

Foundation Courses

Course Name

A general survey course covering the role of the public sector manager in modern American society. This course explores current issues and leading concepts in nonprofit management.

An examination of influences affecting urban politics. This course covers elements of the community that impact the decision-making process, i.e., employee groups, labor influences, community groups, media, and other special interests. Additionally, you’ll explore the relationships between intergovernmental agencies.

This course studies the crucial aspects of personnel management in government, including civil service procedures, affirmative action, employee motivation, and organizational development.

A practical study of graphical methods and statistical procedures used in presenting, interpreting, and solving problems in the public administration field.

An exploration of the role, values, and issues of public management in democratic governance, citizen participation, power structures, and professional codes of conduct.

This course studies the historical development of urban planning concepts, general plans, practices, and their elements in the urban community. You’ll also examine the use of technology in the modern planning process.

A survey of current governmental fiscal management techniques and issues. This course examines the financial and technical assistance presented to quasi-governmental and nonprofit management organizations.

In this two-month capstone course, you’ll work individually or in teams under the guidance of an assigned faculty advisor. You’ll prepare for your MPA project by clarifying your research topic and identifying data sources. Then, gather, interpret, and present your data and research to faculty and classmates in written and oral form. Grading is “H,” “S,” or “U” only.

* You must complete five Public Administration courses — minimum — before taking this course.

Specialization Courses

Course Name

A comprehensive analysis of the laws and regulations that impact human resource management. This course focuses on equal employment opportunities, affirmative action, health and safety, the privacy of information, and methods of liability prevention in employment matters. Integrated into the coursework are ethical considerations related to HR, including employer use of power, organizational business practices, and safety concerns.

This course compares and evaluates human resource planning, organizing, directing, and monitoring. You’ll examine critical HR processes, including recruiting, selecting, placing, and integrating individuals within organizations. Emphasis will be on the selection process (testing and assessment of skills and traits that influence work performance), employee integration (employee development and career planning), outsourcing, and critical aspects of performance management.

A managerial-level survey of training theory and its practical applications. This course integrates training and development, organizational development, and career development in a business and management environment. You’ll learn the functions and duties of training and development, how to identify and assess training needs, training program design and development, delivery methods and means of instruction, and how to implement and evaluate training programs.

An overview of the latest human resource management technology and its impact on HR administration and organizational development. You’ll learn how automated systems can integrate and assess the fundamental aspects of wages and salaries, benefits administration, and employee rewards and incentives within modern organizations.

Learning Outcomes

In addition to the academic outcomes for all Master of Public Administration graduates, students completing the Human Resource Management specialization will learn to:

  • Complete a job analysis for a specific job for recruiting, selection, training, performance appraisal, and compensation
  • Develop a recruiting plan and design a selection process for recruiting, interviewing, and selecting job candidates within an organization
  • Conduct a needs assessment and design a training program for employees on a specific topic related to organizational goals
  • Assess benefits relevant to the employee population and organizational structure, and formulate a compensation system based on merit, knowledge, and skill acquisition
  • Recognize, analyze, and effectively address ethical, legal, and safety challenges faced in the workplace, and develop policies designed to prevent employer liability
Program Disclosure

Successful completion and attainment of National University degrees do not lead to automatic or immediate licensure, employment, or certification in any state/country. The University cannot guarantee that any professional organization or business will accept a graduate’s application to sit for any certification, licensure, or related exam for the purpose of professional certification.

Program availability varies by state. Many disciplines, professions, and jobs require disclosure of an individual’s criminal history, and a variety of states require background checks to apply to, or be eligible for, certain certificates, registrations, and licenses. Existence of a criminal history may also subject an individual to denial of an initial application for a certificate, registration, or license and/or result in the revocation or suspension of an existing certificate, registration, or license. Requirements can vary by state, occupation, and/or licensing authority.

NU graduates will be subject to additional requirements on a program, certification/licensure, employment, and state-by-state basis that can include one or more of the following items: internships, practicum experience, additional coursework, exams, tests, drug testing, earning an additional degree, and/or other training/education requirements.

All prospective students are advised to review employment, certification, and/or licensure requirements in their state, and to contact the certification/licensing body of the state and/or country where they intend to obtain certification/licensure to verify that these courses/programs qualify in that state/country, prior to enrolling. Prospective students are also advised to regularly review the state’s/country’s policies and procedures relating to certification/licensure, as those policies are subject to change.

National University degrees do not guarantee employment or salary of any kind. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to review desired job positions to review degrees, education, and/or training required to apply for desired positions. Prospective students should monitor these positions as requirements, salary, and other relevant factors can change over time.