Public Administration

The Master of Science in Administration with a specialization in Public Administration is an interdisciplinary degree offered entirely online. The program of studies is designed to prepare students for advanced management and leadership roles in public and not-for-profit organizations at the federal, state and local levels.


Graduate Students in Public Administration at UWF will build managerial and analytical skills useful in a career in governmental and nonprofit organizations. The program integrates administrative theory and practice, and is designed to provide an understanding of governmental and not-for-profit structures and processes as well as the political/economic/organizational environment in which the administrator works.

This Online Graduate Program is well suited for mid-career specialists as well as pre-service students. Specialists who desire to move into broader administrative positions of responsibility or to upgrade their administrative capabilities will find the program useful. Pre-service students are provided important networking opportunities through interaction in online classes with experienced mid-level professional and/or executive staff presently employed in governmental or not-for-profit agencies.

For more information on core and specialization requirements, please visit the Online UWF Catalog.

Download the Public Administration Academic Learning Plan: MSA-Public-Administration-ALP (PDF)

Download the Public Administration Curriculum Map: MSA-Public-Administration-CMGR (PDF)

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate knowledge of each functional area of American public bureaucracy and describe the integration of the functional areas of American public bureaucracy.

Students will clearly differentiate the meaning of bureaucracy as the term is utilized in the social sciences and contrast that meaning with the generally accepted mythical meanings attached to the term, including the impact of this difference on understanding how American government actually functions.

Students will demonstrate that bureaucratic organizational structures are efficient and effective and relate this fact to the concepts, “bureaucratic failure” and “market failure.”

Students will describe currently utilized structure and organizational forms of public and nonprofit organizations, as well as describe the institutional framework within which these structures function in American democracy.

Students will analyze public and not-for-profit budgeting processes found in existing public and not-for-profit organizations, create valid and useful suggested improvements to these budgeting processes, describe appropriate performance measures for these organizational processes and describe the linkage between performance measures and the budgeting decision-making process.

Students will summarize the leading theories of leadership and describe the evolution and history of these leadership theories, including demonstrating an understanding of the difference between “leadership” and “public management.”

Students will demonstrate knowledge of alternative governance structures in the politico-economic system found in the United States including market processes, polyarchy and the regulatory process. In this connection, they will be able to discuss the limitations of the application of neoclassical market structure analysis as compared to the institutional economics approach to analysis of current privatization movement in the United States.

Admissions Requirements

  • GRE or GMAT score at the end of the first semester for admission
  • A letter of intent
  • Contact information for three professional references

For more specific graduate admissions requirements, visit the Online UWF Catalog.

Course Descriptions

Course descriptions for MSA Specialization Courses and Core Courses are available from the Online UWF Catalog.

Prospective job areas for graduates of the public administration specialization include, among others:

  • City Manager
  • Assistant City Manager
  • City Administrator
  • Assistant City Administrator
  • County Administrator
  • Assistant County Administrator
  • Admin Specialist
  • Personnel Specialist
  • Labor Relations Specialist
  • Logistician Intern
  • Policy Analyst
  • Legislative Liaison
  • Legislative Assistant
  • Budget Analyst

Contact Us

Dr. Bill Tankersley
MSA-Public Administration Coordinator
Department of Applied Science, Technology and Administration
University of West Florida
11000 University Parkway, Building 77, Room 121
Pensacola, FL 32514
Phone: (850) 474-2338
Email: wtankers@uwf.edu

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