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In government and non-profit organizations, there is a significant need and a long-term demand for persons with advanced skills in information management technology. The primary purpose of this dual degree option is to prepare students to manage and lead organizations in the future. To meet this need, the School of Public Administration and the College of Information Science and Technology offer the option to complete both the MPA and the MS in MIS degrees jointly and by completing 54 to 57 hours of course work beyond foundation requirements. This dual degree program is designed for dedicated students who are able to successfully complete graduate intensive study from two perspectives -- Public Administration and Management Information Systems - while achieving a synergy between the two fields. As such, the program involves graduate coursework in both public administration and information systems, with integrative experiences that will attain the desired synergy. Students interested in this option will work closely with a faculty mentor to develop an integrated plan of study at an early stage. Students who complete the dual degree program will receive two degrees, two diplomas, and will have both degrees recorded on their transcript.


  1. Complete and submit the graduate application form for admission.
  2. Submit a detailed resume indicating your work experience and background.
  3. Application for Admission to the MPA program.
  4. Submit the essay described in the MPA Admission form.
  5. A writing sample from work or previous academic experiences. Alternatively, if you do not have a writing sample, please submit a two page double-spaced word processed essay that addresses the following two topics:
    1. Discussion of two accomplishments that demonstrate your potential for success in the graduate program
    2. Discussion of your unique personal qualities and life experiences that distinguish you from other applicants to our graduate program.
  6. Ask three references who can evaluate your work and/or academic achievements to complete and return a recommendation letter.
  7. Send two official transcripts of all college coursework. All applicants must have the equivalent of a 4-year undergraduate degree.
  8. International applicants who do not have a baccalaureate or equivalent degree from an English-speaking institution of higher education in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, English-speaking Africa, Australia, Ireland or New Zealand are required to submit TOEFL and GRE scores. The minimum TOEFL requirement is 550 (or 213 if computer-based TOEFL).
  9. Results of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) verbal, quantitative and written sections. There is no minimum GRE requirement, but the score is one important factor used in evaluating an applicant’s portfolio.


Each applicant will be considered on an individual basis. Applicants for the MSIS/MPA dual degree program must have earned a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited four-year institution of higher learning or the equivalent foreign institution, and earned a GPA of 2.85 (on a 4.0 scale). Since many factors influence the success of a graduate student, factors such as the applicant's maturity, motivation, employment history, writing samples, work experience, and other accomplishments also will be considered in making admission decisions. In addition, the GRE and, where applicable, TOEFL scores will also be used to make an admission decision.


Students will be admitted jointly for the MS in MIS and the MPA programs under this track. The MPA and MS in MIS graduate program committee chairs will coordinate the admission process between the two programs. Though not required, it is highly recommended students start by completing foundation courses in the MS in MIS program.


The degree requirements for the dual MPA and MS in MIS program include the completion of 54 or 57 semester hours of graduate credit beyond foundation courses identified at the time of admission. These hours will be completed as follows. Please note that in case a core course is waived, students will be required to take an elective course to replace those credits.

  • Core Courses: 39 credit hours
    • MPA program beginning core: 9 hours required (3 courses)
      • PA 8010 The Public Economy
      • PA 8050 Introduction to Public Administration
      • PA 8090 Organization Theory and Behavior
    • MS in MIS program: 18 hours required (6 courses)
      • ISQA 8210 Management of Software Development
      • ISQA 8220 Advanced Systems Analysis and Design
      • ISQA 8310 Data Communications
      • ISQA 8380 Managing the Distributed Computing Enivironment
      • ISQA 8410 Database Management
      • ISQA 8420 Managing the IS Function
    • Methods course: 3 hours required:
      • either PA 8120 Research Methods for Public Administration or ISQA 8060 Research in Management Information Systems.
    • MPA ending core: 9 hours (3 courses)
      • PA 8300 Policy Design and Implementation
      • either PA 8320 Public Policy Evaluation or PA 8450 Seminar in Advanced Management Analysis in Public Agencies
      • either PA 8440 Organization Develop. & Planned Change in the Public Sector or PA 8530 Strategic Planning & Mgmt in Public & Non-Profit Organizations.

  • Electives: 12 credit hours Students will take a minimum of 6 hours each of ISQA elective courses and PA elective courses. Students may choose to specialize in the following areas, or in another area with the approval of their faculty advisor. In any case, one of these courses must be PA 8400, PA 8480, PA 8720, or PA 8896 (Non-Profit Financial Management); and all courses must be at the 8000-level.
    • Program Management
      • PA 8450 Seminar in Advanced Management Analysis in Public Agencies
      • PA 8400 Public Budgeting
      • ISQA 8810 IT Project Fundamentals
      • ISQA 8820 Project Risk Management
    • Financial Management Information Systems
      • PA 8480 Seminar in Public Financial Administration
      • PA 8400 Public Budgeting
      • ISQA 8596 IT Audit and Control
      • ISQA 8570 Information Security Policy and Ethics
    • Health Care Information Systems
      • PA 8720 Health Care Finance
      • PA 8740 Health Care Policy
      • ISQA 8570 Information Security Policy and Ethics
      • ISQA 8400 Clinical Systems Architecture and Function

  • Integrative Experience (Required): 3-6 credit hours
    • Capstone/Exam Option: Students will take the MPA program capstone course (PA 8990) or the MPA comprehensive exam and an additional elective. Students will also take the MS in MIS comprehensive exam.
    • Thesis Option: To take this option, a student will be required to enroll in six hours of thesis credit either in the MPA program (PA 8980) or in the MS in MIS program (ISQA 8990). The thesis must be in an area that relates to both the public administration and information systems domains.

Foundation Courses: A student must have completed some basic courses either as an undergraduate student or prior to enrolling in the first MS in MIS course. Students may start MPA courses while completing the MIS foundation courses. More information on specific foundation requirements are available on the ISQA web site for the MS in MIS program.


Each student admitted to the dual degree option will within the first semester of their enrollment file a detailed plan of study in close consultation with a graduate advisor.

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This page was last updated on January 28, 2009.