Master of Public Management

Program Coordinator: Dr. Shiko Gathuo
Phone: 508-929-8892

The Master of Public Management (MPM) is offered to students interested in careers in public sector management.  Specifically, this program was created for managers of public agencies and those who implement policy at municipal, regional and state levels.  Courses are offered in a blended format, combining face-to-face and online interaction to meet the scheduling needs of students.  Housed in a vibrant Urban Studies department, the MPM capitalizes on Worcester State University’s urban location and helps to develop public leaders for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and beyond.

This program has an interdisciplinary core faculty drawn from many academic disciplines including Urban Studies, Sociology, Political Science, Economics, Management, and Criminal Justice.  

A three-course Action Research and Management Project Fieldwork component at the end of the program allows for real-life experience and a synthesis and evaluation of coursework.

Admission Requirements

  • Online application with essay and application fee (
  • Bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 2.75.
  • Two letters of recommendation from a professional or academic source.
  • Prerequisite courses: Introductory courses in Principles of Management, Economics, and a course in political science.  A course in financial accounting is highly recommended.
  • Students may take up to six (6) credits before matriculation.

Items Needed to Apply:

  • Online application found at
  • Essay explaining reason for pursuing this degree program
  • Application fee
  • Two letters of recommendation from professional or academic sources
  • Official transcripts from ALL colleges and universities attended showing a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 2.75
  • Official transcript evaluation for any transcript from outside the United States
  • An English language proficiency test if the student’s academic background is not in English
  • Prerequisite courses: Introductory courses in Principles of Management, Economics, and a course in political science. A course in financial accounting is highly recommended

Program Requirements

Core Courses(21 credits)
PM-901Project Management for Public Organizations3
PM-903Economics for Policy Analysis3
PM-934Ethics & Management of Human Resources3
PM-942Organizational Theory3
PM-945Financial Management for Public Organizations3
PM-949Strategic Leadership & Planning for Public Organizations3
PM-951Negotiation & Conflict Resolution for Public Organizations3
Elective Courses 1(6 credits)
Any two electives offered in the program, including an independent study and/or an internship6
Action Research/Management Project Fieldwork(9 credits)
PM-990Action Research3
PM-980Management Project Fieldwork I for Public Management2
PM-981Management Project Fieldwork II for Public Management4
Total Credits36

Students may choose any two electives offered in the program.  They may also choose to do an independent study and/or internship.  The Independent Study and Internship count as elective credit.  Only one Independent Study may be taken during the student’s program of study.  All electives, the Independent Study and the internship are three (3) credits.


PM-651 Negot. & Confl. Res. Pub. Org.

3 Credits

PM-901 Project Management for Public Organizations

This introductory course will provide students with the skills, tools, and techniques necessary to run a project successfully from conception to evaluation. Students will learn the systematic methods of planning, implementing, and evaluating a project. Students will develop a broad range of skills including communication, team management, coordination, monitoring, and control. Specific resource management (time, space, and people) will be explored.

Every year. 3 Credits

PM-902 Internship

With the help of an internship coordinator, local students who do not have nonprofit experience and all international students will identify suitable nonprofit organizations in which to do an internship. The internship must provide valuable, career-related experience and learning goals. The goals of the internship will be established in conjunction with the coordinator and the host organization. These goals should take into account the student's career interest, for example, development, fundraising and grant-writing, human resources management, financial management etc. Students must complete a minimum of 100 hours in the organization and write a summary of the internship experience.

Every year. 3 Credits

PM-903 Economics for Policy Analysis

Prerequisites: an introductory course in Economics

This course utilizes both microeconomic and macroeconomic concepts and tools with an emphasis on applications to public management and policy analysis. Decision-making in the public sector is made within a political context and involves different considerations than decision-making in the private sector. This course is designed to help public policy administrators and managers address real-world issues and problems from an economic perspective to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their organizations. Central issues will include the following: the economic justification for government involvement, the balancing of efficiency and equity, and the development of policies to improve the well-being of citizens.

Every year. 3 Credits

PM-908 Legal, Regulatory & Ethical Issues in Healthcare

An overview of the legal and regulatory framework governing health care from both the manager and the client's point of view. Legal rights and duties of patients and health-care providers, hospital liability, hospital-physician relationships, patient's rights, informed consent, privacy and confidentiality, negligence and malpractice.

Every year. 3 Credits

PM-934 Ethics & Management of Human Resources

Leaders and managers of nonprofit and public organizations face moral and ethical dilemmas in dealing with their publics (clients, staff, volunteers, donors, government agencies, board of directors, collaborating partners, the community, etc.). These dilemmas are particularly pronounced in those organizations because the organizations operate under strict ethical guidelines, are accountable to the general public, and have to deal with many different publics. This course will explore the ways in which leaders resolve these ethical dilemmas while sustaining their organizations. Additionally, this course will explore the human resources management functions including planning, recruitment & selection, motivation, compensation & employee services, development.

Every year. 3 Credits

PM-940 Leadership Skills & Group Dynamics

Explores the nature and principles of effective group and organizational leadership. Students participate in a group which studies its own leadership process. Examples will be taken from therapy groups, business/organizational situations, classrooms and other case studies. Emphasis upon the com- ponents of effective leadership and fellowship in small groups and organizations. Group formation, group roles, group stages, and group conflicts are studied.

Every year. 3 Credits

PM-942 Organizational Theory

Organizational theory and development strategies considered. Formal and informal aspects organizations, authority structures, specialization and integration of functions, and the role of professional managers.

Every year. 3 Credits

PM-944 Politics and Public Policy

An explication of the nature of political power and the influence of power upon the delivery of various types of nonprofit, public, health care and human services.

Every year. 3 Credits

PM-945 Financial Management for Public Organizations

This course explores the theoretical, technical and political elements of financial management in public organization settings. The primary objective is to enable students to gain an understanding of how to develop and use financial information to make management decisions in public organizations. The course focuses on: 1) the development, implementation and control of a financial plan, and, 2) the development of financial statements including the summarizing and reporting of the organization's financial performance, and the analysis of the organization's financial health. The course will emphasize the use of financial statements by managers of public organizations.

Other or on demand and other or on demand. 3 Credits

PM-946 Seminar in Program Analysis & Evaluation

Explores philosophical issues, politics, and specific evaluation instruments involved in effective program analysis upon utilization of computer systems.

Every year. 3 Credits

PM-949 Strategic Leadership & Planning for Public Organizations

This course will critically examine the external and internal environments of public organizations through exploration of the strategic planning process. It will involve a discussion of various strategic leadership decisions and the management skills necessary to design and implement a successful plan, in the light of the political dynamics in strategic planning.

Every year. 3 Credits

PM-950 Unions & the Public Sector

An intensive examination of key collective bargaining topics. Topics include grievance-arbitration processes, productivity bargaining, and impasse resolutions in the public sector.

Every year. 3 Credits

PM-951 Negotiation & Conflict Resolution for Public Organizations

Through theory and situational role playing, students will learn effective skills in negotiation, mediation, arbitration and conflict resolution. The course will provide an opportunity for students to diagnose and plan different situations requiring negotiation and conflict management, practice the negotiation process and develop confidence in approaching and diffusing tense situations.

Every year. 3 Credits

PM-980 Management Project Fieldwork I for Public Management

Prerequisites: 5 courses From courses PM-901 PM-942 PM-945 PM-949 PM-951 PM-903 PM-934;
Corequisites: PM-990

In individual consultation with the instructor, students will identify a management project and write a plan to carry out their projects. The plan will include: an executive summary, explanation of strategic/organizational alignment, project scope, feasibility assessment, and contingency plans, constraints, human resources requirements, material/equipment requirements, project schedule, budget/cost estimate, risk management, project issues, change management, communication management, approvals and attachments.

Every year. 2 Credits

PM-981 Management Project Fieldwork II for Public Management

Prerequisites: PM-990 and PM-980

In individual consultation with the instructor, students will implement their Management Projects as identified in PM 980.

Every year. 4 Credits

PM-990 Action Research

Prerequisites: 5 courses From Courses PM-901 PM-942 PM-945 PM-949 PM-951 PM-903 PM-934;
Corequisites: PM-980

The goal of this course is to prepare students to undertake nonprofit-relevant research projects in areas of their choice, by developing an understanding of fundamental concepts of research design. By the end of the course, students develop a research proposal.

Every year. 3 Credits

PM-993 Public Relations for Public Organizations

This course will explore the theories of human interaction as they relate to the public sphere. Students will acquire effective public relations skills that are essential for success in the public sector. This course will review the components of a public relations campaign, and help students learn to develop public relations tools such as news releases, pitch letters, biographies, position papers, crisis communications, and other tools included in a strategic publications relations kit. This is an essential course for managers and administrators of public agencies who must constantly communicate their agencies' position to various, often divergent constituencies.

Other or on demand and other or on demand. 3 Credits

PM-994 Assigned Readings

Independent study under faculty supervision. Student will define area of advanced study in an area of nonprofit,health care, public agency, human service or human resource training and development.

Every year. 3 Credits

PM-996 Public Law

Legal framework and constraints within which nonprofit administrators operate. Discussion of rights and responsibilities, and discretionary limits of managerial decision-making.

Every year. 3 Credits

  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the role of the public sector
  • Students will demonstrate an awareness of the relationship between politics and public policy
  • Students will demonstrate an appreciation of the role that social construction plays in policy setting and implementation
  • Students will have demonstrable knowledge of the interconnectedness of the public, private and nonprofit sectors
  • Students will demonstrate the skills needed to lead and manage a diverse pool of public sector employees
  • Students will demonstrate the skills required to communicate with and manage the wide array of stakeholders of a public organization
  • Students will demonstrate the skills necessary to plan, implement and evaluate special projects while being engaged in the day-to-day operations of a public organization
  • Students will demonstrate the skills to allocate and manage the resources required to serve the public effectively
  • Students will demonstrate familiarity with technological tools required to run a successful public organization
  • Students will demonstrate the grasp and application of research concepts and the ability to make evidence-based tactical, operational, and strategic decisions
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to innovate solutions and solve problems creatively
  • Students will demonstrate job readiness through engagement with real-life public organizations and projects
  • Students will demonstrate an empathetic understanding of the range of human experiences and the role of public servants in ensuring the equitable treatment of all constituents