College of Social Sciences
Social Sciences 631
2424 Maile Way
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-8260
Fax: (808) 956-9571
*R. Pratt, PhD (Director)-political science
*D. Foley, PhD-public administration
S. Daniels, PhD-political science
Cooperating Graduate Faculty
T. Brislin-Department of Journalism
J. Dator-Department of Political Science
L. Despain-Department of English
D. Neubauer-Department of Political Science
J. Guden, JD
C. Grandy, PhD
Degree and Certificate Offered: MPA, Certificate in Public Administration
The Academic Program
The public administration (PUBA) program at the University of Hawai'i is designed to enhance leadership in public service in Hawai'i and the Pacific. Located in the College of Social Sciences, it offers a 30-credit master's degree and a 15-credit certificate. The program's format emphasizes interdisciplinary learning, collaborative teaching, and the development of close relationships between participants. It creates an environment in which many of the complex issues facing those with public responsibilities are addressed while also giving participants specific skills useful to their work.
Financial support for the degree and the certificate is available through the Herman S. Doi Fellowship. For further information, contact the program office in Social Sciences 631 or call (808) 956-8260 or (808) 956-3687.
The master's degree consists of a core year, an individuated concentration, a practicum experience, and a capstone. The core year and capstone must be taken first and last in the program, respectively. Once the program begins in the fall, new admissions are not made until the following year.
The core year consists of an integrated, collaboratively taught curriculum offered in a format that balances lecture and discussion sessions. The curriculum is highly interdisciplinary and integrates a series of topics deemed essential to effective work in public service roles. These include communications, the political-economic context of public institutions, economic processes, public ethics, policy processes, administrative law, bureaucratic structure and organizational change, and the role of personal and organizational culture.
The individuated concentration is intended to balance the common work of the core year. It allows each student to design a program of study built around a theme of special personal and professional interest. The concentration is satisfied by completion of 9 credit hours in course work, directed reading, or directed research. Themes are created by the student working in conjunction with a faculty adviser. Anyone electing the thesis (Plan A) option may substitute concentration credits for thesis work with approval of the faculty adviser.
The practicum is designed to place individuals in a setting where they may compare organizational structure and processes. The length and specific nature of the practicum varies according to the student's experience in public organizations. In some cases placement in one organization may be modified to become work on a project that takes place across several organizations.
The capstone consists of a 1-credit planning seminar during the semester preceding that in which graduation will occur and the concluding 3-credit seminar itself. The focus of the capstone is on group analysis of a public issue of importance in Hawai'i and the Pacific.
The degree program is of interest to individuals with some experience in public service institutions, such as government and nonprofit organizations, or in positions with a public service component in other institutions. Spaces also are available for people with no experience who wish to enter public service. The program is compatible with the schedules of people working full-time and can be completed in two to three years.
MPA candidates must complete 14 credit hours of core requirements, 9 credit hours of individual concentration, 3 credit hours of practicum, and 4 credit hours of capstone. The student must earn at least a grade of "B" in both capstone courses. The thesis option may be selected to replace some or all of the concentration credits.
Certificate in Public Administration
The certificate is designed for people with experience in public service work who do not wish to obtain a degree.
Those enrolled in the certificate program participate in the core year, at the end of which they create a professional development seminar series. The seminar allows a deeper focus on issues of special interest. There is also the option of arranging a practicum as an additional learning experience, something encouraged by the program.
The program is composed of 15 credit hours, 14 of which are taken in the core year and 1 in the professional development seminar series.