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Master of Public Administration Graduate

M.P.A. concentration in Criminal Justice

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Graduate Admissions
(954) 262-5067
800-672-7223 ext. 25067

To become a forward-thinking leader in either the public or private sector, it’s essential to have the right set of skills. You need to be able to operate innovatively, plan strategically, inspire teams, and improve agency results.

The M.P.A. with a concentration in Criminal Justice will provide you with a foundation in advanced public administration skills, but with a more focused view on criminal justice administration, strategies, and issues. Our curriculum is designed to help you understand the social, economic, and political context in which public decisions are made, including how to deal with present-day challenges, such as budget cuts and officer safety. And you’ll receive instruction from faculty with public administration experience outside of the classroom, so that what you learn is practical and immediately useful.

In addition, you’ll benefit from being part of a program that is accredited by NASPAA, which is widely considered the global standard in public service education. Upon completion of the program, you’ll have obtained the skills necessary to lead in one of the tens of thousands of criminal agencies in the U.S. that provide law enforcement, corrections, judicial, and support services.

Download Curriculum Sheet

Admissions Deadlines:

Winter I 2020: December 13, 2019


The Nova Southeastern University Master of Public Administration Program is accredited by the NASPAA Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation and listed on the Annual Roster of Accredited Programs in conformity with NASPAA standards. View Program Data

There are tens of thousands of criminal justice agencies in the United States providing law enforcement, corrections, judicial, and support services – many looking for innovative and forward-thinking leaders.

With more than 40 years of experience in public administration, the Huizenga College of Business is uniquely poised to meet the needs of an expanding population and government through training and community development. The Master of Public Administration program develops skills to lead public and community agencies, as well as to understand the social, economic, and political context in which public decisions are made.

The M.P.A. program's curriculum has been designed to meet public sector, government, and nonprofit needs in the new millennium based on emerging theory, employee surveys, and focus groups of professional administrators. The result is one of the most current, relevant, and practically focused curriculum anywhere.

  • Courses offered Saturdays on the Davie campus and online.
  • Program can be completed in as little as 21 months.
  • Program begins two times annually with starts in August and January.
  • For international students on a F1 Visa acceptance to the program is contingent upon academic review, course modality, and availability.

For more information about the program, please contact:

The Office of Graduate Admissions
(954) 262-5067
1-800-672-7223 ext. 25067
  • A conferred bachelor's degree earned from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or equivalent for international applicants, with a 3.0 GPA overall may be considered for admission.
  • Applicants with a GPA between 2.5-2.99 overall or in the last 60 credit hours of their undergraduate program may be considered for admission, based on the overall review of the application package.
  • Applicants with a GPA between 2.25-2.49 overall or in the last 60 credit hours of their undergraduate program, and/or applicants with an undergraduate degree from a non-regionally accredited institution may be granted admission at the discretion of the Dean in consultation with the M.P.A. Faculty Admissions Committee. This consideration is based on an overall review of the application package.
  • For all applicants with an undergraduate GPA below 3.0, the M.P.A. Faculty Admissions Committee reserves the right to place conditions on the applicants' first terms, such as: remedial coursework in appropriate subjects, limit course enrollment to appropriate levels, suspend or dismiss such applicants based upon first term course grades or require GMAT scores of 450+ or GRE scores of 306+.
  • A Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL or IELTS or PTE Academic) is required for any applicant whose native language is not English and whose bachelor's degree education was not completed in English. The minimum required scores are as follows: a TOEFL score of 550 (paper test) or 79 (Internet test), a score of 6.0 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam, or a score of 54 on the PTE Academic exam. Test scores cannot be more than two years old. A letter on official letterhead from the applicant's prior university stating that all bachelor's degree course material was taught and studied in English may suffice for the TOEFL requirement.

Required Admissions Documentation:

  1. Completed Master's Application for Admission.
  2. $50 non-refundable application fee.
  3. Official transcripts from all colleges and universities previously attended. The applicant's bachelor degree transcript must show degree conferral date in order to be evaluated for admission consideration. Electronic transcripts can be sent to Hard copies may be mailed to:
    Nova Southeastern University
    Enrollment Processing Services (EPS)
    Attn: H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship
    3301 College Avenue
    PO Box 299000
    Fort Lauderdale-Davie, Florida 33329-9905
  4. Resume
  5. 2 Letters of Recommendation from employment supervisors (Only required if students overall GPA is less than a 3.0).
  6. An essay of 500-750+ words explaining why you wish to pursue the Master of Public Administration degree and how it will help to fulfill their personal and professional goals. Also, describe in detail your accomplishments, experiences, value, potential for professional excellence and commitment to complete the degree program.

International Applicants

To be considered for acceptance into the M.P.A. program, international applicants must fulfill additional admission criteria.

Applications are evaluated as soon as the student's file is complete.

The M.P.A. curriculum is divided into three sections: a core, a concentration, and a capstone. All students are required to complete the core courses. Students individually select a concentration, as well as the courses within the selected concentration, which best achieves their personal career goals. To complete their program of study, students select a capstone that best suits their personal learning needs based on their work backgrounds.

Total credits: 39

I. Core Curriculum:

Each of the following courses is required – 24 total credits
PUB 5000* Orientation for Success  (0 credits)
PUB 5409* Public Administration in Theory and Application  
PUB 5418 Entrepreneurial Governance
PUB 5429 Public Sector Statistical Analysis  
PUB 5438 Public and Non-Profit Strategic Management
PUB 5439 Administrative Law and Ethics in the Public Sector  
PUB 5449 Public Policy Analysis  
PUB 5459 Managing Information and Technology in the Public Sector  
PUB 5469 Public Finance  
* PUB 5000 and PUB 5409 must be taken in the first semester.

II. Concentration

Criminal Justice - Choose Four
(Classes with CJI prefix are taken from the School of Criminal Justice – 12 total credits)
CJI 0510 Survey Issues in Criminal Justice
CJI 0520 Social Administration of Criminal Justice
CJI 0530 Legal Issues in Criminal Justice
CJI 0540 Program Evaluation in Criminal Justice
CJI 0550 Investigative Processes

III. Capstone*

Choose one – 3 total credits
PUB 5945 Master of Public Administration Integrative Project
PUB 5941 Public Administration Internship
PUB 5949 Public Administration Practicum
* Must be taken during the last two terms of the student's curriculum and student must be in good academic standing to register.

Full-Time professionals are available to discuss the Master of Public Administration curriculum with you in greater detail. Simply call 800.672.7223 Ext. 25168 or contact our Enrollment Services Staff.

Course Descriptions

CJI 0510     Survey Issues in Criminal Justice   (3.00 cr.)

This survey course will review the historical context, theory, policy making, political factors and behavioral influences related to criminal justice policy development as it relates to the organization of the criminal justice system in the United States. This course examines the various components of the criminal justice system, including police, courts, corrections, and the juvenile justice system. The course focuses on the relationship of the criminal justice system to broad political, economic, and social issues. Understanding the working relationship between these system components allows for a greater understanding of how the system works as a whole.

CJI 0520     Social Administration in Criminal Justice   (3.00 cr.)

The purpose of this course is to examine current strategies and issues related to social justice in the field criminal justice.

CJI 0530     Legal Issues in Criminal Justice   (3.00 cr.)

This course examines a variety of legal issues critical to a thorough understanding of the various aspects of the criminal justice system. Students will examine the United States Constitution and its interpretation through court decisions that together have formed the cornerstone of the criminal justice system nationwide. By becoming familiar with this material, it is expected that the student will be able to better predict and prepare to meet fundamental legal problems facing the criminal justice professional, such as: (1) Constitutional restraints on how the criminal justice system handles the investigation of crime; (2) Constitutional restraints on how the criminal justice system satisfies the legal requisites as to an individual's guilt; (3) Constitutional restraints on the punishment imposed.

CJI 0540     Program Evaluation in Criminal Justice   (3.00 cr.)

This course provides students with the foundational knowledge and basic competencies necessary to plan an evaluation of a criminal justice program and to interpret and utilize evaluation findings. This comprises an understanding of the evaluation process including, developing relevant evaluation questions, selecting an appropriate evaluation model, data collection and analysis, and accurate and ethical interpretation and dissemination of evaluation findings. Through a series of assignments, students will have the opportunity to engage in the planning of an evaluation of a criminal justice program, which culminates in the creation of a program evaluation plan. Students will be introduced to the types of data commonly collected in a program evaluation, and the use of both qualitative and quantitative methods.

CJI 0550     Investigative Processes   (3.00 cr.)

This course is a masters-level, on-line core course within the Criminal Justice Institute at Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This course will provide an overview of investigative and crime scene processing theory, research, and practice and its application from the standpoint of criminal investigative personnel and other actors within the criminal justice system. Lecture and case studies will provide a learning environment for understanding and applying investigative processes including fundamentals, crime scene investigation, criminal intelligence and informants, physical evidence, testimonial evidence, documenting the investigation and testifying, crimes against persons, crimes against property, special investigations, and legal considerations.

PUB 5000     Orientation for Success   (0.00 cr.)

The H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship`s Real World Orientation focuses on preparing new graduate students for academic and career success. Topics include working effectively in teams, academic writing and research skills, networking, business ethics, social responsibility, sustainability and leadership qualities for effective performance in the work place. Through formal and informal interactions with faculty and business leaders students will examine, explore, and practice skills necessary to perform successfully in their academic and professional life. This course is mandatory for all MPA and should be taken concurrently with PUB 5409.

PUB 5409     Public Administration in Theory and Application   (3.00 cr.)

This course examines the role of public administration and non-profit organizations in a democratic society. Students examine the cultural and intellectual evolution of the field, the theories, forces, and people that drive the public sector and the specific management techniques used to implement public policy. Special emphasis is placed upon the application of organizational theory and organizational behavior concepts in the public and non-profit contexts.

PUB 5419     Public Sector Human Resource Management   (3.00 cr.)

The political and institutional environment of public human resource management is examined. Emphasis is given to the challenges facing the public sector in attracting and developing human assets in an environment of conflicting goals, stakeholder obligations, and a highly aware electorate. Specific topics include the evolution of the modern public service, the functions of human resource management, employment discrimination, labor management relations, professionalism and ethics and how assessment centers evaluate potential applicants. Prerequisite: PUB 5409 or PUB 5450.

PUB 5429     Public Sector Statistical Analysis   (3.00 cr.)

Students gain an overview of commonly applied statistical methods in public administration including confidence intervals, t-tests for means and proportions, ANOVA, and non-parametric tests. The emphasis is on practical use of statistics to analyze real-world data and performance criteria. Prerequisite: PUB 5409 or PUB 5450.

PUB 5439     Administrative Law and Ethics in the Public Sector   (3.00 cr.)

The course introduces students to the field of ethics and shows how ethical principles are applied to administrative agencies to ensure not only legal but also moral government decision-making. Administrative law is the body of law concerned with the actions of administrative agencies, frequently called the "4th branch of government" in the United States. The course thus examines how administrative agencies are created, how they exercise their powers, how they make laws and policy formally as well as informally, the laws that govern agency rulemaking and adjudications, especially the Administrative Procedure Act, Constitutional and other legal protections afforded against agency actions, and how agency actions are reviewed and remedied by the courts and legislative branch of government. The course also examines the intergovernmental relations and the political and practical constraints that influence administrative policy. Prerequisite: PUB 5409 or PUB 5450.

PUB 5449     Public Policy Analysis   (3.00 cr.)

Students develop a working knowledge of public-sector policy making and learn to analyze public policy problems in order to understand how public policy is formulated, decided upon, and implemented. Emphasis is on agenda setting, program design, and implementation. Prerequisite: PUB 5450 or PUB 5409.

PUB 5459     Managing Information and Technology in the Public Sector   (3.00 cr.)

Students gain an overview of the key issues and challenges involved in managing information flows, and their related technologies, strategically. The course emphasizes the development of students' analytical skills and the application of knowledge through problem solving exercises. Students are provided with tools and techniques for managing information as a resource and for using it to transform public sector organizations. Prerequisite: PUB 5409 or PUB 5450

PUB 5469     Public Finance   (3.00 cr.)

This course focuses on the economics of the public sector. It delineates the goods and services provided by government and how they are funded. It deals with the public goods and their characteristics. It explores income redistribution. The efficiency, equity and incentive effects of taxation are studied. Multilevel government relations and finances are examined. Prerequisite: PUB 5409 or PUB 5450.

PUB 5931     Public and Non-Profit Strategic Management   (3.00 cr.)

This course will examine the “big picture” of how public and non-profit organizations are led and managed through Strategic Management. We will look at how organizations plan, conduct self-assessment, collaborate, and set a path for the future for success. This is among the fundamentals of public and non-profit organizations and in line with current management trends. This course explores both the “art” and “science” behind Strategic Management. The most significant portion is Strategic Planning, the engine upon which Strategic Management is run. In Strategic Planning, the organization sets is vision, mission, goals, and objectives, in order to set Strategic Management into motion. This course will show how all aspects of an organization; budget, resources, personnel, stakeholders, services provided, and others; come together to formulate a clear progression to the future. Prerequisite: PUB 5409 or PUB 5450.

PUB 5941     Public Administration Internship   (3.00 cr.)

Students without public sector work experience will undertake an Internship. The purpose of which is to be able to: 1. Perform specific job functions in the field of choice under supervision; 2. Apply specific academic knowledge, skills and values to tasks in the work setting; 3. Apply a successful strategy for achieving professional/personal goals. Students will formulate specific goals for their Internship in consultation with a faculty advisor and will complete a formal performance appraisal by both the academic advisor and the employer supervisor according to required interim and final written reports and papers. Prerequisite: (PUB 5409 OR PUB 5450) AND (PUB 5419 OR PUB 5465) AND (PUB 5429 OR PUB 5477) AND (PUB 5439 OR PUB 5461) AND (PUB 5449 OR PUB 5480) AND (PUB 5459 OR PUB 5451) AND (PUB 5469 or PUB 5472).

PUB 5945     Master of Public Administration Integrative Project   (3.00 cr.)

The M.P.A. Integrative Project focuses on the knowledge, skills, and abilities that define a competent public or non-profit sector manager. A central theme of the course is the roles, responsibilities, and outlooks of the manager today and the competing influences in public decision-making under fragmented authority that result in public sector management as the art of compromise. Through role-playing in the various roles of elected officials or professional administrators, students will conduct a city council meeting to experience the actual administration of the political agenda. Pre-requisites: (PUB 5409 OR PUB 5450) AND (PUB 5419 OR PUB 5465) AND (PUB 5439 OR PUB 5461) AND (PUB 5449 OR PUB 5480) AND (PUB 5469 or PUB 5472).

PUB 5949     Public Administration Practicum   (3.00 cr.)

The practicum is for students already working within the field in a mid-level to senior management position. Students should have a demonstrated record of growth in their career with a minimum of five years experience with progressive responsibilities During the semester, students will prepare a research paper directly relevant for and intended to serve their department or agency outside of their normal employment duties. The practicum research paper will be supervised by a faculty member with interim reports and a final paper. Prerequisites: (PUB 5429 OR PUB 5477).

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

September 28 | Graduate Business Expo

Our Graduate Business Expo makes it more convenient than ever for you to enroll in the H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship. This all inclusive event enables you to learn about our programs, complete your application, be admitted, and enroll in classes - all on the same day and in one place. The application fee is waived only at this event!


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