Concentration in Local Government Management


Americans love local government.  Why else would they have created so many?  Nationwide, there are around 3,200 counties and about 20,000 cities.  When special districts are included, there are over 80,000 local government units in the United States, many composed of multiple departments and agencies.  Managing these units and agencies of local government offers opportunity for hands-on involvement in the design and delivery of programs and services that have direct and immediate impact on communities.  The MPA program at UTC offers the Concentration in Local Government Management to prepare students for the challenge of managing at the local government level.    


The local government management concentration requires completion of 36 graduate credit hours for in-service students and 42 credit hours for pre-service students.  All students must complete 24 hours of core MPA courses and 12 hours of electives specific to the local government management concentration.   Students who lack a minimum of two years of applicable administrative experience complete a six hour internship in a setting related to local government.  Students choose their elective courses in consultation with the program coordinator. 

Local Government Management Electives


POLS 5290 Administrative Law — Legal aspects of administrative decision-making in public agencies.


POLS 5300 Intergovernmental Relations—Changing patterns of conflict and cooperation among local, state, and federal governments.


POLS 5310 Government, Politics, and Policy in Metropolitan Areas—Politics and policy in metropolitan areas. Federal policies toward metropolitan problems.


POLS 5320 State Government, Politics, and Policy—The organization, functions, and operation of state government in the United States. Emphasis on policy formation and outputs.


POLS 5340 Executive Process in Public and Nonprofit Agencies—Prepares students for leadership positions within public and nonprofit organizations. Students will be exposed to a variety of theories and issues that emphasize the complexity of leading public and nonprofit agencies.


POLS 5350 Community Building—The role of public and nonprofit agencies in the development of community resources.


POLS 5360 Government and Nonprofits—An examination of the relationship between government and the nonprofit sector in the definition, funding, and delivery of public services.


POLS 5510 Local Government Management—An introduction to managing small and large cities.


POLS 5520 Performance Measurement—This course examines the movement within government to better measure performance of government funded entities and manage public programs on the basis of performance measurement.


POLS 5530 Urban Political Economy—Examines theory regarding the relationship between politics and economics in determining city development.  The course reviews a series of case studies involving cities in the United States and abroad to illustrate how democratic political forces and market economics come together to shape the city.


POLS 5540 Anatomy of the City—This course examines the development of cities and the operation of essential systems that allow large numbers of people to live within limited space.


POLS 5550 Economic Development—Provides an introduction to local economic development theory, policy, and practice. The overall course goal is to introduce students to various, and sometimes competing, perspectives on economic development.


POLS 5560 Applied Public Financial Management—Designed to acquaint students with the basic concepts of budgeting and financial management needed for the successful management of a public or nonprofit agency. The overall goal of the course is to equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to become effective producers and consumers of financial information.


A variety of special topics, directed studies, and individual research projects may also be used to fulfill elective requirements for the Concentration in Local Government Management.