Public Financial Administration

A broad base, plus depth and detail

You'll begin by mastering the fundamentals reflected in our MPA program's core competencies. These five courses (15 credit hours) will give you well-developed analytical skills and a broad understanding of policy issues and government processes. In addition to these highly transferable core skills, the Public Financial Administration concentration requires three of the following four courses.

  • Seminar in Revenue Theory and Administration (F 609)
  • Seminar in Government Budget and Program Analysis (F 610)
  • Seminar in Public Capital and Debt Theory (F 667)
  • Public Program Evaluation (P 562)
For the final required course, you will work with your advisor to choose one of the two following courses:
  • Governmental Financial Accounting and Reporting (F 542)
  • Benefit-Cost Analysis (P 541)

The remainder of the coursework comes in a wide range of elective courses. These will allow you to tailor your Public Financial Administration program to your own specific interests. Working with your advisor, you'll be able to select from many elective options, including the following,

  • Governmental Financial Accounting and Reporting (F 542)
  • Public Revenue (F 666)
  • Public Management Information Systems (I 516)
  • Data Analysis and Modeling for Public Affairs (P 507)
  • Benefit-Cost Analysis (P541)
  • Public Program Evaluation (P 562)

Combining your Public Financial Administration concentration with another MPA concentration—such as International Development, Policy Analysis, or Environmental Policy and Natural Resource Management—can offer you unique advantages in pursuing a particular career. As they help you design your program, our faculty will work to accommodate your specialized professional interests.

Experiential learning

Your MPA program offers far more than traditional lectures and lessons. You'll also get the benefit of experiential learning—typically through an approved internship. What's more, your concentration's coursework will culminate in a project-oriented course—a capstone—that integrates and allows you to apply the knowledge you gained throughout the program.

Current and past placements and internships:
  • Arizona Joint Legislative Budget Committee
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Crowe Horwath LLP
  • Democratic National Committee
  • Deutsche Bank
  • Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts
  • Google
  • Government Accountability Office (GAO)
  • Grant Thornton LLP
  • Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
  • PFM Group
  • US Department of Transportation
  • US Securities and Exchange Commission
  • US Senate Staff

Gain real-world experience while still in school

You can join the SPEA Public Finance Association (PFA), a professional student organization for the public financial administration concentration that offers networking and current information on events in the public financial industry.

Contact PFA