Executive Master of Public Service and Administration in Public Service and Administration

The Bush School of Government and Public Service offers a 39 graduate credit hour online, web-based, non-thesis degree Executive Master of Public Service and Administration (EMPSA) program leading to a Master of Public Service and Administration degree. Designed for executives and managers with at least five years professional experience, the program requires one week in residence on the Texas A&M University campus in College Station, Texas, two separate times during the program for a total of a two week residence period.

The EMPSA program develops an executive student’s strategic thinking skills, budgetary proficiencies, research  abilities, and management expertise in order to prepare principled leaders for public service who will effectively lead in complex and rapidly evolving public service fields--in particular the areas of homeland security, nonprofits, or public management. The program is delivered online to serve a population of professionals, who due to the scope of their responsibilities, are unable to attend a resident academic program.

Students may select between three tracks of Homeland Security, Nonprofit Management, or Public Management. Students who have professional or executive level experience will be provided unique development opportunities throughout their study to strengthen and enhance executive-level decision making skills. The EMPSA program is fully accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA).

For more information, visit http://bush.tamu.edu/empsa or call (979) 862-7810, toll-free 1-866-988-2874 or e-mail bushschoolonline@tamu.edu.

Student’s Advisory Committee

The EMPSA student’s advisory committee consists of the EMPSA Coordinator faculty member and the Head of the Bush School’s PSAA Department, who has the responsibility of approving the proposed degree plan for an EMPSA student. When necessary, recommendations in cases of academic deficiency will be made to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Degree Plan

The student in consultation with his or her advisory committee, will develop the proposed degree plan. The degree plan must be completed and filed with the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies prior to the deadlines imposed by the student’s college, and no later than the dates announced in the OGAPS calendar of deadlines for graduation.

This proposed degree plan should be submitted through the online Document Processing Submission System located on the website http://ogsdpss.tamu.edu.

Credit Requirement

A minimum of 39 semester credit hours of approved courses are required for the Executive Master of Public Service and Administration Program: six common courses, two track core courses, three track elective courses, and a two-semester capstone sequence. 

Transfer of Credit

Choose one of the transfer credit options below or a combination of the options, not to exceed 12 graduate credit hours of transfer credit approval into the degree:

  • Up to 12 credit hours of graduate courses successfully completed in the Bush School's Graduate Certificate in Advanced International Affairs, the Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security, or the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management program.
  • The EMPSA program director may approve up to six graduate credit hours from outside of the Bush School of Government and Public Service to transfer into the Executive Master of Public Service and Administration (EMPSA) from other accredited institutions.

A student who has earned 12 hours of graduate credit at Texas A&M University may be authorized to transfer courses in excess of the limits prescribed above upon the advice of the advisory committee and with the approval of the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. Graduate and/or upper-level undergraduate courses taken at an accredited U.S. institution or approved international institution with a final grade of B or greater, might be considered for transfer credit if, at the time the courses were completed, the courses would be accepted for credit toward a similar degree for a student in degree-seeking status at the host institution. Otherwise, the limitations stated in the preceding section apply. Coursework in which no formal grades are given or in which grades other than letter grades (A or B) are earned (for example, CR, P, S, U, H, etc.) is not accepted for transfer credit. Courses appearing on the degree plan with grades of D, F or U may not be absolved by transfer work. Credit for thesis research or the equivalent is not transferable. Credit for coursework submitted for transfer from any college or university must be shown in semester credit hours or equated to semester credit hours. An official transcript from the university at which the transfer coursework was taken must be sent directly to the Office of Admissions.

Courses used toward a degree at another institution may not be applied for graduate credit. If the course to be transferred was taken prior to the conferral of a degree at the transfer institution, a letter from the Registrar at that institution stating that the course was not applied for credit toward the degree must be submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Grades for courses completed at other institutions are not included in computing the GPR.

Limitations on the Use of Transfer, Extension and Certain Other Courses

Some departments may have more restrictive requirements for transfer work. If otherwise acceptable, certain courses may be used toward meeting credit-hour requirements for the master’s degree under the following limitations.

  1. The maximum number of credit hours which may be considered for transfer credit is the greater of 12 hours or one-third (1/3) of the total hours of a degree plan. The following restrictions apply:
    • Graduate and/or upper-level undergraduate courses taken at an accredited U.S. institution, or approved international institution with a final grade of B or greater will be considered for transfer credit if, at the time the courses were completed, the student was in degree-seeking status at Texas A&M University, or the student was in degree-seeking status at the institution at which the courses were taken; and if the courses would be accepted for credit toward a similar degree for a student in degree-seeking status at the host institution.
    • Courses previously used for another degree are not acceptable for degree plan credit.
  2. The maximum number of credit hours taken in post-baccalaureate non-degree (G6) classification at Texas A&M University which may be considered for application to the degree plan is 12.
  3. Any combination of 684, 685, 690 and 695 may not exceed 25 percent of the total credit hour requirement shown on the individual degree plan:
    • A maximum of 8 hours of 684 (Professional Internship) and/or
    • A maximum of 8 hours of 685 (Directed Studies), and
    • Up to 3 hours of 690 (Theory of Research), and
    • Up to 3 hours of 695 (Frontiers in Research).
  4. A maximum of 2 hours of Seminar (681).
  5. A maximum of 9 hours of advanced undergraduate courses (300- or 400-level).
  6. For graduate courses of three weeks’ duration or less, taken at other institutions, up to 1 hour of credit may be obtained for each five-day week of coursework. Each week of coursework must include at least 15 contact hours.
  7. No credit hours of 691 (Research) may be used.
  8. Continuing education courses may not be used for graduate credit.
  9. Extension courses are not acceptable for credit.

Exceptions will be permitted only in unusual cases and when petitioned by the student’s advisory committee and approved by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Final Examination

A final comprehensive examination is not required for the Master of Public Service and Administration.

Residence

A student must complete a total of two required weeks in residence, typically scheduled one week each summer, at Texas A&M University in College Station to satisfy the residence requirement for the Executive Master of Public Service and Administration degree.

See Residence Requirements.

Time Limit

All degree requirements must be completed within a period of seven consecutive years for the degree to be granted. A course will be considered valid until seven years after the end of the semester in which it is taken. Graduate credit for coursework which is more than seven calendar years old may not be used to satisfy degree requirements.

Foreign Languages

A foreign language is not required for the Master of Public Service and Administration degree.

Internship or Practicum

An internship or practicum is not required for the Executive Master of Public Service and Administration degree.

Application for Degree

For information on applying for your degree, please visit the Graduation section.