2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    Oct 21, 2021  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [Archived]

Political Science

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Master of Public Administration
Certificate of Advanced Study in Public Administration
Certificate in Public Personnel Administration

Department of Political Science
Holmstedt Hall, room 301
Phone: 812-237-2430
E-mail: polisci@indstate.edu
Web site: http://www.indstate.edu/polisci/

Graduate Program Contact Person: Dr. Nathan Myers, director, MPA program
Phone: 812-237-2504



Chambers, Michael R., Ph.D., Columbia University
Professor of Political Science
Specializations: International Relations, Comparative Politics, East Asia

Rashid, Samory, Ph.D., University of Chicago
Professor of Political Science
Specializations: Comparative Politics: Africa, International Relations, Political Economy

Associate Professors

Bergbower, Matthew L., Ph.D., Southern Illinois University
Associate Professor of Political Science
Specializations: State and Local Politics, American Politics

Buchanan, Stan, Ph.D., University of Tennessee
Associate Professor of Political Science and Chair, Political Science Department
Specializations: Public Administration, State and Local Government, American Federalism

Myers, Nathan G., Ph.D., University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Associate Professor of Political Science
Specialization: Public Policy and Public Administration

Van Sickel, Robert, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara
Associate Professor of Political Science, Legal Studies Director
Specializations: Legal Studies, Political Theory

Assistant Professors:

Carly Schmitt, PhD, University of Illinois, Chamapaign-Urbana

Assistant Professor of Political Science

Specializations:  voting and elections, institutions of American government



The Department of Political Science offers graduate education through the Public Administration Program.  Established in 1976, the program exists to educate and train students dedicated to the profession of public management. The program offers the traditional master’s degree in public administration (M.P.A.) as well as two on-line certificate programs—one in public administration and the other in public personnel administration. The program is a member of NASPAA, and is also associated with the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA).  A full-time M.P.A. director manages the programs and advises M.P.A. and certificate students.


The M.P.A. Program at Indiana State University requires a minimum of 36 graduate credits for mid-career public sector or nonprofit sector professionals. A core of seven courses, or 21 credits, is required of all M.P.A. students. Twelve credits of elective coursework is required.  Toward the end of the MPA program, students register for PA 697 (capstone) to complete their studies. 

Students without significant public or nonprofit management experience must also complete a three credit, semester-long internship at a site determined by students in consultation with their advisors.

Electives may be taken from a menu of political science and public administration courses. Students may also choose elective concentrations in courses offered by other departments, all offered online.  Elective concentrations include courses in criminal justice, human resource development, and public health.  Students may take courses within elective concentrations, or other elective courses outside the Department of Political Science, with the approval of their advisors.

Students will consult with their advisors before beginning their M.P.A. course study to develop a student contract (or plan) of study.  The contract may be revised from time to time.  For the most part, students are advised to take core courses first, and take electives toward the end of their M.P.A. studies.   Students may take core courses in any order, except that PA 604 must be taken before PA 602. (PA 604 and PA 602 may not be taken during the same semester.)  The capstone project (PA 697), the culminating experience for MPA students, should be scheduled during each student’s final semester in the program. 


 A limited number of graduate assistantships are available. Applications for assistantships should be submitted by January 15 and no later than April 15. Recipients are normally notified by May 1, with earlier notification occurring in some cases. Special cases can be considered after May 1. For more information on graduate assistantships see the College of Graduate and Professional Studies website. 


The Public Administration Program of the Department of Political Science offers two certificates of graduate study: a certificate of advanced study in public administration, and a certificate of advanced study in public personnel administration. The certificates are meant to introduce graduate study in public administration to students who may be contemplating enrollment in the M.P.A. Program, or to meet the needs of mid-career managers who may not need the volume of advanced course work offered through the M.P.A. Because course work for both programs is entirely Web-supported, enrollment from Indiana, from throughout the United States, and from across the globe is encouraged. Students may apply for either program through the College of Graduate and Professional Studies. Applicants must submit an official transcript as proof of a bachelor’s degree and an acceptable grade point average from an accredited college or university. Applicants may be admitted conditionally on the basis of a graduate school application and unofficial transcripts, but each student must supply the College of Graduate and Professional Studies with an official transcript of all academic work before the program will extend unconditional admission. International applicants should also have a TOEFL score of at least 600 (paper) or equivalent on computer or Internet based tests, or provide equivalent evidence of English language proficiency. Students must maintain a “B” average to remain in either of these certificate programs.


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