Double Degree Program of Master of Public Administration Program Description for. Renmin University of China and Northern Illinois University

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1 Double Degree Program of Master of Public Administration Program Description for Renmin University of China and Northern Illinois University ADMISSIONS Admission to the Double Degree Program of Master of Public Administration is limited to students admitted to both the NIU Master of Public Administration Program and a master s program administered by the School of Public Administration and Policy, Renmin University of China (SPAP-RUC), under terms of this Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). Admission to the Master of Public Administration degree at NIU Prerequisites for admission to the MPA program are 9 semester hours in the social sciences, including at least one course in U.S. government, and appropriate undergraduate (or graduate) work in mathematics or statistics. To participate in the Program, successful SPAP-RUC candidates must meet the following NIU graduate admission requirements: Complete an application (online) for admission to the program. Provide a personal statement of interest in admission, including specific attention to the reason why the student wishes to enroll in the NIU program Must meet a minimum TOEFL score of 90, or Band 6.5 on IELTS Must provide a letter from the dean of SPAP-RUC testifying to the student s ability to perform graduate level academic work in English Must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and report scores to NIU Submit two academic recommendation letters and one professional recommendation letter Provide official transcripts of all post-secondary studies, in both Chinese and English, including a certification that a baccalaureate degree has been awarded to the applicant Pay the application fee and the one-time Nonimmigrant Student Charge In addition to the admission requirements listed above, NIU and SPAP-RUC agree to the following Internship Requirement: SPAP-RUC students who do not have at least 2 years of professional public management experience are required to complete an internship with a government agency or NGO in China, approved by the dean of SPAP-RUC. The internship will require enrollment in the practicum course offered by SPAP-RUC, and assignments will be directed to help students achieve the learning outcomes for the internship course (PSPA 695) in NIU accreditation documents. The Internship Requirement is incorporated into the Curriculum and General Schedule of Courses. Application Deadline It is preferred that all application materials be submitted to the Graduate School at NIU by February 1st of the year in which the applicant intends to enroll. PROGRAM OF COURSES Curriculum and General Schedule of Courses The Double Degree Program of Master of Public Administration curriculum program is based on a three year program of courses leading to the conferral of both degrees for either NIU or SPAP-RUC students. The double degree program between SPAP-RUC and NIU-MPA is feasible because both SPAP-RUC and NIU students are able to meet some of the requirements of the NIU MPA and the SPAP-RUC IMPA using the NIU MPA specialization in Comparative Public Service. The specialization requirements are described below. Page 1 of 5

2 Specialization in Comparative Public Service Through a study of public administration and management in a global context, students will gain an advanced capacity to assume a leadership role and use management skills to enhance the mission of government agencies and nongovernmental organizations in the US and another country. In addition to learning skills and strategies for leadership and management of US agencies, students will demonstrate an advanced ability to: Lead and manage in public governance in their country and the US Participate in and contribute to the policy process in their country and the US Analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems and make decisions in their country and the US Articulate and apply a public service perspective in their country and the US Communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry in their country and the US. Students must demonstrate ability to advance in one or more of the specialization competencies with a set of four or more courses (equivalent to 12 credit hours) at SPAP-RUC, approved in advance by the NIU department chair. Table 1 presents the Double Degree Course Requirements with a Comparative Public Service Specialization for SPAP-RUC students. Table 1. Correspondence of Specialization and Double Degree Course Requirements. Degree Requirement SPAP-RUC IMPA NIU MPA NIU Tuition Basis for RUC Students** Core Courses 9 Courses (25 credit hours) 8 Courses (24 credit hours) 24 credits earned at NIU, plus associated fees Elective Courses Completion of 6 Courses (12 credit hours) Thesis/ Capstone Thesis PSPA 600 PSPA 605 PSPA 607 PSPA 608 PSPA 609 PSPA 610 PSPA 611 PSPA 612 Completion of 12 credit equivalents of pre-approved courses in SPAP-RUC master s degree within Comparative Public Service specialization* PSPA 699a PSPA 699b (4 credit hours) Internship PSPA 695 (4 credit hours) Comprehensive Professional Examination presentation of thesis project ** SPAP-RUC students are charged in-state NIU tuition. Professional oral presentation of capstone project No NIU tuition or fees with transfer of credits from SPAP- RUC 4 credits earned at NIU, plus associated fees No NIU tuition No NIU tuition Page 2 of 5

3 For SPAP-RUC Students Attending NIU The normal schedule for SPAP-RUC students attending NIU for the MPA is presented in table 2. Year 1: First year coursework is customized to the respective SPAP-RUC requirements in the first year of the double degree program at RUC s School of Public Administration & Policy. In addition, the student will enroll in a practicum course to begin to fulfill the requirements of the internship (PSPA 695) no later than April in the year in which the student will enroll in NIU MPA courses. Year 2: Second year students will begin MPA coursework in the fall semester at NIU, enrolling for 9 credits of core courses. They will enroll in 12 credits of core courses in the spring term, and 3 credits in the summer that ends their second year of coursework. Students will not be enrolled in an internship course during their second year at NIU. Year 3: Students return to SPAP-RUC for their third year of coursework, enrolling in the respective practicum course to resume their internship, and writing their thesis and capstone papers. The third year experience culminates in a presentation of their thesis/capstone paper in a manner that meets the comprehensive exam requirements of the NIU MPA degree. Table 2. Sample Program Schedule for SPAP-RUC Students Year 1: Students at SPAP-RUC Tuition and Fees Paid to: Semester One MA required courses at SPAP-RUC SPAP-RUC Semester Two MA required courses at SPAP-RUC SPAP-RUC March July Practicum course at SPAP-RUC SPAP-RUC Fulfilling the internship requirements (PSPA 695) Year 2: Students at NIU Semester One 3 Core Courses (9 hours) NIU Semester Two 4 Core Courses (12 hours) plus PSPA 699a (1 hour) NIU Summer 1 Core Course (3 hours) plus PSPA 699a (1 hour) Year 3: Students at SPAP-RUC Semester One Semester Two Practicum course at SPAP-RUC (Fulfilling the internship requirements of PSPA 695) Thesis and Capstone Paper (PSPA 699a) The thesis must meet the requirements of Renmin University of China. The capstone paper must meet the requirements of the NIU MPA degree. Practicum course at SPAP-RUC (Fulfilling the internship requirements of PSPA 695) Thesis and Capstone Paper (PSPA 699b, final semester) The thesis must meet the requirements of Renmin University of China. The capstone paper must meet the requirements of the NIU MPA degree. Oral Comprehensive Examination at SPAP-RUC Designed to meet the comprehensive exam requirements of the NIU MPA degree. NIU SPAP-RUC and 1 cr hour to NIU for PSPA 699a (1 hour) SPAP-RUC and 1 cr hour to NIU for PSPA 699b (1 hour) Internship Format For SPAP-RUC Students The SPAP-RUC internship must conform to the learning objectives and internship site requirements of the MPA degree, as described in NIU accreditation documents. The internship consists of two periods with an approved Page 3 of 5

4 public or NGO agency. Each period requires students to serve approximately 10 hours/week, with a strong preference for a paid internship to enhance the probability of a meaningful internship experience. The first period begins in March or April of the first year of course work (at SPAP-RUC), concluding at the end of July. The second period includes the 3rd year of coursework (at SPAP-RUC); the SPAP-RUC student will enroll in the practicum each of the last two semesters in the SPAP-RUC master s degree and participate in an approved internship (preferably in the same agency from the first period internship). The supervision includes advising students on integrating experiences in their internships with classroom discussions and assigned readings from various courses. The estimated hours are presented in table 3. Table 3. Estimates of Internship Hours for SPAP-RUC Masters Students Internship Period hours weeks Total 1st Year at SPAP-RUC nd Year Attend courses at NIU rd year at SPAP-RUC Total Internship Hours and Weeks 560 CAPSTONE/THESIS The paper that a student writes to fulfill the SPAP-RUC IMPA thesis requirement may also meet the capstone project requirements of the NIU-MPA. The essence of the project is an analytical paper that integrates theory and practice related to a problem or issue identified from the student s internship experience. The project must allow students to achieve the learning outcomes specified in NIU accreditation documents. The thesis paper supervisor will be appointed by the Dean of the School of Public Administration & Policy and the capstone paper supervisor will be appointed by the Chair of the Department of Public Administration. MPA COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATION Double degree students must meet the comprehensive examination requirements of the NIU graduate school, in the manner described in the NIU MPA handbook. Normally, this requires the student to orally present the completed capstone paper in a professional presentation to a panel of at least three practitioners and at least two faculty members jointly authorized by the Chair of the NIU Department of Public Administration and the Dean of the School of Public Administration and Policy, RUC. Practitioners will question the student after the oral presentation. Faculty will be allowed questions if time permits. The oral presentation and subsequent question and answer exchange constitutes the comprehensive examination for the MPA student. The Dean of SPAP-RUC and the Chair of DPA-NIU will jointly approve the professional oral presentation and defense process that implements the requirements for a comprehensive examination at NIU and that meets the learning objectives for the examination as described in appropriate NIU accreditation documents. GRADUATION & AWARDS Double degree students who complete requirements for the NIU MPA will be invited to attend the NIU graduation and awards ceremonies at the end of their third year of coursework. ASSESSMENT: The specialization competencies are a variation of the program level competencies required for MPA accreditation. Hence, the NIU MPA program has an assessment instrument that all NIU MPA students complete at the beginning of their MPA degree and one month before graduation to evaluate the degree to which students have advanced in specific competencies. In addition, a section of the assessment instrument addresses competencies specified for each of the MPA specializations. The SPAP-RUC students, as fully admitted NIU students, will take the online assessment upon admission into the MPA program at NIU, and one month before graduation of the NIU MPA. The NIU MPA faculty will also provide faculty and administration at SPAP-RUC with all pertinent documents related to accreditation standards, course and program competencies, handbooks, and other materials necessary for implementation of the double degree program at the cooperating institution. Page 4 of 5

5 APPROXIMATE COSTS OF NIU MPA FOR SPAP-RUC STUDENTS The costs of earning the MPA include appropriate tuition and fees (table 4), plus living expenses for 12 months in the DeKalb area. Table 4. Approximate cost of the required MPA courses. EXPECTED FY 2016 fall spring summer capstone program Total Hours Semester Tuition / Total program $ 4,443 $ 5,924 $ 1,975 $ 987 $ 13,328* * Does not include specific course fees of approximately $540 ( ), or NIU student health insurance. Living Expenses: US visa requirements and NIU policy for international students requires that international students demonstrate the ability to pay for living expenses while enrolled at NIU. The level is set for each year, based on a variety of factors. In 2014, students were required to demonstrate a savings account or other means of support (e.g., family savings) of at least $11,500 in addition to tuition and fees outlined above. Total Cost Approximation. An approximate minimum cost for the NIU MPA degree is $25,400in academic year Tuition and fees may increase in future years. Sources of Funding: Individual Program participants will cover instructional costs, NIU fees, and transportation (international and local). Individual Program participants will cover expenses for personal items (including, but not limited to, housing, meals, books, local transportation, passport/visa costs, medical insurance, etc.). Definitions For the purposes of this Agreement, the term double degree signifies a program in which participants will earn two degrees, one from NIU and one from SPAP-RUC. Parties to this Agreement stipulate their understanding that in China such a program, in which two degrees are separately conferred in the same program, is called a joint degree program. For the purposes of this Agreement, the term "instructional costs" means the expenses related to the delivery of a credit course. Such expenses include a qualified and approved instructor and course content, quality control of academic standards and administrative procedures, course scheduling and a classroom, appropriate technology including BlackBoard. Note: Books are not included as part of instructional costs. Page 5 of 5

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