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Courses & Curriculum

The Executive Master in Public Leadership (EMPL) courses are designed to build your knowledge and skills in these areas to prepare you for senior leadership positions.  Topics will be offered under the following courses:

PA 280E – Gateway to Executive Leadership
A one-week immersion adventure begins your program. Readings, discussions, and exercises will focus on understanding executive challenges, defining leadership opportunities, globalization, and ethics. Build your leadership skills through:

  • learning leadership strategy and decision making and organizational change initiatives;
  • learning to develop human capital and effective teams;
  • mastering organizational and policy making environments and global trends shaping 21st century public service.

PA 381E – Strategic Communications
Leaders must communicate effectively with many diverse stakeholders. We will study how to understand and shape opinions with advisory boards, intergovernmental panels, public groups, and the media. We will also focus on negotiation and dispute resolution. Skillful communications are always necessary, especially in crisis management.  Build your leadership skills and knowledge through:

  • learning negotiation and dispute resolution skills plus developing human capital and effective teams;
  • learning leadership strategy, decision making skills, and organizational change initiatives;
  • obtaining knowledge of organizational and policy making environments, building coalitions and networks to deliver results, and communicating strategically to shape outcomes.

PA 382E – Executive Analytics
Successful executives must be familiar with advanced analytical tools. They must understand how to process complex material and identify the appropriate uses of various analytical tools, as well as their frequent misuses. These tools include the analytics of risk management, performance assessment, statistical reasoning, and economics. Build your leadership skills and knowledge through:

  • discussions on economic reasoning; risk and crisis management skills; learn how to use data to inform decision-making; information and technology management in a changing world; performance measurement and management.
  • learning leadership strategy and decision making.

PA 383E – Executive Management
Successful leaders are also skilled managers. They must formulate and implement effective strategies to allocate resources and direct talent. They must balance organizational stability with change, where necessary. Addressing these areas requires attention to theory, history, and politics. It also requires an ability to think creatively and anticipate the actions of others under uncertainty. The study of executive management includes diverse readings, discussions, and exercises.  Build your leadership skills and knowledge in this course through:

  • learning risk and crisis management techniques;
  • learning leadership strategy and decision making and organizational change initiatives;
  • discussions on economic reasoning; how to use data to inform decision-making; techniques in information and technology management; performance measurement and management.

PA 389E – Capstone Project
Each student in the program will complete an original project under close supervision of a faculty member. The project will apply skills gained from coursework to a "real world" problem in each student's present professional organization. The projects will be specific and useful; they will also connect to broader public leadership issues at the core of our program. At the end of this course, all students and faculty will meet for a presentation and discussion of the individual projects. This course will call upon all of the skills, techniques, and knowledge you have acquired since you began your course of study.

Download a schedule of class dates for the 2015-16 cohort

Download course descriptions