Apr 21, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Bulletin 
2023-2024 Graduate Bulletin

Department of Government and Justice Studies

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Catherine Marcum, Chair

Graduate programs in the department are supervised by the departmental chair, the individual graduate program directors, and the graduate committee.

Political Science, MA


Tatyana Ruseva, Graduate Program Director

The Master of Arts program in Political Science is designed to prepare students for a range of careers in the public and private sectors, and for further work at the doctoral level. With a student/faculty ratio of nearly 2 to 1, students receive the individual attention they expect and the assistance needed with their professional and academic goals. The program prepares students for a variety of roles related to government relations, legislative affairs, advocacy, research, consulting, education, nonprofit organizations, and federal/state/local government. Students in the program gain analytical and research skills, alongside a specialized focus from one of our three concentrations: American Government, Environmental Politics and Policy Analysis or International Relations/Comparative Politics.

The American Government concentration promotes student understanding of the institutions of American Politics and the behavior of the public and political actors.

The Environmental Politics and Policy Analysis concentration promotes a multidisciplinary curriculum and provides students with the skills necessary for conducting analyses of environmental policy issues.

The International Relations/Comparative Politics concentration promotes student understanding of world politics and U.S. interactions with other nations.

Public Administration, MPA and Non-profit Administration Graduate Certificate


Patricia Mitchell, Graduate Program and Certificate Director

The mission of the Appalachian State University Master of Public Administration program is to educate and prepare in-service and pre-service students to be public service leaders by fostering foundational knowledge, analytical and practical skills, and professional networks.

To achieve this mission, the MPA program will emphasize the values of responsiveness, expertise, and accountability as it:

  • Delivers a curriculum that reflects core disciplinary content and provides flexibility for student specialization,
  • Develops collaborative relationships across the university and with local government, non-profit, and criminal justice professionals in the region and state,
  • Promotes high-quality faculty teaching, scholarship, and service, and
  • Sustains and enhances the program’s governance, resources, and established strengths.

Students in the MPA program are required to choose one of the following concentrations:

  • Administration of Justice Concentration (279D): This concentration is designed to prepare persons for administrative/management positions in a variety of law enforcement, court, and correctional agencies at the local, state and federal levels.
  • Not-for-Profit Management Concentration (279F): This concentration is designed to prepare individuals for management and policy positions in governmental and not-for-profit organizations.
  • Public Management Concentration (279B): This concentration is designed to allow individuals to develop a program to suit specific needs in such areas as budget analyst, personnel administration, etc., or to prepare students with a generalist background in public administration.
  • Town, City and County Management Concentration (279C): This concentration is designed to prepare persons for managerial roles in towns, cities, and county governments or in organizations and agencies related to towns and counties.

Graduate Programs in the Walker College of Business have paired with the department of Government and Justice Studies to offer the following Dual Degrees:

The Non-profit Administration Graduate Certificate is a 15 credit-hour non-degree program that serves non-profit professionals and current graduate students. Students will learn the unique management skills necessary to succeed in the non-profit sector. The program also offers flexibility for developing the knowledge necessary for a particular field of interest.


    Master of ArtsMaster of Arts/Master of Science (Dual)Master of Public AdministrationGraduate Certificate


      Criminal JusticePolitical SciencePublic Administration

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