Program Overview

The Master of Advocacy and Political Leadership (MAPL) is a cohort program which accepts new member cohorts in Fall and Spring Semesters. MAPL courses are designed to help students learn how to ethically influence public policy.

The Masters in Advocacy and Political Leadership (MAPL) degree was offered at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) from 2002-2015 when it relocated to Metropolitan State University. MAPL has 198 graduates with degrees from UMD, 18 with degrees from Metropolitan State. Approximately 4/5ths of the graduates are working in the Advocacy field. Of the 216 graduates, approximately 2/3rds work in Minnesota.

MAPL classes are almost universally face-to-face. Four core courses offered in sequence to MAPL cohort members only are held Friday evenings; eleven class meetings each semester. Three emphases are available: Advocacy in the Nonprofit Sector, Advocacy in the Public Sector and Labor Organizing and Leadership. Classes for degree-designated emphases are offered on Saturday mornings. Electives are offered on Saturday afternoons. Students are asked to choose the electives they wish to be offered in the semester prior to the class being taught.

More information about this program

Admissions Criteria

Masters of Advocacy and Political Leadership accepts new cohorts each Fall and Spring semester and limits the number of students in each new cohort to 15. To be eligible for admission to the program, all candidates must have:

  • A four-year Bachelor's degree with a grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Exception: Applicants may be accepted in MAPL with grade point averages below 3.0 as long as they have accomplished significant community-oriented service activity.
  • Accomplished at least some community-oriented extracurricular activity, whether in service with a nonprofit, serving community needs directly, or in politics and political organizations.

Graduate Admissions Information button

Additional Information

Transfer Credits

Once admitted, students may transfer up to 16 graduate level credits into the program. A course may be considered for transfer only if it is an appropriate substitution for a required course or elective as outlined in the program curriculum, was not included in a previously granted degree, and was awarded a letter grade of B or better. Courses are accepted in transfer upon the approval of the graduate program director.

Graduate Program Policies

The following policies can be viewed here:

  • Academic Standing
  • Dismissal Due to Unsatisfactory Academic Standing
  • Appeal of Dismissal Due to Unsatisfactory Academic Standing
  • Readmission after Dismissal
  • Time to Completion

Review University Graduate Program Policies and Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Program Policies about additional information on these topics.

Accreditation

Metropolitan State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Higher Learning Commission
30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400
Chicago, IL 60602-2504
312-263-0456

The MAPL program curriculum is consistent with the guidelines of the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council (NACC.)

Faculty

Resident faculty members are primarily:

  • Holders of doctoral degrees in their fields
  • Authors of applied and refereed publications
  • Experienced in their academic fields.

Course List

Masters of Advocacy and Political Leadership classes are almost universally face-to-face. Four core courses offered in sequence to MAPL cohort members only are held Friday evenings; eleven class meetings each semester. Classes for degree-designated concentrations are offered on Saturday mornings.

Three concentrations are available: Advocacy in the Nonprofit Sector, Advocacy in the Public Sector and Labor Organizing and Leadership. Electives are offered on Saturday afternoon. Students are asked to choose the electives they wish to be offered in the semester prior to the class being taught.

The degree requires 16 core course credits, 20 concentration or elective course credits, and 4 advocacy internship credits.

Degree designated emphases available but not required; emphases courses maybe treated as electives. 

Additional Program Information

How Admissions Works

We are looking forward to you joining us. Take the first step by filling out this application.
Course List

Prerequisites

Requirements ( 40 total credits)

Core Courses (16 credits)

All MAPL students must completes the core courses. (16 credits)

1st Semester - MAPL 610; 2nd Semester - MAPL 611; 3rd Semester - MAPL 612; and 4th Semester - MAPL 613

  • MAPL 610 Political Process and Public Policy
    4 credits

    MAPL 610 is the first required core course in the Master of Advocacy and Political Leadership (MAPL) Program. Its aim is to help student advocates understand the history of policy development in the United States and particularly in the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin. The course examines the classic study of policy development and implementation on a national basis, then looks closely at the more ideological take on policy formulation and implementation used in the 2000s. More locally, students examine the political cultures of Minnesota and Wisconsin and hear from leaders from those states involved in policy development and implementation. Each student prepares and presents a policy change project, some action they think desirable and in the public interest.

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  • MAPL 611 Political and Advocacy Leadership
    4 credits

    MAPL 611 is a required core course in the Master of Advocacy and Political Leadership (MAPL) Program. The course provides the knowledge and skills needed to help advocates strengthen their abilities to lead wisely, ethically and effectively in political and community settings. It provides an interdisciplinary framework to explore the principles of power and leadership, and features effective leaders from Minnesota and other states discussing their principles of leadership.

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  • MAPL 612 Organizing and Communication for Advocacy
    4 credits

    MAPL 612 is a core course in the Master of Advocacy and Political Leadership (MAPL) Program. This course is designed to provide students with a foundation of the history and techniques of grassroots political organizing, plus honing the writing and speaking skills needed by advocates. The focus will primarily be on the power of communication for advocates and organizers who must mobilize others and change minds.

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  • MAPL 613 Policy Evaluation
    4 credits

    MAPL 613 is the last required core course in the Advocacy and Political Leadership (MAPL) track within the Master of Public and Nonprofit Administration Program. This course prepares students to understand and to perform program and policy evaluations. Given a defined problem, students will learn how various policy proposals might be compared and judged. Students will understand how to demonstrate the value or worth of a program or policy. They will understand how to use evaluation methods to improve programs and policy. The course will explore the complexities of evaluation and why it is important.

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Advocacy in the Nonprofit Sector (12 credits)

Program note: MAPL 660 or MAPL 661 or an approved course from the Masters in Public and Nonprofit Administration (MPNA) Program in the College of Community Studies and Public Affairs at Metropolitan State University.

  • MAPL 620 Nonprofits as Agents of Democracy
    4 credits

    MAPL 620 is a concentration course in Master of Advocacy and Political Leadership (MAPL) Program. The course focuses on understanding the nonprofit sector and its many relationships with governments. Nonprofits and governments can be partners, adversaries, or sectors working on parallel paths. Students gain a better understanding of the nonprofit sectors history, revenue sources, historic and current relationships with government, and strategies for positioning nonprofits for leadership in nonprofit and governmental interactions.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • MAPL 621 Advocacy, Organizing and Lobbying in the Nonprofit Sector
    4 credits

    MAPL 621 is a concentration course in the Advocacy and Political Leadership (MAPL) track within the Master of Public and Nonprofit Administration Program. Nonprofits are essential players in providing all people a voice at all levels of American government. This class focuses on one level of that government, the state, and specifically will follow and engage in the work of the 2015 Minnesota State Legislative Session. Students are expected to learn how lobbying works through closely tracking specific issues and learning from the advocates and lawmakers involved in those issues. Besides following issues, students are expected to learn in class about the skills required for direct lobbying and for grassroots organizing and advocacy, about media relations on issues, and about the rules governing direct lobbying for nonprofits.

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  • One of the following classes is required:
    • MAPL 660 The Impact of Art on Social Change Movements
      4 credits

      MAPL 660 is an elective course in the Advocacy and Political Leadership (MAPL) track within the Master of Public and Nonprofit Administration (MPNA) Program. Students committed to advocacy and political leadership will build an understanding of the importance of art in shaping political culture and major policy and political directions. We will examine the impact of art as a means of engaging the interest and influencing the political will and positions of targeted audiences.

      Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
    • MAPL 661 Ethics in Policy, Politics and Advocacy
      4 credits

      MAPL 661 is an elective course in the Advocacy and Political Leadership (MAPL) track within the Master of Public and Nonprofit Administration (MPNA) Program. The course will develop a shared, rudimentary ethical code for participation in advocacy and political life. The course begins by examining classical ethical theory, from Plato on. Then we examine ethics in government, looking at the systems established to insure not that actors on the governmental stage do the right thing, but rather that they avoid the appearance of a conflict. The exercise in developing the code will combine these two ethical systems, one normative and the other procedural, in a single proscriptive document. The codes development will be informed by reading a few of the major political/ethical theorists, by dialogue with some of Minnesotas leading political/advocacy figures, and by case studies.

      Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8

Advocacy in the Public Sector (12 credits)

Program note: MAPL 661 or 663 or an approved course from the Masters in Public and Nonprofit Administration (MPNA) Program in the College of Community Studies and Public Affairs at Metropolitan State University.

  • MAPL 640 Advocacy in the Public Sector: Service in the Elective Branch
    4 credits

    MAPL 640 is the first of two required segments of the Concentration, Advocacy in the Public Sector. The class prepares students who have or will have careers in the elected branches of government, at the local, regional, state or national level. Those careers can be either as elected members of councils, boards, the Legislature or Congress themselves, or as staff to those elected. Familiarizes students with three essential skills for persons interested in such careers, instruction on understanding and using public opinion measurement, instruction on best practices for those operating as staff to elected or appointed officials, and instruction on media relations in a political setting; all three skills-oriented segments will be taught by guest lecturers with outstanding credentials; the first and last three-hour periods of the class will discuss the ethical dimensions of working in the political realm. The course is always offered in the Spring Semester, to coincide with Minnesota's legislative session.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • MAPL 641 Advocacy in the Public Sector: Service in the Executive Branch
    4 credits

    MAPL 641 is a concentration course in Master of Advocacy and Political Leadership (MAPL) Program. This is the second of two required segments of the MAPL concentration, Advocacy in the Public Sector, designed for use by students wishing to work in government. This class prepares students who have or will have careers in the executive branches of government, at the local, regional, state or national levels as elected officials, as political staff to these various elected officials, or as members of the bureaucracy. Students will become familiarized with how to find and use the best administrative practices as they related to personnel, resource and information management, with special emphasis on finding innovative solutions to management problems.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • One of the following classes is required:
    • MAPL 661 Ethics in Policy, Politics and Advocacy
      4 credits

      MAPL 661 is an elective course in the Advocacy and Political Leadership (MAPL) track within the Master of Public and Nonprofit Administration (MPNA) Program. The course will develop a shared, rudimentary ethical code for participation in advocacy and political life. The course begins by examining classical ethical theory, from Plato on. Then we examine ethics in government, looking at the systems established to insure not that actors on the governmental stage do the right thing, but rather that they avoid the appearance of a conflict. The exercise in developing the code will combine these two ethical systems, one normative and the other procedural, in a single proscriptive document. The codes development will be informed by reading a few of the major political/ethical theorists, by dialogue with some of Minnesotas leading political/advocacy figures, and by case studies.

      Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
    • MAPL 663 Campaigns and Elections
      4 credits

      MAPL 663 is designed to give students an in-depth and practical look at the campaigns necessary to win elections. In combination with guest lecturers, the class will look at both local, state and national campaigns and elections. Students will examine case studies if what has and has not worked and will hear firsthand from the people who were on the scene and making decisions. Students will also be exposed to the mechanics and operation of running a campaign for local office.

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Labor Organizing and Leadership (12 credits

Program note: MAPL 660 or MAPL 661 or an approved course from the Masters in Public and Nonprofit Administration (MPNA) Program in the College of Community Studies and Public Affairs at Metropolitan State University.

  • MAPL 630 Labor Organizing
    4 credits

    MAPL 630 is a concentration course in the Advocacy and Political Leadership (MAPL) track within the Master of Public and Nonprofit Administration (MPNA) Program. The course will examine why and how working people form and join labor unions, historical background, applicable laws, basic organizing concepts, different organizing models, types of unions and how they operate, current state of the unions, challenges for organizing and innovative approaches to meeting those challenges.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • MAPL 631 Labor and the Political Economy
    4 credits

    MAPL 631 is a labor concentration course in the Master of Advocacy and Political Leadership (MAPL) Program. The course will study the history and current status of collective bargaining issues through the lens of the political economy, i.e. the intersection of economics and politics. Early sessions of the course will provide a theoretical and historical grounding in basic concepts in the political economy of labor, both generally and in the specific context of the United States. In later classes, we will consider a number of contemporary political-economic issues in light of these concepts, issues like the minimum wage, the right to work, and whether employees should have any control over the compensation for and conditions of their jobs. Students will examine and debate these issues from several political-economic perspectives.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • One of the following classes is required:
    • MAPL 660 The Impact of Art on Social Change Movements
      4 credits

      MAPL 660 is an elective course in the Advocacy and Political Leadership (MAPL) track within the Master of Public and Nonprofit Administration (MPNA) Program. Students committed to advocacy and political leadership will build an understanding of the importance of art in shaping political culture and major policy and political directions. We will examine the impact of art as a means of engaging the interest and influencing the political will and positions of targeted audiences.

      Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
    • MAPL 661 Ethics in Policy, Politics and Advocacy
      4 credits

      MAPL 661 is an elective course in the Advocacy and Political Leadership (MAPL) track within the Master of Public and Nonprofit Administration (MPNA) Program. The course will develop a shared, rudimentary ethical code for participation in advocacy and political life. The course begins by examining classical ethical theory, from Plato on. Then we examine ethics in government, looking at the systems established to insure not that actors on the governmental stage do the right thing, but rather that they avoid the appearance of a conflict. The exercise in developing the code will combine these two ethical systems, one normative and the other procedural, in a single proscriptive document. The codes development will be informed by reading a few of the major political/ethical theorists, by dialogue with some of Minnesotas leading political/advocacy figures, and by case studies.

      Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8

Internships (4 credits)

All MAPL students must complete an internship.

Program note: All MAPL students must complete an internship. MAPL 650I Masters in Advocacy and Political Leader Internship

  • MAPL 650I Masters in Advocacy and Political Leader Internship
    0 credits

    MAPL 690 is a required internship course in the Advocacy and Political Leadership (MAPL) track within the Master of Public and Nonprofit Administration (MPNA) Program. Students will take 180 hours of supervised direct experience with an individual or organizational sponsor in advocacy. A written agreement specifying the work the student will complete, a supervisor evaluation, and a capstone paper, evaluated by the program, that describes what the student has learned about advocating for policy change, are required at the completion of the internship credits.

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