The Leadership and Public Service concentration takes a career in community engagement and corporate involvement to a new level. Few individuals in public service have the degree to push them further up the promotion ladder. This concentration adds legitimacy and credibility to your demonstrated passion for community.

You will learn to explicitly address the ability to apply critical theory to questions of social justice in community and economic development. You will also increase the development of skills to use conflict management and resolution strategies in a variety of situations.

Program ineligible for international F-1 or J-1 visa holders. (J-1’s are for short-term exchange students and F-1’s are for degree seeking students.) International students are welcome to enroll in this program from home.


Earning a Master’s degree is a big, brave step as you take your future into your own hands! A Leadership and Public Service degree from UW-Parkside allows you to:

Increase Your Earnings  | Over the course of your career, a Master’s degree gives you extra earning power. Did you know that professionals with graduate degrees earn an average of $13,000 more per year than those with a Bachelor’s?

Access More Jobs  |  Occupations that typically require a master’s degree, are projected to grow at a rate of 16.7% through 2026 according the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That means more jobs – and better jobs – will be yours for the taking! 

Gain Valuable Skills  |  The most valuable qualities of an employee (for the employee and the employer) are based in leadership. You’ll increase your knowledge and highly sought-after job skills in the Leadership and Public Service program.  

Advance in the Workplace  |  Promotions go to those who keep up with the latest job trends and keep their knowledge current. You’ll gain these transferable skills at Parkside to make you a prime candidate for workplace success!

  1. Apply ethical principles to leadership practice in the public and private sectors
  2. Conduct successful research in public policy analysis
  3. Develop a public policy position, taking into account both scholarship and interest group narratives
  4. Apply critical theory to questions of social justice in community and economic development
  5. Utilize conflict management and resolution strategies in a variety of situations


MAPS 720: Foundations of Public Service (required)
Investigates management, policy, urban studies and leadership in the public sector.

MAPS 721: Public Policy (required)
Examines how political coalitions shape policy outcomes, the influence of institutions on policy design, and the evaluation of public policy.

MAPS 722: Social Justice and Public Service
Examines environmental justice, poverty, homelessness, and gender inequality, housing inequality and educational inequality need to follow the same footsteps of environmental inequality.

MAPS 710: The Global City
Rethinks urbanism and the global city under present-day conditions, including modernity, late- capitalism and globalization.

MAPS 606: Advanced Program Evaluation
Examines the role of research in program planning and implementation. Includes application in a community-based learning project.  Not open to those with credit in SOCA 406.

MAPS 523: Institutional Racism in America
Examines racism within various institutions such as public government bodies, private businesses, and universities. Outlines political, social, ecological and economic effects of racism. Not open to those with credit in SOCA 323.

MAPS 517: Strategic Decision Making 
Examines decision making from both a rational and cognitive-bureaucratic perspective. Investigates the universal applications of theoretical strategic thinking, integrates tactical and strategic decision making, and applies creative and critical thinking in strategic formulation and implementation. Explores case studies of military, political and corporate strategies. Not open to those with credit in POLS 317.

MAPS 512: Global Warming Policy and Governance
Examines and evaluates greenhouse gas mitigation and adaptation policies that a variety of national and sub- national governments are implementing.  Not open to those with credit in POLS 312.

MAPS 729: Special Topics in Public Service 
Provides an in depth study of new and/or special-interest subject areas within the discipline.  Course may be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credits.

MAPS 799: Independent Study 
Provides an opportunity to work on an independent research study or project under the supervision of a faculty member.

Course Schedule


MAPS 507
Survey Methods
Fall – Full Semester

MAPS 523
Institutional Racism in America
Fall – Full Semester

MAPS 660
Introduction to GIS Analysis*
Fall – Full Semester
*Face-to-Face only

MAPS 701
Applied Research for Professionals
Fall – Second 7 weeks

MAPS 702
Professional Ethics
Fall – First 7 weeksMAPS 710
The Global City
Fall – First 7 weeks

MAPS 720
Foundations of Public Service
Fall – Second 7 weeks (odd)

MAPS 799
Independent Study          


MAPS 507
Survey Methods
Spring – Full Semester

MAPS 512
Global Warming Policy and Governance
Spring – Second 7 weeks (even)

MAPS 517
Strategic Decision Making
Spring – Full Semester (odd)

MAPS 523
Institutional Racism in America
Spring – Full Semester

MAPS 584
Modeling Landscape Ecology
Spring – Full Semester (even)

MAPS 700
Formal Organization
Spring-Full Semester       

MAPS 703
Professional Communication
Spring – First 7 weeks

MAPS 721
Public Policy
Spring – Second 7 weeks (even)

MAPS 722
Social Justice and Public ServiceMAPS 730
Data Visualization Concepts
Spring – First 7 weeks (odd)           

MAPS 739
Special Topics in Data Visualization & Interpretation        
Spring – Second 7 weeks

MAPS 799
Independent Study


MAPS 606
Advanced Program Evaluation
Summer – Second 7 weeks

MAPS 634
Ethics and Data Technology
Summer – First 7 weeks (even)

MAPS 705
Summer – 12 weeks (starting 2020)

MAPS 729
Special Topics in Public Service  
Summer – First 7 weeks

MAPS 731
Data Visualization and Communication;                   Tableau
Summer- First 4 weeks (odd)

MAPS 732
The Essentials of R for Professionals
Summer – Second 4 weeks (odd)

MAPS 733
The Essentials of SPSS for Professionals
Summer – Third 4 weeks (odd)

MAPS 799
Independent Study          

Admission applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Applicants are required to have an undergraduate degree with a cumulative GPA of 2.75, or if the applicants has a graduate degree the GPA requirement is waived. Applicants are also required to submit all undergraduate and graduate transcripts, a current resume/CV, and two letters of recommendation, preferably one from a current supervisor if employed. 

For applicants who do not meet the admission criteria, admission with probationary status may be granted after taking into consideration the applicant’s special qualifications and circumstances. Students admitted on probation will be on probation for their first 9 semester credits. A student who is admitted on probation is required to attain a minimum GPA of 3.00 on the first 9 credits hours of course work completed at UW-Parkside. Students who do not meet the above requirement will be dropped from the program.

Applicants are not required to take the GRE or MAT assessment for admission to the program.

International students from non-English-speaking countries must demonstrate proficiency in English.

Official TOEFL scores must meet or exceed the below requirements:

  • Paper-based: a minimum score of 525
  • Computer-based: a minimum score of 197
  • Internet-based: a minimum score of 71

Official IELTS scores that meet or exceed the below requirements:

  • A minimum score of 6.0

For students from English-speaking countries, no English Proficiency Examination Scores are required.



Submit letters of recommendation and resume by email to:

NOTE: Transcripts may not be sent by the applicant; they must be sent directly from the institution.


Develop advanced in-demand skills to meet immediate workplace needs. An Applied Professional Studies degree focuses on industry specific skills that employers are looking for today while combining real-world application. We designed the MAPS program for the working professionals - offering a flexible format, online courses, and affordable opportunity to achieve your professional and personal goals that align with potential for career advancement and upskilling needs.


Denise Olstinske  |  262-595-2162  |

University of Wisconsin System Member
The Higher Learning Commission
Carnegie Foundation Elective Community Engagement Classification
UW Vets - Veterans Education & Transition to Success
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