Are you an executive, manager, or supervisor for a government, not-for-profit, or for-profit organization? Are you looking for a master’s degree that will boost your leadership and administration skills? Do you envision a graduate program that not only surveys society and community but also focuses on the human behavior of individuals working for public service organizations? A program that also explores human relations principles and covers effective communication techniques?

Ball State’s master of arts in executive development for public service program is the answer to these questions. Plus, you have the opportunity—depending on your career goals—to put your degree emphasis on business, communication, gerontology, political science, psychology, healthcare, higher education, or other disciplines. 

This degree could take you to settings such as in industry, government, military, and health and human services.

Depending on the courses you take, the program can be taken all online or as a blend of online and live, on-site courses. Some of our classes are offered on our main campus in Muncie, Indiana, or in the Greater Indianapolis area.

Our Program is Nationally Ranked

  • Ball State is consistently highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report in best online graduate education programs.
  • U.S. News & World Report ranks our Master’s Degrees in Education Programs in the top 20 for Best online programs for veterans.

Contact Us

Contact Michelle Wood, who can answer questions you have about our program.

What It’s Like to Pursue an Online Master of Arts in Executive Development for Public Service

What makes Ball State’s master’s in executive development different from so many other programs?

  • This master’s degree has a proven track record with a more than 50-year history for people pursuing a number of career opportunities.
  • Designed specifically for adults, you can opt for evening and Saturday classes.
  • You can choose from face-to-face courses, online courses, or a blend of both.
  • Face-to-face courses are offered evenings (Monday through Thursday) and five full-day Saturdays.
  • It’s one of Ball State’s most customizable and interdisciplinary programs. You can design the program around your career goals, working one on one with an academic advisor.
  • The master’s degree program can also be used as preparation for entry into the doctorate in adult, higher and community education as a cognate or minor.
  • You can graduate within two years since it’s a 30-credits program.
  • The program’s flexibility makes it a favorite among active military, veterans, healthcare, and government employees.
  • Program has strong degree of racial and ethnic diversity.
  • Ideal if you are looking for professional development, a promotion, or career change.
  • It’s the only executive development for public service program in the state of Indiana that provides the option of taking face-to-face courses.
  • As a practitioner degree, this program prepares you to apply your expertise effectively in a variety of specialized settings, rather than specializing in one discipline.

If you’re wondering how you might fit into the program, learn more about the students who will be your classmates

“Advancing the Common Good for Hoosiers through Public Policy,” a 2011 report by the Indiana Association of United Ways concludes: “Indiana's nonprofit sector continues to meet increasing demands with decreasing philanthropic and government funding.” In other words, nonprofit organizations must learn to operate more efficiently and effectively with reduced revenues.

And, according to U.S. News & World Report’s “100 Best Jobs,” high demand careers include business, creative services, health care, science and technology, and social services.

Double Your Degree 

By just taking one additional 3-credit class, you will complete a dual major in executive development for public service and in adult and community education.

Course Requirements 

The master’s in executive development for public service is a one-of-a-kind graduate program, and it’s highly unlikely that you will follow the same degree emphasis as any of your classmates.

This master’s program requires at least 30 credits of graduate course work. For a list of all program requirements and courses, see the course catalog.

View Catalog

Choose one research course from the list below:

  • EDAC 697 The Grant Process and Research (3 credits)
  • EDST 671 Evaluation of Educational Programs (3 credits)
  • EDST 650 Introduction to Qualitative Research (3 credits)
  • EDST 655 Introduction to Mixed Methods Research (3 credits)
  • EDPSY 640 Methodology of Educational and Psychology Research (3 credits)
  • EDPSY 641 Statistical Methods in Educational and Psychology Research (3 credits)
  • EDST 660 Ethnographic Research in Education (3 credits)
  • THES 698 Thesis (6 credits)

*Courses offered online

The research requirement cannot be a transfer course from another higher education institution.

In addition, you must complete 9 additional credits. It is recommended that you select courses in one of the four disciplines to increase your depth of knowledge and skill in that area. Your advisor can help you find classes that best fit your career goals.

Three courses in one discipline may provide the opportunity to obtain a minor in that field (applicable department approval required).

We encourage you to choose one additional course from adult education, management, communication studies, political science, and psychology to complement your skills and competencies and to sharpen your public service and non-profit organizational focus.

In order to meet research requirements, students often elect from the following:

  • *EDST 671 Evaluation of Educational Programs (3 credits)          
  • *EDST 697 The Grant Process and Research (3 credits)
  • THES 698 Thesis (6 credits)

You may also complete an optional internship, EDAC 699, for 3 credits.

Students may elect a 2- or 3-credit internship with a business or not-for-profit firm under the graduate course heading.

EDAC 699 Internship in Adult and Community Education

This field experience or internship is under joint supervision of the university (supervisor) and an experienced practitioner in an approved business, academic, or non-profit agency setting. Permission of the program director and/or department chairperson is required. 3 credits may be earned.

Categories of Study

The master’s in executive development for public service is a one-of-a-kind graduate program, and it’s highly unlikely that you will follow the same degree emphasis as any of your classmates.

  • *EDAC 629 Psychology of Adult Adjustment (3 credits)
  • *EDAC 631 Adult and Community Education (3 credits)
  • EDAC 632 Organizing Adult and Community Education (3 credits)
  • *EDAC 634 The Adult as a Learner (3 credits)
  • *EDAC 635 Strategies for Teaching Adults (3 credits)
  • EDAC 638 Program Planning for Adults (3 credits)
  • EDAC 640 Foundations of Adult and Community Education (3 credits)
  • EDAC 644 Collaborative Learning in AHCE (3 credits)
  • *EDAC 646 Working with Volunteer Community Agencies (3 credits)
  • *EDAC 648 The Community Educator (3 credits)
  • *EDAC 655 Continuing Education for Professionals (3 credits)
  • *EDAC 681 Managing Community Education (3 credits)
  • EDAC 698 Seminar in Adult and Community Education (3 credits)
    • Institute of Transformative Leadership Fall Semester (5 Saturdays)
    • Cultural Identities & Community Engagement Spring Semester (5 Saturdays)
  • EDST 650 Intro to Qualitative Research (3 credits)
  • EDST 655 Intro to Mixed Methods Research (3 credits)
  • *#EDST 671 Evaluation of Educational Programs (3 credits)
  • EDST 675 Evaluation of Ed. Personnel to Strengthen Curriculum (3 credits)
  • *#EDST 697 The Grant Process and Research (3 credits)

*Courses offered online

#Course(s) available to fulfill the research requirement

Please note: No more than 15 credits may be taken from Ball State’s Miller College of Business. In order to obtain the business essentials certificate apply with the Ball State Graduate School at point of admissions and take 12 credits from the following courses:

  • BUSA 601 Fundamentals of Accounting and Finance
  • BUSA 602 Fundamentals of Economics and Statistics
  • BUSA 603 Fundamentals of Management and Marketing
  • MBA 601 Entrepreneurial Leadership
  • *PR 660 Public Relations: Theories & Applications (3 credits)
  • PR 665 Public Relations Campaign (3 credits)
  • COMM 635 Interpersonal Communications (3 credits)
  • COMM 640 Interpersonal Communications in Contexts (3 credits)
  • COMM 651 Organizational Communication: Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Processes (3 credits)

*Courses offered online

  • CS500 Fundamentals of Computing (3 credits)
  • CS514 Introduction to Programming 1 (3 credits)
  • CS 536 Database Design (3 credits)
  • *EDTE 520 Technology and Teaching Practice (3 credits)
  • *EDTE 552 Multimedia Web Design and Development for Education (3 credits)
  • *EDTE 675 Distance Education and Distributed Learning Technology (3 credits)
  • *EDTE 665 Visual and Digital Literacies (3 credits)
  • *EDTE 675 Distance Ed & Distributed Learning Technology (3 credits)
  • *TEDU 510 Technology: Use and Assessment (3 credits)

*Courses offered online

  • EDAD 600 Introduction to Educational Leadership (3 credits)
  • EDAD 630 Human Resources Development (3 credits)
  • EDAD 640 The Educational Administration and Public Relations (3 credits)
  • EDAD 684 Educational Finance and Ethics (3 credits)
  • EDAD 686 School Law (3 credits)
  • EDAD 692 Residential Leadership Series (3 credits)
  • GERO 535 Aging in Communities (3 credits)
  • GERO 540 Women and Aging (3 credits)
  • GERO 605 Aging Well: A Systems Approach (3 credits)
  • GERO 630 Health, Wellness, and Aging (3 credits)
  • GERO 635 Adaptations in Later Life (3 credits)
  • WELN 625 Community Collaboration & Service Learning in Wellness Mgmt (3 credits)
  • WELN 635 Wellness Coaching (3 credits)
  • WELN 650 Foundations of Wellness (3 credits)
  • HSC 562 Health Promotion in the Worksite (3 credits)
  • HSC 569 Health and Aging (3 credits)
  • HSC 581 Stress Management Internet (3 credits)
  • HSC 585 Community Health Methods (3 credits)
  • HSC 595 Teaching and Learning in Health Education (3 credits)
  • POLS 537 Government and Politics in Indiana Fishers (3 credits)
  • POLS 555 Administrative Law (3 credits)
  • POLS 561 Community Planning and Its Administration Fishers (3 credits)
  • POLS 565 Labor-Management Relations in Government (3 credits)
  • POLS 572 Political Campaigns (3 credits)
  • POLS 615 Western Political Theories Fishers (3 credits)
  • POLS 632 The American Presidency (3 credits)
  • POLS 633 American Judicial System Fishers (3 credits)
  • POLS 642 Problems in Public Policy (3 credits)
  • POLS 648 Policy Analysis (3 credits)
  • POLS 650 Public Administration (3 credits)
  • POLS 651 Administrative Organization and Management (3 credits)
  • POLS 652 Personnel Administration in Government (3 credits)
  • POLS 653 Public Financial Administration (3 credits)
  • CPSY 610 Career Theories and Realities (3 credits)
  • CPSY 631 Personality (3 credits)
  • *EDPS 603 Human Development Internet (3 credits)
  • *EDPS 611 Development of Creative Thinking (3 credits)
  • EDPS 629 Adult Development* (3 credits)
  • *#EDPS 640 Methodology of Educational and Psychological Research (3 credits)
  • *#EDPS 641 Statistical Methods in Educational & Psychological Research (3 credits)
  • PSYS 573 Industrial Psychology (3 credits) - not available if you have already taken an undergraduate industrial psychology course
  • SOPS 610 Social Psychology (3 credits)
  • SOPS 660 Contemporary Social Psychology (3 credits)

#Course(s) available to fulfill the research requirement

*Courses offered online

Ready to Apply?

Review deadlines, admission requirements, and application materials, then start your application.

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Do you have questions about this program or online learning? We’re here to help! You may request more information using our online form, or feel free to reach out directly to one of our staff.

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