A Comparison of Masters Level Research Projects in Public Administration and Public Affairs Programs in Central Texas
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The controversy surrounding what should be considered acceptable in terms of PA research is discussed in this paper. Additionally, as a part of an ongoing effort to assess the quality of the Applied Research Projects (ARP) produced by MPA students at Southwest Texas State University (SWT), the empirical portion of this paper analyzes a set of master's level research projects from three PA schools located in Central Texas -- University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), SWT, and University of Texas at Austin (UTA). The purpose of this research is to: 1) review existing PA literature dealing with the various debates that surround the issue of research and 2) assess the quality of the ARPs from SWT by comparing them to master's level research projects from PA and public affairs programs in Central Texas (UTSA and UTA) through the use of a specific set of criteria developed in relevant literature.