From ethics and social issues to government operations and fiscal management, the courses that make up the online public administration degree curriculum will advance your understanding of key topics in the field. Courses introduce you to current public sector issues and explore methods for effective analysis and management. The breadth of the public administration curriculum creates a strong base for a public administration career.
Public Administration Courses and Program Overview
In addition to 16 core bachelor’s degree courses (45 credits), this program includes 12 Public Administration major courses (36 credits), three arts and science courses (9 credits) and 10 free electives (30 credits). The Public Administration curriculum’s sequence is designed to build your knowledge of public administration issues and policymaking practices at all levels of government.
Required Core Courses
School of Arts and Sciences Courses
COM-212: Public Speaking
This course is designed to help students develop abilities, including organization and delivery skills, for all speaking situations. The evaluation and improvement of voice, diction, articulation and posture also are studied. May not be used as literature elective.
ENG-120, ENG-121H ENG-200 or ENG-200H
SOC-112: Introduction to Sociology
Is one's identity individually or socially constructed? Are all stereotypes invalid or can there be value in generalizations? Is globalization widening the gaps or homogenizing the world? In this course, students will grapple with these essential questions in examining the world through the lens of a sociologist. Sociology offers an empirically-based methodology for critically evaluating society-from issues of individual agency to the roots of global institutions. Culture, norm stratification, systems, structure, social institutions, social change, the organization of social behavior and its relationship to society and social conditions are emphasized. Students will challenge their own preconceived notions and evaluate these constructs in terms of their relevancy to contemporary issues and problems.
SCI-219: Environmental Issues
This course covers a variety of environmental topics in a manner specifically designed for the non-science major. It provides a fundamental understanding of the various processes necessary to support life on Earth and examines how human activities and attitudes (individual, traditional, cultural, and others) generate environmental issues that threaten these processes. Topics include ecology, populations, agriculture, desertification and deforestation, water and ocean pollution, air pollution including ozone depletion, solid and hazardous wastes, energy including fossil fuels and nuclear power, economies and sustainability. This course is cross-listed as ENV-219.
SCI-220: Energy and Society
This course surveys the various forms of energy available to our industrial society. The environmental impact and depletion of each energy form is discussed with emphasis on the development of clean and inexhaustible alternative sources for the home and business. Topics include traditional and renewable energy sources, greenhouse effects, transpiration, nuclear power, and economies.
CED-301: Intro Community Economic Development
This introduction course will examine the values, issues, models and policy underlying the theory and practice of community economic development (CED). Students will be exposed to the range of social and economic challenges confronted by residents of underserved and marginalized communities as well as review issues and challenges facing the field.
CED-335: Social Issues and Economic Policies CED
This course is an introduction to the principles of social economics and policy. The course will expose students to concepts such as supply and demand, markets, national income, international trade, economic development, the economics of social issues, and the relationship between power and markets.
PAD-330: Public Administration
This course is designed to introduce students to the basics of public administration and set context around contemporary political, social, economic, and administrative realities. It explores public service organizations, governance, public policies, and institutional-based programs. It also examines, from a multidisciplinary perspective, those essential competencies, values and issues important to public policy at the local, state, national and international levels.
PAD-331: Public Administrative Ethics and Theory
This course will examine the underlying theories of public administration and their impact on community goal achievement. Students will examine supervisory and leadership behaviors in public administration and consider the ethical implications of public administration.
PAD-332: Municipal Government Operations
This course will examine the functions, hierarchy and management of various local government departments. Students will learn the interrelationship of various community departments as well as the roles of leadership and community boards within local government.
PAD-340: Public Fiscal Management
This course will analyze methods of securing public funds, the process of budget makings, and the techniques used by government and public administration in managing public funds.
PAD-341: Disaster Recovery and Response
This course will examine government and community behaviors, responses and recovery efforts following emergencies and disasters. Specific emphasis will be place of service delivery models and strategies, coordination of assistant services, and the dynamics of the recovery process.
POL-210: American Politics
This course offers a broad introduction to the structure and function of the American political system at the national level, including the roles played by the president, Congress, the courts, the bureaucracy, political parties, interest groups and the mass media in the policy- making and electoral processes. This course places special emphasis on how the efforts of the framers of the Constitution to solve what they saw as the political problems of their day continue to shape American national politics in ours.
POL-305: State and Local Government
This course explores the structure and function of state and local governments in the United States, with an emphasis on their roles as partners with the federal government in a system of cooperative federalism. Students spend much of the course playing and critiquing their own performance in Camelot, a role-playing simulation game in which they assume the roles of civic leaders, representatives of organized interests, and other interested parties in a hypothetical city to try to resolve controversial policy dilemmas like the ones with which local communities are confronted routinely in the United States. This course is not offered online.
GOV-110 or POL-210
SCS-224: Social Science Research Methods
This course offers a broad introduction to research methods in the social sciences, including surveys, case studies, experiments, and quasi-experiments. Students learn to spot design flaws in research intended to generate scientifically sound conclusions about social phenomena, and to evaluate critically the interpretations of social science research results by third-party observers, such as reporters. Students also learn how to draft a research proposal that would satisfy the requirements of peer review within the community of professional social scientists.
SOC-213: Sociology of Social Problems
Students in this course analyze contemporary social problems in America and other societies. Issues include economic limitations, class and poverty, race and ethnic relations, sexism, ageism, and environmental and population concerns. Offered every year.
SOC-318: Sustainable Communities
How do we build a society fit for living? This course looks to the field of environmentally sustainable community development (ESCD) for answers to this question. Students explore the principles and practices of ESCD using pattern-mapping of community needs, site visits, and other experiential learning tools that turn communities into classrooms, and bring the challenge of building environmentally sustainable communities to life. In the process, students identify assumptions that lead to unsustainable social practices, and develop the skills necessary to help create livable local landscapes and sustainable local futures through individual and community action.
ENV-219 or SCI-219 or SOC-112
Free Elective Credits: 30
Total Credits: 120
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