Public Policy Administration BSPPA

Bachelor of Science in Public Policy and Administration

The BSPPA degree has three emphasis areas. The first is a public administration track, which emphasizes management in both the public and nonprofit sectors; it may produce a terminal degree or be a precursor to graduate training. The second is a public policy track in which a student may focus on a particular policy area and also acquire specialized analytic training and research skills, in preparation for relevant entry-level jobs in the public or the voluntary sector as well as in certain parts of the private sector. The third emphasis area focuses explicitly on the administrative and leadership concerns of organizations in the nonprofit sector, which constitutes a growing field of research and employment opportunities.

All BSPPA majors must complete at least 33 but no more then 51, hours in political science. The following core curriculum is required of all BSPPA majors:

Political Science
POL SCI 1100Introduction to American Politics (MOTR POSC 101)3
POL SCI 1500Introduction to Comparative Politics (MOTR POSC 202)3
POL SCI 20003
POL SCI 2400Public Administration3
POL SCI 2420Introduction to Public Policy3
POL SCI 3940Public Affairs Internship1-6
POL SCI 39503
ECON 1001Principles of Microeconomics (MOTR ECON 102)3
ECON 1002Principles of Macroeconomics (MOTR ECON 101)3
CRIMIN 2220Statistical Analysis In Criminology And Criminal Justice4
or SOC 3220 Social Statistics
or ECON 3100 Economic Statistics
Total Hours29-34

In addition, students must provide a demonstration of computer proficiency through one of the following:

  • INFSYS 1800 Computers and Information Systems, extension courses, or other study approved by the BSPPA coordinator.
  • BSPPA students may take a maximum of 3 hours of political science on a satisfactory/ unsatisfactory basis, except for the following (which may not be taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis):
     
POL SCI 1100Introduction to American Politics (MOTR POSC 101)3
POL SCI 1500Introduction to Comparative Politics (MOTR POSC 202)3
POL SCI 2400Public Administration3
POL SCI 20003
POL SCI 2420Introduction to Public Policy3
POL SCI 3940Public Affairs Internship1-6
POL SCI 39503

Nonprofit Emphasis Area

In addition to the core curriculum requirements for all BSPPA majors, students in the nonprofit emphasis area are required to complete the following courses:

POL SCI 3420Public and NonProfit Personnel Management3
POL SCI 3440Public and NonProfit Budgeting3
or POL SCI 2400 Public Administration
POL SCI 3700NonProfit Organizations and Public Policy3
POL SCI 3710NonProfits, Civil Society and Volunteerism3
Total Hours12

In addition, the Public Affairs Internship (POL SCI 3940) required for the BSPPA must be conducted through a nonprofit organization.

Note: Students considering the B.S. in public policy and administration should see a political science adviser as early as possible to plan their program.

Public Administration Emphasis Area

In addition to the core curriculum requirements for all BSPPA majors, students in the public administration emphasis area are required to complete the following courses:

POL SCI 3420Public and NonProfit Personnel Management3
POL SCI 3440Public and NonProfit Budgeting3
ACCTNG 2400Fundamentals of Financial Accounting3
Select two of the political science courses listed under policy and institutions courses below.6
Select at least two additional elective courses chosen from among that list or any other political science offerings.6
Total Hours21

Public Policy Emphasis Area

In addition to the core curriculum requirements for all BSPA majors, students in the public policy emphasis area must take four political science courses, preferably selected from the policy and institutions courses listed below but which may include other political science course offerings as well.

Policy and Institutions Courses
Select four of the following:12
Introduction to Labor Studies
Judicial Politics
State Politics
Introduction to Urban Politics
POL SCI 3300
POL SCI 3331
Union Leadership and Administration
Urban Administration
The Politics of Poverty and Welfare
Environmental Policy
POL SCI 4460
Comparative Public Policy and Administration
Other political science course offerings.
Total Hours12

Students will adopt a policy concentration of at least 15 credit hours. Possible areas of specialization include, but are not limited to, environmental policy, government and business, society and the legal system, urban policy, labor studies, health care, human services, and nonprofit service provision. In fulfilling the concentration requirement, students, in consultation with the BSPA coordinator, will select courses from related disciplines in addition to taking two more political science courses related to the policy area.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  • Explain the characteristics and impact of policy-making institutions and systems, including national, state, and local governments.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of administrative systems and processes.
  • Apply various methods, tools, and sources to answer important management and policy questions.
  • Analyze policies, programs, and relevant issues, formulate evidence-based recommendations, and communicate them with clarity and coherence.
  • Apply public policy administration knowledge and engage in real-world problem solving through an internship.
  • Plan, execute, and defend a major research project.

BSPPA graduates with the following emphasis area will be able to:

Emphasis in Nonprofit Administration

  • Demonstrate an understanding of theories, concepts and practices relevant to nonprofit administration.
  • Analyze the role of nonprofits in politics and society, including voluntary action, lobbying, advocacy, and political contributions.

Emphasis in Public Administration

  • Demonstrate an understanding of theories, concepts and practices relevant to public administration.
  • Apply critical skills for working in public administration such as interpreting budget documents and making budget choices, creating communications plans, and developing recruitment and hiring policies.

Emphasis in Public Policy

  • Demonstrate an understanding of theories, concepts and practices relevant to the student’s chosen policy area.
  • Compare and contrast different approaches and frameworks relevant to the student’s chosen policy area.

Sample Four Year Plan

First Year
FallHoursSpringHours
INTDSC 100311POL SCI 15003
POL SCI 11003ECON 10013
CORE - Math Proficiency3ENGL 11003
CORE - Communicating Proficiency3EXPLORE - Math and Science3
EXPLORE - Math and Life Sciences3EXPLORE - Social Sciences3
EXPLORE - Humanities3 
 16 15
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours
POL SCI 24003POL SCI 24203
ECON 10023Policy Concentration course3
EXPLORE - Humanities and Fine Arts3CORE - Information Literacy3
EXPLORE - Math and Sciences3EXPLORE - Humanities and Fine Arts3
Elective or minor3EXPLORE - Social Science3
 15 15
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHours
POL SCI 30003Policy Concentration Courses6
Policy Concentration Course3ENGL 31003
EXPLORE - Social Sciences3Elective or minor6
Elective or minor6 
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHours
POL SCI 39403POL SCI 39503
Pollicy Concentration Course3Political Science Policy Course3
POL SCI elective3Elective or minor9
Elective or minor6 
 15 15
Total Hours: 121

Please Note: This plan is an example of what a four year plan could look like for a typical student. Placement exam scores in math as well as the completion of coursework may change the plan. It should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor each semester. All requirements are subject to change.