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Undergraduate Major or Minor in Public Administration

Degree Requirements

The public administration program is designed for students who have earned an associate's degree or equivalent hours and are looking to complete the final two years necessary for a bachelor's degree in public administration.

A degree in public administration requires the completion of 27 credit hours (nine courses) in junior- and senior-level courses, three core courses and six elective courses.

In addition to the courses in the public administration major, students must complete the university's requirements for a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of General Studies. These bachelor's degree requirements include a minimum of 120 total hours, including 45 hours at the junior/senior level, at least 100 hours in Liberal Arts, and completion of the general education requirements in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The Bachelor of Arts requires proficiency in one foreign language through the fourth level. The Bachelor of General Studies requires completion of an approved minor with at least 18 credit hours.

Required Coursework

The majority of coursework for the Public Administration major (and minor) are offered at the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park, Kansas.

The curriculum for the public administration major consists of 27 credit hours (9 courses) in junior- and senior-level courses (those numbered 300 and above) as follows:

Core courses: Three courses (9 credit hours)

  • PUAD 330/331: Introduction to Public Administration
  • PUAD 332: Quantitative Methods for Public Administration
  • PUAD 333: Hard Choices in Public Administration

Elective courses: Choose six courses (18 credit hours) from the list below.

In addition to the courses in the major, students need to complete the University's requirements for a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of General Studies. These bachelor degree requirements include a minimum of 120 total hours, including 45 hours at the junior- and senior-level and completion of the general education requirements in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Course Descriptions and Schedule

PUAD 330 Introduction to Public Administration
Introduction to administration, public policy and policy makings is the study of government workers, the organizations in which they work, how they are financed, and how government engages citizens to help form and maintain community. In various ways, the class sessions explore the three important issues of public administration: discretion, authority, and accountability. (Same as POLS 330.) Prerequisite: POLS 110. LEC.
Fall 2017
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LEC
W 07:00-09:50 PM REGN 251 - EDWARDS
3 16763
PUAD 331 Introduction to Public Administration, Honors
Introduction to administration, public policy, and policy making, for honors students is the study of government workers, the organizations in which they work, how they are financed, and how government engages citizens to help form and maintain community. In various ways, the class sessions explore the three important issues of public administration: discretion, authority, and accountability. (Same as POLS 331.) Prerequisite: POLS 110. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

PUAD 332 Quantitative Methods for Public Administration
Focuses on building the quantitative analysis skills of students in public administration. Students learn basic and intermediate statistics, and methods of data analysis and interpretation. Students gain exposure to the uses of data in public organizational settings. Prerequisite: Math 101 or equivalent placement. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

PUAD 333 Hard Choices in Public Administration: _____
Focuses on some of America's most vexing public policy challenges and emphasizes the political context of difficult choices. Course examines models of decision-making and the process of policy analysis. Students learn how to apply the tools of policy analysis to make policy judgments. Prerequisite: PUAD 330 or PUAD 331. LEC.
Fall 2017
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LEC
W 07:00-09:50 PM REGN 253 - EDWARDS
3 18595
PUAD 431 Bureaucracy, Public Administration, and the Private Sector
Examines the problems posed by behaviors within and by bureaucracies. Provides students with a set of conceptual tools for understanding the organizational environment in which policy analysts ply their profession and the role of a manager within such organizations. Offers strategies for the policy professional seeking to navigate large bureaucracies. Readings and class discussions integrate theoretical analyses of organizations with detailed case studies. Prerequisite: PUAD 330 or PUAD 331. LEC.
Fall 2017
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LEC
M 07:00-09:50 PM REGN 255 - EDWARDS
3 26436
PUAD 432 Conducting the People's Business Ethically
Addresses the moral challenges facing leaders in the public and nonprofit sectors. Examines the values and virtues important to sustained ethical leadership, as well as strategies to build strong institutional cultures and support ethical practices in institutions. Considers moral and political theory by focusing on contemporary cases and issues. Students learn how to identify moral issues in public life and public management. There is a special focus on the integration of moral concerns into public discussion in a manner that contributes to good policy and does not polarize issues. This course considers moral and political theory by focusing on contemporary cases and issues. Prerequisite: PUAD 330 or PUAD 331. LEC.
Fall 2017
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LEC
T 04:00-06:50 PM REGN 265 - EDWARDS
3 22783
PUAD 433 Metropolitics and Macroproblems: The American City in Local and Global Context
An interdisciplinary study of American cities, focusing on the rapidly changing demographic, physical, political, social, and economic changes. Sunbelt cities, edge cities, the rustbelt cities, planned and unplanned suburban communities, as well as declining center cities and newly revitalized downtowns are considered. The role of immigration and migration in reshaping the urban environment, and the effects of globalization are also examined. Prerequisite: PUAD 330 or PUAD 331. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

PUAD 435 Generating, Allocating and Managing Public Resources
This course is devoted to topics in public budgeting, finance and financial management. These activities play a central role in public management. The intent of this course is to understand the role these activities play in local, state, and federal governments and to see how policy and management are shaped and influenced by budgets, financial reports, and tax policy. Prerequisite: PUAD 330 or PUAD 331. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

PUAD 436 Managing People in Public Organizations
Effective human resources management is one of the key goals of organizations in both the public and private sectors. This course focuses on human resources management in a public sector context with particular emphasis placed upon past, current, and future challenges in the field. The course covers topics such as the recruitment, selection, and compensation of public sector employees, as well as more contemporary issues such as diversity management and public sector personnel reform. Prerequisite: PUAD 330 or PUAD 331. LEC.
Fall 2017
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LEC
R 07:00-08:50 PM REGN 252 - EDWARDS
3 26437
PUAD 494 Topics in Public in Administration: _____
An introductory study of selected topics in public affairs and administration. Course may be repeated for credit if content varies. Course may be offered in lecture or online format. Prerequisite: PUAD 330 or PUAD 331. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

PUAD 601 Crime and Punishment
Examines the administration of justice and focuses on differential and discriminatory treatment in policing, criminal prosecutions, trials, sentencing, or imprisonment. Also considered are the basis and impact of racial profiling, harassment, arbitrary detention, and abusive treatment of members of racial and ethnic groups, immigrants, and/or other vulnerable groups by law enforcement, and disparate treatment by prosecutors and the courts. Prerequisite: PUAD 330 or PUAD 331. LEC.
Fall 2017
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LEC Epp, Charles
R 04:00-06:50 PM REGN 263 - EDWARDS
3 24075
PUAD 602 Diversity in Public Administration
Analyzes diversity and leadership in public and private institutions along ethnic, racial, and gender lines and the challenges of the facilitation of open dialogue on diversity. Examines the political, historical, social, and economic reasons why Americans of different ethnic, racial, and gender groups hold divergent views about major public policy areas, as well as fundamental views about democratic participation. Prerequisite: PUAD 330 or PUAD 331. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

PUAD 603 Foundations of the Nonprofit Sector
This course provides an overview of the U.S. nonprofit sector, its history, scope, diversity and its positioning among and between the private and public sectors of the U.S. economy. The course explores the legal framework under which nonprofit organizations operate and are regulated. Economic, political, social, organizational and giving theories of the sector are reviewed in order to understand the sectors existence, roles and activities with particular attention to philanthropy and voluntarism. Distinct contributions to society as well as contemporary challenges faced by the sector are examined. Prerequisite: PUAD 330, or POLS 110, or MGMT 305, or a PUAD master's core course, or consent of instructor. Junior status or above is also required. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

PUAD 604 Resource Development and Management in Nonprofit Organizations
This course provides an overview of the broad range of activities relevant to acquisition, management and utilization of resources in nonprofit organizations. The course identifies the primary strategies through which resources are generated with emphases on grantwriting, fundraising, social entrepreneurship, and public/private partnerships. Development of organizational identity and management of public relations is examined in relation to resource and relationship development. Strategies for management of resources to ensure long-term benefit and sustainability are explored. Prerequisite: PUAD 603. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

PUAD 605 Managing Nonprofit Relationships
This course considers the set of relationships that nonprofit leaders must balance within the organization and beyond organizational boundaries. Both internal relationships (with staff, volunteers, and board members) and external relationships (with stakeholders, other organizations, and the community at large) are critical to mission accomplishment. This course provides students with the resources necessary to understand the challenges and opportunities related to building and LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

PUAD 606 Nonprofit Accountability: Public Needs and Public Values
This course examines the role of the nonprofit sector in society by posing broad questions about why nonprofit organizations are held accountable, to whom they are accountable, and detailing how organizations can satisfy accountability demands. The course investigates the public role of the nonprofit sector in society, identifies the stakeholders that are integral to an organization's mission, and describes and critiques the financial and evaluation tools that nonprofits can use to ensure their social viability. Prerequisite: PUAD 603. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

PUAD 607 Introduction to Project Management
An exploration of the technical aspects of project management and the human aspects of project leadership. The course integrates conceptual approaches with practical applications of knowledge and skill sets. The course addresses the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK--as created by the Project Management Institute) and project leadership competencies including leading, communicating, negotiating, problem solving, and influencing. Prerequisite: Junior standing. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

PUAD 608 Collaboration in Public Administration
Managers must work effectively across organizational and sector boundaries to solve problems and produce public value. This course considers the forces contributing to the need for collaborative governance, changing management tasks and competencies, and how to address key collaborative challenges. Prerequisite: PUAD 330 or POLS 330, or permission of the instructor. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

PUAD 639 Concepts of Civil Society
Concepts of community, social capital, and civil capacity building, and their relations to effective community functioning, democratic politics, and administrative expertise. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

PUAD 641 Public Service Leadership
Concepts of leadership in community, political, and administrative settings. These settings include government and all non-business organizations (e.g. certain for-profit organizations). LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

PUAD 660 Organizations and Management I
An exploration of management in the context of public organizations. Management is explored at the individual, group and organizational level including conflict resolution, problem-solving, planning and legal aspects of organizations. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2017 semester.

PUAD 661 Organizations and Management II
A continuation of PUAD 660. The context for leading public organizations is explored through knowledge management, collaboration, innovation, process improvement and leadership succession. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Prerequisite: PUAD 660, and permission of instructor. LEC.
Fall 2017
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LEC Callahan, Terri
APPT- BVB CLSR - PBLC MG CT
3 19570
PUAD 691 Internship in Public Service
Designed to provide public administration students an applied learning experience in either a public or nonprofit organization. Open to majors in Public Administration only. Prerequisite: One of the following: PUAD 330, 331, PUAD 332, PUAD 333, and consent of instructor required. INT.
Fall 2017
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
INT
APPT- KUEC APPT - EDWARDS
1-6 23239
PUAD 692 Research Experience in Public Administration
Designed for advanced public administration students. Students learn research skills by working one-on-one with a faculty member to assist in his/her program of research. Open to majors in Public Administration only. Students are required to complete a final project or presentation, through advising and consultation with the designated faculty member. Prerequisite: One of the following: PUAD 330, 331, PUAD 332, PUAD 333 and consent of instructor required. LEC.
Fall 2017
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LEC
APPT- KUEC APPT - EDWARDS
1-6 18474
PUAD 693 Directed Readings
For advanced undergraduate students who wish to study a specific topic of interest that is not covered in the curriculum. Each student must complete a proposal outlining his or her topic request and submit to the Undergraduate Advisor. Intended for students majoring in Public Administration. Prerequisite: One of the following: PUAD 330, 331, PUAD 332, PUAD 333, and consent of instructor. IND.
Fall 2017
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
IND Portillo, Shannon
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-3 26972
PUAD 694 Topics in Public Administration: _____
Study of selected topics in public administration. Course may be repeated for credit if content varies. Course may be offered in lecture or online format. Prerequisite: PUAD 330 or PUAD 331. LEC.
Fall 2017
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LEC Goerdel, Holly
M 01:00-03:50 PM SUM 424 - LAWRENCE
3 26435

Application Deadlines

B.A.
Deadlines follow University guidelines

M.P.A. Intern-Option
Summer semester: February 1

M.P.A. as International Student
Fall semester: February 1

M.P.A. Career-Option
Fall semester (early decision): May 1
Fall semester: June 15
Spring semester: November 1

Ph.D.
Fall semester: January 25

SPAA Events & Deadlines
PMC Events, Classes & Deadlines
Ranked in the top 10 master of public affairs programs in the nation
—U.S. News & World Report
#1 in the nation for city management and urban policy

— U.S. News & World Report


#5 in the nation for public management

— U.S. News & World Report
Three faculty have won W.T. Kemper Fellowships for Teaching Excellence
Rosemary O’Leary is KU’s Edwin O. Stene Distinguished Professor of Public Administration
Four MPA graduates have been elected president of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA)
Founder of the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory (JPART)
Four faculty are National Academy of Public Administration Fellows
Bob Kipp, vice president of Hallmark Cards, was a 2012 recipient of the CLAS Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. secretary of health and human services, was a 2009 recipient of the CLAS Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
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