Intro to Public Administration

Course:PAD 3003
Introduction to Public Administration
GenEd:Social and Behavioral (S)
Department of Political Science
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

This course is designed as a broad introduction to the field of Public Administration and is suitable for anyone interested in the actual operation of government.

Public Administration (PA) is different from many courses that students may take. PA is an applied field, as opposed to an exclusively academic one. PA professionals do not simply study different political or social phenomenon, but also interact with citizens to implement public policies and programs. PA is also inherently interdisciplinary. It draws heavily on Political Science, but it also makes use of developments in the fields of Economics, Sociology, Business Management, and other fields as well.

PA is a management discipline that deals with the public and not-for-profit sectors. We typically think that elected government officials such as legislators, presidents or governors make or enact public policy and public administrators simply implement the laws that have been passed. This distinction between making and implementing policy is, however, overly simplistic. Public administrators do carry out or implement the laws passed by Congress, state legislatures and city councils, but they also have a much larger role. The process of implementing policies and programs provides public administrators with the opportunity to shape policy. PA professionals also help elected officials write legislation and develop policy through their mastery of specialist knowledge and the length of time they have been in government. Elected officials typically have neither the level of expertise nor the length of service in government as PA professionals.

What will you learn?

  1. The course content is designed to help you have a more detailed understanding of PA.
  2. You will be exposed over the course of the semester to the field of Public Administration and the political and organizational context in which public professionals operate.
  3. You will discover the basics of organization theory, organizational behavior, and strategic management.
  4. You will also be exposed to public financial management, personnel management, performance management, leadership, oversight, and ethics.
  5. After completing this course, you will be able to understand more fully the complexity of Public Administration.

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Current students

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