Stephen F. Austin State University


Public Administration Undergraduate Degree Program

The undergraduate public administration program at Stephen F. Austin State University was established in 1966 and educates students for positions in the public sector at all levels of government (national, state, and local) and nonprofit agencies. Housed in the Department of Government, the program offers the public administration major with both BA and BS degree options.

To major in public administration, students must complete the 21 hours of core courses and 9 hours of approved elective courses. Our program allows students the flexibility to develop the practical, technical, managerial, and political skills essential for tackling complex problems that confront the public sector. In addition, we offer a 21 credit minor in public administration. By providing a liberal arts education to the career-oriented student, the undergraduate program also prepares students for graduate school, including our Master of Public Administration (MPA) program.

The Core Courses (21 hours)

CJS 101 - Introduction to Criminal Justice
Provides an overview of the field of criminal justice including history, development, and philosophy of law enforcement; introduction to criminal justice agencies.

PBA 300 - Introduction to Public Administration
An overview of the field including topics such as public versus private administration, the study of organizations, personnel administration, financial resource management, budgeting, decision-making, and policy-making. Prerequisites: PSC 141 and 142.

PBA 305 - American Public Policy
Study of various concepts, approaches and the processes used in the formulation and implementation of public policy. Prerequisites: PSC 141 and 142.

PBA 310 - Public Personnel Administration
Context, processes, and challenges of human resource management including legal rights and responsibilities, job analysis, recruitment, selection, position classification, job evaluation, performance appraisal, compensation and benefits, and training. Prerequisites: PSC 141 and 142.

PBA 400 - Management of Public Organizations
Behavior, structures, environment, culture, group dynamics, and development of public sector organizations from a managerial perspective. Prerequisites: PSC 141, 142 and PBA 300 or instructor approval.

PBA 405 - Policy Analysis
Study of the analytical tools necessary for evaluating public policies and problems. Prerequisites: PSC 141, 142 and PBA 300 or instructor approval.

PBA 415 - Public Budgeting and Financial Administration
Study of budgeting processes, types of budgets, the politics of budgeting, revenue systems, capital improvement planning, cash management, debt administration, purchasing, risk management, and financial control as practiced in local governments. Prerequisites: PSC 141, 142 and PBA 300 or instructor approval.

Electives (9 hours)

PBA 410 - Topics in Public Administration
Study of selected subject areas in contemporary public administration with an emphasis on practical skills and field experiences. Sample topics: ethics, conflict resolution, administrative law and advanced topics in public policy. May be repeated once with a change of topic for a total of six hours credit. Prerequisites: PSC 141, 142 and PBA 300 or instructor approval.

PBA 420 - Ethics in Public Administration

The course examines some of the ethical issues that arise in both the private and public sectors. While this course is a survey of contemporary perspective on ethics in government, it considers the sources to which the public administrator can look for guidance in addressing ethical issues. This course introduces students to ethical dilemmas of public administration as students learn to have basic understanding pf theories and traditions in public administration.

PBA 470 - Internship in Public Administration
Supervised work experience with an approved public or not-for-profit organization. The course is graded on a P/F basis (three semester hour credit). The course may be repeated once for a maximum of six hours credit toward the degree. Prerequisites: completion of 18 hours in PBA courses with a 2.5 GPA; consent of the instructor and department chair; Junior standing.

PBA 475 - Independent Study in Public Administration
One to three semester hours. Credit determined by the amount and difficulty of the project undertaken. Individual research for advanced political science students. Prerequisites: completion of nine hours in PBA courses with a 2.5 GPA; consent of the instructor and department chair; Junior standing.

PSC 313 - State Governments
PSC 403 - American Constitutional Law
PSC 447 - The U.S. Congress
PSC 448 - The American Presidency
PSC 449 - Urban Affairs
PSC 450 - Urban Political Problems