Stephen F. Austin State University

Course Descriptions

Public Administration Courses

*Unless otherwise indicated, courses are three semester hours credit.

500. Survey of Public Administration
Overview of the field: defining and outlining public administration, and its development including political management, administrative responsibility, policy systems, personnel administration, financial resources management, organization theory, and challenges in public administration. Fall

505. Public Administration Methods
Introduction to the logic and methods used in public administration research and practice including research ethics, designs, strategies, information collection, analytical techniques, and preparing and presenting research findings. Fall

507. Applied Methods for Public Administration
This course introduces applied quantitative and qualitative methods appropriate for public and nonprofit administration. Undergraduate level statistical knowledge will be addressed. Knowledge of measurement, research design, descriptive statistics, probability, inferential statistics, the analysis of nominal and ordinal data, regression analysis, and special topics in using data for management are gained with applications in a public administration context. Spring

510. Public Personnel Administration
Personnel structures, strategic human resource management, legal issues, recruiting, staffing, job analysis, job evaluation, classification, compensation, training, performance appraisals, discipline and dismissal, and issues, opportunities, and challenges in working with human resources. Fall

515. Public Budgeting and Financial Management
Budgeting processes, types of budgets, the politics of budgeting, revenue systems, accounting, cash management, debt administration, purchasing, risk management, and auditing. Spring

520. Policy Systems and Evaluation
Policy discussions at the national, state, and local levels of government with an emphasis on evaluation. It is designed to help students determine the effectiveness of policies and programs. Spring

525. Public Organizations and Management
Development of effective and practical managerial skills. Topics include: the evolution of management thought and managerial styles, organizational structures, decision making, communication, leadership, motivation, and understanding organizational duress. Fall

530. Topics in Public Affairs
The study of a selected subject area related to contemporary public administration. These areas may include political institutions, comparative public administration, local politics, administrative ethics, and spatial analysis. (This course may be repeated with a change in topic).

535. Leadership in Public Administration
Survey of leadership theories, styles, and strategies in the public and non-profit workplace. This will include an examination of leadership in the public sector, including the uniqueness of leading public organizations and the attributes of successful leaders of public organizations. An examination of the role leadership can play in a public organizational change, and the use of furturing as a tool of leadership will be explored. Spring

540. Administrative Law and Procedure
This course focuses on the legal foundations of public administration, constitutional requirements of public managers, and administrative procedures in the state of Texas. Topics addressed include due process requirements in administrative law, administrative rulemaking procedures, and requirements for handling public information and holding public meetings. Spring

545. Ethics in Public Administration
Public employees must maintain high levels of ethical decision making and professional conduct. This course provides students with the theoretical, philosophical, and practical tools needed for making appropriate decisions in the role of an administrator in a public or not for profit organization. Fall

575. Public Administration Capstone Project
Students complete a special research project related to their in-service work or internship. Enrollment is conditional on the approval of a research project proposal, often developed in PBA 505. Completion requires a presentation and oral defense before a faculty panel. Students will enroll in three (3) credit hours of PBA 575, however some projects will warrant enrollment in PBA 576 for additional credit hours, as determined on a case-by-case basis. Fall/Spring/Summer

576. Public Administration Capstone Completion
Special enrollment for students failing to complete the PBA 575 within a semester. Students must be enrolled in one (1) to three (3) hours of PBA 576 per semester until the Capstone Project is completed and approved, as determined on a case-by-case basis. These hours may not be used to fulfill degree credit hour requirements. Fall/Spring

599. Public Administration Internship
Practical public administration experience under the direction of an experienced public administrator in an agency. Seminars, faculty supervision, and a final administrative report are required; these are adjusted on a case-by-case basis. Your advisor may treat this as a core requirement for students not meeting an acceptable level of prior experience. For students seeking a Criminal Justice specialization, and with faculty approval, this requirement may also be met with CJS 560. Fall/Spring/Summer