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The department offers the Minor in Public Administration, Minor in Public Policy, and Minor in Nonprofit Management.  These minors are open to all students seeking training in the public and nonprofit sectors.  Moreover, interested students may take one or more courses as free electives as their program of study allows.  Students in the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) program may also pursue program concentrations in these areas.

Courses in Public Administration, Public Policy, and/or Nonprofit Management are an excellent choice for students across several majors in the behavioral and social sciences, business, health, arts and humanities, and the hard sciences.  Please contact the department with any questions about how courses in these areas fit with your degree and future career plans.

Minor in Public Administration

The Minor in Public Administration has been developed for students interested in the study and practice of public and nonprofit management.  The minor is comprised of courses focusing on issues related to the delivery and management of public programs, public policy analysis, leadership and innovation management, budgeting and financial management, administrative law, and civic engagement and responsibility.

Students from all majors are encouraged to boost their career options within government, nonprofit, and corporate institutions with this applied and strategic minor.  The minor is also good preparation for students considering graduate training in public administration.

Minor in Public Policy

The Minor in Public Policy prepares students by developing the skills and knowledge needed to respond to policy issues.  The aim of the minor is to provide students with an understanding of the essential elements involved in the public policy process and the analytical skills necessary to make informed judgments about policy-making, policy implementation, and substantive policy outcomes.

The minor is comprised of courses focusing on the theoretical perspectives, analytical skills, and substantive knowledge needed for the study and analysis of public policy issues.  Students from all majors are encouraged to expand their career options within government, law, nonprofit, and corporate institutions with this applied and strategic minor.

Minor in Nonprofit Management

The Minor in Nonprofit Management prepares students with the skills and knowledge needed to identify and examine organizational theories and behavior as they apply in nonprofit/nongovernmental organizations, including issues of work design and implications of operational policies and practices. Students from all majors are encouraged to expand their career options within government, law, nonprofit, and corporate institutions with this applied and strategic minor.


All students are encouraged to complete an internship to fulfill part of their minor requirements.  An internship (PBAD 4791) can be completed during the fall or spring semesters, or over the summer.  In order to receive academic credit, internships require a minimum of 150 hours and must be approved in advance by the department’s internship coordinator.  As a first step, students should submit a completed Internship General Information Sheet.  Additional documents pertaining to the internship can be found HERE.

Course Descriptions

The Department of Public and Nonprofit Studies offers courses under the Public Administration (PBAD) prefix and Nonprofit Management, Leadership, and Innovation (NMLI) prefix.

NMLI 2231 – Introduction to Nonprofit Management: An overview of the nonprofit sector and to introduce a range of common practices and concerns related to managing in this sector including leadership, board governance, fundraising and philanthropy.

PBAD 2231 – Introduction to Public Administration: A comprehensive overview of the history of public administration, its development as a field, and a survey of the critical theories and normative issues within public administration and the implication for practice.

PBAD 3331 – Applied Public Management: This course examines the historical and theoretical development of public sector management. The course also introduces performance management tools of contemporary public managers, including strategic planning, goal setting, project management, and performance management systems.

PBAD 3333 – The Policy Process and Democracy: This course explores the frameworks, theories, and models used to explain how issues are conceptualized and brought to government and then subsequently designed, selected, and implemented. This includes an investigation into politics, focusing on how actors and issue networks interact and exercise power within the policy process.

PBAD 3334 – Introduction to Public and Nonprofit Financial Management: This course provides students with the basics of financial management applicable to public and nonprofit organizations.

PBAD 3431 – Public Budgeting: This course serves as an introduction to public sector budgeting providing students with practical knowledge about how the public sector budget process works, an overview of the technical aspects of public budgeting and various theories of budgeting.

NMLI 3632 – Social Entrepreneurship, Enterprise and Innovation: This course surveys the theories for the emerging disciplines of social entrepreneurship, enterprise, and innovation. The course explores how individuals and organizations use private sector approaches to solving complex social problems.

NMLI 3633 – International Non-governmental Organizations: This course examines the rapidly growing world of international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs). The course explores how these organizations are becoming a part of the global society through policy and program development, humanitarian relief, advocacy, and other human service provisions. Students will be able to increase their knowledge and understanding of INGOs – what they do, the complex issues they face, and how they differ from domestic nonprofits.

PBAD 3731 – Public Policy: This course surveys the topic of public policy including the historical foundations and theories of the field. Emphasis is placed on the significance of public policy in addressing pressing social issues and the social, economic, political, and cultural contexts of public policy.

PBAD 3732 – Policy Analysis: This course focuses on the evidence-based methods used to create, implement, and study substantive public policy problems. This includes an investigation into the process of policy analysis, as well as the tools frequently employed at each step. The intent is to improve the quality of policy-making by critically examining the design and relevance of policies, their implementation and execution, and their impact on households, communities, and the society at large.

PBAD 3733 – Contemporary Policy Issues: This class explores a number of core substantive policy areas that represent a substantial part of contemporary U.S. policy-making. It offers a comprehensive overview of each topic area and then probes more deeply into each topic. This includes an overview of the major policies and programs within each area, how they came into effect, and current or likely reforms in terms of effectiveness, efficiency, equity, ethics, or political feasibility.

PBAD 4231 – Administrative Law:  This course serves as an introduction to administrative law providing students with practical knowledge about administrative law procedures, how administrative law fits into the constitutional and legal framework, and the role of administrative law in policy. This course is designed to introduce students to decision-making based on a public agency’s operating rules.

PBAD 4232 – Public Service Values and Ethics: This course investigates specific ethical concerns of the public sector, including its underlying values and norms. An emphasis is placed on the relationship between democracy and administrative decision-making, a focus on accountability, and the role of ethical actors in the resolution of public value conflicts.

PBAD 4233 – Human Capital Management for Administrators: This course focuses on human resources management in a public sector context. Particular emphasis is placed on the past developments of and future challenges in the field. Topics such as employee recruitment, selection, and compensation, as well as more contemporary issues such as diversity management are addressed.

PBAD 4234 – IT and E-Government for Public Managers: This course examines organizational societal value structures and the ways in which technology creates rapid change and new alternatives in values. The impact of e-government initiatives and social media on the way governments interact with the public is explored.

PBAD 4235 – Research Methods and Evaluation: This course familiarizes students with the basic approaches to social research as applied in public and service settings. Emphasis is placed on techniques for organizing and presenting data for policy and management decision-making.

PBAD 4331 – Leadership & Managerial Innovation: This course introduces students to the literature on the successful leadership of people and groups in public service organizations. In order to lead well, managers need expertise in multiple areas, including personality, motivation, group behavior, power, leadership, decision-making, and change management. This course also examines the meaning and significance of managerial innovation.

NMLI 4332 – Resource Development and Management for Nonprofits: This course explores resource development for nonprofit organizations. The course examines tools and strategies for fundraising principles and approaches for funding. It also investigates grant writing strategies for government and foundation resource acquisition.

NMLI 4333 – Strategic Management for Nonprofits: This course surveys the managerial, strategic, and governance issues facing nonprofit leadership. The course explains how strategic planning techniques like environmental scans, stakeholder analysis, and strategy formulation and implementation assist management in responding to internal and external demands for increased nonprofit performance and mission accomplishment.

PBAD 4334 – Policy and Markets: This class explores the rationales and explanations for government intervention in correcting social problems including political, moral and ethical, and market or economic rationales. Special emphasis is placed on collective action, market failures, and externalities as the predominant justification for public policy.

PBAD 4431 – Special Topics in Public Administration: This course is an elective that covers special topics in public administration.

PBAD 4791 – Field Internship in Public Administration: The internship in public administration is designed to provide students with meaningful experiences in public service organizations. Students are approved to intern in a public or nonprofit organization, serving in positions that allow them to gain exposure to the management of these organizations. No more than three credit hours can be counted towards completion of the Minor in Public Administration. Prerequisite(s): A minimum grade of “C” and prior or concurrent enrollment in PBAD 2231.

Last updated: 1/3/2024