Administered by the Department of Political Science
Effective Fall 2010
While public administration is rooted in political science, it is also either cross or multi-disciplinary, with courses coming not only from other social sciences (economics, geography, psychology, and sociology) but also Group A humanities and Group C Natural Sciences, as well as the School of Business. Some students who have been in the Public Administration Career Concentration Program have gone to become assistant city managers; township managers (of affluent Philadelphia suburban townships); budget officers; hospital administrators; labor negotiators; natural resource administrators; employees of State Legislators; employees of state and national pressure groups; an employee of the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington D.C.; and the Governor’s Office of Administration in Harrisburg. First semester seniors in this concentration need to do three things:
First, they should submit an application to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) to the Education Testing Service in Princeton, NJ (this is the same company that administers the College Boards or SAT tests). Normally, the GRE is offered 5 times a year (on Saturdays) and is usually available on campus two of those times. Paperback books are available which contain sample questions. The test is in two parts. The four hour multiple choice test in the morning consists of general verbal and math types of questions of the kind that were on the SAT test. The four hour multiple choice test in the afternoon is specifically about political science, and approximately half the questions are based on the U.S. Government course, with the balance coming from other subfields such as comparative government and/or international relations in a randomly chosen fashion. Thus, students may want to take the morning half at one time, and the afternoon portion at some later date. Applications may be secured from the counseling center.
Second, the GRE application makes a provision for a student to list up to four graduate schools to which the scores will be sent at no charge. In order to take advantage of this, a student should know tentatively in which Master of Public Administration (MPA) graduate school program he/she is interested in. Information about various programs is sometimes displayed on departmental bulletin boards, but specific information about programs is available in the Reference Sections of the library on microfiche. Records there are listed alphabetically by state first, and then within state alphabetically again by the name of the university. Students should check requirements for admission, course listings and titles, and information about financial aid for prospective schools. Graduate schools frequently “buy” graduate students by offering them stipends for partial or full tuition, as teaching assistants, research assistants, and so forth. Writing to request a catalogue and other information is an expression of interest in the school, and offers of aid might possibly be made.
Third, they should check with Career Development and Placement, Student Services Center, not only for assistance in developing a resume, but also for the times and locations of various federal, state and local government civil service examinations. Since the process from test to employment typically takes about a year to complete, the time frame is about right. In addition, interns frequently find that they are able to develop employment opportunities, if not at their actual intern site, then through contacts they make while working. Thus planning for an internship during the student’s eighth semester is advantageous to facilitate the transition from university to employment. If taken during the fall or spring semester, an internship may be up to 15 credit hours, if done full-time; or during the summer sessions, up to 12 credit hours.
To be eligible for a certificate in Public Administration Career Concentration, a student must take at least one (1) course in each of the nine (9) areas, in consultation with the students advisor, and based on course availability. An internship in the field is also highly recommended, but not necessarily required.
1. Organization Theory
COMMSTUD.210 Organizational Communication
POLISCI.336 Public Administration Theory
PSYCH.453 Organizational Psychology
POLISCI.207 Ethics, Politics and Public Policy
POLISCI.456 Public Policy
3. Social Psychology
SOC.441 Social Indicators
PSYCH.131 Psych of Adjustment
PSYCH.253 Social Psychology
INTSTUDY.231 Technical Writing
COMMSTUD.103 Public Speaking
COMMSTUD.104 Interpersonal Communications
ACCT.220 Financial Accounting
2. Computer Science
SOC.465 Computer Applications in the Social Sciences
COMPSCI.110 Introduction to Computer Science
ECONOMIC.256 Bus and Econ Statistics
SOC.260 Basic and Social Statistics
PSYCH.160 Applied Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences
ECONOMIC.313 Labor Economics
POLISCI.438 Public Personal Admin
ECONOMIC.326 Public Finance
POLISCI.437 Public Admin App
POLISCI.452 State and Local Government
GEOG.250 Elements of Planning
GEOG.350 Advanced Planning
SOC.468 Social Service Planning
Courses in the Career Concentration “double count”; that is, a course may count for both general education and career concentration requirements, or a course may count towards both the major and career concentrations requirements. Thus, meeting these additional career concentration requirements is not inordinately difficult. Since the general education requirements are 54 credit hours and the minimum for a major is 30 credit hours, or 84 out of the total credits required for graduation, most students have the remaining credit hours of “free electives” (or about 3 semesters) left. Thus, students may want to take more than one course in any of the nine areas in which they are interested.