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Public Administration

Student Learning Objectives Public Administration

Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy & Management

  • The student will be familiar with the mechanisms operating in the major political institutions and agencies for the creation and implementation of public policies.
  • The student will be familiar with the social forces that affect the creation of public policies.
  • The student will be familiar with the predominant political, economic, and social actors that actively engage in the policymaking process, including expert communities, interest groups, the media, agency bureaucrats, and elected officials.
  • The student will be familiar with the dominant ideas presently used in the social sciences for understanding the impetus for the creation of public policy and the means for its successful implementation.
  • The student will be able to apply this understanding of the various components of social policy making to effectively introduce new aspects to the existing consideration of a specific area of recent public policy interest.

Master of Public Administration (MPA) 

  • The ability to understand that public policies shape, and are shaped by, the institutional, legal, political and economic contexts in which they occur.
  • The ability to critique and formulate public policies by collecting and analyzing qualitative and quantitative information.
  • The ability to identify factors that influence the political support for a policy and that help or hinder its successful implementation.
  • An expertise in a chosen field of public policy that is developed by taking at least three courses in that policy field.
  • Effective written and oral communication skills and professional skills such as working in teams and understanding the need for tradeoffs in pursuing multiple objectives. 


  1. Current Knowledge
    a. Demonstrates substantive mastery of the academic literature in public administration and policy
    b. Demonstrates substantive mastery of the academic literature in a specialized area of research within public administration and policy that draws upon the broader social science literature
    c. Shows a foundational understanding and ability to evaluate diverse quantitative and qualitative methods in public administration and policy research

  2. Independent Research
    a. Makes an original contribution to the field
    b. Competently and rigorously applies at least one quantitative or qualitative method in public administration and policy research
    c. Articulates a coherent argument in an article-length paper that links research question(s), theory, results and implications for theory and practice
    d. Articulates the relevance of the research
    e. Demonstrates an emerging scholarly identity

  3. Engagement in Public Affairs Community
    a. Effectively communicates research results to scholarly, practitioner and student audiences orally and in writing
    b. Involved in the broader public administration and policy scholarly community