The Public Policy and Administration major is offered through the Political Science Department, one of two departments in the School of International and Public Affairs within the College of Arts & Letters.
Admission and Progression Standards for this major:
Click on the link to learn more about the admission and progression standards of this major: http://www.jmu.edu/advising/snapshots/SSPPA.shtml
The major in public policy and administration provides students with a general
foundation in the nature of public policy, the public workplace and its political and legal
environments. This program consists of a core of courses offering general knowledge essential for understanding and working in the public arena. This core provides students with an appreciation of the political culture of public work, the economic environment of public work, measurement techniques and a basic understanding of the policy process.
Students are offered a choice between two concentration options: public policy or public management. In the public policy concentration students acquire knowledge of the nature, dynamics, implementation and substance of public policy and its analysis. The public management concentration emphasizes government institutions, administrative process, and technical skill development.
In addition, courses in both concentrations heighten student's critical, analytical and communication skills through case studies, exercises and the intensive writing requirement. The public policy concentration requires a senior capstone experience which seeks to bring policy and analytical skills to bear on a practical issue of public policy. Public management students must complete the dual capstone requirements of a public management seminar and an internship, requiring an integration of knowledge from both general studies and major studies by focusing students on specific cases and workplace applications.
Because the public policy and administration major develops techniques and skills applicable to varied career paths in public service, students are encouraged to choose a complementary minor with a narrower, substantive focus.
Interested students may apply to participate in the Fifth year Master of Public Administration degree program, which allows qualified students to earn an M.P.A. degree with one additional year of study. Students should apply for this program in their sophomore year. See the JMU Graduate Catalog for more information.
Science Department also offers a major and minor in Political Science, a major in International Affairs, a minor in Public Policy and Administration,
and a minor in Political Communication.
me more about this field of study.
Public Policy and Administration typically involves the management and coordination of day-to-day operations of a public agency, including hiring, delegating responsibilities, and preparing the annual budget. Public administrators are called on by legislators to use their expertise to assist them in designing policy proposals that create or change government services. For example, the elected officials of a community decide what services a community will provide while the public administrator decides how best to deliver these services. Administrators are not only concerned with the day-to-day responsibilities of running government, but they must also plan for the future. Administrators and policy makers must be prepared to deal with changing federal and state regulations and tax rates, as well as population and other demographic shifts. Moreover, they need to be prepared for changes in the economic climate that can dramatically affect public service demands.
me more about specializations in this field.
Public policy administrators work in numerous settings, such as the military, the White House, Yellowstone Park, the state capital, and the community center down the street. Individuals in this field can specialize in local, state or federal government or in a community or non-profit agency. Public policy administrators working in federal agencies and departments, for example, may manage processes to collect taxes, arm the military, conduct foreign policy, perform scientific research, tabulate the census, support the arts or administer Social Security benefits. Administrators in state government are charged, among other things, to establish state services like public universities and emergency planning and management. Through local governments, states provide for police, education, recreation programs, waste management, roads, jails, prisons, and other services to citizens. Nonprofit organizations also employ administrators responsible for the development and implementation for the development and implementation of a wide variety of programs – ranging from social services (e.g. American Red Cross) to membership organizations (e.g. AARP).
common major or minor combinations from other departments
complement this major?
Since the public policy and administration major is of broad application, students are encouraged to
choose a complementary minor with a narrower, applied focus. The minors recommended for students
consideration include Communication Studies, Computer Science, Conflict Analysis and Intervention,
Criminal Justice, Economics, Environmental Information Systems, Environmental Management,
Environmental Studies, Family Studies, Gerontology, Health Communication, Human Resource Development, Human Science, Integrated Science and Technology, Management Science, Non-profit Studies, Political Communication, Substance Abuse Intervention, Sociology, Telecommunications, Urban and Regional Studies, Women's Studies, or Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication.
OF SUCCESSFUL STUDENTS
Naturally, success in our program comes more easily to those students with a keen interest in public service in its various forms. Students involved in leadership roles in student government or other student organizations may find Public Policy and Administration appealing, as will students interested in government and politics.
Many graduates choose typical career paths associated with this major. However, some graduates choose unrelated careers that utilize skills and experiences developed during their years in college. Keep in mind, that some fields will require graduate study or further training. The listing below offers examples of possible career paths and is not meant to be comprehensive.