The major in public policy and administration provides students with a general foundation in the nature of the public workplace and its political and legal environments. This major prepares students for professional employment and leadership in government and non-profit organizations. The program provides specialized training in management and management-related skills. The public policy and administration program's courses provide students with knowledge of:

  • The political culture of public work
  • The economic environment of public work
  • The legal environment of public work
  • Organization theories
  • Management theories
  • Management best practices
  • Policy processes

In addition, the public policy and administration major heightens students critical, analytical and communication skills through case studies and exercises. The dual capstone requirement of a public management seminar and an internship demands integration of knowledge from both general studies and major studies by focusing students on specific cases and workplace applications.

Students are encouraged to choose a complementary minor with a narrower, applied focus. The minors recommended for students consideration include criminal justice, environmental information systems, environmental management, environmental studies, family studies, gerontology, health information systems, nonprofit studies, political communication, substance abuse intervention, telecommunications, urban and regional studies, communication studies, conflict analysis and intervention, sociology, technical and scientific communication, economics, human resource development, computer science, public health, and integrated science and technology.

Course checklist for the 2012-2013 catalog version of the major.

Course checklist for the 2017-2018 catalog version of the major.

Interested students (regardless of their undergraduate majors at JMU) may apply to begin pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree. In the  five-year format of the MPA programJMU undergraduates may complete their undergraduate degree and the MPA program in five years by meeting admissions requirements of the MPA program and carefully planning their program of study with the MPA director. The five-year MPA program requires 36 graduate credits in academic course work and a professional internship. Students interested in the five-year MPA should meet with the MPA director early in their sophomore year to officially declare their intent to pursue the program.  

The Political Science, International Affairs, and Public Policy and Administration majors are available to any student in good standing at the university. To declare one of these majors (or to declare a minor), go to the Student Center component of MyMadison on the STUDENT tab.  JMU's Office of the Registrar provides a step-by-step video tutorial with instructions on adding, dropping, and/or changing majors and minors.

For more information about the Bachelor in Public Policy and Administration, please contact Dr. Liliokanaio Peaslee, peaslelx@jmu.edu, 2167 Miller Hall, Ph: 568-5829.

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