Jul 25, 2024  
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Public Policy and Administration, Public Policy Concentration, B.S.

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Coordinator: Dr. Liliokanaio Peaslee
Location: Miller Hall, Room 2167
Email: peaslelx@jmu.edu
Phone: (540) 568-5829

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, legal and managerial environments. This major prepares students for  professional employment and leadership in government and nonprofit organizations. The 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 and 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. Courses address:

  • Policy processes.
  • Techniques for analyzing policy options.
  • The dynamics and substance of particular policy issues.

The public management concentration emphasizes management and management-related skills. Courses address:

  • The legal environment of public work.
  • Organization theories.
  • Management theories and applications.
  • Management best practices.

In addition, courses in both concentrations heighten students’ critical, analytical and communication skills through case studies, exercises and the intensive writing requirement. The public policy concentration requires a senior seminar  experience that seeks to bring policy theory 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. 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.

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 Graduate Catalog for more information.

Degree and Major Requirements

Degree Requirements

Required Courses

  • General Education  41 Credit Hours 1
  • Quantitative requirement 3 Credit Hours 2,3
  • Scientific Literacy requirement 3 Credit Hours 2
  • University electives 34 Credit Hours
  • Major requirements (listed below) 39 Credit Hours

1 The General Education  program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.
2 In addition to course work taken to fulfill General Education  requirements.
3 For this requirement, public policy and administration majors should take MATH 220 , the prerequisite for POSC 295 , a required core course in the major.

Total: 120 Credit Hours

Major Requirements


1 The General Education  program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.

Total: 17 Credit Hours

Public Policy Concentration Requirements

Core Requirements: 17 Credit Hours

Choose two of the following: 6 Credit Hours


2 PPA 483  may be taken when the course topic addresses a public policy issue.

Approved ISAT course

Consult the public policy and administration coordinator.

Senior Capstone: 4 Credit Hours


4 This course fulfills the College of Arts and Letters writing-intensive requirement for the major.
5 Students should fulfill the senior capstone requirement for each major and minor separately. This means that senior experiences completed for one major or minor cannot normally be counted for another. Students who have questions about a particular situation should see the department head or appropriate department coordinator for clarification.

Total: 39 Credit Hours

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