​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Program Description

As a student in the public administration major, you’ll be prepared for managerial positions in the public sector. You will develop public service skills associated with leadership, program evaluation, policy analysis, financial management, and human resources. Degrees in public administration will give you the necessary skills to make nonprofit organizations, government agencies and public-serving private organizations more effective in the future.

Points of Pride

  • The Master of Public Administration program is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. In addition, the program has been ranked as a top 200 public administration program by U.S. News & World Report.
  • The MPA program is one of the few programs in the nation that offers the “Seoul Case Study Program.” In this program, students study and experience economic development strategies and management challenges in Seoul with the Seoul Metropolitan Government. The Seoul Metropolitan Government manages services for over 25 million people in the world’s second largest metropolitan area.
  • Students in the undergraduate program won the 2012 competition of the “Student’s Reinventing Michigan” competition.

Put Your Degree to Work

Career options include employment in nonprofit organizations, governmental organizations an​d for-profit organizations with a public-serving emphasis. Students in the program have also proceeded to Ph.D. programs in public policy and public administration.

​U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sample data

JobMedian PayJob Growth through ​2022​
Fundraising manager$95,450 per year13% (8,000 more jobs)
Community service manager$59,970 per year21% (27,700 more jobs)
Administrative services manager$81,080 per year12% (34,200 more jobs)

For More Information

Visit the political science website or contact:

Department of Political Science and Public Administration
Anspach Hall 247
Email: psc@cmich.edu
Phone: 989-774-3442

Program Overview

The course listings below are a representation of what this academic program requires. For a full review of this program in detail please see our official online academic bulletin AND consult with an academic advisor. This listing does not include the General Education courses required for all majors and may not include some program specific information, such as admissions, retention, and termination standards.

(Click on the course name or number for a complete course description.)

Political Science Major: Public Administration Concentration

A political science major consists of 33 hours. A minimum of 15 hours of course work must be at the 300 level or above, with at least one course at the 400-500 level. PSC 405 cannot be used to fulfill this requirement. Students must choose between the General Political Science Major, the Public Administration Concentration or the International Relations/Comparative Politics Concentration. Courses taken on a Credit/No Credit basis may not be counted toward political science majors or political science minors. Majors and minors in political science should enroll in PSC 105 as freshmen (see course description). Transfer students majoring in political science will be expected to take at least 15 hours of coursework in the department; transfer minors, 12 hours. The student is required to take a minimum of three hours in four of the following five fields: I. American National Political Institutions and Processes; II. American State and Local Government, Public Administration and Policy; III. International Relations; IV. Comparative Politics; V. Political Theory. Note: Field II is not applicable to the International Relations/Comparative Politics Concentration. It is recommended that all political science majors enroll in PSC 280 during their sophomore year. PSC 398 and PSC 598 are Special Topics courses which may be used to fulfill the area requirements for majors and minors. Permission to do this is based on the substantive content of the course, and requires the consent of the student's major or minor advisor or the department chair. Any regular faculty member in the department can serve as the student's advisor on a major or minor. Internships: The department has established an internship program where students are provided relevant firsthand work experience. The duration of an internship can vary depending on the number of credit hours (1-12) taken. Students majoring in political science with a concentration in public administration, as well as the minors in public administration and public affairs, are allowed to count three internship credit hours toward their major or minor.
Total: 33 semester hours Note: A minimum of 15 hours of PSC course work must be at the 300 level or above, with at least one PSC course at the 400-500 level. PSC 405 cannot be used to fulfill this requirement.
Required Courses
(18 hours)
PAD 210
Introduction to Public Administration
PAD 313
Public Budgeting Processes
PAD 411
Public Sector Human Resources
PSC 100
Introduction to Political Science
PSC 105
Introduction to American Government and Politics
PSC 280
Introduction to Empirical Methods of Political Research
Field I
(0-3 hours)
American National Political Institutions and Processes Select from the following:
Note: If you select 3 from this group, you do not need to select 3 from the American State and Local Government, Public Administration and Policy courses below.
PSC 101
Political Behavior
PSC 125
African-American Politics
PSC 320
The American Legislative Process
PSC 321
The American Chief Executive
PSC 322
Judicial Process and Politics
PSC 323
American Parties and Politics
PSC 325/SOC 345/REL 345/PHL 345
The Civil Rights Movement
PSC 326/WGS 326
Women and Politics
PSC 327
Lobbying and Interest Group Behavior
PSC 328
Campaigns and Elections
PSC 421
Constitutional Law: Powers of Government
PSC 422
Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties
PSC 520
American National Government and Politics
Field III
(3 hours)
International Relations Select from the following:
PSC 150
Introduction to International Relations
PSC 151
The U.S. and the World
PSC 351
International Relations
PSC 352
US - Latin American Relations
PSC 453
American Foreign Policy
PSC 551
Seminar in International Relations
PSC 555
International Law I
Field IV
(3 hours)
Comparative Politics Select one course from the following:
PSC 242
Introduction to Comparative Politics
PSC 340
African Political Systems and Processes
PSC 341
Comparative Politics: Eastern Europe
PSC 343
Southeast Asian Political Systems and Processes
PSC 344
East Asian Political Systems and Processes
PSC 345
Middle Eastern Political Systems
PSC 346
The Politics of Islam
PSC 347
Comparative Politics: Western Europe
PSC 348
Latin American Political Systems
PSC 515
Comparative Public Policy
PSC 540
Cultural Heritage and Politics of Eastern Europe
Field V
(3 hours)
Political Theory Select one course from the following:
PSC 275
Great Political Thinkers
PSC 371
American Political Thought
PSC 372
American Radical Thought
PSC 375
Socialism, Fascism, and Liberalism
PSC 378
Modern Democratic Theory
PSC 426/PHL 426/WGS 426
Feminist Theory
PSC 583
Survey Research
Field II
(0-3 hours)
American State and Local Government, Public Administration and Policy Select from the following:
Note: If you select 3 from this group, you do not need to select 3 from the American National Political Institutions and Processes courses above.
PAD 585
Public Sector Information Technology Management
PAD 655
Managing Modern Local Government
PSC 261
State and Local Government
PSC 300
Michigan Politics and Elections
PSC 301
Law and Policy in Michigan State Government
PSC 514
American Public Policy Making
PSC 516
Environmental Politics and Policy
PSC 522
Regulatory Processes and Administrative Law
PSC 563
Politics and Policy in Urban Communities
PSC 566
Intergovernmental Relations in the United States
Other Requirements
(3 hours)
Select one of the following capstone experiences:
Note: PSC 395 is required for students without any relevant PA experience. Student must have completed 56 hours or more. Students with previous relevant PA experience may select an Independent Study (PSC 390) with permission of the Internship Director.
PSC 390
Independent Study
PSC 395
Internship in Government and Politics