• MTSU attracts speakers such as former Congressman Jim Leach, now chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Public Administration graduates find opportunities near and far
  • Senior Daniel Vaughan found a good spot to read
  • Learning about urban land use resources is timely

Public Administration

The Public Administration concentration within the Political Science major is designed for students seeking careers in government and public service. The complexity of modern government programs in health care, environmental protection, crime prevention, education, and others increasingly requires managers with specialized skills in management, budgeting, personnel, and public policy. MTSU's proximity to the state capital provides unique opportunities for hands-on training and career placement.

Get real-world work in public service

MTSU has a long-standing and successful Public Service internship program, which is a central feature of the Public Administration concentration. Students may earn up to 12 semester hours and gain invaluable real-world experience working in state agencies, Metro-Nashville offices, and public service organizations.

Students go to Washington for semester

Political Science students can spend a semester with the Washington Center program in Washington D.C. Recent interns worked with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Smithsonian, Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, and Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Public Administration graduates find careers not only with government agencies, but also with non-governmental service groups; examples of career options include

  • Administrator in a variety of settings
  • Government worker at local, state, and national levels
  • Lobbyist
  • Loss control director in risk management
  • Public servant
  • Public servant
  • Researcher

The program is also valuable for students who plan to attend graduate school in public administration.

Employers of MTSU alumni include

  • Tennessee Municipal League

Public Administration is a concentration available for undergraduates pursuing a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Political Science. The department also offers a B.A. or B.S. in Political Science with a general focus, with a concentration in Pre-Law, or with Teacher Licensure; and a Bachelor of Science (B.S) degree in International Relations.

For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS tab above.

Public Administration is a concentration available for undergraduates pursuing a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Political Science. The Department of Political Science and International Relations also offers a B.A. or B.S. in Political Science with a general focus, with a concentration in Pre-Law, or with Teacher Licensure; and both a Bachelor of Science (B.S) and a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations.

The department offers minors in Public Administration, Paralegal Studies, Political Science,  Political and Civic Engagement, and International Relations and also coordinates interdisciplinary minors in Urban Studies, Russian Studies, and African Studies.

A Master of Arts (M.A.) in International Affairs with a concentration in either Security and Peace Studies or Development and Globalization is available.

Public Administration (B.A.) Public Administration (B.S.) 


Political Science, Public Administration Concentration, B.A.

Department of Political Science and International Relations 
615-898-2708
Michael Federici, program coordinator
Michael.Federici@mtsu.edu

Students majoring in Political Science can choose a general focus or a concentration in either Public Administration or Pre-law.

The Public Administration concentration is for those seeking administrative careers in government or public service agencies. A combination of general political science courses, core public administration courses, pertinent political science electives, and courses in related disciplines provides a sound background for an administrative career.

Academic Map

Following is a printable, suggested four-year schedule of courses:

Political Science, Public Administration, B.A., Academic Map  

Degree Requirements

General Education (41 hours)

General Education requirements include Communication, History, Humanities and/or Fine Arts, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Social/Behavioral Sciences categories.

The following General Education course is recommended for this major.

  • PS 1005 or PS 1010 (Soc/Beh Sci)

Major Requirements (37 hours)

  • PS 1005 - Introduction to American Politics

    3 credit hours

    Constitutional principles, functions, and administration of American federal government; Congress, the presidency, and the Supreme Court. A General Education Social/Behavioral Sciences course.

  • PS 1010 - Introduction to Global Politics

    3 credit hours

    Meets part of the General Education Social/Behavioral Sciences requirement. Comparative theories and institutions of government. Law, constitutions, power, political socialization, ideologies, and the media.

  • PS 2000 - Political Science and International Relations as a Profession

    1 credit hour credit hours

    To be taken as early as possible by Political Science and International Relations majors. Provides practical information for majors on career planning and development, including potential careers in law, graduate school and research, government, policy analysis, political campaign management, lobbying, and non-profit management.

  • PS 3250 - Public Administration

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1005 or permission of instructor. Fundamentals of public management--organization theory, leadership, policy making, planning, budgeting, personnel, administrative law, bureaucratic behavior.

  • PS 4290 - Public Service Internship  1 to 12 credit hours  

    PS 4290 - Public Service Internship

    1 to 12 credit hours

    Prerequisites: Junior standing and 2.50 minimum GPA. Student assigned to a public service agency as an employee under the joint administration of the agency and the department. May be repeated for up to 12 hours of credit, but only six hours of internship credit may count toward a Political Science major or minor. Arrangement for this course must be made in advance.

  • PS 4800 - Senior Seminar  3 credit hours  

    PS 4800 - Senior Seminar

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites:  PS 1005, PS 1010, and 12 additional hours of political science courses. A reading and discussion seminar designed to integrate knowledge of the subfields of political science through critical reflection on politics, law, ideology, and culture from both a domestic and global perspective.

Choose two courses from:

  • PS 3270 - NGOs and Non-Profits

    3 credit hours

    Key topics and issues surrounding the political environment and competing pressures that international non-governmental organizations and domestic non-profits confront. Formal readings paired with discussions from practitioners in the field and hands-on professional exercises.

  • PS 3440 - Governmental Budgeting and Finance Administration

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1005 or permission of instructor. Analysis of the legal and social nature of government budgets emphasizing the procedures and administrative methods of fiscal control. Budget documents at state and local levels. Offered infrequently.

  • PS 4590 - Administrative Law  3 credit hours  

    PS 4590 - Administrative Law

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1005 PS 3250, or permission of instructor. Procedural aspects, substantive issues, judicial review of the type of law concerned with the powers and procedures of government agencies and the rights of citizens affected by them.

  • PS 4630 - Personnel Management

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 3250 or permission of instructor. Human resources administration in government agencies. Patterns of position classification, compensation, recruitment, selection, training, performance appraisal, promotion, discipline, separation, collective bargaining.

Choose two courses from:

  • PS 2020 - State and Local Government

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1005 or permission of instructor. Politics and administration at the state and local level. Legislative, judicial, and administrative structures and processes; major issues and problems.

  • PS 2440 - Law and the Legal System

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1005 or permission of instructor. A general introduction to American law and the American legal system; focus on the case system.

  • PS 3160 - American Public Policy

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1005 or permission of instructor. Examines the public policy-making process in the United States, the stages of policy development and the problems inherent in policymaking. At least one substantive policy area examined in depth; examples: health care, environmental, welfare, agricultural, poverty, or budgetary policies.

  • PS 3400 - Municipal Government

    3 credit hours

    Powers, functions, and politics of municipal governments from the standpoint of city management. Attention is given to problems related to the execution of municipal policy. Offered infrequently.

  • PS 3490 - Alternative Dispute Resolution

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1005 or permission of the department chair. Theory, methods, and ethical components of alternative dispute resolution (ADR); emphasis on various forms of mediation, but including other ADR formats such as arbitration, negotiation, and summary jury trial.

  • PS 4120 - Tennessee Government

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1005 or permission of instructor. Structure, functions, and processes of Tennessee's governmental and political institutions. Policy issues studied.

Choose two Political Science electives from:

  • American Government 3 credit hours
  • Comparative Government 3 credit hours
  • International Relations 3 credit hours
  • Political Theory 3 credit hours

Public Administration Cognate (18 hours)

This cognate takes the place of one minor (18 hours). Complete six of the following courses in consultation with advisor.

  • ACTG 3020 - Managerial Accounting

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: ACTG 2120 or ACTG 3000; junior standing; admission into the College of Business. Analysis of costs of products and services, recognition of quantitative techniques relating to management objectives, overview of master budgeting, and planning and control techniques. Designed for nonaccounting majors. (Not open to students with credit in ACTG 3310 or Accounting majors.)

  • COMM 3220 - Small Group Communication

    3 credit hours

    Exploration of theories of group dynamics through practical application. Study of verbal, nonverbal, leadership communication, and group decision making.

  • ECON 2410 - Principles of Economics, Macroeconomics

    3 credit hours

    As an aid to understanding modern economic society: economic concepts of national income and its fluctuations, inflation, unemployment, role of the banking system, monetary and fiscal policies, and international topics.

  • ECON 2420 - Principles of Economics, Microeconomics

    3 credit hours

    As an aid to understanding modern economic society: economic concepts of consumer and firm behavior; the pricing of goods, services, and productive factors; international topics; and an overview of the American economy.

  • ECON 4390 - Employee Benefits

    3 credit hours

    (Same as FIN 4390.) Prerequisites: Junior standing and admission into the College of Business. Includes descriptive review and taxation, legislative, and administrative dimensions of the major components of employee benefit plans such as retirement systems, deferred compensation plans, health insurance, death benefits, disability benefits, paid and unpaid time off. Technical analysis and problem solving emphasized to develop applied skills. Social insurance and international benefits integrated.

  • ECON 4420 - Labor and Human Resource Economics

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: ECON 2410 or ECON 2420; junior standing; and admission into the College of Business. Current issues and theories, returns to training and education (human capital), earnings differences; union impacts and government regulation of labor relations and labor markets; human resource information system modeling, including applied PC or mainframe data analysis and integration of Internet information sources.

  • ECON 4510 - Unions and Collective Bargaining

    3 credit hours

    (Same as MGMT 4510.) Prerequisites: Junior standing and admission into the College of Business. The collective bargaining process: its evolution in the public and private sectors and its contemporary legal environment; compensation, institutional and administrative issues; strikes and impasse resolution procedures.

  • MGMT 3610 - Principles of Management

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Junior standing. Concepts of the management functions of planning, organizing, and controlling with an emphasis on behavioral science concepts as applied to managing people in organizations.

  • MGMT 4200 - Leadership in Organizations

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: Junior standing; MGMT 3610 or permission of department; and admission to the College of Business. Importance of leadership in organizations. Examines major theories and concepts relative to leadership in formal organizations. Emphasis on practical application of leadership knowledge in the leadership role.

  • MGMT 4680 - Organization Behavior

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: MGMT 3610 and admission to the College of Business. Human behavior in organizations. Emphasis on motivation, leadership, communication, group processes, and methods for managing change. Understanding human behavior allows student to learn better employee utilization strategies resulting in a more effective and efficient organization.

  • ORCO 3240 - Introduction to Organizational Communication

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. An overview of organizational communication theories and processes examined through a hands-on approach. Includes communication networks, teamwork, leadership and power, information technology, crisis communication, and organizational trends.

  • ORCO 3250 - Organizational Communication in Communities

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above. Theories and techniques involving communication between organizations and their constituencies. Identification and analysis of communication involving corporate philanthropy and fundraising, fundraising events, volunteers, image, and grant writing. Possible topics include health organizations, art organizations, and nonprofits.

  • ORCO 3500 - Strategic Communication in Organizations

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above. Organizational communication and its relationship to employees, leadership, corporate culture, diversity, change, and innovation. Possible topics include work-life balance and organizational identity.

  • ORCO 3650 - Conflict and Organizations

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above. The role of communication in conflict management/resolution between or among individuals and groups. Examines workplace violence, fraud, mediation, grievances, substance abuse, and discrimination.

  • PSY 4380 - Group Dynamics  3 credit hours  

    PSY 4380 - Group Dynamics

    3 credit hours

    The functioning of groups. Includes development of group structure, group conflict, cohesion, social influence, leadership, group productivity, group decision making, and growth groups. Classroom activities are supplemented by group projects that may require some out of class meetings.

Foreign Language Requirement (6 hours)

Electives (18-21 hours)

Total hours in program: 120

 

Curriculum: Political Science, Public Administration, B.A.

Curricular listings include General Education requirements in Communication, History, Humanities and/or Fine Arts, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Social/Behavioral Sciences categories.

Freshman

 

  • ENGL 1010 - Expository Writing  3 credit hours  (Comm) 

    ENGL 1010 - Expository Writing

    3 credit hours

    The first General Education English course. Emphasis on learning to adapt composing processes to a variety of expository and analytic writing assignments. Minimum grade of C- required for credit.

  • ENGL 1020 - Research and Argumentative Writing

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: ENGL 1010. The second General Education English course. Emphasis on analytic and argumentative writing and on locating, organizing, and using library resource materials in the writing. Minimum grade of C- required for credit.

  • PS 1005 - Introduction to American Politics

    3 credit hours

    Constitutional principles, functions, and administration of American federal government; Congress, the presidency, and the Supreme Court. A General Education Social/Behavioral Sciences course.

  • PS 1010 - Introduction to Global Politics  3 credit hours  (Soc/Beh Sci) 

    PS 1010 - Introduction to Global Politics

    3 credit hours

    Meets part of the General Education Social/Behavioral Sciences requirement. Comparative theories and institutions of government. Law, constitutions, power, political socialization, ideologies, and the media.

  • Mathematics 3 credit hours
  • Humanities and/or Fine Arts 3 credit hours
  • Natural Sciences (2 prefixes) 8 credit hours
  • Social/Behavioral Sciences 3 credit hours
  • General elective 3 credit hours

Subtotal: 32 Hours

 

Sophomore

 

  • ENGL 2020 - Themes in Literature and Culture  3 credit hours  (Hum/FA) OR 

    ENGL 2020 - Themes in Literature and Culture

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: ENGL 1010 and ENGL 1020. Traces a specific theme or idea through a number of literary texts that reflect different historical and cultural contexts. Subject will vary.

  • ENGL 2030 - The Experience of Literature  3 credit hours  (Hum/FA)  OR 

    ENGL 2030 - The Experience of Literature

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: ENGL 1010 and ENGL 1020. The reading of a variety of literary types which illuminate themes and experiences common to human existence.

  • HUM 2610 - Foreign Literature in Translation  3 credit hours  (Hum/FA) 

    HUM 2610 - Foreign Literature in Translation

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: ENGL 1010 and ENGL 1020. Representative works of French, German, and Hispanic authors in English translation. No foreign-language proficiency required. Carries General Education credit.

  • COMM 2200 - Fundamentals of Communication  3 credit hours  (Comm) 

    COMM 2200 - Fundamentals of Communication

    3 credit hours

    Principles and processes of effective public oral communication including researching, critical thinking, organizing, presenting, listening, and using appropriate language. Emphasis on informative, persuasive, special occasion, and extemporaneous (impromptu) speaking. Counts as part of the General Education Communication requirement.

  • Humanities and/or Fine Arts 3 credit hours
  • Foreign language courses 6 credit hours
  • HIST 2010 - Survey of United States History I

    3 credit hours

    Survey of the political, economic, social, cultural, and diplomatic phases of American life in its regional, national, and international aspects. HIST 2010 discusses the era from the beginning to 1877. HIST 2020 discusses the era from 1877 to the present. These courses are prerequisite for all advanced courses in American history and satisfy the General Education History requirement. HIST 2010 is NOT a prerequisite for HIST 2020.

  • HIST 2020 - Survey of United States History II

    3 credit hours

    Survey of the political, economic, social, cultural, and diplomatic phases of American life in its regional, national, and international aspects. HIST 2010 discusses the era from the beginning to 1877. HIST 2020 discusses the era from 1877 to the present. These courses are prerequisite for all advanced courses in American history and satisfy the General Education History requirement. HIST 2010 is NOT a prerequisite for HIST 2020.

  • HIST 2030 - Tennessee History

    3 credit hours

    The role of the state in the development of the nation. May be used to satisfy one part of the General Education History requirement.

  • PS 2000 - Political Science and International Relations as a Profession

    1 credit hour credit hours

    To be taken as early as possible by Political Science and International Relations majors. Provides practical information for majors on career planning and development, including potential careers in law, graduate school and research, government, policy analysis, political campaign management, lobbying, and non-profit management.

  • PS 3250 - Public Administration

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1005 or permission of instructor. Fundamentals of public management--organization theory, leadership, policy making, planning, budgeting, personnel, administrative law, bureaucratic behavior.

  • PS 3270 - NGOs and Non-Profits  3 credit hours  OR 

    PS 3270 - NGOs and Non-Profits

    3 credit hours

    Key topics and issues surrounding the political environment and competing pressures that international non-governmental organizations and domestic non-profits confront. Formal readings paired with discussions from practitioners in the field and hands-on professional exercises.

  • PS 3440 - Governmental Budgeting and Finance Administration

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1005 or permission of instructor. Analysis of the legal and social nature of government budgets emphasizing the procedures and administrative methods of fiscal control. Budget documents at state and local levels. Offered infrequently.

  • PS 4590 - Administrative Law  3 credit hours  OR 

    PS 4590 - Administrative Law

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1005 PS 3250, or permission of instructor. Procedural aspects, substantive issues, judicial review of the type of law concerned with the powers and procedures of government agencies and the rights of citizens affected by them.

  • PS 4630 - Personnel Management

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 3250 or permission of instructor. Human resources administration in government agencies. Patterns of position classification, compensation, recruitment, selection, training, performance appraisal, promotion, discipline, separation, collective bargaining.

  • PS 2020 - State and Local Government

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1005 or permission of instructor. Politics and administration at the state and local level. Legislative, judicial, and administrative structures and processes; major issues and problems.

  • PS 2440 - Law and the Legal System  3 credit hours  OR 

    PS 2440 - Law and the Legal System

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1005 or permission of instructor. A general introduction to American law and the American legal system; focus on the case system.

  • PS 3160 - American Public Policy  3 credit hours  OR 

    PS 3160 - American Public Policy

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1005 or permission of instructor. Examines the public policy-making process in the United States, the stages of policy development and the problems inherent in policymaking. At least one substantive policy area examined in depth; examples: health care, environmental, welfare, agricultural, poverty, or budgetary policies.

  • PS 3400 - Municipal Government  3 credit hours  OR 

    PS 3400 - Municipal Government

    3 credit hours

    Powers, functions, and politics of municipal governments from the standpoint of city management. Attention is given to problems related to the execution of municipal policy. Offered infrequently.

  • PS 3490 - Alternative Dispute Resolution

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1005 or permission of the department chair. Theory, methods, and ethical components of alternative dispute resolution (ADR); emphasis on various forms of mediation, but including other ADR formats such as arbitration, negotiation, and summary jury trial.

  • PS 4120 - Tennessee Government

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1005 or permission of instructor. Structure, functions, and processes of Tennessee's governmental and political institutions. Policy issues studied.

Subtotal: 31 Hours

Junior

 

  • PS 4290 - Public Service Internship  1 to 12 credit hours  (3 credit hours required) 

    PS 4290 - Public Service Internship

    1 to 12 credit hours

    Prerequisites: Junior standing and 2.50 minimum GPA. Student assigned to a public service agency as an employee under the joint administration of the agency and the department. May be repeated for up to 12 hours of credit, but only six hours of internship credit may count toward a Political Science major or minor. Arrangement for this course must be made in advance.

  • PA cognate 9 credit hours
  • PS elective 3 credit hours
  • General elective 3 credit hours
  • Foreign language courses 6 credit hours
  • PS 3270 - NGOs and Non-Profits  3 credit hours  OR 

    PS 3270 - NGOs and Non-Profits

    3 credit hours

    Key topics and issues surrounding the political environment and competing pressures that international non-governmental organizations and domestic non-profits confront. Formal readings paired with discussions from practitioners in the field and hands-on professional exercises.

  • PS 3440 - Governmental Budgeting and Finance Administration

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1005 or permission of instructor. Analysis of the legal and social nature of government budgets emphasizing the procedures and administrative methods of fiscal control. Budget documents at state and local levels. Offered infrequently.

  • PS 4590 - Administrative Law  3 credit hours  OR 

    PS 4590 - Administrative Law

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1005 PS 3250, or permission of instructor. Procedural aspects, substantive issues, judicial review of the type of law concerned with the powers and procedures of government agencies and the rights of citizens affected by them.

  • PS 4630 - Personnel Management

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 3250 or permission of instructor. Human resources administration in government agencies. Patterns of position classification, compensation, recruitment, selection, training, performance appraisal, promotion, discipline, separation, collective bargaining.

  • HIST 2010 - Survey of United States History I

    3 credit hours

    Survey of the political, economic, social, cultural, and diplomatic phases of American life in its regional, national, and international aspects. HIST 2010 discusses the era from the beginning to 1877. HIST 2020 discusses the era from 1877 to the present. These courses are prerequisite for all advanced courses in American history and satisfy the General Education History requirement. HIST 2010 is NOT a prerequisite for HIST 2020.

  • HIST 2020 - Survey of United States History II

    3 credit hours

    Survey of the political, economic, social, cultural, and diplomatic phases of American life in its regional, national, and international aspects. HIST 2010 discusses the era from the beginning to 1877. HIST 2020 discusses the era from 1877 to the present. These courses are prerequisite for all advanced courses in American history and satisfy the General Education History requirement. HIST 2010 is NOT a prerequisite for HIST 2020.

  • HIST 2030 - Tennessee History

    3 credit hours

    The role of the state in the development of the nation. May be used to satisfy one part of the General Education History requirement.

Subtotal: 30 Hours

 

Senior

 

  • PS 4800 - Senior Seminar  3 credit hours  

    PS 4800 - Senior Seminar

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites:  PS 1005, PS 1010, and 12 additional hours of political science courses. A reading and discussion seminar designed to integrate knowledge of the subfields of political science through critical reflection on politics, law, ideology, and culture from both a domestic and global perspective.

  • PS elective 3 credit hours
  • General electives 9 credit hours
  • PA cognate 9 credit hours

 

  • PS 2020 - State and Local Government

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1005 or permission of instructor. Politics and administration at the state and local level. Legislative, judicial, and administrative structures and processes; major issues and problems.

  • PS 2440 - Law and the Legal System  3 credit hours  OR 

    PS 2440 - Law and the Legal System

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1005 or permission of instructor. A general introduction to American law and the American legal system; focus on the case system.

  • PS 3160 - American Public Policy  3 credit hours  OR 

    PS 3160 - American Public Policy

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1005 or permission of instructor. Examines the public policy-making process in the United States, the stages of policy development and the problems inherent in policymaking. At least one substantive policy area examined in depth; examples: health care, environmental, welfare, agricultural, poverty, or budgetary policies.

  • PS 3400 - Municipal Government  3 credit hours  OR 

    PS 3400 - Municipal Government

    3 credit hours

    Powers, functions, and politics of municipal governments from the standpoint of city management. Attention is given to problems related to the execution of municipal policy. Offered infrequently.

  • PS 3490 - Alternative Dispute Resolution

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1005 or permission of the department chair. Theory, methods, and ethical components of alternative dispute resolution (ADR); emphasis on various forms of mediation, but including other ADR formats such as arbitration, negotiation, and summary jury trial.

  • PS 4120 - Tennessee Government

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: PS 1005 or permission of instructor. Structure, functions, and processes of Tennessee's governmental and political institutions. Policy issues studied.

Subtotal: 27 Hours