Public administration is the process by which laws, rules, and policies of government are managed and implemented by individuals working for public organizations.
Public Administration at Ship
The Department of Political Science offers undergraduate programs leading to a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration or to a Minor in Public Administration. The public administration major provides students with the professional skills for careers in government and other public sector agencies. This major also provides a strong foundation for those students who want to continue their education in public administration. If further education is the goal, Shippensburg also offers a master’s degree in public administration.
Shippensburg University is well suited for the study of public administration. Because the campus is 40 miles from the state capital and 95 miles from Washington, D.C., students are in a position to use organizations in these areas for internship opportunities. Classes are taught by an accomplished faculty; all faculty hold doctorates from major universities.
The university has an impressive government documents collection housed in the Ezra Lehman Memorial Library. The library also is home to the 8,000-volume Pennsylvania collection.
Admission and Degree Requirements
Majors take core courses in state and local government, public policy analysis, budgeting and financial management, personnel administration, and research methods. The curriculum for public administration majors emphasizes developing professional and analytical skills. Students complete a senior-level capstone experience, PLS302 Public Policy Analysis, which serves as a culmination of the development of knowledge and practical application, communication and research skills. Students take elective courses within the department; these courses may include detailed study of municipal government, labor relations, federalism, or public service ethics. To provide students with a broad liberal arts experience, the students complete the university’s general education requirements and take additional courses in economics and sociology.
Careers in Public Administration
The public administration major is beneficial for individuals planning a professional management career with local, state, or national governmental agencies. There is also a strong demand for the managerial skills of the public administration major in not-for-profit and private organizations. The BS in public administration program is also appropriate for preparing students to enter law or graduate school. A public administration minor enhances employment in the public sector and provides professional support to many academic majors.
Internships are encouraged and our location near Harrisburg and Washington, D.C., provides opportunities for government experience. Students have worked in the offices of US senators and representatives and members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Students also complete internships with local, state, and national government agencies. Students may also decide to complete an internship with a not-for-profit organization.
Shippensburg University has an active chapter of Pi Alpha Alpha, the national public administration honor society, as well as a club for students interested in attending law school. Field trips, internships, speakers, and a variety of other activities enhance the classroom experience.