Public Administration

Why Study Public Administration

Public administration is the process by which laws, rules, and policies of government are managed and implemented by individuals working for public organizations. The public administration major provides you with the professional skills for careers in government and other public sector agencies. This major also provides you with a strong foundation of knowledge if you wish to pursue a graduate degree in public administration.

Why Study Public Administration at Ship

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. All of our classes are taught by accomplished faculty who hold doctorates from major universities.

You will take core courses in state and local government, public policy analysis, budgeting and financial management, personnel administration, and research methods. The public administration curriculum emphasizes developing professional and analytical skills.

Internships are strongly encouraged. Our students have worked in the offices of US senators and representatives and members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. You can also complete internships with local, state, and national government agencies. Internships with not-for-profit organizations are also available.

Ship 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.

Career Opportunities and Salary Estimates

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.

The average salary for public administration jobs in PA is $51,000.

Major and Minor Requirements

The Department of Political Science offers undergraduate programs leading to a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration or to a Minor in Public Administration. As part of the 55 credits needed to earn the bachelor’s degree in Public Administration, students complete a senior-level capstone experience, which serves as a culmination of the development of knowledge and practical application, communication and research skills.

Students take 6 credits of 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.

We also offer an 18 credit Public Administration Minor.  

Student Groups

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. 

Political Science
424 Grove Hall, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257
(717) 477-1718
Department Website