California State University, Fullerton

Public Administration

Raphael J. Sonenshein

University Hall 511


Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration
Minor in Public Administration
Master of Public Administration
Concentrations in:
Human Resources
Public Finance Management
Urban Management
Criminal Justice

Michelle Arsneault, Hee Soun Jang, Sarah Hill, Myung Jung Kwon, Paul Peretz, Raphael Sonenshein, Yuan Ting, Justin Tucker

Political science is the study of people’s behavior as it relates to power and public organizations. Public administration, which is both a subfield of political science and a separate discipline, is concerned with the role played by public employees in policy-making, planning, personnel management, taxation and finance, and in responding to the needs and problems of communities and the nation.

A major in Public Administration features focused study and preparation for service in public agencies or in nonprofit organizations. Public administration majors study the larger political environment of public service and the concepts and goals that underline such functions as budgeting, personnel, policy analysis and management. Students without professional public service backgrounds gain experience through the government internship.

The Division of Politics, Administration and Justice emphasizes proper advisement, and all graduate and undergraduate students are strongly urged to talk with an adviser as soon as possible after entering the program. The adviser helps with study plans, and gives information about career possibilities, post baccalaureate fellowships and scholarships, and job possibilities in local government.

Graduate Program Adviser: Dr. Paul Peretz

The division offers a variety of internships. Each one involves students working in an agency or political organization, and meeting in an on-campus seminar to discuss and analyze their experiences. The internship in Public Administration is numbered Political Science 497 and is required of all majors without public service administrative experience.

The bachelor’s degree in public administration may be effectively combined with subject matter studies necessary for the single subject teaching credential in social studies. Undergraduates are encouraged to work with the department adviser and/or the Center for Careers in Teaching (657-278-7130) as early as possible in their academic careers to plan efficient course selections for general education, the major and electives. Postgraduate students should contact the Admission to Teacher Education office in the College of Education (657-278-3352) to obtain information on attending an overview presentation and orientation and then contact the department credential adviser.

Back to Top

Basic Requirements
The Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration requires a minimum of 120 units, which includes courses for the major, General Education, all university requirements and free electives. Political Science 100, a graduation requirement for all students, is not part of the political administration major, but is a prerequisite to further work in political science and public administration. The major consists of 39 units of political science and public administration, all in upper division. In addition, nine upper-division units are required in related disciplines, such as American studies, anthropology, criminal justice, economics, geography, history, philosophy, psychology, sociology and statistics. Work in related fields must be approved in writing by one of the department’s undergraduate advisers.

Core Requirements (9 units)
Political Science/Criminal Justice 320 Introduction to PublicManagement (3)
Political Science 421 Government and the Economy (3)
Political Science/Criminal Justice 422 Human Resources Management (3)
Computer Applications and Statistics Requirements (6 units)
Political Science 321 Research in Public Management (3)
Political Science 407 Polls, Statistics and Political Interpretation (3)

Urban and Public Policy Requirements (9 units)
Political Science 300 Contemporary Issues in California Government and Politics (3)
Political Science 309 Introduction to Metropolitan Politics (3)
Political Science 315 Politics and Policy Making in America (3)
Political Science 322 Leadership for Public Service (3)
Political Science 403 Politics and Policy in Sacramento (3)
Political Science 408 The Politics of Los Angeles (3)
Political Science 411 Art of Administration (3)
Political Science 427 Policy-Making: Urban/Metropolitan Issues (3)
Political Science 446 Corruption, Ethics and Public Policy (3)
Political Science 456 The National Security Establishment (3)
Political Science 475 Administrative Law (3)

Internship Requirement (3 units)
Political Science 497 Internship in Public Administration (3)
This requirement may be waived for students who have administrative experience in the public sector.
Electives (12 upper-division units; 15 upper-division units if the Internship Requirement is waived)
Political Science/Criminal Justice 404 Capital Punishment (3)
Political Science/Afro 317 Black Politics (3)
Political Science 352 American Foreign Policy (3)
Political Science 375 Law, Politics and Society (3)
Political Science 416 Presidents and the Presidency (3)
Political Science/Chic 460 The Chicano and Politics (3)
Political Science 461 The United Nations and International Organizations (3)
Political Science/Criminal Justice 472 The Judicial Process (3)
Political Science 473 Introduction to Constitutional Law (3)
Political Science 474 Civil Liberties (3)
Political Science 476 International Law (3)
Political Science/Geography 478 Urban Planning Principles (3)
Political Science/Geography 484 Urban Planning Methods (3)
Management 441 Labor-Management Relations (3)
Other courses with consent of an adviser.

Related Fields (9 upper-division units)
Students must complete nine units in related disciplines such as American Studies, Anthropology, Criminal justice, Economics, Geography, History, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology or others as approved by an undergraduate adviser. Appropriate G.E. courses may be applied.

Writing Requirement
Majors must successfully complete Political Science 421 and Political Science/Criminal Justice 422 to satisfy the upper-division writing requirement. A grade of “C” (2.0) or better is required.

Back to Top

The minor consists of 18 units. Students must take Political Science/Criminal Justice 320 and 411, 421 or 422, and 12 additional units. Three of these 12 units may be lower-division (e.g., Political Science 100 or 200) and nine must be at the 300/400 level including at least one of Political Science 300, 309, 315, 403, 411, 416, 421, 422, 427, 446, 448, 472, 473, 474, 475, 478 or 484.

Back to Top

This professional degree is designed to disseminate the knowledge and skills needed for efficient and effective government. The program acquaints the student with the theoretical and practical skills needed to improve the practice of governmental management. It also prepares one to cope with the ethical and moral dimensions of the contemporary policy maker. Career guidance, working experience and placement are important components of the program. It is designed to:

1. Prepare students who wish to enter the field of public administration
2. Increase the professional competence of those already embarked in public administration careers
3. Furnish academic study for those wishing to pursue doctoral work
4. Provide specialized training in areas such as financial administration, personnel administration, administrative research, planning and criminal justice.
The program is designed to aid the student in acquiring several skills. These include:
1. Written and oral communication for public administration
2. Public administration research and analysis techniques
3. Knowledge of organizational processes and behavior
4. An understanding of federal, state and local governmental and administrative systems and processes
5. Knowledge of administrative techniques and practices such as personnel testing, program budgeting and management by objectives
Students may also develop knowledge of various specialized areas of employment such as criminal justice, human services administration, health administration and gerontology.
Application Deadlines
The deadlines for completing online applications are March 1 for the fall semester and Oct. 1 for the spring semester (see Mailed applications need to be postmarked by the same deadlines. However, deadlines may be changed based on enrollment projections.

Admission to Graduate Standing: Conditionally Classified
A student may become conditionally classified in the Master of Public Administration program if the university requirements for admission are met. These requirements are a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution and a grade-point average of at least 2.75 in the last 60 semester units attempted (see Graduate Regulations section of this catalog for complete statement and procedures).

Graduate Standing: Classified
A student who meets the above requirements may become a classified student if all the following conditions are met:

1. Completion of a minimum of 12 semester units of undergraduate coursework in the social sciences or business, six semester units of which must have been upper-division level. At least one of the courses must have been in economics. Upon recommendation of the public administration faculty, suitable practical experience may be substituted for a maximum of six units of the social science/business requirement.
2. Completion of a one-semester course in basic statistics
3. Satisfying at least one of the following conditions:
a. A grade-point average of at least 3.25 in the undergraduate major and 2.75 in the last 60 units
b. Between 2.75 and 3.24 in the undergraduate major, 2.5 in the last 60 units, and at least 1000 combined score (vocabulary and math) on the General Test of the Graduate Record Exam
c. Between 2.75 and 3.24 in the undergraduate major, 2.75 in the last 60 units, and quality professional experience as evaluated by the M.P.A. coordinator based on job description, resume, two letters of reference and four years of professional administrative service
d. A grade-point average of at least 2.75 in the last 60 semester units and completion of the first 12 units of adviser-approved coursework in this program with a grade-point average of 3.25
4. A minimum TOEFL score of 570 (international students only).
5. Approval of a study plan through consultation with the M.P.A. coordinator.

MPA Study Plan
The degree study plan requires 39 semester units of adviser-approved coursework. Three units of internship may be included in the total. The study plan must meet the following requirements:

1. Core Courses (18 -24 units)
Political Science 497 Internship in Public Administration (3)
(required of those with no previous public sector administrative working experience)
Political Science 509 Administrative Organization and Process (3)(required of those with no previous introductory course in Public administration taken within the past three years)
Political Science 521 Seminar in Public Administration Theory (3)
Political Science 523 Administrative Research and Analysis (3)
Political Science 526 Administration and Systems Management (3)
Political Science 571 Seminar in Public Finance (3)
Political Science 572 Seminar in Public Sector Human Resources Management (3)

One of the following:
Political Science 519 State and Local Government (3)
Political Science 525 Seminar in Metropolitan Area Government (3)
Political Science 528 Seminar in Public Administration and Policy (3)
2. Students’ electives should be planned in accordance with career objectives. Four concentrations are offered: criminal justice, human resources, public finance management and urban management. The four concentrations together with the courses currently offered to satisfy the concentration requirement are listed below. The particular mix of courses will change slightly over time.
3. Candidates for the M.P.A. degree must successfully pass a written comprehensive examination, or a candidate may, with the approval of their concentration and the M.P.A. adviser, choose either the project (Political Science 597) or thesis (Political Science 598) in lieu of the comprehensive examination. The project and thesis each earn three units of coursework and include a final oral defense.
4. Candidates who enroll in 400-level courses will be required to do additional work beyond that required of undergraduates.
5. A minimum of half the units must be completed at the 500-level.
6. No more than nine units of postgraduate coursework taken prior to classified standing may be applied to the master’s degree program.
7. Students must demonstrate competence in computer literacy. See the M.P.A. coordinator for details.

Criminal Justice Concentration
In addition to the required core courses, take:
Political Science 560 Seminar in Administration of Justice (3)
Political Science 582 Organizational Development and Change (3)
One of the following:
Political Science 519 State and Local Government (3)
Political Science 525 Seminar in Metropolitan Area Government (3)
Political Science 580 Emergency Management in
Public Administration (3)
Adviser-Approved Electives (6-12 units)

Human Resources Concentration
In addition to the required core courses, take two of the following:
Management 441 Labor Management Relations (3)
Management 542 Seminar in Labor Management Relations (3)
Political Science 475 Administrative Law (3)
Political Science 522 Seminar in Public Personnel Administration (3)
Political Science 582 Organizational Development and Change (3)
Adviser-Approved Electives (6-12 units)

Public Finance Management Concentration
In addition to the required core courses, take two of the following:
Economics 461 Ecological Economics (3)
Economics 516 Economics and Benefit Cost Analysis (3)
Political Science 421 Government and the Economy (3)
Political Science 529 Seminar in Public Management Analysis (3)
Adviser-Approved Electives (6-12 units)

Urban Management Concentration
If not taken as a core course, you must take POSC 525 Seminar in Metropolitan Government (3)
Take one or both of the following:
Geography 478 Urban Dynamics and Planning (3)
Geography 484 Urban Planning Methods (3)
Two of the following: (Only one need be taken by those taking both Geography 478 and 484.)
Environmental Studies 595T Selected Topics in Environmental Problems (3)
Geography 488 Land Use Analysis (3)
Political Science 427 Policymaking: Urban/Metropolitan Issues (3)
Political Science 519 State and Local Government (3)
Political Science 529 Seminar in Public Management Analysis (3)
Political Science 580 Emergency Management in
Public Administration (3)
Adviser-Approved Electives (6-12 units)

Back to Top

Courses are designated as POSC (Political Science) in the class schedule. Please refer to the Political Science Department catalog section for course numbers and descriptions.

Back to Top