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Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree In Public Administration Online

Northern Arizona University’s bachelor's degree program in Public Administration gives you the leadership, management, budgetary, critical thinking, and problem solving skills necessary for success in the nonprofit and public sectors. This degree plan emphasizes experiential learning by linking theory to specific problems and case studies.

Many Ways To Earn Your Degree, Including Entirely Online

Whether you pursue a traditional bachelor’s degree, an applied science degree, or take advantage of our transfer-friendly 90/30 degree option, NAU’s Public Administration program is available entirely online or with select classes at campuses across Arizona. Consider an optional internship to gain experience in today’s job market.

Demand for professionals with mastery of public administration skills is predicted to increase dramatically over the next decade. Career options include:

  • Human Resource Manager
  • Local Government Representative
  • NGO Program Coordinator

Catalog Information

Learn more about the program options by viewing the catalog information below. Catalog information is displayed for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Public Administration

Campus Locations

Show locations that offer this degree:
Blended
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Degree Information
Online
In-Person
Blended
BAS
120 units
Maximum Transfer Units
75
120
Additional Admission Requirements - Additional Application

University Requirements

  • To receive a bachelor's degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete at least 120 units of credit that minimally includes a major, the liberal studies requirements, and university requirements as listed below.

    • All of Northern Arizona University's liberal studies, diversity, junior-level writing, and capstone requirements.
    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s).
    • At least 30 units of upper-division courses, which may include transfer work.
    • At least 30 units of coursework taken through Northern Arizona University, of which at least 18 must be upper-division courses (300-level or above). This requirement is not met by credit-by-exam, retro-credits, transfer coursework, etc.
    • A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on all work attempted at Northern Arizona University.
    The full policy can be viewed here.

     

Overview

In addition to University Requirements:

  • 64 units in an associate degree transfer block (students with an A.A.S from an Arizona community college may transfer up to 75 units)
  • 18 units of B.A.S. Requirements
  • 27 units of Public Administration Specialization Requirements

  • Up to 9 units of specialization prefix courses may be used to satisfy Liberal Studies requirements; these same courses may also be used to satisfy specialization requirements.

  • Elective courses, if needed, to reach an overall total of at least 120 units

Minimum Units for Completion 120
Mathematics Required MAT 114
Additional Admission Requirements Required
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Optional
Some online/blended coursework Required
AZ Transfer Students complete AGEC-A Recommended

Purpose Statement

The mission of the Public Administration and Justice Studies program is to prepare students to become effective and ethical managers in a variety of public service fields. As with other degrees in the Public Administration and Justice Studies program, the Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degree focuses on experiential learning that links theory to issues that students are likely to encounter in the workplace. The BAS degree is intended for students who have completed an associates degree (or will have completed an associates degree by the time they are graduating with their BAS degree) and allows those students to transfer in courses from their associates degree program. Coursework in the BAS degree is designed to allow the student to acquire a general knowledge of management, organizational, and policy issues while advancing professional communication, computer, and quantitative skills.

Faculty in the Public Administration and Justice Studies program are experienced practitioners who promote rigorous academic standards and high expectations for student achievement. Rather than teaching students what to think, faculty focus on developing analytical skills in course structures that allow students to be active participants in the education process. The core courses in the BAS degree focus on ethics, leadership and management, personnel administration, budgeting, public policy formation, organizational theory, research methods, and written communication skills. Courses offer theoretical perspectives as a foundation from which students can analyze and apply ideas to real-world situations.

Graduates of the program will be prepared to work in public, non-profit, and private sector organizations; the degree also serves as a platform for students who wish to pursue graduate degrees. For those students already working in the field, the BAS degree expands knowledge and skills, and allows for advancement in their careers. Graduates of the Public Administration and Justice Studies program will have developed abilities to be dynamic and ethical leaders who are prepared to face the challenges of rapidly changing organizational environments. Above all, they will be committed to effectively and competently serving the public good.
  
Student Learning Outcomes

  • Leadership: Understand the importance of leadership in public sector organizations, and have the ability and knowledge to demonstrate and practice leadership concepts and skills learned in the Public Administration program throughout their careers.
    • Incorporate and demonstrate an understanding of leadership concepts.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of how leadership concepts and models can be translated into tangible leadership skills that can be utilized in actual situations
  • Ethics: Understand the paramount importance of ethics in public sector organizations, and how ethics impacts not only the performance of public agencies but also the perception within which they function.  They will also have the ability and knowledge to demonstrate and practice the ethical concepts and skills learned while in the PADM program.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the issues involved in ethical dilemmas faced by public administrators
    • Identify professional standards of conduct to which public administrator practitioners should subscribe 
  • Critical Thinking: Demonstrate critical thinking by linking theoretical propositions and concepts in PADM course readings to the analysis of problems or situations.
    • Link theoretical propositions and concepts in course readings to the analysis of problems or situations
  • Budgeting: Describe the budgeting process in the public sector
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the stages of the public sector budget process
    • Demonstrate an understanding of how public budgeting differs at the various levels of government (national, state and local) 
  • Communication: Ability to communicate effectively in a professional and academic setting, demonstrating an ability to produce well written (Standard English) documents, befitting of a public sector professional.                           
    • Create papers  that have a clear organization and expression of ideas
    • Create papers  that identify course readings and/or outside sources and relate analysis to these course readings
    • Write in a clear, concise, coherent and correct manner

Details

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • To be admitted into a Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) plan, you must have an associate's degree, either completed or in progress, at a regionally accredited institution and the associate's degree must be completed prior to the awarding of the B.A.S. degree.
Liberal Studies Requirement
    • Please note that you may use the same course to satisfy both a liberal studies and a B.A.S. Requirement. 
    • Up to 9 units of major prefix courses may be used to satisfy Liberal Studies requirements; these same courses may also be used to satisfy major requirements
    • Students with a completed AGEC from Arizona Community Colleges will have met the 35 units of liberal studies requirements.
    • Students transferring into this program from California may meet NAU's liberal studies requirements by completing an IGETC at a California Community College. Please contact an advisor for more information.
Associate Degree Transfer Block
    • 64 units in an associate's degree transfer block. If you have been awarded an A.A.S. degree from an Arizona Community College, NAU will accept up to 75 transfer units.
Major Requirements
  • B.A.S. Requirements (18 units¿)

  • This coursework is designed to help you acquire a general knowledge of management, organizational, and policy issues while advancing your professional communication, computer, and quantitative skills. Some departments may require that you take specific courses from the B.A.S. Requirements or may place other restrictions on the courses that the department requires. Please see departmental requirements for specific information. Other courses may be used to fulfill the B.A.S. Elective requirements. Please note: at least 15 units in the core must be upper-division (300-400 level) courses.

General Electives
  • Additional coursework is required, if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit. 

    You may take these remaining courses from any academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you. (Please note that you may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.)

Additional Information
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

Interdisciplinary Studies - Public Administration 90-30

Campus Locations

Show locations that offer this degree:
Blended
Click a pin on the map at the left or search/select:
Degree Information
Online
In-Person
Blended
B
120 units
Maximum Transfer Units
90
120

University Requirements

University Requirements
  • To receive a bachelor's degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete at least 120 units of credit that minimally includes a major, the liberal studies requirements, and university requirements as listed below.

    • All of Northern Arizona University's liberal studies, diversity, junior-level writing, and capstone requirements.
    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s).
    • At least 30 units of upper-division courses, which may include transfer work.
    • At least 30 units of coursework taken through Northern Arizona University, of which at least 18 must be upper-division courses (300-level or above). This requirement is not met by credit-by-exam, retro-credits, transfer coursework, etc.
    • A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on all work attempted at Northern Arizona University.
    The full policy can be viewed here.

     

Overview

In addition to University Requirements:

  • 30 units of Public Administration Specialization Requirements

  • Completion of Computer Literacy, Communication Skills, and Science or Language Requirements

  • Up to 9 units of specialization prefix courses may be used to satisfy Liberal Studies requirements; these same courses may also be used to satisfy specialization requirements.

  • Elective courses, if needed, to reach an overall total of at least 120 units

Please note that you may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 120
Major GPA C
Mathematics Required MAT 114
Foreign Language Optional
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Optional
Some online/blended coursework Required
AZ Transfer Students complete AGEC-A Recommended

Purpose Statement

The mission of the Public Administration and Justice Studies program is to prepare students to become effective and ethical managers in a variety of public service fields. As with other degrees in the Public Administration and Justice Studies program, the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) 90-30 degree focuses on experiential learning that links theory to issues that students are likely to encounter in the workplace. The BIS 90-30 degree is ideal for students who have completed a number of credits at the community college or university level and are looking to finish their degree in a relatively short amount of time. The program's accelerated course format, as well as course offerings throughout the calendar year, allows students to achieve this goal.

Faculty in the Public Administration and Justice Studies program are experienced practitioners who promote rigorous academic standards and high expectations for student achievement. Rather than teaching students what to think, faculty focus on developing analytical skills in course structures that allow students to be active participants in the education process. The core courses in the BIS 90-30 degree focus on ethics, leadership, public sector budgeting, public policy, research methods, and written communication skills. Courses offer theoretical perspectives as a foundation from which students can analyze and apply ideas to real-world situations.

Graduates of the program will be prepared to work in public, non-profit, and private sector organizations; the degree also serves as a platform for students who wish to pursue graduate degrees. For those students already working in the field, the BIS 90-30 degree expands knowledge and skills, and allows for advancement in their careers. Graduates of the Public Administration and Justice Studies program will have developed abilities to be dynamic and ethical leaders who are prepared to face the challenges of rapidly changing organizational environments. Above all, they will be committed to effectively and competently serving the public good.
 
Student Learning Outcomes

  • Leadership: Understand the importance of leadership in public sector organizations, and have the ability and knowledge to demonstrate and practice leadership concepts and skills learned in the Public Administration program throughout their careers.
    • Incorporate and demonstrate an understanding of leadership concepts.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of how leadership concepts and models can be translated into tangible leadership skills that can be utilized in actual situations 
  • Ethics: Understand the paramount importance of ethics in public sector organizations, and how ethics impacts not only the performance of public agencies but also the perception within which they function.  They will also have the ability and knowledge to demonstrate and practice the ethical concepts and skills learned while in the PADM program.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the issues involved in ethical dilemmas faced by public administrators
    • Identify professional standards of conduct to which public administrator practitioners should subscribe 
  • Critical Thinking: Demonstrate critical thinking by linking theoretical propositions and concepts in PADM course readings to the analysis of problems or situations.
    • Link theoretical propositions and concepts in course readings to the analysis of problems or situations 
  • Budgeting: Describe the budgeting process in the public sector
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the stages of the public sector budget process
    • Demonstrate an understanding of how public budgeting differs at the various levels of government (national, state and local) 
  • Communication: Ability to communicate effectively in a professional and academic setting, demonstrating an ability to produce well written (Standard English) documents, befitting of a public sector professional.                           
    • Create papers  that have a clear organization and expression of ideas
    • Create papers  that identify course readings and/or outside sources and relate analysis to these course readings
    • Write in a clear, concise, coherent and correct manner

Details

Liberal Studies Requirement
    • Students with a completed AGEC from Arizona Community Colleges will have met the 35 units of liberal studies requirements.
    • Students with a completed IGETC from a California Community College will have met the 35 units of liberal studies requirements.
    • Up to 9 units of specialization prefix courses may be used to satisfy Liberal Studies requirements; these same courses may also be used to satisfy specialization requirements.
Major Requirements
  • All coursework in the Specialization Areas must be upper-division and from Northern Arizona University. Substitutions and use of credit from other institutions are not allowed in the Specialization.

    Multi-use of coursework is not permitted within the Major Requirements. Major Requirements include Specialization, Communication, Computer Literacy, Language and Science.

Interdisciplinary Studies Requirements
  • Communication Requirements (6 units)

    Choose 6 units in the following two categories. 

    • Performance-based courses, select one from the following (3 units)
      • CST 111, CST 311, CST 312, CST 314, CST 315CST 318 (Performance-based courses are defined as having at least 51 percent of the evaluation of the student being based upon oral performance.)
      • Or advisor approved
    • Theory-based courses, select one from the following (3 units)
  • Please note that you cannot use CLEP or locally prepared exams to satisfy this requirement. Transfer credit used to satisfy this requirement must be approved by the program director.

  • Language or Science Requirement Option (18-19 units)

    Language Requirement Option (19 units)

    Language Requirement (16 units)
    You must demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English that is equivalent to four terms of university coursework in the same language. You may satisfy this requirement by taking language courses or by testing out of all or part of it by taking CLEP, or other exams.
     
    AND

    Computer Literacy (3 units)
    This coursework must help you to understand, in general, the technical components of computers and information systems, how to solve problems using information systems technology, word processing, spreadsheet use, database management, graphic information software, website development, graphic design and use of statistical analysis software. Subject to advisor approval.

  • OR

    Science Requirement Option (18 units)
  • Science Requirement, select from the following (12 units):

    • ANT 101, ANT 250
    • GSP 130, GSP 150
    • Courses with Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, Geology, Mathematics, Nutrition, Physical Science, Physics, Statistics prefixes. Please note that other courses must be approved by the program director.
  • AND

    Computer Literacy (6 units)

    This coursework must help you to understand, in general, the technical components of computers and information systems, how to solve problems using information systems technology, word processing, spreadsheet use, database management, graphic information software, website development, graphic design and use of statistical analysis software. Subject to advisor approval.

    • Select ISM 120 or BBA 293 (3 units)
    • BBA 340 or Advisor Approved coursework including the CIS or CS prefix (3 units)
General Electives
  • Additional coursework is required, if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit. 

    You may take these remaining courses from any academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you. (Please note that you may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.)

Additional Information
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

Public Administration

Campus Locations

Show locations that offer this degree:
Blended
Click a pin on the map at the left or search/select:
Degree Information
Online
In-Person
Blended
B
120 units
Maximum Transfer Units
64
120

University Requirements

  • To receive a bachelor's degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete at least 120 units of credit that minimally includes a major, the liberal studies requirements, and university requirements as listed below.

    • All of Northern Arizona University's liberal studies, diversity, junior-level writing, and capstone requirements.
    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s).
    • At least 30 units of upper-division courses, which may include transfer work.
    • At least 30 units of coursework taken through Northern Arizona University, of which at least 18 must be upper-division courses (300-level or above). This requirement is not met by credit-by-exam, retro-credits, transfer coursework, etc.
    • A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on all work attempted at Northern Arizona University.
    The full policy can be viewed here.

     

Overview

In addition to University Requirements:

  • 36 units of major requirements

  • Completion of Science or Language Requirements

  • Up to 9 units of specialization prefix courses may be used to satisfy Liberal Studies requirements; these same courses may also be used to satisfy specialization requirements.

  • Elective courses, if needed, to reach an overall total of at least 120 units

Please note that you may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 120
Major GPA C
Mathematics Required MAT 114
Foreign Language Optional
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Optional
Some online/blended coursework Required
AZ Transfer Students complete AGEC-A Recommended

Details

Liberal Studies Requirement
    • Students with a completed AGEC from Arizona Community Colleges will have met the 35 units of liberal studies requirements.
    • Students with a completed IGETC from a California Community College will have met the 35 units of liberal studies requirements.
    • Up to 9 units of specialization prefix courses may be used to satisfy Liberal Studies requirements; these same courses may also be used to satisfy specialization requirements.
Major Requirements
  • Language or Science Requirement Option (12-16 units)

  • Foreign Language Requirement (16 units)

    You must demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English that is equivalent to four terms of university coursework in the same language. You may satisfy this requirement by taking language courses or by testing out of all or part of it by taking CLEP exams.

  • OR
  • Science Requirement (12 units)

    Select from the following:

    • ANT 101, ANT 250
    • GSP 130, GSP 150
    • Courses with Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, Geology, Mathematics, Nutrition, Physical Science, Physics, Statistics prefixes. Please note that other courses must be approved by the program director.
General Electives
  • Additional coursework is required if after you have met the previously described requirements you have not yet completed a total of 120 units.

    You may take these remaining courses from the following academic disciplines: Business Administration, Communication, Emergency Management, Forestry, Health and Human Services, Justice Studies, Parks and Recreation, Politics and International Affairs, and Project Management, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select courses. (Please note that you may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives in the above listed academic disciplines if they were not used to meet major or liberal studies requirements.)
Additional Information
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

Public Administration - Minor

Campus Locations

Show locations that offer this degree:
Blended
Click a pin on the map at the left or search/select:
Degree Information
Online
In-Person
Blended
MINR
18 units
Maximum Transfer Units
18
18

University Requirements

  • A minor is earned in conjunction with a bachelor's degree.

    To receive a minor (18 to 24 units) at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject matter areas with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0. At least 12 units of the minor must be unique to that minor and not applied to any other minor.

Overview

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete invdividual plan requirements
  • You may be able to use to some courses to meet more than one requirement.

Please note that you may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 18
Some online/blended coursework Required

Details

Minor Requirements
  • This minor is not available to students pursuing a Public Administration degree. Please contact an advisor for more information. 

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.
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