Public Administration


The Public Administration Department provides education and a bachelor's degree in public administration that equips students with knowledge and skills essential for careers in government and non-profit organizations or further studies.


Dr. Igwe E. Udeh
Interim Chair
CBA Building, Suite 212

Assistant Professors:
Biruk Alemayehu, Ph.D.; Patricia B. Robertson, Ph.D.


The Bachelor of Arts degree program in Public Administration provides students with a general foundation in the nature of the public workplace and its political and legal environments. This major prepares students for professional employment and leadership in government and nonprofit organizations. The program provides specialized training in management and management-related skills. 

The Public Administration program addresses issues of governance, organization and policy in a democratic society and provides students with the skills required for successful executive and administrative careers in public service and nonprofit agencies. By combining a broad liberal arts training with discipline-specific coursework, the Public Administration program introduces many of the skills necessary for professional participation in public service, including critical thinking, effective speaking and writing, understanding of budgets and financial statements, research and analytical capabilities. The vision of the program includes preparing students for careers in public service; preparing students for further studies; and helping students to become better participants in the democratic process.

Departmental Goals

The program will:
  1. Prepare students for productive, fulfilling careers in public and nonprofit administration, especially in federal, state and local governments.
  2. Promote an understanding and appreciation of the functions and value of government in the society.
  3. Contribute to the improvement of governance and societal institutions.


The Public Administration curriculum consists of 42 hours of  General Education courses, 51 hours of Administrative Core courses, and 27 hours of courses in the major. These courses provides students with the knowledge of:
  • The political culture of public work
  • The economic environment of the public sector
  • The legal environment of the public sector
  • Organization theories
  • Management theories
  • Management and public accountability best practices
  • Policy operationalization processes
A Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Administration requires 120 semester credit hours, which are distributed as follows:

In addition, the Public Administration curriculum heightens students critical, analytical and communication skills through case studies and exercises. The capstone requirement of a public service internship demands integration of knowledge from both general studies and major studies by focusing students on specific cases and work place applications.


PADM 101 PADM 101 Orientation to Public Administration
The course provides awareness of public and nonprofit career options and professions; exposure to public service champions and the history of public service education; and introduces the unique roles of public service in a democratic society. This course will be hands-on and interactive.

PADM 250 Introduction to Public Administration (same as POLI 320)                3 credit hours
This course is an introduction to the basic problems of public administration, organizations, management, coordination, responsibility, personnel, budgeting, the information of policy needs and means, and the machinery of administration.

PADM 301 Organization Theory and Practice                                                               3 credit hours
(Cross-listed as MGMT 365)
This course is designed to provide analysis of the role of organizations in contemporary society.  Particular emphasis will be on decision-making of governmental organizations. Other organizational issues will be discussed.
(Prerequisite: PADM 250)

PADM 310 Public Personnel Administration                                                           3 credit hours
This course is designed to study the development of the national, state and local civil service. It will also focus on the merit system: problems of selection, training, classification, promotion, service ratings, in-service training, discipline and retirement. All personnel issues will be included for discussion.
(Prerequisite: PADM 250)

PADM 320 Management of Municipal Services                                                      3 credit hours
This course is designed to study the nature, objectives, and functioning of services customarily found in urban communities. It also studies municipal organizational structures; agency responsibilities; methods of operation; and limitations. Problems of local units of government in the urban environment will also be discussed. (Elective) (Prerequisite: PADM 250)

PADM 340 Administrative Leadership                                                               3 credit hours
This course is designed to study elements of leadership as applied to selected administrative situations in the field of management. It also studies social, psychological and behavioral theories of organization. Emphasis will be on concepts of administrative leadership.
(Prerequisite: PADM 250)

PADM 385 Government Budgeting                                                                          3 credit hours

This course is designed to study the role of fiscal planning and management in the administrative processes. Focus will be on budgetary theory, budget-making process, inter-governmental fiscal relations. Problems of fiscal administration and budgeting will also be studied. (Prerequisite: ACCT 202)

PADM 400 Ethics in Public Service                                                                          3 credit hours

This course is designed to provide students with the tools necessary for making difficult moral choices, in both their personal lives, as well as their professional lives. It motivates students to recognize, analyze, discuss and develop decision-making skills in regards to ethical issues in the public sector. Professional codes of ethics are the main focus. (Prerequisite: PADM 250)

PADM 402. PUBLIC FINANCE                                                                                       3 credit hours
(Cross-listed as ECON 402)
This course includes public expenditures and budgets; systems, taxation and economic effects; income, sales, land, gift and inheritance taxes; other internal revenues, customs, duties assessment, collection of taxes and debt financing.
(Prerequisites: ECON 211, 222)

PADM 405 Public Policy & Administration                                                              3 credit hours
This course is designed to offer analysis of the motives for government decision-making and elaboration of policy-making processes. It will study investigation of the problems of policy formation, measurement and outcome prediction. Emphasis will be on why governments are responsible for certain duties and the impact governmental policies have on our daily lives. 
(Prerequisite: PADM 301)

PADM 412. STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT FINANCE                                            3 credit hours
(Cross-listed as ECON 412)
An examination of the institutions and procedures involved in the revenue and expenditure decisions at the state and local level of government. Covers the analysis of alternative financing mechanisms (including taxation, bonds and intergovernmental transfers), benefit/cost analysis of government programs and the political process.
(Prerequisites: ECON 211, 222)

PADM 415 Administrative Law                                                                          3 credit hours
This course studies delegation of powers and elements of fair administrative procedures. It also studies judicial control over administrative determination. Emphasis will be on administrative law and procedures common to public agencies.
(Prerequisite: PADM 250)

PADM 425 Public Service Internship                                                                       3 credit hours
This course is designed to provide supervised work with national, state or local government agencies or political organizations. Participation in staff and internship conferences are required of all students. It requires 90 hours of practical work and extensive analytical reports. Course must be completed in one semester. Internship program, job, site, and organization must be approved by advisor and department chair prior to enrollment in the course.
(Prerequisites: PADM 250 and senior standing)


New Orleans' first African-American Postmaster is SUNO alumnus Philip E. Holland ('75).