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B.S. in Public Policy and Administration

The BSPPA degree is designed for students who are interested in working in government or nonprofit organizations, and who have a passion for making a positive impact on society. In this program, students gain understanding of public and nonprofit administration and policymaking in the United States. Students will develop skills for leading organizations, and will utilize those skills through an internship.

Students in the BSPPA can choose from three emphasis areas: public administration, nonprofit management, and public policy. The public administration emphasis area focuses explicitly on the administrative and leadership concerns of government organizations and prepares students to work and manage in the public sector. The nonprofit emphasis area focuses on concerns of organizations in the nonprofit sector, which constitutes a growing field of employment opportunities. Non-profit careers include education, health care, social services, civic leadership, veterans’ affairs, and advocacy, among others. In the public policy track, students work with a faculty advisor to develop a focus on a particular policy area in preparation for relevant jobs in the public, nonprofit or private sector.

All BSPA majors must complete at least 33 hours in political science. The following core curriculum is required of all BSPPA majors:

Political Science

1100, Introduction to American Politics
1500, Introduction to Comparative Politics
3000, Political Analysis
2400, Public Administration
2420, Introduction to Public Policy
3940, Public Affairs Internship
4950, Senior Seminar in Political Science
Econ 1001, Principles of Microeconomics
Econ 1002, Principles of Macroeconomics

In addition, students must provide a demonstration of computer proficiency through one of the following:

INFSYS 1800, Computers and Information Systems, extension courses, or other study approved by the Undergraduate Advisor, Racheal White, whiterac@umsl.edu.

BSPPA students may take a maximum of 3 hours of political science on a satisfactory/ unsatisfactory basis, except for the following (which may not be taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis): Pol Sc 1100, 1500, 2400, 3000, 2420, 3940, and 4950.

Public Administration Emphasis Area (15 hours)

In addition to the core curriculum requirements for all BSPPA majors, students in the public administration emphasis area are required to complete the following courses:

Pol Sci 3420, Public and Nonprofit Personnel Management
Pol Sci 3440, Public and Nonprofit Budgeting
Pol Sci 3450, Urban Administration
Pol Sci 2430, Public and Nonprofit Organizational Behavior

Students in the public administration emphasis area also must take one additional elective course chosen from among political science offerings.

Public Policy Emphasis Area (15 hours)

Students will adopt a policy concentration of at least 15 credit hours. Possible areas of specialization include, but are not limited to, environmental policy, government and business, society and the legal system, urban policy, labor studies, health care, human services, and nonprofit service provision. In fulfilling the concentration requirement, students, in consultation with the BSPPA coordinator, will select courses from political science and related disciplines.

NonProfit Emphasis Area (12 hours)

In addition to the core curriculum requirements for all BSPPA majors, students in the nonprofit emphasis area are required to complete the following courses (12 credit hours):

Pol Sci 3420, Public and Nonprofit Personnel Management
Pol Sci 3440, Public and Nonprofit Budgeting
Pol Sci 3700, Nonprofit Organizations and Public Policy
Pol Sci 3710, Nonprofits, Civil Society and Volunteerism

In addition, the Public Affairs Internship (Pol Sci 3940) required for the BSPPA must be conducted through a nonprofit organization.

Career Outlook
In the BS in Public Policy Administration, students develop practical skills and engage in internships that have helped our graduates find jobs in state and local government, and nonprofit organizations, including positions with the Department of Defense, Department of Veteran’s Affairs, City of Florissant, City of Chesterfield, the Small Business Administration, and the Department of Corrections. Many jobs in this field are projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019), social and community service managers, administrative service managers, and fundraisers have median salaries of $56,950-$96,180 and projections for high employment growth. The Center for State and Local Government Excellence projects that local government employment will grow 7.4% through 2026 and state government employment will grow 3.8%. 

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