Department of Public Administration
Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy
Public Policy is a field that promotes the understanding of public problems and how governments and the public attempt to address them. Public Policy provides excellent preparation for careers in government at all levels (federal, state, local), as well as the nonprofit sector, law, and consulting. Given the impact public policy has on medicine, engineering, technology, and other key sectors of the global economy, a minor in Public Policy provides critical knowledge for students pursuing careers in these fields.
This program focuses on the systematic analysis of public policy issues and decision processes, and includes instruction in the role of economic and political factors in public decision-making and policy formulation, microeconomic analysis of policy issues, resource allocation and decision modeling, cost/benefit analysis, statistical methods, and through a three-course specialization sequence, includes applications to specific public policy topics. Students may enter as freshmen or as transfer students from other programs or universities. Students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00/4.00 in all course work taken at UIC and a minimum GPA of 2.50/4.00 in all course work counting toward core program requirements (see below).
New first year students interested in admission to the BA in Public Policy program must apply using the Common Application and be admitted by the Department of Public Administration, College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs. Admission is competitive, and preference is given to those applicants selected to have the best potential for academic success. See the Admissions section for more information.
Transfer students who have completed a minimum of 24 semester hours or 36 quarter hours of transferable college course work by the time of application, and do not meet the definition of an incoming first year or readmission applicant may apply to transfer into the BA in Public Policy. While 24 semester or 36 quarter hours are the minimum number of hours required, most curricula require additional credit hours and the completion of some specific core first year courses. See the Admissions section for additional information. See the Office of Admission Transfer Guide for more information about transfer admission requirements.
Grade Point Average
A student must earn a cumulative grade point average of 2.00/4.00 in all work taken at UIC and a cumulative grade point average of 2.50/4.00 for required courses (core program requirements) for the Public Policy degree. In addition, the combined grade point average of a student’s transfer work and work taken at UIC must be at least 2.00.
Minor in Public Policy
The minor in Public Policy is open to undergraduate students from any unit or college at UIC. Note that students who are pursuing a BA in Urban Studies may not count courses on this list toward both the degree and the Public Policy minor. Students must submit a request form to the Department of Public Administration (firstname.lastname@example.org or 2108 AEH, 400 S. Peoria St.) to enroll. Note that students pursuing a BA in Urban and Public Affairs (UPA) or Urban Studies (US) and the minor in Public Policy may not use the same courses for both the degree and minor. Students are encouraged to consult with their primary advisor in their home unit about the suitability of the Public Policy minor to their overall academic plan of study. Elective courses may have prerequisites that do not count toward the minor. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.50/4.00 in all course work counting toward the minor.
PA 401. Public Administration Theory. 3 or 4 hours.
Theoretical developments; including bureaucracy, administrative state, politics and administration, market and bureaucratic alternatives, organizational decision making, organizational culture, ethics in public sector organizations. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Previously listed as PA 400. Prerequisite(s): Admission to the MPA program or consent of the instructor.
PA 402. Principles of Data Analysis. 0-4 hours.
Topics and methods of analyzing information relevant to the administration and management of public programs and organizations. Includes causation, univariate statistics, significance testing, correlation, and regression. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours; 4 graduate hours. Previously listed as PA 407.
PA 403. Economics for Management and Policy. 3 or 4 hours.
Basic economic tools and methods relevant to public admin and current policy: opportunity cost, supply and demand, rational choice, production costs, competition vs monopoly, and economic efficiency versus equity, market failure, and public goods. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Previously listed as PA 410. Prerequisite(s): Appropriate score on the department placement test and graduate standing and admission to the MPA program; or consent of the instructor.
PA 405. Evaluating Public Policies and Programs. 3 hours.
Designed to introduce students to research methods used in the social sciences to evaluate public programs. There is an overview of evaluation, understanding why we do evaluations and theories impacting evaluations and research design.
PA 421. Public Management. 3 or 4 hours.
Theories, concepts, and applications of management in public organizations. Topics include bureaucracy, public versus private organizations, leadership, motivation, and managing organization change, discretion, and networks. Course Information: Previously listed as PA 415. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): Admission to the MPA program or consent of the instructor.
PA 422. Project Management. 4 hours.
A comprehensive review of project management practices and techniques necessary to successfully manage projects in government and non-profit organizations which is rooted largely in Project Management Institute (PMI) standards and practices. Course Information: Previously listed as PA 462.
PA 431. Civic Technology. 2 hours.
Application of the Internet and related technologies for public management. Topics include, Web-based service delivery, online governance, the technological divide, the use of social media, and the changing role of public managers. Course Information: Previously listed as PA 463. Prerequisite(s): Admission to the MPA program or consent of the instructor.
PA 432. Management of Information Technology. 2 hours.
The management of technology in government and nonprofit organizations, including typical organizational models; technology roles, skills, and leadership; integration of technology with business operations; and common technology challenges.Course Information: Previously listed as PA 461.Prerequisite(s): Graduate or professional standing; or Admission to the MPA program or consent of the instructor.
PA 433. Data Management. 2 hours.
An overview of the use and leveraging of data in order to allow government and nonprofit organizations to make better decisions and improve operations. Topics to be covered will include the concepts of data management and governance. Course Information: Previously listed as PA 460. Prerequisite(s): Graduate or professional standing; or admission to the MPA program or consent of the instructor.
PA 434. Data Analytics. 2 hours.
An introduction to data analytics concepts, including the latest practices for gaining better value from data. An emphasis will be placed upon hands-on use and application of data analytics techniques. Course Information: Extensive computer use required. Meets eight weeks of the semester. Prerequisite(s): PA 433; and admission to the MPA program or consent of instructor.
PA 435. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Public Managers. 4 hours.
Fundamental GIS tools and applications as well as the challenges in implementing and sustaining a GIS function in the public setting.
PA 447. Survey Planning and Design. 3 hours.
Theory and applications of sample survey planning and design for conducting research in health sciences and related fields. Addresses three major topics: survey design and planning, sampling, and data collection procedures. Course Information: Same as CHSC 447. Prerequisite(s): Graduate or professional standing and BSTT 400 and CHSC 446; or approval of the department.Recommended background: Credit in CHSC 446 or the equivalent.
PA 464. Technology and Innovation Theory. 4 hours.
The course focuses on theories surrounding the creation, development, transfer, and use of technology. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): Admission to the Ph.D. in Public Administration program or consent of the instructor.
PA 466. Science, Technology and Public Policy. 4 hours.
This course addresses the relationships between public policy and science and technology in the United States. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): Admission to the Ph.D. in Public Administration program or consent of the instructor.
PA 468. Topics in Management and Leadership of Public Organizations. 3 or 4 hours.
Examines management and leadership issues through experiences of current and former public managers, political appointees, elected officials, and other key public leaders. Emphasis on topics from Illinois and Chicago metropolitan region. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): Admission to the MPA program or consent of instructor .
PA 490. Field Experience in Public Administration. 4 hours.
Students work in an organization such as a government agency, community group, or nonprofit organization. Students are required to submit written work and meet with professor on periodic basis to review work experience. Course Information: Same as PPOL 490. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading only. May be repeated. A maximum of 4 hours of credit may be applied to the Master of Public Administration program. Field work required. Students who have no prior work experience in the public or non-profit sectors are strongly recommended to register for this course. Prerequisite(s): Graduate standing required; and admission to the MPA program or consent of the instructor.
PA 494. Special Topics in Public Administration. 3 or 4 hours.
Consideration of timely or enduring issues in public administration not available in regularly offered courses. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. May be repeated to a maximum of 12 hours. Students may register in more than one section per term. Prerequisite(s): Admission to the MPA program or consent of the instructor.
PA 499. Independent Study in Public Policy. 1-3 hours.
Provides an opportunity for students to pursue an independent project that is not available through the required Public Policy coursework. Course Information: May be repeated for a maximum of 6 hours. Prerequisite(s): Admission to the BA in Urban and Public Affairs Program or consent of the instructor.