Online Programs

PUAD 612: Introduction to Public Administration & the Policy Process

This introductory course prepares you for advanced coursework and teaches you the basic concepts to effectively lead public service programs in the governmental, nonprofit, and private sectors. You will become acquainted with public administration and policy as fields of study, and learn how to recognize, explain, and contrast foundational public administration concepts and issues.

You will explore public administration within political, legal, and social contexts to understand the three broad challenges you will face in your career as a public manager: administrative rationality in a democratic republic, organizational capacity and networks, and institutional opportunities and constraints. You will also gain practical knowledge through real-life case studies and through interviews from leading D.C. practitioners in the public, nonprofit, and advocacy sectors.

This course was developed by Assistant Professor and Director of Online Programs Sonja Walti. Professor Walti is an international scholar in public policy who has served in consulting, advisory, and decision-making roles at various levels of government in the U.S. and abroad, including the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Italian Agnelli Foundation, and the Quebec Commission on Fiscal Imbalance. Her research on comparative public policy and public administration, policy analysis, comparative federalism, and environmental policy has been published in several leading journals.

Course objectives:

  • Receive an introduction to public administration and policy and set the stage for advanced learning
  • Develop beginning skills for public policy analysis and for analytic writing
  • Recognize, explain, and contrast foundational concepts in public administration 
  • Explain and effectively communicate the range of issues that can occur in public administration 
  • Identify causes of success and failure in governance and public administration
  • Diagnose problems and devise solutions for practical problems in public administration 

The course covers the following topics:

  • The challenges of governing/organization matters 
  • The political and cultural context impacting public policy and administration 
  • The structure of the machinery of government 
  • Operators, managers, and executives 
  • Public financial management 
  • Reform trends that have led to collaboration, networks, and public-private governance arrangements
  • Federalism and intergovernmental relations 
  • Analysis, implementation, and change

Learn more today. Call us at 855-725-7614 to speak to an admissions representative, or request more information here.