Public Administration Bachelor's Degree

Program Overview


Philip Jackson, '14, B.A., Public Administration

The Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration degree designed to provide students with the organizational, administrative, and time management skills to excel in public service and nonprofit sectors.

It is ideally suited for students who desire public service careers.

  • Option: Accounting and Budgeting
  • Option: General Management
  • Option: Human Resources Management
  • Option: Public Affairs
  • Option: Research and Analysis

Public administrators implement and oversee policies at all levels of city, county, state and national governments.

They are committed to creating innovative programs, delivering efficient and equitable services, and improving the lives of the people in their communities.

Public administration is the work of developing and managing programs in government and nonprofit organizations and combines the skills of management with the ideals of American democracy.

The program delivers a multidisciplinary course of study that furnishes students with the conceptual and practical knowledge required of public service managers and administrators. It also provides excellent preparation for law school and graduate study.


Public administration is offered as either a major or minor degree program. Its career potential is enhanced when matched with other fields of study available at RSU. Some examples include Justice Administration, Accounting and Finance, Community Counseling, Business Administration, Information Technology, Environmental Conservation, Organizational Leadership, Human Resources Management and Social Studies.

Where Do Public Administrators Work? Public administration covers many types of work and organizational environments such as Local, State and National Government Agencies; Professional and Advocacy Organizations; Business & Industry; Schools, Colleges & Universities; and Community-based Service Organizations.

The future of public administration is represented by an expanding job market. Skills developed in the PA program qualify students to enter many of the fastest growing employment opportunities in this region. Careers in public administration are available in local, state and federal governments, non-profit organizations and private sector businesses.

The following is a sampling of some of the career options in public administration.

  • Administrative Management: City Management, Executive Assistant, Policy Analyst, County Management, City Planning, Financial Officer, Government Affairs, Nonprofit Management, Program Administration, Organizational Research, and Fiscal Analysis.
  • Personnel Management & Labor Relations: Personnel Management, Labor-Management Relations, Employee Development, Industrial Relations, Dispute Resolution, Employee Relations, Mediation, and Position Classification.
  • Investigations & Inspections: Consumer Protection, Workplace Safety, General Investigation, Criminal Investigation, Internal Security, and Tax Law.
  • Social Services: Recreational Management, Social Services Analysis, Corrections, Social Work, Volunteer Service, Management, and Community Research.
  • Public Health: Health Services Management, Health Communications, Research and Planning, Outreach and Education, Public Relations, and Program Analysis.


Internships constitute an essential part of the public administration program. They allow students to work in the realistic environment of a public service agency, explore career options within their fields of study and integrate classroom learning with work-related experience. Other benefits include earning academic credit, establishing personal and professional contacts and building future employment opportunities.

Internship placements may be in agencies of city, county, state or federal government as well as nonprofit or public service oriented organizations. Specific areas of possible internship work include budgeting, human resources, public relations, law enforcement, infrastructure management, recreation, taxation, and education. Placements in community-based settings might involve legal or public advocacy, youth mentoring, or protective shelter management. Students may also create their own internships. Internships are generally reserved for upper-division students. Adaptations can be arranged for students with current or prior public service experience.

Radio Program

"Making Oklahoma Work: Community Problems and Solutions" is a public affairs radio program. It focuses on current challenges facing the state's citizens and their public managers. Public administration students participate in producing the program. They recommend and evaluate topics, engage in original and secondary research, conduct interviews, and write and edit copy.

Titles of upcoming programs include "The Military Alternative: Can It Help with Oklahoma's Overcrowded Prisons?" and "Phoning, Texting and Driving: The Law in Oklahoma".

The radio program is sponsored by the Department of History and Political Science in cooperation with the Department of Communications. It is the only radio program in Oklahoma that centers on state and local public administration.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate an ability to analyze and critique a variety of approaches to understanding public policies.
  2. Demonstrate an ability to apply knowledge and understanding of different views regarding culture and society.
  3. Integrate public administration-oriented research into their understanding and practice of public administration.