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Course Descriptions

The Department of Public and Nonprofit Studies offers courses under the Public Administration (PBAD) prefix and Nonprofit Management, Leadership, and Innovation (NMLI) prefix.

Undergraduate Courses

NMLI 2231 – Introduction to Nonprofit Management: An overview of the nonprofit sector and to introduce a range of common practices and concerns related to managing in this sector including leadership, board governance, fundraising and philanthropy.

PBAD 2231 – Introduction to Public Administration: A comprehensive overview of the history of public administration, its development as a field, and a survey of the critical theories and normative issues within public administration and the implication for practice.

PBAD 3331 – Applied Public Management: This course examines the historical and theoretical development of public sector management. The course also introduces performance management tools of contemporary public managers, including strategic planning, goal setting, project management, and performance management systems.

PBAD 3333 – The Policy Process and Democracy: This course explores the frameworks, theories, and models used to explain how issues are conceptualized and brought to government and then subsequently designed, selected, and implemented. This includes an investigation into politics, focusing on how actors and issue networks interact and exercise power within the policy process.

PBAD 3334 – Introduction to Public and Nonprofit Financial Management: This course provides students with the basics of financial management applicable to public and nonprofit organizations.

PBAD 3431 – Public Budgeting: This course serves as an introduction to public sector budgeting providing students with practical knowledge about how the public sector budget process works, an overview of the technical aspects of public budgeting and various theories of budgeting.

NMLI 3632 – Social Entrepreneurship, Enterprise and Innovation: This course surveys the theories for the emerging disciplines of social entrepreneurship, enterprise, and innovation. The course explores how individuals and organizations use private sector approaches to solving complex social problems.

NMLI 3633 – International Non-governmental Organizations: This course examines the rapidly growing world of international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs). The course explores how these organizations are becoming a part of the global society through policy and program development, humanitarian relief, advocacy, and other human service provisions. Students will be able to increase their knowledge and understanding of INGOs – what they do, the complex issues they face, and how they differ from domestic nonprofits.

PBAD 3731 – Public Policy: This course surveys the topic of public policy including the historical foundations and theories of the field. Emphasis is placed on the significance of public policy in addressing pressing social issues and the social, economic, political, and cultural contexts of public policy.

PBAD 3732 – Policy Analysis: This course focuses on the evidence-based methods used to create, implement, and study substantive public policy problems. This includes an investigation into the process of policy analysis, as well as the tools frequently employed at each step. The intent is to improve the quality of policy-making by critically examining the design and relevance of policies, their implementation and execution, and their impact on households, communities, and the society at large.

PBAD 3733 – Contemporary Policy Issues: This class explores a number of core substantive policy areas that represent a substantial part of contemporary U.S. policy-making. It offers a comprehensive overview of each topic area and then probes more deeply into each topic. This includes an overview of the major policies and programs within each area, how they came into effect, and current or likely reforms in terms of effectiveness, efficiency, equity, ethics, or political feasibility.

PBAD 4231 – Administrative Law:  This course serves as an introduction to administrative law providing students with practical knowledge about administrative law procedures, how administrative law fits into the constitutional and legal framework, and the role of administrative law in policy. This course is designed to introduce students to decision-making based on a public agency’s operating rules.

PBAD 4232 – Public Service Values and Ethics: This course investigates specific ethical concerns of the public sector, including its underlying values and norms. An emphasis is placed on the relationship between democracy and administrative decision-making, a focus on accountability, and the role of ethical actors in the resolution of public value conflicts.

PBAD 4233 – Human Capital Management for Administrators: This course focuses on human resources management in a public sector context. Particular emphasis is placed on the past developments of and future challenges in the field. Topics such as employee recruitment, selection, and compensation, as well as more contemporary issues such as diversity management are addressed.

PBAD 4234 – IT and E-Government for Public Managers: This course examines organizational societal value structures and the ways in which technology creates rapid change and new alternatives in values. The impact of e-government initiatives and social media on the way governments interact with the public is explored.

PBAD 4235 – Research Methods and Evaluation: This course familiarizes students with the basic approaches to social research as applied in public and service settings. Emphasis is placed on techniques for organizing and presenting data for policy and management decision-making.

PBAD 4331 – Leadership & Managerial Innovation: This course introduces students to the literature on the successful leadership of people and groups in public service organizations. In order to lead well, managers need expertise in multiple areas, including personality, motivation, group behavior, power, leadership, decision-making, and change management. This course also examines the meaning and significance of managerial innovation.

NMLI 4332 – Resource Development and Management for Nonprofits: This course explores resource development for nonprofit organizations. The course examines tools and strategies for fundraising principles and approaches for funding. It also investigates grant writing strategies for government and foundation resource acquisition.

NMLI 4333 – Strategic Management for Nonprofits: This course surveys the managerial, strategic, and governance issues facing nonprofit leadership. The course explains how strategic planning techniques like environmental scans, stakeholder analysis, and strategy formulation and implementation assist management in responding to internal and external demands for increased nonprofit performance and mission accomplishment.

PBAD 4334 – Policy and Markets: This class explores the rationales and explanations for government intervention in correcting social problems including political, moral and ethical, and market or economic rationales. Special emphasis is placed on collective action, market failures, and externalities as the predominant justification for public policy.

PBAD 4431 – Special Topics in Public Administration: This course is an elective that covers special topics in public administration.

PBAD 4791 – Field Internship in Public Administration: The internship in public administration is designed to provide students with meaningful experiences in public service organizations. Students are approved to intern in a public or nonprofit organization, serving in positions that allow them to gain exposure to the management of these organizations. No more than three credit hours can be counted towards completion of the Minor in Public Administration. Prerequisite(s): A minimum grade of “C” and prior or concurrent enrollment in PBAD 2231.

Graduate Courses

PBAD 7030 – Selected Topics in Public and Nonprofit Management: This course examines specific topics in public and nonprofit management not addressed by other courses. May be repeated once as topics change.

PBAD 7130 – Ethics for Public Service Organizations: This course examines the experiences, approaches, and strategies for confronting and solving the complex problems facing public and nonprofit organizations. An emphasis is placed on accountability and responsibility of public servants, the methods of moral reasoning and their connection to behavior, specific ethical concerns of public organizations, and ethical decision-making.

PBAD 7133 – Administrative Law: This course examines the intersection of public administration and the law, giving particular attention to U.S. Supreme Court decisions pertaining to the constitutional and statutory authority of agencies, rulemaking, policy enforcement, administrative transparency, judicial deference, judicial review, and the law of public employment.  Extensive attention will be given to both the relationship between courts and modern administrators and the ways in which elements of administrative law and the practice of public administration can be integrated.

PBAD 7134 – Advanced Management: This course provides the key insights and skills necessary to manage and lead in public service organizations. It focuses on contemporary practices of public and nonprofit management such as cross-sector collaborations, networks, negotiations, and other technical skills needed to lead in the twenty-first century.

PBAD 7230 – Budgeting in Public Service Organizations: This course examines both the politics and techniques used in formulating and implementing budgets by governmental and nonprofit organizations. It provides a bridge between budgeting theory and practice and its relationship to the administrative processes of control, management, and planning. Attention is also given to understanding the complexities of designing a tax system that conforms to principles of good tax policy.

PBAD 7232 – Financial Management in Public Service Organizations: This course provides a theoretical and practical introduction to financial analysis and management in public service organizations. Topics include processes, tools and methods used in financial planning and control of public and nonprofit organizations, including cost estimation, strategies for long-term and short-term investing, and financial statement analysis utilizing critical performance indicators.

PBAD 7233 – IT for Public Service Organizations: Provides a guide to the electronic delivery of government information and services and the management of information technology in the public sector.  Topics include the digital divide, information security, privacy, transparency and accountability issues, and evaluation of the government’s use of social media in the provision of service to citizens.

PBAD 7235 – Leadership of Public Organizations: This course examines the extensive literature on successful leadership broadly and its existence within and application to public service organizations more specifically. Particular attention is given to identifying strong leadership practices and distilling principles of exemplary leadership. This includes an emphasis on conceptual, technical, and human skills.

PBAD 7330 – Intergovernmental Relations: Examines the interaction between the federal, state, and local levels of government in the United States. Special attention is given to the constitutional and fiscal relationships between these levels of government and the historical evolution of the nature of the relationships. The concept of federalism and its relationship to effective intergovernmental relations is also examined.

PBAD 7331 – Local Government Management: This course examines the political and administrative processes of municipalities, counties, and other units of local government in the United States. Special focus is placed on the role and responsibilities of the city/county manager, enhancing manager–council effectiveness, managing citizen engagement, and implementing innovative service delivery strategies.

PBAD 7333 – Social Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: This course examines the ways in which differences in demographic characteristics affect the work of public and nonprofit managers, and explains how gender, race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, and other dimensions of diversity influence organizational behaviors and outcomes. Special attention is given to social equity, diversity and inclusion, representative bureaucracy, and implementing culturally competent strategies to address the challenges of serving an increasingly diverse public.

PBAD 7335 – Urban Management: Examines the problems confronting public managers in large municipalities and the unique responsibilities of urban governments. Special attention will be paid to policy areas such as transportation, housing, social welfare, public safety, and infrastructure management.

PBAD 7336 – Comparative Public Management: Examines public administration through two differing viewpoints–domestic and international. Special attention is paid to the unique problems and circumstances surrounding domestic and international governments and how they relate to and differ from each other.

PBAD 7337 – Environmental Management and Policy: This course provides an overview of environmental and natural resource management in the United States. Particular attention is paid to the topics of federalism and cooperation. Issues of regional importance are also covered, including water quality and availability, regulation and monitoring compliance, sustainable growth, and management within overlapping jurisdictions.

PBAD 7338 – Managing Economic Development: Examines the strategies, tools, and techniques used by local, state, and national governments to generate economic growth in and revitalization of economically depressed areas as well as maintaining economic growth in stable areas.

NMLI 7339 – Community Development: Examines the history and theory behind the practice of community organizing, civic engagement, and public participation.  Provides students with practical and effective community organization skills and civic engagement strategies.

PBAD 7430 – Public Human Resource Management: Examines the functions, policies, and techniques of human resource management in public and nonprofit organizations.

PBAD 7431 – Organizational Behavior: This course examines human behavior in organizations, with a focus on the practical application of theories related to the management of individuals and groups within public service organizations.

NMLI 7432 – Nonprofit Administration: Examines the management of nonprofit organizations, with a focus on areas of management most different from the public sector, such as legal requirements, ethics, board governance, strategic management, ethics, and financial management.

PBAD 7530 – Research Methods for Public Service Organizations: This course examines quantitative techniques for public and nonprofit organizations. Emphasis is placed on understanding and using techniques appropriate to categorical analysis and the simple linear model. Students are exposed to research design, measurement, and the use of computer program packages appropriate to public service organizations.

PBAD 7531 – Public Program Evaluation: This course examines the design and implementation of policy and program evaluation in public and nonprofit organizations. Special attention is given to developing logic models, selecting appropriate research designs, and monitoring agency operations through performance measurement. The mechanics of benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis are examined. Various evaluation methods are used in assessing the efficiencies and effectiveness of programs. Prerequisite(s): PBAD 7530

PBAD 7532 – Public Policy: This course examines how public policy is developed, implemented, and evaluated with special attention being given to policy formulation, analysis, and interpretation.

PBAD 7533 – Geographic Information Systems and Public Planning: Examines the practice of urban, regional, and state planning with focus on the use of geographic information system (GIS) applications for state and local decision-making. Includes an introduction to the scope, theories, and politics of planning.

PBAD 7631 – Foundations of Public Administration: This course surveys the field of public administration and explores the historical foundations and theories of public administration as well as the diverse political, social, and economic contexts within which they exist.

PBAD 7638 – Capstone Seminar: This course prepares students to sit for the comprehensive examination by undergoing a review of the major theories underlying the field of public administration. This course also addresses issues related to a student’s professional development. This course is for students admitted prior to Fall 2021.

PBAD 7651 – Organization Development: This course examines the theoretical basis of organization development (OD) and demonstrates how OD technologies can be applied to public and nonprofit organizations for improving organizational quality and performance.

NMLI 7652 – Board Governance and Executive Leadership: This course provides an introduction to the fundamentals of governance, trusteeship, and executive leadership in nonprofit organizations. The course critically examines the principal models, processes, and practices used in governing nonprofit organizations and the relationships between the governing boards and executive leaders of such organizations.

NMLI 7653 – Foundations of the Nonprofit Sector: This course surveys the history, scope and role of the nonprofit sector. Special attention is given to the economic, political and philanthropic theories of the nonprofit sector.

NMLI 7654 – Strategic Management: This course examines the principal models, processes, and practices used in strategic management, familiarizing students with essential management skills. The course focuses on the key internal and external factors that drive strategic management decisions within nonprofit and governmental organizations, including leadership, external resources, and stakeholder involvement.

NMLI 7655 – Resource Development and Grant Writing: This course introduces the tools, techniques, and strategies associated with the principles of successful fundraising for nonprofit organizations. The class also introduces students to the fundamentals of grant writing.

NMLI 7656 – International Nongovernmental Organizations: This course introduces international nonprofit/non-governmental organizations and explores contemporary challenges these organizations face including issues of accountability, governance, effectiveness, and fundraising.

NMLI 7657 – Theory and Practice of Philanthropy: This course examines the theoretical framework for institutional philanthropy in the United States. The course explores the strategies, tools, and techniques for the role of strategic philanthropy in both programming and policymaking. It provides students with insight into the work of philanthropy.

PBAD 7730 – Internship in Public Administration: This course requires students to intern in a professional capacity with a public service organization. The internship requires a minimum of 300 hours working in the organization and as approved by the MPA internship coordinator.

PBAD 7731 – Local Government Practicum:  This course provides students with experience conducting research and policy analysis for local government. Projects are proposed by municipalities within Georgia and students are allowed to choose projects aligned with their interests. Students work individually, or in pairs on larger projects, under the direction of the course instructor. This course expands research skills, enriches understanding of local government policy processes, and exposes participants to issues they are likely to face when employed in local government.

PBAD 7810 – MPA Professional Portfolio:  The MPA Professional Portfolio is a work product that will be prepared, presented, and evaluated. Students will collect academic and professional artifacts throughout their program tenure, which will be incorporated into a portfolio. The portfolio is designed for students to demonstrate competencies gained in established academic and professional areas. The portfolio will also allow students to highlight their growth and development of the course study. Finally, the portfolio will provide MPA program faculty with an invaluable artifact in which to assess student learning.

PBAD 7820 – Immersion I:  Immersion I exposes MPA Executive Track students to a range of topics that supplement and support classroom learning, while providing opportunities to gain a deeper understanding of the discipline.

PBAD 7821 – Immersion II:  Immersion II exposes MPA Executive Track students to a range of topics that supplement and support classroom learning, while providing opportunities to gain a deeper understanding of the discipline.

PBAD 7890 – Directed Reading: A structured set of readings and assignments mutually designed by the student and the instructor on a specific area of public administration.

Last updated: 6/13/2023