Public Administration Seminar – PADM 492

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 02/10/2022

Course Description

This capstone course focuses on the context (political, legal, and social) in which public administration takes place, the meaning of public service in a democratic society, and the importance of personal and professional ethics using cases to relate principles and theories of public administration to concrete, real-world problems. Students will integrate coursework and theory as well as real-world experiences into the analysis of a public policy or public management problem and produce a final seminar paper. 

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


This seminar course will provide students with a comprehensive integration of content from the major and allow them to hone their research and writing skills in the preparation of a seminar paper. The course serves as a capstone for the major.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

Discussions (4)

The student will complete 4 Discussions in this course. The student will post one thread of at least 350 words by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Thursday of the assigned Module: Week. The student must then post 2 replies of at least 150 words by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of the assigned Module: Week. For each thread, students must support their assertions with at least 4 scholarly citations in APA format. Each reply must incorporate at least 2 scholarly citations in APA format. Any sources cited must have been published within the last five years. Acceptable sources include the textbook(s), the Bible, journal articles assigned in the course or from other courses. 

Case Study Assignments (4)

After reading a case related to public policy practice you will prepare a paper, 750 words or more in length analyzing the case.  The case study paper will include an identification of the problem/challenge to practice presented by the case and recommendations of best practices for future cases.  The goal is to present, in writing, the basis for your diagnostic impressions. Make sure your recommendations are relevant to the case, able to be implemented, and have support from at least 3 references from scholarly sources. The citations should be less than 5 years old and in current APA format.

Research Paper: Outline Assignment

In preparation for the final paper the student will choose one of the topic options and compile an outline using the provided template. The outline must include a thesis statement or research question and a brief outline of the points for investigating your thesis statement or research question. It must be composed in the traditional Roman Numeric outline structure and be about 1-page in length. 3-5 scholarly works must be cited using current APA format.

Research Paper: Final Assignment

Based on the topic the student chose for his/her outline, the student will write a 8-page research-based paper in current APA format that focuses on a challenge to public administrators governing in the 21st century. Students will draw on experience if applicable and theory presented in this class and in their course work in the major. The paper must include at least 7-9 reference(s), consist of a minimum of 2,500-words count in current APA formatting, Include a thesis statement or research question, Identify the background of the chosen topic, describe specific challenges to governing for public administrators as it relates to this topic, provide 3 or more recommendations on how to alleviate or confront the challenge using scholarship and practice, and draw a conclusion that addresses the thesis statement or attempts to answer the research question.

Quizzes (2)

The student is required to complete 2 open-book quizzes in this course. The student will have 1 hour to complete 14 randomized multiple-choice, short answer and essay questions.

Quizzes: Midterm & Final (2)

The student is required to complete 2 open-book quizzes in this course. The student will have 2 hours to complete a series of randomized multiple-choice, short answer and essay questions. Optional use study guides are provided for these quizzes in the Read area of the module they are due.