Fundamentals of Public Administration – PADM 501

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 09/05/2023

Course Description

This course serves as an introduction to the discipline of public administration. This class explores the various theories and practices that have led to, and continue to dominate the profession and study of public administration. The major topics of interest that will be discussed in this class include the politics of government bureaucracy, managing and leading public organizations, the core functions of government administration such as budgeting, public policy implementation and human resources management, and current trends emerging from the 21st century that are directing and influencing public administration.

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


The purpose of this course is for the student to comprehend the composition and demographics of changing society and the workforce through designing and using performance measures in public administrations, explaining institutional and legal environment of administration, applying theories that can inform leadership and management in public organizations, explaining the external and institutional politics of decision making in public organizations, executing systematic research processes to novel problems, and producing research in written format. The student should also understand how to motivate workforce both ethically and effectively in public administration, identify legal implications of diversity in public organizations, assess practical situations in public administration, and take principled positions.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview. 

Class Introductions

The student will post a thread in the Discussion introducing himself/herself to the class. The student will provide general information in written paragraph format, and maintain professionalism in the presentation. The student will reply to 2 classmates’ threads.

Discussion Assignments (7)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. The student will complete the assigned readings and post a thread of at least 300 words answering the discussion questions assigned from the readings. The student will reply to 2 classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 250 words. Postings will be completed by the individual student with no group postings. Outside research may be used to answer the questions and should be properly cited using current APA formatting.

Case Study Critiques Assignments (2)

The student will write a critique of 2 case studies in the course. Each case study critique must be 3–5 pages and discuss the major facts of the case, and the student should tell whether or not he/she believes the right decision(s) was/were made and why.

Research Paper Assignment

The student will identify a problem in public administration. The paper must include an abstract, introduction, background on the issue, detailed presentation of the importance of the issue, discussion of possible solutions, and a recommendation for the solution. The paper must be 8–10 pages and include a minimum of ten scholarly resources to support the student’s work.

Quizzes (2)

A Quiz: Midterm and a Quiz: Final  will be required during the course. Each quiz will have 2 questions and will use essay questions to extract the student’s knowledge about the content of the course. Each quiz will have a 1-hour time limit.

Essay Assignments (2)

Both the Essay: Midterm Assignment and the Essay: Final Assignment will require the student to respond to a broad-based question about public administration. In essence, the student will be asked to demonstrate critical thinking about controversial issues in public administration and take a position on which course of action would be the best approach for public administrators.