Jul 20, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog

Political Science, B. A., Public Service in Government Administration, Public Policy, and Community Engagement Concentration

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Department Contact:

Chair: Dr. Denise Holladay Damico
Coordinator: Dr. Joseph A. Melusky

Program Description:

Political Science has been defined as the study of “who gets what, when, and how.” It involves the study of government and public policy, as well as the study of the behavior of individuals and groups in the pursuit of their interests. The BA in Political Science with a concentration in Public Service in Government Administration, Public Policy, and Community Engagement helps students become public service professionals. The concentration helps students acquire analytical skills and the ability to speak and write clearly. Training is provided in policy analysis, problem solving, statistics, library research, mathematics, logic, writing, and public speaking. Coursework on public policy, governmental operations, history, and other relevant subjects is provided. An experiential learning component, providing an experiential blend of theory and practice, is also part of this program. Such a diverse background provides useful preparation for graduate education, and/or for careers in government service (at the federal, state, or local level), nonprofit organizations, private sector management, and other fields.


Public service professionals work in local, state, and Federal government administration, the non-profit sector, and private sector organizations that partner with the public sector. Public service professionals work to serve the public interest, to assist and improve their communities.


Public service professionals have a variety of job titles: administrative services manager; program director; urban planner; policy manager; development director; program analyst; grants manager; regulatory affairs manager; budget analyst; urban/regional planners; project manager; policy analyst; community relations coordinator; director of community affairs; economic development officer; compliance officer; grass roots engagement coordinator; constituency services manager; nonprofit administrator; development officer; auditor; city manager.


Duties of public service professionals can include: researching local, state and federal laws and regulations; collecting and analyzing data; conducting statistical analysis of the effects of new public policies; working with coalitions interested in community improvements; analyzing budgets; developing spending programs; improving procedures and methods for more efficient operations; determining land use policies and economic development projects; identifying community needs; conducting surveys of local communities; writing proposals and applying for grants; assessing regulations and programs for their effectiveness; providing expert guidance to executive level managers; analyzing census date; researching an planning community outreach services; measuring performance of alternative programs; conducting cost-benefits analysis of competing policy proposals; ensuring that community services are administered fairly; writing policy memos recommending changes to existing policies.


Students are encouraged to complete a minor or second major in Social Work, Criminal Justice, Management, Management Information Systems, Accounting, Cybersecurity Administration, or Paralegal.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. Critical Thinking: Students will develop the ability to think critically about information (e.g., data or texts), theories, concepts, problems, issues, institutions and processes of American Politics and Government, World Politics and Political Theory before accepting or formulating a position or conclusion or proposing a solution to a problem.
  2. Citizenship: Students will develop a deeper and fuller understanding of political processes, acquiring a solid conceptual foundation that can be built upon in their lives as citizens.
  3. Research Methods: Students will be able to use and explain research methods used in the discipline of political science and evaluate conclusions derived from these methods. Students will develop skills that include the ability to identify, locate and access sources of information, the ability to critically evaluate information, the ability to organize information to present a sound central idea in a logical order, and the ability to use the work of others accurately and ethically.
  4. Communication Skills: Students will demonstrate the necessary oral and written skills (English and Public Speaking) to convey their knowledge to others about political science or other appropriate topics.
  5. Ethics: Students will demonstrate familiarity with theorists and ethical frameworks that can help them make hard decisions, evaluate the policy decisions that public officials make on their behalf, and recognize the implications of these choices; Knowledge of reliable frameworks of principles will help students evaluate ambiguous facts and define behavior as “right” or “good.”

Capstone Requirement:

Students in the Bachelor of Arts in the Political Science program, Public Service in Government Administration, Public Policy, and Community Engagement Concentration, are required to complete the following two course sequence to graduate from this program:

  • PLSC 330 - Political Science Research Methods (3 cr)
  • PLSC 494 - Political Science Research (1 cr)

Estimated Completion Time:

Typically 4 years of full-time study

Total Credits Required:

128 credits

Additional requirements:

  • At least 21 PLSC credits must be at the 300 or 400 level, excluding 398/399, 487, and 494.

Free Electives (10 credits)

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