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College of Public Affairs

Course Descriptions

PUAD Course Descriptions

View the schedule of classes to determine course offerings by semester.

  • PUAD 619 Public Management (3)
    Provides an in-depth study of public organizations and management by integrating organizational theory and public management practice to address problems and issues that managers confront in public organizations.
  • PUAD 620 Public Policy (3)
    Designed to increase understanding of the public policy process. Policy frameworks and models are used to examine policy interventions in the United States. Examines the stages of policy as well as the methods that public administrators use to assess feasibility and implementation of various policies. prerequisite: PUAD 623
  • PUAD 621 Public Personnel and Human Resources Management (3)
    Study of public and nonprofit human resource management policies, practices, laws and regulations. Topics include recruitment and selection, training and development, motivation, compensation, performance appraisal, discipline and labor relations.
  • PUAD 622 Public Budgeting and Fiscal Administration (3)
    Role, dynamics, politics and processes involved in the budgetary function and associated budget preparation methods, and fiscal interrelationships of federal, state and local levels of government.
  • PUAD 623 Bureaucracy and the Political Process (3)
    Organizational, functional and administrative aspects of the federal bureaucracy, the interrelationships among federal, state and local agencies, and public administration as a part of the political process.
  • PUAD 624 Public Organization Theory (3)
    Development and evolution of public organizational structures. A study of the postulated models and hypotheses of future needs for government organization.
  • PUAD 625 Innovations in Public Management (3)
    Designed to integrate the perspectives of public administration by focusing on the management problems in public agencies. Includes use of emerging techniques in management to address the problems and issues faced by public managers under the changed environment of the public sector.
  • PUAD 626 Information Resources Management (3)
    Role of computers in developing and managing information necessary for decision-making in public organizations. Includes consideration of computer applications, including the development and management of databases and the use of software applications for decision-making in both individual and distributed computing contexts. Also considers implications of computer technology, such as privacy, control and security. Working knowledge of spreadsheets and database software is required. prerequisite: computer competency
  • PUAD 627 Legal and Ethical Environment of Public Administration (3)
    Legal and ethical dimensions of the democratic policy process as it has evolved in the United States. Attention to the manner in which historical as well as contemporary socio-political patterns of governance have shaped the notions of law and ethics that are to provide public administrators with the benchmarks of democratic accountability, responsibility and responsiveness.
  • PUAD 628 Statistical Applications in Public Administration (3)
    Quantitative analysis for public administrators. Topics include statistical analysis, the computer in processing data and the presentation of findings. Students must complete this course within their first 15 credits in the program.
  • PUAD 629 Public Program Evaluation (3)

    Systematic application of quantitative and qualitative research methods to the assessment of public policy interventions. Covers topics within formative and summative evaluation contexts, including needs assessments, impact evaluation and process evaluation. prerequisite: PUAD 628
  • PUAD 630 Analytical Techniques in Public Administration (3)
    Review of analytical techniques conventionally used in the planning, formulation and implementation of public policy. Topics include forecasting techniques, cost-benefit analysis, PERT and other commonly used techniques. prerequisite: PUAD 628
  • PUAD 700 Concepts and Practices of Nonprofits (3)

    Nonprofit organizations serve as the foundation for the third sector of the economy. This course explores the history, foundations and types of nonprofit organizations as well as the diverse political, social and economic contexts within which they exist.
  • PUAD 701 Public Administration and Public Finance (3)
    Analysis of revenue forecasting, revenue strategy, impact of inflation, taxation, “back-door” spending, pension funding, user fees and other aspects of governmental finance. Emphasis on the special characteristics of public finance in communities operating with fragmented and multilayered governmental structures.
  • PUAD 702 Public Financial Management (3)
    Topics include municipal expenditure patterns and revenue sources, taxation at the local level, fiscal and economic aspects of federalism and federal-state-local fiscal coordination, and the role of budget in the determination of policy, in administrative integration and in influencing government operations. Emphasis on the foregoing as they pertain to the Baltimore metropolitan area.
  • PUAD 703 Urban Management (3)
    Topics include municipal, governmental and administrative structures and their inter-relationship in a regional context, the interfacing and management of public services, examination of governmental programs in municipal areas, municipal administrative problems and the attendant role of the public administrator. Emphasis on the foregoing as they pertain to the Baltimore metropolitan area.
  • PUAD 704 Managing Diversity (3)
    Examines issues of diversity in the workplace, particularly in relation to organizational performance and service delivery among public organizations. Uses historical and legal frameworks to consider the struggles of marginalized groups and employs theoretical and applied perspectives to examine the barriers, challenges and benefits of diversity in the workplace.
  • PUAD 705 Special Topics in Public Administration (3)
    Coverage of selected topics of current interest to students or of interest to a special segment of students. prerequisite: permission of monitoring faculty member or program director
  • PUAD 709 Individual Research (1-4)
    Individual research on an academically sound project of interest to the student in consultation with a monitoring faculty member. Depending on the scope and depth of research, from 1 to 4 credits may be earned for the successful completion of this course. Students may enroll in this course one time only, for a total of 3 credits. Eligible for continuing studies grade. prerequisite: approval of the M.P.A. program director and the monitoring faculty member
  • PUAD 720 Urban Politics and Policy Planning (3)
    Study of political institutions in urban areas and the policy responses, processes and problems with reference to such issues as land use, community growth and development, environment, local and state services and regional and national urban policies, with particular focus on the Baltimore Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area.
  • PUAD 725 Fundamentals of Geographic Information Science and Systems (3)
    Provides students with foundational knowledge in both geographic information science and Systems that will allow them to better understand and think critically about the role of "place and space" and to engage in the routine use of basic GIS technology in their studies and workplace. Students will learn to use ESRI's ArcGIS to create maps and analyze geo-data and relationships, and to present their results to others.
  • PUAD 730 State and Local Personnel Management (3)
    Development and application of personnel systems and procedures in state and local jurisdictions, and how state and local politics and federal laws and regulations impact them.
  • PUAD 731 Public Employee Union Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining (3)
    Study of the background, extent and nature of the unionization of government employees. Coverage of current regulations involving collective bargaining, adjudication of labor grievances and bargaining tactics.
  • PUAD 732 Leadership and Organizational Change (3)
    Nature of technological and environmental change as it affects the management decisions of the agency. Techniques for organizational change, including diversified but integrative decision-making structures and techniques, implementation techniques, enforcement techniques and evaluation tools. The impact of a changing environment on the leadership skills needed in a modern environment.
  • PUAD 733 Managing Public-Sector Projects (3)
    An introduction to the theories and techniques of project management. Covers some standard project analytic techniques (e.g., PERT charts and project management software) but emphasizes recognition of barriers to effective project team functioning and project completion. Students understand and design plans for effective project management and identify and respond to problems in team dynamics and to external problems requiring adaptation.
  • PUAD 734 Strategic Planning (3)
    Covers the steps involved in developing a strategic plan for public and nonprofit organizations. Students learn how to perform a stakeholder analysis, conduct a situation analysis, develop appropriate mission statements, design effective performance measures and implement a strategic plan.
  • PUAD 740 Administrative Law and Regulation (3)
    Role of administrative law and regulation in the governmental process. An examination of the function of the public administrator in implementing legislation through the formulation of administrative law and regulation, and the rules, procedures and techniques for their formulation.
  • PUAD 750 Health-Care Systems, Organization and Management (3)
    Analysis of the structure of the present American health-care system and of the costs, benefits and political realities of possible reforms. The current and future role of public administration, planning and evaluation in American health care.
  • PUAD 751 Policy Issues in Health Care (3)
    Study of a few current policy issues in the American health-care system. Particular attention to the roles and powers of nonmedical participants, including consumers, planners, administrators and policymakers.
  • PUAD 755 Health Administration (3)
    Problems and issues with performing such basic managerial functions as direction, control and staffing in health-care institutions. Emphasis on analyzing tools and techniques that are important in fulfilling these managerial functions.
  • PUAD 756 Managed-Care Administration (3)
    Basic theoretical concepts concerning managed care, practical management issues and areas of controversy as they pertain to managed care. Topics include benefit design in managed care, structure and management of managed-care delivery systems, financing of managed care and future trends in managed care.
  • PUAD 757 Strategic Management for Health Care (3)
    Examination of strategic management in health-care organizations. Included are discussions of the nature of strategic management, the environment of health organizations and methods of environmental analysis, and methods of formulating, implementing and controlling the strategic management of health-care delivery. prerequisites: HSMG 632, HSMG 650 and either PUAD 750 or PUAD 751, or permission of the M.S. in Health Systems Management program director
  • PUAD 760 Regulatory Policy and Administration (3)
    Political, legal and economic dimensions of regulation. Includes a delineation of the conceptual framework for government intervention into the marketplace and a determination of the effects of this intervention. Topics include the rise of government regulations, structure and procedures of regulatory agencies, the politics of regulation and the future of regulation.
  • PUAD 761 Environmental Policy and Administration (3)
    Overview of environmental law, institutions and regulation and the factors that have shaped environmental policy at the federal, state and local levels. Assesses the impact of environmental policy at these levels and the impact of environmental legislation on the behavior of administrators responsible for its implementation and administration. Examines the major policy processes in controlling pollution standard-setting and compliance.
  • PUAD 763 Public Policymaking (3)
    Overview of the process of public policymaking, including the formulation of public issues, the consideration of issues and the adaptation of solutions to public problems. Emphasis on actors in the policy process and the environment within which they function.
  • PUAD 764 Public Policy Implementation (3)
    Review of the diverse conceptualization frameworks of analyzing the implementation of public programs. Emphasis is on the analysis and integration of the subsequent political, economic, social, cultural and managerial factors that impact the implementation of public policies.
  • PUAD 770 Government–Business Cooperation in Community Development (3)
    Review of the relations of institutions in the private and public relations of private-sector decisions to public-sector decisions and the impact of public-sector decisions on private-sector institutions. Introduces research topics related to government and business cooperation in community development. Provides a forum for the exchange of ideas between spokespersons of public- and private-sector institutions. Students write and present analytical research papers on pertinent topics.
  • PUAD 775 Intergovernmental Administration (3)
    Evaluation, growth, present status and characteristics of the U.S. federal system of government. Topics include federal-state relations, state-local relations, regionalism, councils of government, interstate cooperation, grants-in-aid and revenue sharing.
  • PUAD 777 Political Economy of Nonprofit Organizations (3)
    Study of the role of nonprofit activity in the development and administration of public policy. Topics include the political economy of nonprofit organizations and the nonprofit sector. Nonprofit management and the relationships among government, business and nonprofit activity are examined within the current context of issues and future trends.
  • PUAD 781 Information Technology: Public-Sector Applications (3)
    Design and implementation of public-sector IS and IT projects, including current developments and issues in the application of available technology to public-sector management. The role of technology in enhancing intergovernmental coordination, improving service, increasing efficiency and reducing government spending. Technologies examined include distributed transaction-oriented databases; data warehousing, management information systems and executive- and group-decision support systems; geographic information systems; office automation, voice response systems and document imaging; electronic data interchange and kiosks; and electronic commerce over public networks.
  • PUAD 785 Public-Sector Performance Measurement (3)
    Structuring data collection and analysis techniques to determine precisely what an agency is attempting to do and what it accomplishes through its outputs. Emphasis is on shaping the outputs to have a measurable positive impact on customers and other stakeholders.
  • PUAD 790 Internship (3)
    Designed to broaden the educational experience of students through work assignments with appropriate governmental agencies. Eligible for continuing studies grade. Required of all pre-service students. prerequisite: approval of program director and monitoring faculty member
  • PUAD 795 Advanced Quantitative Techniques in Public Administration (3)
    Application of sophisticated quantitative techniques to decision-making aspects of public-agency operations and programs. Emphasis is on techniques such as linear programming, PERT/CPM, queuing theory and simulation as well as on cost-benefit analysis and mathematical modeling.
  • PUAD 797 Nonprofit Management: Applied Skills Seminar (1)
    Exploration of topics in nonprofit management of mutual interest to faculty and students, such as program evaluation, risk management, communications and board management. Content varies according to demand. Topics appear under that name in the course booklet. May be repeated for credit as topics change.
  • PUAD 798 Problem-Solving Seminar in Public Administration (3)
    Capstone course requires students to integrate and apply analytical skills, knowledge bases, managerial principles and normative frameworks learned in M.P.A. core courses to concrete management situations. Student must earn a B grade or better to graduate. prerequisites: completion of PUAD 621, PUAD 622, PUAD 623, PUAD 624, PUAD 625, PUAD 627, PUAD 628, PUAD 629 and PUAD 630 with grades of B- or better prior to enrolling in the course (students may be concurrently enrolled in PUAD 626) or permission of the Master of Public Administration program director
  • PUAD 805 D.P.A. Special Topics (3)
    Coverage of selected topics of current interest to D.P.A. students or to a special segment of D.P.A. students. Registration is by permission of instructor only.
  • PUAD 809 D.P.A. Individual Research (1-3)
    Individual research on an academically sound project of interest to the D.P.A. student in consultation with a monitoring faculty member. Depending on the scope and depth of research, 1 to 3 credits may be earned for the successful completion of this course. prerequisite: approval of D.P.A. director and monitoring faculty member
  • PUAD 810 Foundations of Public Administration (3)
    Major questions, answers and concerns that have framed the development of a self-aware study of public administration. The political, social and cultural contexts in which administrative solutions have been sought. The role of preceding theories, or sometimes the rejection of them, in helping to shape modern answers to administrative questions.
  • PUAD 811 Strategic Management in the Public Sector (3)
    Covers the rise of a customer-based, results-oriented approach to solving public-sector problems. The historical foundations of such an approach and the public-sector initiatives by which it has been introduced. Modern techniques and tools for using strategic management to handle current governmental issues.
  • PUAD 812 Advanced Information Resource Management (3)
    Prepares public- and third-sector managers to deal effectively with issues related to the design and implementation of information systems in their agencies. Examines tools and techniques for identifying and structuring information requirements and needs (e.g., process mapping) and for managing IT implementation projects, including both in-house development and external procurements. Also explores the planning and implementation problems related to the redesign of public organizations and the way they provide services in the information age. prerequisite: PUAD 626 or permission of instructor
  • PUAD 813 Seminar in Doctoral Research (3)
    Overview of both quantitative and qualitative research methods that are applicable to the field of public administration. Emphasis on development of research questions, measurement and sampling, data collection and analysis techniques in both paradigms.
  • PUAD 814 Seminar in Policy Making and Implementation (3)
    Study of the theory and design of public policies and their implementation. Topics include the stages of the policy process, public policy paradigms, and the formulation and implementation of public programs.
  • PUAD 815 Public-Sector Financial Analysis (3)
    Introduces advanced techniques employed by financial analysts in the public sector. Topics include forecasting techniques, performance measurement construction, Activity-Based Costing and expenditure analysis techniques.
  • PUAD 816 Advanced Public-Sector Management and Decision Techniques (3)
    Familiarizes students with various analytical tools to aid in the executive decision-making and management of public-agency operations, including staffing, facility location, future planning and the wise allocation of scarce resources. Although such techniques are commonly used in the private sector, they are less common in the public sector, largely because public-sector objective functions are more difficult to quantify. Thus, an important component of the course is the application of such techniques to public-sector problems and the construction of objective functions that capture the trade-offs among quantitative and qualitative (subjective) “public goods.”
  • PUAD 817 Seminar in Program and Policy Evaluation (3)
    Provides doctoral students with an introduction to program and policy evaluation in the public and nonprofit sectors. Students understand and are able to design the major components of evaluation: needs assessment, implementation evaluation, impact evaluation (formative and summative), and assessment of merit and worth. Students design evaluations that are sensitive to the requirements and constraints of particular evaluation settings.
  • PUAD 824 Doctoral Seminar in Organizational Theory (3)
    Deals with public-sector organization systems as they relate to democratic forms of governance.
  • PUAD 830 Survey Research (3)
    In-depth exposure to survey sampling, questionnaire construction, different means of collecting survey data (mail, phone, Web) and analysis of data developed from surveys. Students develop survey instruments and perform extensive analysis of data from surveys.
  • PUAD 831 Case Study and Qualitative Methods (3)
    In-depth exposure to different types of case studies (single case and multiple cases), sampling for cases, data collection methods frequently used for case studies and methods of analysis for qualitative data. prerequisite: PUAD 813
  • PUAD 832 Quantitative Methods (3)
    In-depth exposure to issues in using administrative data and research data sets collected by other entities. Also use of advanced statistical analyses including an in-depth exposure to multiple regression and its assumptions, logistic regression, factor analysis, discriminant function analysis and time series analysis.
  • PUAD 834 Advanced Seminar in Evaluation: Theories and Techniques (3)
    Helps doctoral students in public administration wishing to specialize in program and policy evaluation to achieve mastery of the basic concepts and theories of evaluation and also the recent literature of the field. Prepares students to contribute as professionals to the field of evaluation. prerequisite: PUAD 817
  • PUAD 835 Practicum in Program Evaluation (3)
    Provides doctoral students in public administration with the opportunity to be team members conducting an actual program or policy evaluation. Working with the evaluation sponsors and other stakeholders while also reading and discussing practical books and articles on evaluation methods, students develop their own integrations of evaluation theory and practice that provide guiding frameworks for practicing evaluators. prerequisite: PUAD 817
  • PUAD 875 Doctoral Seminar in Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations (3)
    Examines the ways in which various aspects of intergovernmental relations and federalism affect the adoption and implementation of public policy.
  • PUAD 898 Continuous Enrollment (1)
    Provides continuing faculty direction, academic support services and enrollment services for students who have completed all course requirements for the degree but have not completed a thesis or final project. Students continue the independent work leading to finishing the thesis or final project that is significantly under way. Course may be repeated for credit as needed. Eligible for continuing studies (CS) grade; otherwise grading is pass/fail. prerequisite: completion of all course requirements for the degree program
  • PUAD 899 Dissertation Research (3-12)
    A written descriptive and prescriptive evaluation of the management practices of an existing agency to determine the efficacy of its structure and/or procedures. The project is directed by a faculty adviser and results in a written product for which there is an oral defense before a committee of three faculty members. Eligible for continuing studies (CS) grade; otherwise grading is pass/fail.