Table of Contents

Public Sector Management

Download PDF

The Tseng College


  • Bernardo Attias (Communication Studies); James David Ballard (Sociology); Lawrence Becker (Political Science); Matthew Cahn (Political Science); Herman DeBose (Sociology); Nancy Grass Hemmert (Communication Studies); Thomas Hogen-Esh (Political Science); Paul Krivonos (Communication Studies); Daisy Lemus (Communication Studies); Henrik Minassians (Urban Studies and Planning); Rex Mitchell (Management); Karen Peck (Communication Studies); Jon Sager (Management); Martin Saiz (Political Science); Talin Saroukhanian (Political Science); Stephen Schuster (Management); Victor Shaw (Sociology); Paula Silva (Management); Ward Thomas (Urban Studies and Planning); Zeynep Toker (Urban Studies and Planning

Degree Programs

Undergraduate :

  • B.A.
  • Public Sector Management
  • Administration of the Public Sector Management Program

Special Session Degree

The program is administrated through The Tseng College (hence, the designation of Special Session degree) and is entirely funded by student fees and payments. Financial aid is available for qualified students. The College of Social and Behavioral Science is the academic sponsor of the PSM Program.

Academic Advisement

Please contact Scott Dunlap at (818) 677-7763.

Admission To the Program

In order to be admitted to the program, students must have completed 60 units transferable to the CSU system and be General Education certified. The director of the Public Sector Management program will evaluate and approve students prior to formal admission to the program.

Program Overview

The B.A. program in Public Sector Management is designed for students who wish to gain an understanding of the policy and management issues of government and non-profit organizations, and their impact on the communities they serve. Students, while being exposed to the political context in which public sector decisions are made, will be given the tools to analyze, develop and implement governmental structures and processes, formulate and effectively present policy and administrative decisions, and understand how to work within the boundaries of available human, fiscal and technological resources. In addition, students will acquire the communication and management skills necessary for success in any career endeavor.

The Multidisciplinary Curriculum

The program is multidisciplinary and draws upon a wide array of scholarly resources that are most relevant to the changing need of public sector management in order to offer students the opportunity to develop a comprehensive set of competencies required for success in the public and not-for-profit arenas. The Department of Political Science in the College of Social and Behavioral Science, the Department of Communication Studies in the College of Arts, Media, and Communication, and the Department of Management in the College of Business and Economics offer all core courses in the program. In addition, the Departments of Sociology and Urban Studies and Planning, both in the College of Social and Behavioral Science, offer elective courses as do the Departments of Political Science and Communication Studies.

Student Learning Outcomes of the Undergraduate Program

Students successfully accomplishing the B.A. in Public Sector Management will acquire and demonstrate an overview and in-depth understanding of the fields of public policy, management and communication by the following skills:

  • 1. Communicate both orally and in written format in a clear
  • succinct and persuasive manner public policy observations
  • interpretations and ideas
  • 2. Analyze an issue and its causes
  • and
  • within the public policy process
  • form
  • implement and assess the effectiveness of appropriate strategies
  • 3. Effectively articulate the mission and goals of their organizations
  • aligning resources
  • priorities
  • and plans in support of those ideals
  • 4. Utilize effective management strategies and tools to deal with the social phenomena and challenges confronting the public sector
  • 5. Form alliances and connections across cultural boundaries
  • uniting diverse perspectives into a common purpose for improvement within the organization and the community
  • 6. Succeed in supervisory/managerial roles
  • leading by example to enhance work performance
  • and accurately assessing agency and employee needs
  • 7. Managing conflict effectively
  • encouraging a variety of ideas and opinions
  • to guide others to reach consensus
  • 8. Ethically face issues and maintain the public trust

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Sector Management

The PSM program is composed of 20 upper division undergraduate courses (60 semester credit hours) offered in a predetermined sequence in cohort format. To earn the bachelor of arts degree in Public Sector Management, a student must be formally admitted to one of the program’s cohorts and complete all the coursework specified below. Assignments within courses are designed to focus on issues pertinent to public sector management and build upon each other as the students progress through the program. A general sequence of courses is presented below.

Required Courses and Electives:

  • COMS 323 Group Communication (upper division GE) (3)
  • POLS 360 Public Administration (3)
  • MGT 360 Management and Organizational Behavior (3)
  • POLS 462 Ethics in Politics and Administration (3)
  • POLS 361 Introduction to Public Policy (3)
  • POLS 372/L Principles and Methods of Political Science/Lab (3)
  • COMS 356 Intercultural Communication (upper division GE) (3)
  • or SOC 307 Ethnic Diversity in American Society
  • (upper division GE) (3)
  • POLS 406 Fundamentals of Policy Analysis (3)
  • MGT 370 Management Skills Development (3)
  • POLS 407 Policy Implementation and Program Evaluation (3)
  • MGT 454 Leadership
  • Power and Politics (3)
  • POLS 466 Politics of Public Spending (3)
  • COMS 309 Advanced Public Speaking (upper division GE) (3)
  • COMS 454 Communication and Technology (3)
  • MGT 460 Strategic Human Resources Management (3)
  • Elective #1 (to be determined; see below) (3)
  • Elective #2 (to be determined; see below) (3)
  • Elective #3 (to be determined; see below) (3)
  • POLS 498C Internships
  • Field Assignments and Reports (3)
  • COMS 495 Internship in Organizational Communication (3)
  • Total Units
  • 60

As required for completion of any of the University’s baccalaureate degree programs, in addition to coursework, students must pass the University’s upper division writing Proficiency Exam. Students are also required to meet Title 5 requirements to graduate. It is strongly recommended that the latter requirement be met before entering the program.

How the Electives Work in the Cohort Context: Since the PSM program is offered in the cohort format, all members of a given cohort will take the same set of three electives. Issues relevant to each cohort will determine the choice of electives. Electives will be selected by the public sector agency that is partnering with CSUN to make the cohort available to its employees in collaboration with the PSM director. In some instances, the PSM director, in collaboration with the PSM advisory group, may determine cohort electives or, less frequently, the cohort participants themselves may select the elective package during the first term. Elective courses will articulate with the program’s core coursework and, together with the core coursework, help lay the foundation for the final two courses in the program: namely, the field assignments and internship.

Elective Courses (15 Units)

Possible clusters of electives that might be used for a given cohort based on professional focus are listed below.

Managing in Diverse State and Local Governments
  • COMS 321 Rhetorical Discourse (3)
  • POLS 403 State and Local Governments (3)
  • SOC 350 Population Dynamics (3)
Public Policy in Urban Context
  • POLS 380 Los Angeles: Past
  • Present
  • Future (3)
  • POLS 404 Urban Politics (3)
  • URBS 430 Urban Administrative Systems (3)
Influences, Externalities and Making Policy
  • POLS 403 State and Local Governments (3)
  • POLS 441 Interest Groups (3)
  • POLS 443 The Legislative Process (3)
Policy Formulation and Implementation in Different Contexts
  • POLS 458 Administrative Law (3)
  • POLS 463 Public Personnel Administration (3)
  • POLS 464 Comparative Public Policy (3)
Work, Organizations, and Human Resources
  • COMS 321 Rhetorical Discourse (3)
  • SOC 400 Organizational Analysis (3)
  • SOC 325 Sex Roles and Work (3)
Working in a Diverse Environment
  • URBS 420 Urban Behavior Systems (3)
  • SOC 305 Culture and Personality (3)
  • SOC 390 Race Relations (3)

Additional Electives

  • SOC 340 Sociology of Work (3)
  • SOC 355 Criminology (3)
  • SOC 401 Class
  • Status
  • and Power (3)
  • SOC 410 Urban Sociology (3)
  • SOC 418 Women and Crime (3)
  • SOC 440 Sociology of Aging (3)
  • SOC 474 Corrections (3)
  • Total Units in the Major
  • 60
  • General Education Units
  • 48
  • Additional Units
  • 12
  • Total Units Required for a B.A. Degree
  • 120