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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: History and Political Science Department
Course Prefix and Number: POSC 311
Course Title: *Public Administration and Policy
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Examination of growth, structure, role, methods, and policy of the national bureaucracy and its role in American government and society. Cross-listed as PADM 311. Prerequisite: POSC 111.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): POSC 111.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered odd Fall.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Any current edition of a public administration text covering all topics in the Topical Outline. Suggested texts are:

Introducing Public Administration
By Shafritz, Russell and Borick (Pearson)
Public Administration: An Action Orientation
By Denhardt, Denhardt and Blank (Cengage)
Public Administration in America
By Milakovich & Gordon (Wadsworth)
Classics of Public Administration
By Shafritz & Hyde (Cengage)
Public Administration: Cases and Concepts
By Stillman (Houghton Mifflin)
Course Objectives
  • To review the evolution of bureaucracy in the United States as well as the rise of the modern bureaucratic state.
  • To explore the relationship between the bureaucracy and the other branches of government.
  • To discover how the bureaucracy has become co-equal to the three Constitutional branches of government.
  • To explore differences between public and private-sector administration.
  • To explore the policy-making role of the American bureaucracy.
  • To review major theoretical explanations for bureaucratic structures, organizations, and processes.
Measurable Learning
  • Explain differences between public and private sector administration.
  • Differentiate between and among various organizational theories and their arguments.
  • Describe civil service systems regarding personnel and the strengths and weaknesses inherent in these systems.
  • Explain how the principle of federalism affects the implementation of government policy.
  • Describe public-sector budgetary systems and the strengths and weaknesses of each, as well as how the national budget is formulated.
  • Describe the organizational structure of the national bureaucracy.
Topical Outline:
  • Study and evolution of public administration
  • Organizational theory
  • Scope and structure of the federal bureaucracy
  • Federalism and intergovernmental relations
  • Personnel administration and management
  • Decision-making
  • Policy-making and implementation of policy
  • Budget making
  • Congressional-agency relations
  • Administrative Law
  • Deregulation

Recommended maximum class size for this course: 30

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: David Roebuck Date: August 5, 2014
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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