Public and Environmental Affairs


Majors and Minors

Public Administration

The Public Administration major is a broad-based, interdisciplinary, social science major. It is designed to prepare students for a variety of challenging careers in public and nonprofit organizations, as well as for further study in a variety of graduate programs.

The major in public administration consists of three sets of requirements: required supporting courses, upper-level core courses, and elective courses in several areas of specialization such as institutions and organizational behavior, analytical methods, and public policy.

There are two emphases which majors can choose-- Public Management and Policy and Nonprofit Management. The Public Management and Policy emphasis focuses on issue of public sector management and the development and implementation, methods of policy analysis, and political, administrative, legal, and economic issues in environmental policy. The Nonprofit Management emphasis was recently created for those students that want to focus on nonprofit organizations and hope to make a career within this sector of the economy. In addition to the courses listed, student may want to take advantage of the emergency management courses that are currently being offered in the Emergency Management Certificate program offered out of Outreach and Extension. These courses can be substituted into the Public Administration major.

Some minors that compliment this major well are Political Science, Economics, and Business Administration. Students interested in the arts may want to consider the Nonprofit Emphasis along with the Arts Management minor.

Environmental Policy and Planning

Environmental Policy & Planning is an environmental studies program based in the social sciences. Not only does it prepare students for careers related to environmental concerns, but it also provides solid preparation for graduate work in environmental studies, public policy, public administration, law, urban and regional planning, and related fields.

There are two program emphases which majors can choose from. They are Public Policy and Planning.

The Public Policy emphasis focuses on environmental policy development and implementation, methods of policy analysis, and political, administrative, legal, and economic issues in environmental policy.The Planning emphasis focuses on planning theory and methods, geographic information systems, environmental impact analysis, land use, and economic issues in environmental policy and planning. Students interested in developing skills in the planning and development of land at the community and regional levels, and in the economic issues of environmental policy and planning, may want to select this emphasis.

Urban Studies

Urban Studies develops individuals who want to make a difference in their community: a difference in what happens to older neighborhoods in transition; a difference in what happens as new suburban communities are planned and built; and a difference in the lives and well-being of persons across metropolitan and rural regions. URS offers undergraduates an opportunity to become familiar with concepts that will be useful whether they become community organizers, lawyers, city or regional planners, architects, teachers, economic development specialists, journalists, social workers, city managers, or enter careers in business. Students are offered introductory and advanced coursework in many of the social science disciplines that contribute to the field of urban studies -- including economics, geography, political science, psychology, and sociology -- as well as specialized coursework such as: urban social problems, urban and regional planning, and the seminar in ethics and public action. We have a number of areas of emphasis within the program, including community development, ethnic studies, and urban and regional planning.