School of Political Science and Public Administration



Blue Sky University’s School of Political Science and Public Administration shelters two dynamic programs of study: political science and public administration. These disciplines are diverse in subject matter and methodologies, appealing to the abstract thinker as well as the practical person, to those who wish to pursue careers in government or the nonprofit sector, and to those who seek careers in law or the private sector. Our Political science program studies the structure, operation and policies of governments, as well as the manner in which communities make demands on governments through political parties, elections, interest group advocacy and public opinion outlets. Political science seeks to understand how communities manage conflict, seek various forms of justice and make collective decisions for the public good.

At B-SkyU, political science majors study national governments, state and local governments; the politics of other countries; international relationships between national governments and nongovernmental organizations; classical theories of politics from Plato to Marx and beyond; and how to apply analytical skills to practical political issues. The Public administration aspect of the School focuses on how governments at all levels are organized, how public officials are hired and function, how public policies are created and administered, and the practical skills applicable to public service careers.

How are public policies created and implemented? What are the responsibilities and limitations of governments, service agencies and other organizations dedicated to pursuing the public good? How are non-profit organizations impacting public policy? Our public administration majors explore these questions and others that have a profound bearing on the shape of modern society. Public administration is the study of the ideas, individuals and institutions engaged in drafting and implementing public policies and administering public organizations. You will examine how governments are organized, what roles public officials play, how groups and governmental agencies formulate and administer policies, and how various influences and political forces affect those policies.

B-SkyU’s School of Political Science and Public Administration offers a dynamic approach to the study of public administration. You will explore the issues, skills and theories that shape political and public service through a combination of coursework, research projects, role-playing simulations, service learning projects, community-based research, seminars and internships. At B-SkyU, we are deeply concerned about teaching as well as research, and we offer a quality education with a high degree of interaction among faculty and students. We are committed to challenging students in the classroom and to providing a “cutting-edge” education. As a result, our students are often involved in real-world projects—working with faculty in the Earl Survey Research Lab, assisting with Center for Public Service projects, or by providing a public service to community organizations through service learning projects.

Mission Statement

The B-SkyU School of Political Science and Public Administration’s Mission is “to serve the global, national, state and local community by providing teaching, research, and service.” Specifically,

  • In its teaching mission, the School is committed to the liberal arts mission of the university and strives to develop students’ communication skills and critical and independent thinking. It also provides professional education to prepare students to assume leadership positions in the public, non-profit, and private spheres because of their understanding of the roles and responsibilities of public service. B-SkyU’s School of Political Science and Public Administration stresses to students the importance of civic involvement and an understanding of democratic processes and outcomes;
  • In its research mission, the School produces basic research to understand the functioning of the public sector, the role of citizens, and the relationship between the public and private sectors in society. It also produces applied research that contributes to the efficient and effective functioning of the public sector for the improvement of society;
  • In its service mission, the School is committed to contributing to the governance and functioning of the university and using its expertise to benefit the broader communities at the local, state, national, and international levels. The B-SkyU’s School of Political Science and Public Administration also serves its professional community by being active in national and international professional organizations and participating in continuing education activities sponsored by those organizations.

Our Programs

The School of Political Science and Public Administration at Blue Sky University offers the following degree and certificate programs.

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science: The Bachelors of Arts in Political Science curriculum is designed to provide students with a solid foundation and broad understanding of the discipline of political science and allow them to specialize in areas of particular substantive interest. Political science provides excellent instruction for students interested in politics, law, journalism, teaching, or civil service. Insight into political values, domestic policy issues, and foreign policy are invaluable for students interested in such careers as well as for careers in business.

Bachelor of Arts – Master of Arts in Political Science: Undergraduate political science majors may apply for admission to the political science Master of Arts (M.A.) program during their junior year of study. If accepted, they will begin taking some graduate courses during their senior year. This will cut approximately one semester off the normal time required to complete both degrees.

Master of Arts in Political Science: The Political Science MA program at B-SkyU provides selected students an opportunity to expand their background in one or more fields of political science that may be relevant to their career goals. It also provides a sound preparation for students who expect to transfer to another institution to study toward a Ph.D. in political science. Students may follow one of two tracks toward completion of their MA degrees: the Thesis Track or the Comprehensive Exam Track.

Master of Public Administration: The Master of Public Administration (MPA) provides professional knowledge and skills-based competence for working public administrators or students seeking a career as a manager or policy analyst in public or nonprofit agencies. Recipients of our degree enter the job market equipped with general public management skills and a specialization in a particular public sector or policy area such as non-profit management, fiscal administration, health administration, and health policy among others. The MPA is conferred and administered by the Department of Political Science in conjunction with the Center for Public Service.

Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science: The Political Science Ph.D. program at B-SkyU is designed to produce capable and active research scholars. Its emphasis is on preparing talented individuals for faculty careers at major, research-oriented, academic institutions. We welcome as well applicants whose career interests may lean to either non-academic settings, or academic institutions stressing teaching, but our preparation of, and standards for, of all graduate students are the same. It takes a competent research scholar to maintain currency in the field and thus provide their students or employers with the best contemporary information the discipline has to offer.

Undergraduate Certificate in Political Science: The Undergraduate Certificate in Political Science is an interdisciplinary program that provides students with knowledge of the policy process and the methodological skills for analyzing policy problems and programs. Students interested in policy issues, acquiring a set of analytical and methodological tools for evaluating policies, or seeking a policy-related job in the public or private sector will benefit from this program.

Certificate in Non Profit and Voluntary Sector Management: B-SkyU’s School of Political Science and Public Administration has created this distinctive, interdisciplinary certificate program in response to a growing demand for education that focuses on the specialized needs of the sector. This program is a leading undergraduate university certificate program in nonprofit sector management in.

Graduate Certificate in Strategic Studies: The B-SkyU School of Political Science and Public Administration’s Graduate Certificate in Strategic Studies program offers students graduate coursework opportunities in strategic studies. Students are encouraged to develop frameworks for understanding the leading challenges in strategy and security policy. This certificate program is suitable for students wishing to pursue careers in security, defense and foreign policy; intelligence; journalism; international organizations and related fields.

Master of Public Administration / Master of Arts in Economics: The School of Political Science and Public Administration and the School of Economics at Blue Sky University have teamed up to offer this dual degree program leading to the Master of Public Administration and Master of Arts in Economics degrees. The program is designed primarily for students who wish to complement their administrative skills with knowledge of economics. The dual M.P. A.– M.A. in Economics degree program will be particularly helpful to students intending to specialize in areas such as fiscal administration, health administration, and policy analysis.

Master of Public Administration / Doctor of Jurisprudence: The School of Political Science and Public Administration, in association with the School of Law, offers a program
which enables the student to earn both the J.D. and M.P.A. degrees in approximately four years of full-time study.

The Learning Experience

At Blue Sky University School of Political Science and Public Administration we know that the experience students have during studies impact their learning. Our Student-centered teaching methods shift the focus of activity from the teacher to the learners. These methods include:

  • active learning, in which students solve problems, answer questions, formulate questions of their own, discuss, explain, debate, or brainstorm during class;
  • cooperative learning, in which students work in teams on problems and projects under conditions that assure both positive interdependence and individual accountability; and
  • inductive teaching and learning, in which students are first presented with challenges (questions or problems) and learn the course material in the context of addressing the challenges. Inductive methods include inquiry-based learning, case-based instruction, problem-based learning, project-based learning, discovery learning, and just-in-time teaching.

Student-centered methods have repeatedly been shown to be superior to the traditional teacher-centered approach to instruction, a conclusion that applies whether the assessed outcome is short-term mastery, long-term retention, or depth of understanding of course material, acquisition of critical thinking or creative problem-solving skills, formation of positive attitudes toward the subject being taught, or level of confidence in knowledge or skills. To encourage learning and enhance the learning experience, B-SkyU’s School of Political Science and Public Administration offers students:

Flexible curriculum: B-SkyU’s School of Political Science and Public Administration provides public administration majors with a well-balanced foundation that allows you to explore your interests within the broad reach of the field, and also offers flexibility to pursue a second major or a minor. Students learn the basic principles of public and non-profit organizations, decision making, the relationships between the branches of government, public policy and policy analysis, program evaluation, and state and local government. Then you will build upon that foundation through a range of elective courses from a variety of disciplines, including economics, business, political science and others. The senior capstone course is a seminar that directs your skills and knowledge toward an original research project in which you work with public sector practitioners to evaluate public policies and programs.

Active, Diverse Faculty: At B-SkyU’s School of Political Science and Public Administration you will learn from and with dynamic professors who have a wealth of professional experience, academic expertise and a range of interests and research specialties.

Research, Experiential Learning and Internships: Public administration majors enhance their classroom education by pursuing original research projects, both individually and with other students and faculty. Students conduct and publish research on the effectiveness of public policies and programs, citizen satisfaction surveys with local government services and how public agencies handle natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. In the capstone senior seminar, students prepare and present a work of original scholarship.

Public administration students apply the latest technological resources in gathering and analyzing research data, including SPSS software to generate advanced statistical correlations, geographical information systems (GIS) software to analyze public policy and planning issues, and sophisticated public opinion polling software as part of their studies. They also participate in a variety of applied learning settings on and off campus. On-campus simulations allow to study how local governments function and then apply that understanding during role-playing activities in which students assume the roles of city council members, planning commissioners, business leaders, citizens groups and the media.

Most public administration majors balance their coursework with real-world experience through service learning opportunities and internships, where they work with professionals in the field. B-SkyU School of Political Science and Public Administration students complete internships with a variety of nonprofit, business, governmental and legal organizations.

Study Abroad and Special Opportunities: Many public administration majors participate in B-SkyU’s extensive network of study abroad programs.

After Graduation: B-SkyU’s public administration curriculum and experiential learning opportunities prepare students to continue their studies in graduate school or to move on to successful careers in a range of fields. Many students move directly into government, law, education, policy advocacy, business and non-profit organizations. Other students frequently enter graduate programs in public administration and others pursue graduate study in law, health administration, emergency management and GIS, and other disciplines.

 

Careers in Political Science and Public Administration

There are many opportunities for those with a political science or public administration. Here are some of the occupational possibilities:

The Legal Profession

The political science major or minor is a good option for those considering law school and a career as a lawyer. Within the School of Political Science and Public Administration we find a curriculum consisting of a number of legal studies courses which serve as a foundation for political science and public administration majors. A law background is valuable in many occupations. Many elected officials are lawyers. Businesses and governments alike employ thousands of lawyers. There has also been a dramatic growth in the number of people employed as paralegals or legal assistants. They must also have a background in legal studies and legal research.

Obviously, one primary occupational option is a career in government. Government is a major employer and within government there are vast numbers of jobs. In the U.S. the federal government currently employs approximately 3 million, state governments employ approximately 4.5 million, and local governments an addition 3.5 million. Some government jobs require people with specialized training, but many are open to students with a liberal arts background or education. The political science major or minor is designed to provide students with the educational background important to a large variety of government jobs in all areas of society – law, education, business, recreation, diplomacy, international organization, etc. The public administration major and minor is specifically designed to prepare students for careers as government executives or city managers.

Diplomacy and International Affairs

The political science major or minor is also designed to prepare students seeking careers in diplomacy and international affairs. This can include diplomats and consuls, intelligence, the military, governmental and non-governmental international organizations. There are now some 8,000 non-governmental international organizations embracing all kinds of occupations and careers. Besides the United Nations itself, we find a host of specialized agencies. Within the U.S. government, we find international jobs in most cabinet departments including Justice, Treasury, Commerce, and Agriculture in addition to the Departments of State and Defense. Even state and local governments have an international dimension in the form of sister communities and trade missions abroad.

Business

Many, if not most, political science graduates become employed in the private as opposed to the public sector. While some business occupations require specialized training, many do not. A political science degree is of considerable value to business employers seeking good students. Many employers seek to hire liberal studies students with a broad education and then train them for specific jobs. The political science major or minor is valuable as business needs people knowledgeable about government, law, public policy, and the political process. In addition, the public administration major and minor includes specialized courses in economics, accounting and upper division electives in the college of business administration.

Education

Public and private schools at all levels need teachers with backgrounds in political science. Elementary and secondary schools need social studies teachers and many U.S. states now require elementary and secondary teachers to have courses in American government and politics. Two and four year colleges and universities need teachers to teach political science and public administration.

Journalism and Mass Media

Many careers in print and broadcast media require backgrounds in political science and public administration. Reporters covering politics and government, broadcasters of news and news specials, and experts on laws regulating the broadcast media are a few examples of careers in journalism and mass media where political science majors and minors can find jobs. News departments are among the largest departments at radio and TV stations. News services such as Reuters, UPI (United Press International), and AP (Associated Press) need people knowledgeable in government and politics, both domestic and international.

Politics

A political science and/or public administration major is valuable for those seeking political careers. These include running for elective office whether it be a city council, local school board, the state legislature, governor, the U.S. Congress, or President. But we can also include a large number of other political careers. For example: legislative aides, lobbyists for interest groups, campaign workers and organizers.

Research and Consulting

Political scientists possess the kind of skills and background necessary for research and consulting work. There are now many firms that provide research and consulting expertise on a contract basis to business and governments. A background in government and public policy is a significant plus and those in public administration can find opportunities to provide consulting expertise to local governments.

Special Interest Groups, Professional Associations, and Non-Profit Organizations

There are now some 14,000 special interest groups and associations. Virtually all have a government affairs department or staff whose job is to represent the group before the government (to lobby), gather data and do research, and influence public policy. Some special interest groups and associations are tied to business, others to labor, environment, education, and medicine. In addition, the role of non-profit organizations (from the Red Cross to the Girl or Boy Scouts to the United Way) has greatly increased in recent years with over one million non-profit organizations in the United States alone.

Overall, there are many different kinds of job opportunities and occupations open to political science and public administration majors and minors. What counts most is the liberal studies background and training of the political science and/or public administration major and minor. Political science and public administration majors and minors compete very favorably with other liberal studies majors and minors and the political science/public administration major/minor is great preparation for law and graduate school programs.

Whether your motivation for advancing your education is personal, professional or a combination of both, Blue Sky University is ready to support you. Contact the Office of Admissions today (admissions@bluesky-u.com) for details on how our Political Science and Public Administration programs can satisfy your academic, personal or professional needs. Also, be sure and ask about our scholarship opportunities that are reserved exclusively for students in the School of Political Science and Public Administration.

Programs offered by School of Political Science and Public Administration

Degree Programs

Eligibility Criteria

Associate Degree (A.Sc.) Minimum high school or equiv.
Associate-to-Bachelor’s Degree (B.Sc..) Associate degree, or equir. international education
Bachelor’s Degree (B.Sc.) Minimum high school or equiv.
Masters Degree (M.Sc.) Minimum Bachelor’s or equiv.
Doctorate Degree (Ph.D.) Minimum Master’s or equiv.

 

Diploma Programs

Eligibility Criteria

Undergraduate Diploma Minimum high school or equiv.
Graduate Diploma Minimum high school or equiv.

 

Certificate Programs

Eligibility Criteria

Undergraduate Course Certificate Minimum high school or equiv.
Graduate Course Certificate Minimum high school or equiv.
Undergraduate Certificate Minimum high school or equiv.
Graduate Certificate Minimum high school or equiv.
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