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Department of Public Administration

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Undergraduate Programs - Course Descriptions

PAA 100 Introduction to Public Administration

Origin and development of public administration as a discipline and profession. Citizen and the administrative state; rise of professionalism; growth of executive branch in federal government and the states. Public service within an environment of democratic, legal, ethical, political, and economic considerations. Cr. 3.

PAA 200 Public Management

An introduction to fundamental issues that underlie the field of government and nonprofit management. Topics include a history of the discipline, federalism, ethics in public service, leadership, strategic management, human resources and public budgeting. Cr. 3.

PAA 220 Introduction to Public Policy

Provides students with a basic understanding of the U.S. public policy process. Models of policy agenda setting, adoption, implementation and evaluation are considered with reference to specific substantive policy areas such as economic, energy, environmental, intergovernmental, social welfare, health and civil rights policy. Cr. 3.

PAA 233 American City

Urban environment and demographic change; interest groups and governing bodies; local legislative and executive leadership. Political forms and policies impacted by such trends as immigration, urbanization, race and ethnicity, suburbanization and metropolitan growth. Cr. 3.

PAA 315 Statistics in Public Administration

Introduces the student to the statistical procedures and computer skills that are used in policy and management settings. Covers descriptive statistics, measure of central tendency, measure of association and analysis of variance. Topics are presented with related computer techniques. Prerequisites: PAA 200 and COS 103. Cr. 3.

PAA 327 Environmental Policy, Management and Regulation

An introduction to environmental policy and management in the United States to include a review of environmental ethics; major substantive areas of air, water, land and hazardous waste policy; the political dynamics that frame environmental policy making at the federal, state, and local levels of government; and the management issues arising in the implementation of environmental policy within the intergovernmental context. Prerequisite: PAA 200 or permission. Cr. 3.

PAA 340 Public Financial Management

Examines the various public financial management techniques used by all levels of government. Specific emphasis on understanding budgets and the budget process; capital budgeting; cash and debt management; accounting; and auditing. Prerequisite: PAA 200 or permission. Cr. 3.

PAA 350 Human Resources in Public Service

Compares modern techniques for effective personnel management with customary practices in the public, nonprofit and health sectors. Covers major laws that affect human resources such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Civil Rights Act. Students complete a personnel project for a public service agency. Prerequisite: PAA 200 or permission. Cr. 3.

PAA 370 Local Government Administration

An analysis of the formation and implementations of policies at the local level. Municipal management concerns with human and financial resources, city and town planning and service delivery. In-depth cases are utilized throughout. Prerequisite: PAA 233 or PAA 200. Cr. 3.

PAA 380 Police and the Community

Covers police administrative practices including leadership, organization, management and human resources. Controversies and issues such as under-enforcement, brutality, impact of technology, training, hiring and performance assessment, liability, community policing, crime and domestic violence. Best practices in municipal, county and state settings. Cr. 3.

PAA 390 Technical Writing and Communication in Public Service

Develops writing skills applied to public, nonprofit and health organizations. Students write memos, new releases, reports and position papers (multiple submissions required). Features communication skills to convey results and ideas. Covers use of references. Prerequisite: PAA 200 or permission. Cr. 3.

PAA 400 Issues in Public Administration

An examination of basic issues in public administration. Case studies in such areas as public policy implementation and public management at the international, national, state, sub-state, and local levels in public and non-profit organizations. Prerequisite: PAA 200 or permission. Cr. 3.

PAA 405 Administrative Law

Introduces students to the legal/constitutional issues arising from the relationship between public administrative agencies, legislative bodies and the courts. Through a review of significant court cases the course explores issues concerning the separation of powers and delegation, sovereign immunity and the scope and limits of administrative discretion in administrative rule making. Prerequisite: PAA 200. Cr. 3.

PAA 409 Accounting for Governmental and Not-For-Profit Entities

Financial accounting for not-for-profit and government entities and hospitals, voluntary health and welfare organizations. Includes fund accounting. GASB statements. (This course is identical to BUA 409. Students cannot receive credit for both PAA 409 and BUA 409.) Prerequisites: BUA 201 and junior standing. CR 3.

PAA 410 Local Government Law

Fundamentals of law relating to local government, viewed from the perspective of the public administrator. Prerequisite: PAA 200. Cr. 3.

PAA 425 Health Care System Management

Health care is a constantly changing field. Examines the development of the public/nonprofit/for-profit health care delivery system in the United States. Examines current administrative practices in areas such as governance and organization, planning and marketing, human resources, facility management in mental health and hospital administration and ethics. Prerequisite: PAA 200 or permission. Cr. 3.

PAA 430 Organizational Change in Public Service

How do public service organizational become more efficient, effective and innovative to meet customer and citizen needs? Examine improvement methods such as flattening the organizational structure, teamwork, quality management, performance management, budgeting, and re-engineering. Covers the role of leadership in transforming the culture to create high performance organizations. Cr. 3.

PAA 455 Nonprofit Management

Examines policy and management aspects of nonprofit organizations. Includes nonprofit environment, organizational roles and processes, interagency relationships, problems of change, leadership, strategic planning, board-staff relationships, fundraising, human resources and volunteer development. Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing or permission. Cr. 3.

PAA 493 Public Administration Internship

Professional experience in state government, non-profit agency, healthcare agency, etc. Some opportunities exist through the Maine State Government Internship Program. Open to selected students. Reports and readings required. No more than six credits of internship or field experience may be taken during a semester. No more than six credits may be used toward the departmental major and no more than 12 credits may be used toward graduation. Cr. Ar.

PAA 495 Municipal Government Internship

Professional experience in local government. Reports and readings required. Major within the department may not receive more than a total of 12 credit hours toward graduation for any combination of internships and field experiences and not more than 6 credit hours may be used toward the departmental major. Cr. Ar.

INT 494 (Sec. 01) Field Experience

Enables a student to participate in a political or governmental organization. Readings and reports required. Six credit hour maximum for any single field experience registration. Major within the department may not receive more than a total of 12 credit hours toward graduation for any combination of internships and field experience, and not more than 6 credit hours may be used toward the department major. Prerequisites: Jr. or Sr. Cr. Ar.

PAA 498 Independent Readings in Public Administration

Prerequisite: Permission. Cr. Ar.

500-level courses may be appropriate in select cases.

Senior status, 3.2 grade point average and permission of instructor. See list of Graduate Courses in Public Administration

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Contact Information

Department of Public Administration
5723 DP Corbett Business Building, Room 209
Orono, ME 04469
Phone: (207) 581-1973 | Fax: (207) 581-1930E-mail:
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469