Why earn your Bachelor of Public Administration at Washburn?

If you know you want to work as a civic professional, in a government or non-profit setting, the bachelor of public administration will give you the strong foundation you need in government, economics, administration, and management.

If you minor in human services, you can concurrently earn a Certificate of Nonprofit Management with your degree. Because Washburn’s Political Science and Public Administration Department and its Human Services Department are well respected community partners, you’ll have opportunities for internships and other specialized experiences only available here.

Career Forecast Growing OutlookAverage Salary $126,930 depending on field and degreeon campus

What is Public Administration?

Public administration focuses on the formation and management of public agencies, both government and non-profit/NGO. Public administration studies focus on issues such as public resources distribution, accountability, and organizational management. Public administration careers exist at every level of government and throughout the non-profit sector. 

A woman smiles while wearing a blazer over her Washburn shirt.

What sets Public Administration at Washburn apart?

  • Washburn Public Administration students are sought out for internships and other opportunities because of their knowledge and skill.
  • This carefully designed program gives you exposure to the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, and School of Applied Studies. You’ll graduate with a strong foundation for your professional network.
  • Scholarships are available for incoming and returning students.
  • Study abroad with the department to explore government structure, comparative politics, and more. International study-specific scholarships are available through Washburn and the department.

The Bachelor’s in Public Administration (BPA) emphasizes Public and Non-Profit Management. The Bachelor of Public Administration (BPA) degree leads to employment in state or local governments, non-profit agencies, the national government, or certain aspects of business relating to human resources management, government relations or government regulations. The BPA degree requires 24 credit hours of cognate courses 15 of which fulfill general education requirements, and not more than 40 political science and public administration credit hours as described below. The Department is active in seeking internships in public and non-profit agencies for Juniors and Seniors, leading in many cases to full-time employment.

I. Required Courses for the BPA Major (27 to 30 credit hours):

  • PO 107 American State and Local Government
  • PO 245 Intro to Public Administration
    • (sometime within the first 12 credit hours of the major)
  • PO 305 Public Policy
  • PO 307 Internship (3 or 6 credit hours)
  • PO 390 Applied Political Research
  • PO 391 Public Personnel Administration
  • PO 393 Public Budgeting
  • PO 394 Public Management Techniques
  • PO 401 Program Evaluation OR HS 495 Admin. And Eval. Of Human Service Programs
II. PO Electives for the BPA (9 to 12 credit hours): 
  • PO 306 Urban-Metropolitan Government
  • PO 308 Federalism and Public Policies
  • PO 343 Administrative Law
  • PO 346 Special Topics ( 3 to 6 credit hours total)
  • PO 395 Non-Profits Management

III. Non-PO Cognate Courses for the BPA:

Students must take the following courses in the General Education Curriculum: EC 200, EC 201, PY 100, CN 101, and SO 101. These courses also count towards fulfilling the General Education and elective requirements of the University. Students must also take CM 101, AC 224 Financial Accounting, and CN 300 Organizational Communication OR CN 350 Persuasion (Prerequisite CN 101).

The Certificate of Non-Profit Management is offered jointly with the Department of Human Services. The Certificate of Non-Profit Management is valuable for individuals who seek manager positions or advancement into the field of non-profit agencies (United Way, YMCA, etc). The Certificate is offered in three ways: A. Online, B. to any on-campus student with any Major, or C. with fewer required hours as a Major in Public Administration who Minors in Human Services, or a Human Services Major who Minors in Public Administration.

Option A. Available online to working adults in any outlying location by the Internet, or through campus courses (see list of 9 courses in the Option B paragraph immediately below)


Option B. Add to any major or graduate program, with the following courses: HS 100 Orientation to Human Services; HS 446 Legal and Ethical Issues; HS 300 Prevention and Social Change; PO 245 Intro to Public Administration; PO 393 Public Budgeting, or PO 346 Non-Profit Fundraising; PO 395 Non-Profit Management; PO 401Program Evaluation, or HS 495 Research and Evaluation; PO 307/HS 481 Internship 3 to 6 credit hours; HS or PO 300/400 level elective.

Total of 27-30 credit hours (9 courses)

Option C. 6 courses (18 hours). For any Majors in Public Administration who Minor in Human Services, or any Majors in Human Services who Minor in Public Administration, as follows:

Any Human Services Major with this Minor in Public Administration: 

  • PO 245 Intro to Public Administration
  • PO 346 Non-Profit Fundraising
  • PO 391 Public Personnel Administration
  • PO 393 Public Budgeting and Grants
  • PO 394 Public Management Techniques
  • PO 395 Non-Profit Management

Any Public Administration Major with this Minor in Human Services:

  • HS 100 Orientation to Human Services
  • HS 300 Prevention and Social Change
  • HS 325 Group Work
  • HS 323 Service Coordination
  • HS 300/400 Level Elective
  • HS 446 Legal and Ethical Issues in Human Service

Degree Requirements (PDF)

The general minor in Public Administration consists of 18 credits distributed as follows: 9 lower division credits (PO 106, 107, and 245) and 9 upper division credits chosen from the following list (PO 306 or 392, 343 or 391, 393, 394 or 395, 390).

A student cannot major in either political science or public administration and receive a minor in the other area.

Set for Success

CAREER FORECAST: growing outlook

Common internship sites

City government

Non-profit agencies

Kansas Governor’s Office

Student/faculty ratio


Our graduates are respected for

Critical thinking

Professionalism and ethics

Written and oral communication and research skills

GET IN TOUCH WITH Department of Political Science

Department of Political Science
Henderson Learning Resource Center, Room 215
1700 SW College Ave.
Topeka, KS 66621

Phone & Email
Phone: 785.670.1737

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