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BA in Public Administration and Policy

Degree Program Description

The BA in Public Administration and Policy within the Truman School of Government and Public Affairs is an on-campus, online, or hybrid program. The degree will prepare students to think critically about problems facing public and nonprofit institutions, to develop and implement solutions to these problems, and to communicate effectively as future public servants. The curriculum melds the study of public administration, public policy, and communication to prepare students for careers in professional public service. 

Major Program Requirements

Students will need to complete 120 credit hours consisting of College of Arts and Science requirements, University of Missouri general education requirements, University graduation requirements, and the program requirements listed below to confer the degree.

  • A grade of C- or higher is required in all major courses.
  • A 3000-level or higher Writing Intensive course within the major is required*.
  • The major capstone requirement will be met upon successful completion of a 4000-level core course (PUB_AF 4420, POL_SC 4320, or 4000-level COMMUN core course). 
Major Core Curriculum15
PUB_AF 1000Principles of Public Policy Administration3
PUB_AF 4420Program Assessment and Improvement3
POL_SC 4320Public Policy3
Communication Core Courses (6 credit hours from the following courses))6
Organizational Advocacy
Argument and Advocacy
Political Communication
Organizational Communication
Communication Competencies for a Diverse Workplace
Major Elective Courses (15 credit hours minimum; at least 9 credit hours must be PUB_AF courses) ^15
Any PUB_AF 3000-level or higher (9 credit hours minimum)9
Topics in Public Affairs
Early Childhood Policy
Regional and Economic Development Policy
Local Government Management
Social Entrepreneurship
The Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector
BL_STU 4303Black Studies in Race, Class, Gender, and U.S. Policy3
COMMUN 3580Crisis Communication3
COMMUN 4530Health Communication3
ECONOM 3367Law and Economics3
ECONOM 4315Public Economics3
ECONOM 4345Economics of Education3
ECONOM 4357Health Economics3
GEOG 2289Towns in Missouri and the Midwest: Voices and Inequalities3
GEOG 4790Geographic Information Systems for the Social Sciences3
POL_SC 4140Congress and Legislative Policy3
POL_SC 4370Law, Policy, and Regulation3
POL_SC 4390United States Health Politics and Policy3
POL_SC 4940Political Science Internship (Maximum of 3 credit hours allowed)3
SOCIOL 3230Education and Social Inequalities3
SOCIOL 3330Environmental Justice3
SRV_LRN 3028Civic Leaders Internship (Maximum of 3 credit hours allowed)3
WGST 3260 Gender, Law and Justice3

The major Writing Intensive (WI) requirement may be fulfilled by a major core WI course, an approved major elective WI course, or as approved by the department.


Major Elective Coursework (at least 9 credit hours must be from Public Affairs):
Students select elective coursework that fulfills their career goals. The list above is not exhaustive; contact your advisor if you have questions about approved major electives.

Accelerated BA to MPA in Public Affairs

An accelerated program provides students the opportunity to earn both a Bachelors and Masters degree within five years, rather than six years if pursued consecutively. Many students approach their final year of undergraduate coursework well prepared for graduate study.  This accelerated program allows students to complete several courses toward the MPA in Public Affairs program during their final undergraduate semesters. Students then complete the requirements for the MPA with one additional year of coursework. 

Total credits required for graduation must be at least 141 total credit hours:

  • Total undergraduate credit hours: 105
  • Total dual enrollment credit hours: 15 (taken at graduate level)
  • Total graduate credit hours: 21
Fourth Year (Dual Enrollment)15
PUB_AF 8110Introduction to Public and Nonprofit Management3
PUB_AF 8170Public Policy Processes and Strategies3
PUB_AF 8180Research Methods and Inquiry in Public Affairs I3
Graduate Electives 6
Fifth Year (as Graduate Student)21
PUB_AF 8181Research Methods and Inquiry in Public Affairs II3
PUB_AF 8280Public Affairs Internship3
PUB_AF 8210Public Service and Democracy3
PUB_AF 8211MPA Capstone (Applied Project)3
Graduate Electives6
Elective and Specialization Courses15
Public and Nonprofit Management Courses
PUB_AF 7340Regional and Economic Development Policy3
PUB_AF 7540Local Government Management3
PUB_AF 7710The Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector3
PUB_AF 8150Collaborative Governance3
PUB_AF 8160Organizational Dynamics and Leadership3
PUB_AF 8510Public Budgeting and Taxation3
PUB_AF 8520Human Resources Management and Development in Public and Nonprofit Sector3
PUB_AF 8530Strategic Management of Public Service Organizations: People, Information and Money3
PUB_AF 8720Budgeting and Financial Management in the Nonprofit Sector3
Public Policy Courses
PUB_AF 7175Early Childhood Policy3
PUB_AF 7340Regional and Economic Development Policy3
PUB_AF 8171Environmental Policy3
PUB_AF 8190Economic Analysis for Public Affairs3
PUB_AF 8420Public Program Evaluation3
PUB_AF 8430Public Policy Analysis3

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Semester Plan

First Year
PUB_AF 10003MATH 1050, 1100, or STAT 12003
POL_SC 11003Second language I4-6
ENGLSH 10003Humanities 2000+3
Humanities3Social Science (outside of major)3
Behavioral Science3Elective - A&S Diversity3
 15 16-18
Second Year
Major Elective3Major Elective3
Second language II4-6Second language III (if needed)3-4
Biological/Physical/Mathematical Science3Behavioral Science 2000+3
Social Science 2000+ (outside of major)3Humanities3
Elective3Elective Writing Intensive3
 16-18 15-16
Third Year
POL_SC 43203PUB_AF 44203
Biological/Physical Science with Lab2-5Communication Core Course3
Humanities3Biological/Physical/Mathematical Science3
Elective 3Elective3
 14-17 15
Fourth Year
Major Elective 3000+ Writing Intensive3Major Elective3
Communication Core Course3Major Elective3
Elective 3000+3Elective3
 15 15
Total Credits: 121-129

Degree Audit

The degree audit is an automated report reflecting a student’s academic progress toward the completion of a degree. 

MU students can request a degree audit by logging in to myDegreePlanner. Students may also access myDegreePlanner via myZou, in the Student Center, click on the Academic Progress Tile, then select Request Degree Audit. The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress. This is available to current students, admitted students, and those who last attended less than three terms ago.

Past MU students can request a degree audit by contacting the Academic Advising Unit of the division in which they were last enrolled at MU. For contact information, go to https://advising.missouri.edu/contact/.

Prospective students, can access a preliminary MU degree audit via https://www.transferology.com. Information on the college credits already earned will have to be manually entered before it can be evaluated against current degree requirements.

For additional details on degree audits, go to https://registrar.missouri.edu/degrees-audits/degree-audits/.

Major and Career Exploration

The University of Missouri has many resources to assist you in exploring majors and career possibilities. For guidance, visit the Majors and Careers website or view specific resources below.

  • If you are considering a change of major or are exploring multiple majors, schedule an appointment with an advisor in the Discovery Center by calling (573)884-9700 or through MU Connect Discovery Center service in you success network.

  • If you have decided on a major, visit an academic advisor in the School or College that you are interested in to discuss the process of declaring the major

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center. No Appointment is necessary to explore career options with one of our staff members.

For additional major and career exploration resources, visit Major & Career Exploration in the catalog.

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