Public Administration Major - Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Public administration helps prepare students for careers in nonprofit and governmental agencies by studying how these entities operate on a day-to-day basis. A course of study in public administration encompasses what government does and how it does it. Careers in public administration focus on the development and implementation of policies at the governmental and non-profit areas. The study of public administration includes a variety of specialized subfields, including: public policy; public budgeting & finance; personnel management & ethics; nonprofit administration; urban planning; and program assessment & evaluation.

(All colleges)

33 credits

Public administration core:
POL 101American National Government3
or POL 102 State and Local Government
PUB 210Contemporary Issues in Government3
PUB 320Public Budgeting and Finance3
PUB 330Public Policy3
PUB 340Public Personnel Law and Administration3
POL 261Political Inquiry and Analysis3
or POL 361 Research Methods in Politics and Government
POL 494Capstone Seminar in Politics and Government3
Public administration electives:
Select nine credits from the following:9
Urban Policy
Health Policy
Environmental Policy
Local Government Administration
Ethical Decision Making in Government
Special Topics in Public Administration
Recent Court Decisions Impacting Public Law and Administration
Internship in Public Administration
Civic Engagement and the Wisconsin Idea
Nonprofit Organizations
Leadership and Engagement
American Foreign Policy
Constitutional Law VII: Administrative Law
Other electives:
Select an additional three credits of electives from any course listed above not used to satisfy the above requirements, or from the list of other courses (see list below).3
Total Credits33

Double majors in political science and public administration may only count POL 261POL 361, and POL 494 toward the completion of both majors.

Other elective courses

ECO 110Microeconomics and Public Policy3
ECO 310Managerial Economics3
ECO 319Public Sector Economics3
ECO 321Modern Political Economy3
ECO 350Health Economics3
ECO 400Monetary Theory and Policy3
ENG 307Writing for Management, Public Relations and the Professions3
ENG 314Grant Writing3
GEO 307Power, Space, and Global Change3
GEO 309Cities: Past, Present, and Future3
HIS 320Introduction to Public and Policy History3
HIS 322Public Education in Wisconsin and America3
MGT 308Organizational Behavior3
POL 301American Presidency3
POL 302Legislative Process3
POL 450Internship in Political Science1-12
POL 451Internship in Criminal Justice3
POL 498Honors Research in Politics and Government3
PSY 241Social Psychology3
PSY 343Group Dynamics3
PSY 376Industrial/Organizational Psychology3
RGS 374Poverty as Public Policy3
SOC 311Rural and Urban Communities3

All students must complete the general education, college core, major/minor, and university degree requirements in order to qualify for a degree. The easiest way to track all of these requirements is to refer to the Advisement Report (AR) found in the Student Information System (WINGS) Student Center. All enrolled students have access to the AR. 

College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities (CASSH/VPA) Bachelor of Arts core requirements

The CASSH core provides opportunities for students to deepen their knowledge by taking courses in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and/or sciences beyond the requirements of general education. Students may select from courses offered by the full range of academic departments within the college according to their interests. The college core allows students to build their critical thinking, communication, problem solving, teamwork, and global competencies through in-depth exploration of topics of their choosing.

The following conditions apply to one or both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees:

  1. Students majoring in English (writing and rhetoric or literary and cultural studies emphases) or in the department of global cultures and languages must earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. Education majors earn a Bachelor of Science degree; English major: medical professions emphasis majors may earn a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree.
  2. Students majoring in other CASSH programs may choose either a B.A. or a B.S. degree.
  3. Language courses (ARA, CHI, FRE, GCL, GER, HMG, JPN, RUS, SPA) used to fulfill the general education requirement: "Mathematical/logical systems and modern languages" (GE 02, category 2) may also be used to meet the B.A. and B.S. language requirements.
  4. At least one course in the degree must be a CASSH designated diversity course.
  5. All other courses used to meet the requirements below must be in addition to the minimum 42 credits required in the General Education Program.
  6. Applicable courses may be found on the CASSH B.A./B.S. Degree Option Course List or in the Advisement Report (AR) when the degree has been declared.

Courses used to fulfill general education requirements will not apply to core requirements except for language courses (ARA, CHI, FRE, GCL, GER, HMG, JPN, RUS, SPA) that count in the general education requirement: "Mathematical/logical systems and modern languages" (GE 02, category 2).

Bachelor of Arts students declare one of the following tracks online via the CASSH website:

A. Language track
  1. Native speakers of English complete:
    Select one of the following:
    Intermediate Arabic II
    Chinese Language and Culture in Action II
    French Language and Cultures in Action II
    Intermediate Languages II
    German Language and Cultures in Action II
    Hmong Heritage Language: Intermediate
    Hmong Heritage Language: Advanced
    Intermediate Japanese II
    Russian Language and Cultures in Action II
    Spanish Language and Cultures in Action II
    Introduction to Spanish for the Health Professions
    Non-native speakers of English: provide English proficiency evidence acceptable for admission to UWL as a degree seeking student.
  2. Two additional courses outside of the student's major in two of the following: humanities, social sciences or fine arts.
B. Humanities track
  1. One global language course 102 or higher; and
  2. Two additional courses outside the department of the student's major from two different departments chosen from: communication studies, English, history, philosophy and race, gender, and sexuality studies (see the Advisement Report (AR) for a listing of the approved courses); and
  3. One additional course in social sciences or fine arts.
C. Fine arts track
  1. One global language course 102 or higher; and
  2. Two additional courses outside the department of the student's major from two different departments chosen from: art, music, theatre; and
  3. One additional course in social sciences or humanities.
In addition to all other College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities core requirements, all students in CASSH must complete a second major, minor, or individualized option by satisfying one of the following:
  1. Complete a minor (or two certificates with at least 12 combined credits at the 300/400 level or a second major) outside of the student's major program, consisting of at least 18 credits; or
  2. Complete an emphasis, program or concentration of at least 18 credits outside the student's major program. General education courses may apply provided they are not being used to fulfill minimum general education requirements; or
  3. Complete an individualized option, consisting of 18 credits. At least 12 credits must be earned at the 300/400 level outside the major department. The remaining six credits may consist of:

    1. 100 level or higher courses outside the major (general education courses may apply provided they are not being used to fulfill minimum general education requirements); or

    2. 300/400 level courses inside the major department not being used to fulfill major requirements.

Baccalaureate degree requirements

Candidates for the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science degrees must accomplish the following:

  1. Fulfill the general education requirements.
  2. Complete at least one ethnic studies (diversity) course.
  3. Complete the courses prescribed by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee for the degree desired in the respective school or college.
  4. Earn a minimum of 120 semester credits with at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA.1, 2
  5. At least 40 credits must be earned in 300/400 level courses. Transfer courses earned or transferred at the 300/400 level apply to this requirement.
  6. Complete major and minor requirements with at least a 2.00 GPA1, 2 in each major and minor (and concentration or emphasis, if selected).
  7. A minimum of 30 semester credits in residence at UWL is required for graduation. (See undergraduate resident requirement.)
  8. Submit an application for graduation via the "Apply for Graduation" link in the WINGS Student Center as soon as the student has registered for his or her final semester or summer term in residence. December and winter intersession graduates should apply by May 1. May and summer graduates should apply by December 1.

Grade point average requirements for some programs will be considerably higher than 2.00. Re-entering students may be required to earn credits in excess of the 120 needed for graduation in any curriculum in order to replace credits earned in courses in which the content has changed substantially in recent years. Each case will be judged on its own merit.


The grade point average recorded at the time the degree is awarded will not be affected by future enrollment.

No degree will be awarded unless all requirements are fulfilled and recorded within 30 days after the official ending date of each term.

Below is a sample degree plan that can be used as a guide to identify courses required to fulfill the major and other requirements needed for degree completion. A student's actual degree plan may differ depending on the course of study selected (second major, minor, etc.). Also, this sample plan assumes readiness for each course and/or major plan, and some courses may not be offered every term. Review the course descriptions or the class timetable for course offering information.

The sample degree plans represented in this catalog are intended for first-year students entering UWL in the fall term. Students should use the Advisement Report (AR) in WINGS and work closely with their faculty advisor(s) and college dean’s office to ensure declaration and completion of all requirements in a timely manner.

General Education Program
The general education curriculum (Gen Ed) is the common educational experience for all undergraduates at UWL. Sample degree plans include Gen Ed placeholders to ensure completion of the general education requirements. Courses may be rearranged to fit the needs or recommendations of the student’s program of study. Gen Ed courses may be taken during winter term (January between the semesters) and summer to reduce the course load during regular terms (fall and spring). Students should consult with their advisor and/or the college academic services director in their college/school for assistance with course and schedule planning. Refer to the general education requirements for more specific details.

At least 40 credits of the 120 credits required must be earned at the 300/400-level. 

Note: New students and transfer students with less than 12 credits earned are required to take FYS 100 First-Year Seminar (3 cr.) during one of their first two semesters at UWL.

This sample degree plan does not establish a contractual agreement. It identifies the minimum requirements a student must successfully complete, to qualify for a degree, in a format intended to assist the student in planning their academic career. Actual degree plans may differ.

Year 1
POL 101 or 102 (Gen Ed Self & Society)3PUB 2103
Gen Ed World History3FYS 100 (Gen Ed First-Year Seminar)3
CST 110 (Gen Ed Literacy - Oral)3ENG 110 or 112 (Gen Ed Literacy - Written)3
Gen Ed Math (STAT 145 recommended)4Gen Ed Natural Lab Science4
Gen Ed Arts2-3 
 16 13
Year 2
POL 261 or 36113PUB 3303
Gen Ed Arts2-3Gen Ed Humanistic Studies3
102+ Level Gen Ed/CASSH Core Language24Gen Ed Minority Cultures3
Gen Ed Global Studies3Minor Course3
Gen Ed Health & Well-Being3CASSH Core Course3
 16 15
Year 3
PUB 3203PUB Elective (300/400 level)3
PUB 3403PUB Elective (300/400 level)3
Minor Course 3Minor Course3
Minor Course3CASSH Core Course3
CASSH Core Course3University Elective3
 15 15
Year 4
PUB Elective (PUB 450 recommended)3POL 4943
PUB Elective3PUB Elective3
CASSH Core Diversity Course3Minor Course3
Minor Course 3University Elective3
University Elective3University Elective3
 15 15
Total Credits: 120

Public administration majors have the option of taking POL 261 or POL 361; however, students considering graduate school are encouraged to take both.


CASSH Core Humanities and Fine Arts Tracks require 102+ level language. CASSH Core Language Track requires 202 level language. Students unprepared for 202 level will need to complete prerequisite course work.