This is an archive of the 2015-2016 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit

This is an archive of the 2015-2016 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit


Program: B.A., Public Sector Management


The B.A. degree program in Public Sector Management is designed for students who wish to gain an understanding of the policy and management issues of government and nonprofit organizations and their impact on the communities they serve. Students, while being exposed to the political context in which public sector decisions are made, will be given the tools to analyze, develop and implement governmental structures and processes, formulate and effectively present policy and administrative decisions, and understand how to work within the boundaries of available human, fiscal and technological resources. In addition, students will acquire the communication and management skills necessary for success in any career endeavor.

The Multidisciplinary Curriculum

The program is multidisciplinary and draws on a wide array of scholarly resources that are most relevant to the changing need of public sector management in order to offer students the opportunity to develop a comprehensive set of competencies required for success in the public and not-for-profit arenas. The Department of Political Science in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the Department of Communication Studies in the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication, and the Department of Management in the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics offer all core courses in the program. In addition, the Departments of Sociology and Urban Studies and Planning, both in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, offer elective courses, as do the Departments of Political Science and Communication Studies.

Admission to the Program

In order to be admitted to the program, students must have completed 60 units transferable to the CSU system and be General Education certified. The director of the Public Sector Management program will evaluate and approve students prior to formal admission to the program.

This program is administered through the The Tseng College. It is entirely funded by student fees, offered in the cohort format and features evening and weekend course schedules.

Program Requirements

The PSM program is composed of 20 Upper Division undergraduate courses (60 semester credit hours) offered in a predetermined sequence in cohort format. To earn the Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Sector Management, a student must be formally admitted to one of the program’s cohorts and complete all the coursework specified below. Assignments within courses are designed to focus on issues pertinent to public sector management and build upon each other as the students progress through the program. A general sequence of courses is presented below.

1. Required Courses and Electives (60 units)

*Courses that are also Upper Division GE.

As required for completion of any of the University’s baccalaureate degree programs, in addition to coursework, students must pass the University’s Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam. Students are also required to meet Title 5 requirements to graduate. It is strongly recommended that the latter requirement be met before entering the program.

How the Electives Work in the Cohort Context

Since the PSM program is offered in the cohort format, all members of a given cohort will take the same set of two electives. Issues relevant to each cohort will determine the choice of electives. Electives will be selected by the public sector agency that is partnering with CSUN to make the cohort available to its employees in collaboration with the PSM director. In some instances, the PSM director, in collaboration with the PSM advisory group, may determine cohort electives or, less frequently, the cohort participants themselves may select the elective package during the first term. Elective courses will articulate with the program’s core coursework and, together with the core coursework, help lay the foundation for the final two courses in the program—the Field Assignments and Internship.

Elective Course List

Possible clusters of electives that might be used for a given cohort based on professional focus are listed below.

Managing in Diverse State and Local Governments

COMS 321 Rhetorical Discourse (3)
POLS 403 State and Local Government (3)
SOC 350 Population Dynamics (3)

Public Policy in Urban Context

POLS 380 Los Angeles: Past, Present, Future (3)
POLS 404 Urban Politics (3)
URBS 430 Planning in the Public Sector (3)

Influences, Externalities and Making Policy

POLS 403 State and Local Government (3)
POLS 441 Interest Groups (3)
POLS 443 The Legislative Process (3)

Policy Formulation and Implementation in Different Contexts

POLS 458 Administrative Law (3)
POLS 463 Public Personnel Administration (3)
POLS 464 Comparative Public Policy (3)

Work, Organizations and Human Resources

COMS 321 Rhetorical Discourse (3)
SOC 325 Sex Roles and Work (3)
SOC 400 Organizational Theory (3)

Working in a Diverse Environment

SOC 305 Culture and Personality (3)
SOC 390 Race Relations (3)
URBS 420 Communities, Neighborhoods and Planning (3)

Additional Electives

SOC 340 Sociology of Work (3)
SOC 355 Criminology (3)
SOC 401 Class, Status and Power (3)
SOC 410 Urban Sociology (3)
SOC 418 Gender and Crime (3)
SOC 440 Sociology of Aging (3)
SOC 474 Corrections (3)

2. General Education (48 units)

Undergraduate students must complete 48 units of General Education as described in this Catalog.

Total Units in the Major: 60

General Education Units: 48

Additional Units: 12

Total Units Required for the B.A. Degree: 120

More information

If you would like more information about this program, please contact