This is an archive of the 2019-2020 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, Please visit

This is an archive of the 2019-2020 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit


Program: B.A., Public Sector Management

Program Description

The B.A. degree program in Public Sector Management (PSM) is designed for students who want 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. Courses from the Department of Management are not available in the online 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

To be admitted to the program, students must have completed 60 transferable semester units (90 quarter units) with a 2.0 grade point average or better; be in good standing at the last college or university attended in a regular session; and have completed the CSU General Education Writing, Mathematics, Critical Thinking and Speech Communication courses with a “C” or better in each course. The academic lead for the Public Sector Management program will evaluate and approve students prior to formal admission to the program.

This program is administered through The Tseng College. It is entirely funded by student fees and is offered in the cohort format.

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 one another as the students progress through the program. Courses from the Department of Management are not available in the online program. A general sequence of courses is presented below.

1. Required Courses and Electives (60 units)

*Courses that are also upper division GE.
**Courses from the Department of Management are not available in the online program.

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 four 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 academic lead. In some instances, the PSM academic lead may determine cohort electives. Elective courses will articulate with the program’s core coursework and, together with the core coursework, help lay the foundation for the final course in the program—the 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)
SOC 305 Culture and Personality (3)
SOC 390 Race Relations (3)
SOC 440 Sociology of Aging (3)

Public Policy in Urban Context

POLS 380 Los Angeles: Past, Present, Future (3)
SOC 410 Urban Sociology (3)
URBS 310 Growth and Sustainable Development of Cities (3)
URBS 430 Planning in the Public Sector (3)

Influences, Externalities and Making Policy

POLS 403 State and Local Government (3)
POLS 404 Urban Politics (3)
POLS 441 Interest Groups (3)
POLS 443 The Legislative Process (3)

Work, Organizations and Human Resources

SOC 325 Sex Roles and Work (3)
SOC 340 Sociology of Work (3)
SOC 400 Organizational Theory (3)

Social Institutions and Social Change

SOC 350 Population Dynamics (3)
SOC 356 Social Welfare Institutions (3)
SOC 401 Class, Status and Power (3)
SOC 426 Social Legislation and Social Policy (3)

Additional Electives

CJS 344 Corrections (3)
CJS 418 Gender and Crime (3)
POLS 464 Comparative Public Policy (3)
SOC 355 Criminology (3)
URBS 420 Communities, Neighborhoods and Planning (3)

2. General Education (48 units)

Undergraduate students must complete 48 units of General Education as described in this Catalog. As an upper division degree completion program, PSM cohorts will remain on the previous GE plan, Plan R, until the cohort that begins in Fall 2021, which will then follow Plan E.

Total Units in the Major: 60

General Education Units: 48

Additional Units: 12

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

More information

For more information about this program, please contact


Public Sector Management
Academic Lead: Lori Campbell

Staff: Alice Lu
(818) 677-5635

Staff: Julie Garcia
(818) 677-5943