Course Requirements

To receive a Master of Arts from the University of Florida with a Certificate in Public Affairs, students will need to take a total of 42 credit hours, including nine courses in the areas of administration, policy, methodology, and governance, an internship and four electives from areas such as urban planning, public health, nonprofit organizations, women’s studies, entrepreneurship, and criminal justice. Students are expected to pursue the non-thesis option, and will be required to defend a final project under the direction of the supervisory committee.

(R) Required courses

(L) Open to students in the M.A./J.D. Joint Degree program

Administration/Policy Making (15 credits)

  • (R) Public Administration Theory – PAD 6108 (3 credits)
  • (R) Policy Process – PUP 6007 (3 credits)
  • (R) Public Budgeting and Finance – PAD 6227 (3 credits)
  • (R) Public Policy Analysis – PUP 6009 (3 credits)
  • (R) Leadership and Ethics in Public Agencies – PAD 6434 (3 credits)

Methodology and Policy Evaluation (9 credits)

  • (R) Political Data Analysis – POS 6737 (3 credits)
  • (R) Conduct of Inquiry – POS 6736 (3 credits)
  • (R) Policy Evaluation – PUP 6006 (3 credits)
  • *students in the MA/JD program can substitute (L) Advanced Legal Research – LAW 6930 for PUP 6008

Governance (3 credits, choose one course)

  • Community Analysis – POS 6157 (3 credits)
  • Urban Politics – POS 6146 (3 credits)
  • Bureaucratic Politics in the U.S. – POS 6476 (3 credits)
  • State Government and Politics – POS 6127 (3 credits)
  • Intergovernmental Relations – POS 6933 (3 credits)
  • Race, Gender, and Politics – PUP 6315 (3 credits)
  • (L) Administrative Law – LAW 6520 (3 credits)
  • (L) State and Local Taxation – LAW 6930 (2 credits)
  • (L) Local Government Law, Taxation & Finance – LAW 6531 (2 or 3 credits)
  • (L) Florida Constitutional Law – LAW 6503 (2 credits)
  • (L) Florida Administrative Law – LAW 6521 (2 or 3 credits)

Internship (3 credits)

  • Internship – PAD 6946 (3 credits)

Electives (12 credits; choose four courses approved by advisor)

Students are strongly encouraged to use their electives to develop a specialization in a relevant area of study.  Courses, minors and certificate opportunities are offered at the University of Florida in a number of areas including public health, urban planning, nonprofit organizations, women’s studies, entrepreneurship, and criminal justice. Interested students should contact those departments for information on available courses, certificates, or minors.

Management Policy Paper

The Management/Policy Paper is a document that all M.A. students in the Public Affairs program are required to complete prior to receiving their degrees. The paper is designed to pull broadly from the analytical and substantive expertise that they have acquired during their course work in the program. The paper is intended to be a learning experience and an opportunity for the student to develop detailed knowledge in a particular area.

The process of completing the Management/Policy Paper will broadly follow that of a M.A. thesis. The student is expected to work closely with his/her committee chair and members in developing the topic and completing the paper.