School of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration

Undergraduate Major

The baccalaureate program provides professional orientation and career specialization along with a sound liberal arts foundation. It is an interdisciplinary program designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary for success in public, private, and nonprofit organizations. The curriculum emphasizes general public administration knowledge but also allows students to concentrate in selected specialties.

Both freshmen and transfer students who are admitted to Grand Valley are eligible for admission to the program. Students interested in public administration should seek the advice of faculty in the program, especially when choosing courses to fit various needs and interests.

The public and nonprofit administration major consists of 36 credit hours, which includes three credit hours of required internship (PA 490). Below is a description of the current degree requirements. Majors who began their undergraduate work prior to Fall 2001 should consult the GVSU catalog for the year they entered. However, anyone may opt to apply the current requirements.


The prerequisite for the public and nonprofit administration major is Political Science 102 - American Government and Politics. This course does not count toward the degree program's 36 credit hours.

Core Courses

Majors must complete 24 credit hours of core courses by taking all of the following:

  • PA 270 - Public Administration
  • PA 307 - Local Politics and Administration
  • PA 360 - Voluntarism and the Nonprofit Sector
  • PA 375 - Public Budgeting and Finance Administration
  • PA 376 - Personnel Policy and Administration
  • PA 420 - Organization Theory and Dynamics
  • PA 490 - Public Administration Internship
  • PA 495 - Community Analysis (Capstone)


Majors must also complete 3 credit hours of elective by taking one of the following:

  • PA 311 - Public Sector Information Technology
  • PA 330 - Health Care Financing
  • PA 335 - Grant Writing
  • PA 372 - International and Comparative Public Administration


Majors must select one specialty for nine credit hours. Some specialties also require that a specific PA course be taken as an elective. With an advisor's approval, PA 372, PA 380, PA 490 and PA 491 may count toward any specialty.

Degree Cognates

Majors must choose between a B.A. degree and a B.S. degree.

  • Majors seeking a B.A. degree must demonstrate third-semester proficiency in a foreign language.
  • Majors seeking a B.S. degree must complete the cognate sequence:
    1. STA 215 - Introductory Applied Statistics
    2. PA 300 - Research Methods in Public Administration
    3. PA 449 - Policy Research and Evaluation

Page last modified November 13, 2011