Application of Coursework

Courses are designed to integrate analytical and conceptual knowledge of public sector management with pragmatic application, culminating in an internship or field study. Toward the end of their coursework, students will complete internships/field studies in public sector agencies to apply what they learned. While many are currently working in the public sector, the internship/field study will give them the opportunity to apply, in an agency setting, the skills they have gained to analyze, evaluate, and perform tasks with greater comprehension and proficiency, and with a wider breadth of knowledge.

PSM required and elective courses will be selected based on issues relevant to each cohort. All students in the cohort will take the same required and elective courses.

Required Courses (48 units)

  • COMS 309 Advanced Public Speaking (3)
  • COMS 323 Group Communication (3)**
  • COMS 356 Intercultural Communication (3)* or
    SOC 307 Ethnic Diversity in America (3)*
  • COMS 454 Communication and Technology (3)
  • COMS 494/L Internship in Communication Studies and Lab (1/2)
  • MGT 360 Management and Organizational Behavior (3)
  • MGT 370 Management Skills Development (3)
  • MGT 454 Leadership, Power and Politics (3)
  • MGT 460 Strategic Human Resources Management (3)
  • POLS 360 Public Administration (3)
  • POLS 361 Introduction to Public Policy (3)
  • POLS 406 Fundamentals of Policy Analysis (3)
  • POLS 407 Policy Implementation and Program Evaluation (3)
  • POLS 462 Ethics in Politics and Administration (3)
  • POLS 466 Politics of Public Spending (3)
  • SBS 320 Social Science Research Methods (3)*

Typical Elective Courses Offered Recently (12 units)

Elective courses are pre-selected for each cohort.

  • POLS 380 Los Angeles: Past, Present, Future (3)*
  • URBS 310 Growth and Sustainable Development of Cities (3)
  • POLS 403 State and Local Government (3)*
  • SOC 400 Organizational Theory (3)
  • 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)

* Course meets Upper-Division General Education Requirements.

** Course meets General Education Information Competence Requirements.

Note: Not all courses listed are offered.


Course Highlights


COMS 309

Advanced Public Speaking


Applies principles of audience analysis to the preparation, presentation and evaluation of persuasive messages.

COMS 321

Rhetorical Discourse


Study of the language and principles of human communication through the production, analysis and evaluation of rhetorical messages.

COMS 323

Group Communication


Studies principles and methods of small group communication. Develops individual and group skills through application of theory to practice. Emphasis is on intra-group behavior.

COMS 356

Intercultural Communication


Cultural factors in interpersonal communication, such a perception, roles, language codes and non-verbal communication. Students will apply and evaluate theories of intercultural communication.

COMS 454

Communication and Technology


The study of the impact of new communication technologies on interpersonal communication patterns. Emphasis is placed on implementation of technology in organizational settings.

COMS 494/L

Internship in Communication Studies and Lab


Practical experience dealing with communication problems and concerns in public or private organizations.


Management and Organizational Behavior


Introduces basic concepts in management and organizational behavior. Applies these concepts to the management of people and resources for the accomplishment of organizational goals. Emphasizes organizational applications of behavioral science concepts, interpersonal skills, and team building. Not available in an online format. Will be substituted with an elective.


Management Skills Development


Examines major concepts of the behavioral sciences that apply to organizational management. Focuses on understanding factors and developing skills, which affect the behavior and ultimately the performance of individuals and groups within organizations. Not available in an online format. Will be substituted with an elective.


Leadership, Power and Politics


Concentrates on the ability of individuals to lead others in important undertakings. Focuses on the management of organizations, the management of large-scale change, and resolution of complex problems. Examines behavioral approaches to leadership, particularly attaining and exerting power and managing the political subsystem. Not available in an online format. Will be substituted with an elective.


Strategic Human Resources Management


Examines the formulation and implementation of Human Resources policy at the strategic level. Emphasis on how HR functions integrate with overall organizational strategy to make the firm more competitive. Not available in an online format. Will be substituted with an elective.

POLS 360

Public Administration


Analysis of the executive function in governmental processes together with a survey of the principles of administrative organization, personnel management, financial administration, and public relations. Problems and trends in government service as a career are discussed.


Introduction to Public Policy


Introduces the student to public policy approaches, contexts, processes and outcomes.

POLS 380

Los Angeles: Past, Present, Future


Multidisciplinary investigation of the Los Angeles urban area — its patterns of population and resources distribution; its historical, economic, social and cultural developments; and policies models designed to cope with its problems and to develop its potential as an ethnically diverse metropolis on the Pacific Rim.

POLS 403

State and Local Government


Study of the political, administrative, and judicial systems of states, counties, cities, and special districts. Intergovernmental relations, functions, trends and current problems.

POLS 404

Urban Politics


Study of the structures and processes that determine public priorities and programs in urban areas.

POLS 406

Fundamentals of Policy Analysis


A systematic and critical approach to designing public policies. Integrates theory and social science techniques so students may apply the methods, models and tools of policy analysis to particular cases and problems that confront policy makers.

POLS 407

Policy Implementation and Program Evaluation


Provides an overview of policy implementation and program evaluation, by looking at the strategies, the techniques and tools used most frequently by policy makers and evaluators. Students will be introduced to major theories and applications so they can assess projects and programs in terms of impact, process and cost.

POLS 441

Interest Groups


Study of the tactics and aims of interest groups in their efforts to mold public opinion and to influence legislators, executives, judges and administrators.

POLS 443

The Legislative Process


Detailed analysis of the structure, operations and activities of legislative bodies, including Congress, state legislatures and municipal councils.

POLS 462

Ethics in Politics and Administration


Examines the various kinds of ethical problems faced by elected and non-elected government personnel. Focuses on the scope and limits of individual responsibility in the practice of politics and the management of public organizations.

POLS 466

Politics of Public Spending


Critical analysis of how government financial policies are formulated and controlled within a context of conflicting views and interests. Examines the influence of the system of checks and balances, the effects of cooperation among chief executives, administrators, budget bureaus, legislators, pressure groups, and the general public, and the impact of government spending on the private economy.


Social Science Research Methods


Study of principles and techniques used to design and evaluate social scientific research. Course includes discussion of data collection, statistical analysis, and interpretation.


Culture and Personality


Cross-cultural study of the development of individual personality in the socio-cultural milieu. Special attention is given to child-rearing practices, social personality, social character, mental health and illness, and deviant behavior in several Western and non-Western societies.


Ethnic Diversity in American Society


Describes and analyzes contemporary, changing ethnic cultures and lifestyles in American society. Focused analysis of ethnic cultures/lifestyles by social class, family form, sex role and orientation, age grouping and influences of social movements and popular culture.


Sex Roles and Work


Examination of current research on women in the labor force in U.S. and other industrial societies, including the impact of affirmative action programs, changes in structure and function of industrial labor forces, and projections of future roles of women and men in the labor force.


Sociology of Work


Analysis of the structural context of work in contemporary society, including preparation for access to different positions within the occupational structure. Study of work settings, including formal and informal characteristics, changes in the structure of work and case histories involving work experiences and occupational subcultures.


Population Dynamics


Analysis of the nature, causes and consequences of major world population trends as they are related to urban studies, medical sociology and ecology. Studies fertility, mortality and migration; sex ratios; race and ethnic composition; marital, educational and occupational status; and census and vital statistics.




Nature of crime, causal factors of criminal behavior and group control of the crime problem.


Social Welfare Institutions


Exploration of social welfare institutions as one of the basic institutions in contemporary society. Examines varied political and social ideologies that contribute to the development of social welfare institutions, programs, and policies.


Race Relations


Study of diverse racial and ethnic groups, including Latino, Chicano, Asian, Black and American Indian, with a focus on the contemporary American scene. Status distinctions, migration and settlement patterns, segregation, integration, assimilation, prejudice, discrimination, economic and political factors, social movements, and interaction patterns both within and between these groups and their effects upon American life are studied.


Organizational Theory


Study of contemporary sociological theories of organizational dynamics and behavior. Analysis of the social structural and interactional dynamics of organizational settings.


Class, Status and Power


Analysis of the distribution of wealth, prestige and power. Study of the causes of poverty, life chances of the poor, lifestyles of the wealthy, upward and downward mobility, and class and group conflict in society.


Urban Sociology


Worldwide processes of urbanization, both historical and contemporary. Theoretical approaches and research and their implications for urban policy and change. Focuses on social structure, social differentiation and lifestyles found within a metropolitan area and in diverse metropolitan areas and their implications.


Gender and Crime


Focuses on the influence of gender structures and gender interactions on criminal perpetration, victimization, and societal responses to crime. Includes a focus on women as victims and perpetrators of crime as well as discussion of how gender impacts men’s experiences with offending and victimization. Critically examines societal stereotypes about gender and the impact on societal approaches to crime.


Social Legislation and Social Policy


Study of the historical, social, and political aspects related to the development of social policies.


Sociology of Aging


Analysis of aging in its social and social-psychological aspects throughout the lifespan. Emphasis on particular social problems of the elderly, including retirement, widowhood, suicide, housing, income maintenance, attitudes toward death and dying and more.




Offers sociological criminological examination of the field of corrections, both substantively and critically. Includes patterns and trends in incarceration rates; police and judicial processes resulting in incarceration; climate and culture of correctional facilities; and gender and diversity in corrections and community-based corrections, including probation, parole, halfway houses and community-based treatment programs.

URBS 310

Growth and Sustainable Development of Cities


Examination of the forces contributing to the form, structure and sustainable development of cities. Emphasis on urban areas of the U.S.

URBS 420

Communities, Neighborhoods and Planning


Study of human behavior as it is affected by basic human needs and urban environmental conditions, and an examination of alternative strategies for restructuring social institutions and social behavior.

URBS 430

Planning in the Public Sector


Analysis of public and private institutions through which modern urban society functions, with emphasis on the structure and functions of cities from the perspective of their organizational life.