Public Policy and Administration (PPA)

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PPA 100.     Introduction to Public Policy and Administration. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): GOVT 1 or GOVT 150 or equivalent.


Explores context and process for policy making by national and California state governments, including ethical dimensions. Applications are developed from students' and instructor's areas of interest including K-12 and higher education, land-use policy, and aging issues such as elder advocacy, Social Security, and Medicaid. Provides background and skills for entry level positions in public or non-profit organizations.

Cross Listed: GERO 102; only one may be counted for credit.

PPA 200.     Introduction to Public Policy and Administration. 3 Units


Examines public policy and administration by exploring major policy processes, particularly in California state and local government. Topics include the emergence and specification of issues, developing and selecting policy options, implementing and administering policies and evaluating and terminating public policies. The course approach is comprehensive, transdisciplinary and human centered -- concerned with the interplay of values in shaping policy outcomes. The intent is to provide conceptual frameworks and operational principles required in identifying and resolving issues emerging in public settings.

Note: Satisfies the Graduate Writing Intensive Requirement (GWI).

PPA 205.     Research in Public Policy and Administration. 3 Units


Emphasizes fundamental research and management skills necessary in generating accurate and useful decision-related information for policy makers. Topics include conceptualizing and structuring research questions, collecting valid and relevant data and interpreting and presenting results. The course approach is pragmatic, transdisciplinary, and oriented to producers and users of policy research information. The intent is to enhance research skills in analyzing and resolving policy issues.

PPA 207.     Quantitative Methods in Public Policy and Administration. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): ECON 1B, PPA 205 or instructor permission.


Study of quantitative methods as applied in public policy analysis. Concentrates on interpreting the results of econometric, statistical, and other public policy studies, and on determining the relevance and applicability of quantitative analysis with the larger scheme of public policy decision making.

PPA 210.     Political Environment of Policy Making. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PPA 200 or instructor permission.


Assists students in learning to identify the political factors impinging on the policy process and in learning to cope with them. With special emphasis on the California political environment and issues, employs case studies, structured role-playing, and including politically feasible policy alternatives and advice to hypothetical clients. The goal is to equip students to work effectively as politically aware policy analysts.

PPA 220A.     Applied Economic Analysis I. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): ECON 1B, or instructor permission.


Presents the basic concepts, tools, and models of microeconomics in the context of public sector choices. The standard market demand and supply model is developed and used to analyze the effect of public policies (particularly those of California state and local governments) on consumers and businesses. The principles of welfare economics are presented and used to evaluate economic performance.

Note: Graduate Writing Intensive Course.

PPA 220B.     Applied Economic Analysis II. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PPA 220A.


Continuation of PPA 220A which focuses specifically on the role of government in a market-oriented economy with emphasis on market failures including: public goods, externalities, and monopoly. Corrective taxes and expenditure programs are discussed, and the technique of cost-benefit analysis is developed and applied to various state and local government projects.

PPA 230.     Public Budgeting and Finance. 3 Units


Enables students to understand, analyze, and evaluate the governmental budget process including revenue and expenditure patterns. The primary emphasis is on California state and local governments. The federal budget process is discussed primarily to reflect the impact that it has on state and local governments. Features both theoretical and practical approaches to budgets, including alternate budget formats. Various perspectives are utilized to explore the political, economic, and policy concerns inherent in the development and implementation of public sector budgets.

PPA 240A.     Public Management and Administration I. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): 1) graduate standing and 2) completion of PPA program prerequisites, or instructor permission.


Examines concepts and approaches used in analyzing and understanding complex organizations. Organizational theory, management concepts, and behavioral analysis is employed to understand the dynamics and evolution of public sector organizations. Emphasis is placed on applying classic organizational theory and introductory leadership skills and issues.

PPA 240B.     Public Management and Administration II. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PPA 240A.


Continuation of PPA 240A. Examines concepts and approaches used in analyzing and understanding complex organizations. Emphasis is placed on ability to intervene and assist public agencies by designing intervention plans, engaging in strategic planning, promoting interdepartmental effectiveness, using advanced leadership issues and techniques, and using advanced organizational development strategies.

PPA 250.     California Land Use Policy. 3 Units


Examines public policies that influence land use. Reviews tools of land use planning and development and applies them to issues that dominate California policy choices including urban design, fiscalization of land use, sustained growth, and the challenges of social equity.

PPA 251.     Urban Problems, Economics and Public Policy. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PPA 220A or ECON 100B.

Corequisite(s): ECON 251; only one of these courses may be counted for credit.


Historical development, economics and possible policy solutions of the most pressing problems facing central cities and urban areas in the U.S. are presented. Problems discussed include poverty, crime, urban abandonment/suburban sprawl, edge cities, deteriorating infrastructures, and fiscal stress.

Cross Listed: ECON 251; only one may be counted for credit.

PPA 270.     Introduction to Collaborative Policy Making. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PPA 200 and PPA 210, or approval of instructor.


Examines the theory and practice of collaborative policy-making using case studies of major collaborative processes. Topics include interpretative policy analysis, deliberative democracy theory, public participation, collaborative policy networks, the use of dialogue in public policy, resolution of policy controversies, and consensus building.

PPA 272.     Collaborative Governance Advanced Practice. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PPA 270 with a grade of B- or better, or instructor permission.


Practice driven, highly participatory course for professionals who require more advanced skills into collaborative methods. Topics include conflict analysis and assessment, analysis of advocacy speech, public participation, working with the media, and interagency networks. Focuses on active learning with practice in a wide variety of collaborative skills.

PPA 284.     Urban Policy. 3 Units


Exploration in-depth of the socio-economic problems of urban and metropolitan areas and evaluation of proposed political and governmental solutions.

Cross Listed: GOVT 284; only one may be counted for credit.

PPA 291.     Court Governance and Operations. 3 Units


Studies the state judiciary as both independent and interdependent with the legislative and executive branches of government at both the state and local level. The goal is to develop foundational knowledge of the historical and evolving governing and operational principles of the California court system.

PPA 292.     Court Management. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PPA 291 or instructor permission.


Provides training in key court administrative areas identified by such organizations as the National Association of Court Management (e.g., case flow management). Drawing from interdisciplinary literature on management theory, court case studies illustrate and provide context.

PPA 293.     Court Leadership. 3 Units


Examines leadership in the court environment as distinct from management. Investigates how leadership principles are exercised in pivotal areas of the courts such as: community relations, creativity and innovation, organizational change, workforce development, succession planning, strategic planning and re-engineering.

PPA 294.     Emerging Issues in Judicial Administration. 3 Units


Addresses pressing issues in judicial administration (e.g., courts in an electronic world, rising administrative workloads, greater number of self-represented litigants). Specific topics may change from year to year depending on the urgency of topics and nature of policy implications.

PPA 295.     Internship in Public Policy and Administration. 3 - 6 Units

Prerequisite(s): PPA 200.


Supervised work experience in a government or related organization.

Credit/No Credit

PPA 297A.     Executive Fellows Introductory Seminar. 3 Units


Seminar will enhance Executive Fellows' understanding of the state policy making and administrative process, policy implementation, ethical responsibilities of policy and administrative actors.

Note: Open only to students admitted to the Executive Fellowship Program.

PPA 297B.     Executive Fellows Policy Seminar. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PPA 297A


Seminar will extend the examination and analysis of the Executive branch of government to include alternative administrative practices, policy implementation strategies, and related administrative issues.

Note: Open only to students admitted to the Executive Fellowship Program.

PPA 298A.     Judicial Administration Fellows Introductory Seminar. 3 Units


Critical examination and analysis of the administrative operation of the California judicial system and its structures, policies and practices.

Note: Open only to students admitted to the Judicial Administration Fellows Program.

PPA 298B.     Judicial Administration Fellows Policy Seminar. 3 Units


Analyzes procedural issues and policy questions within the California judicial system with emphasis on the interdependence of the judicial, legislative and executive branches.

Note: Open only to students admitted to the Judicial Administration Fellows Program.

PPA 299.     Special Problems. 1 - 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Permission of faculty supervisor and the Department Chair.


Supervised independent study in public policy and administration.

Credit/No Credit

PPA 500.     Culminating Experience. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Advanced to candidacy and permission of the graduate coordinator.


Completion of a thesis or project approved for the Master's degree.