University of Hawaiʻi — West Oʻahu

General Public Administration


Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration with a concentration in General Public Administration learn to apply the principles of effective public sector management and identify and evaluate problems, policy dilemmas and solutions in public administration. This program will also assist those who are already employed with the city, state, and federal government to advance their careers, and to more fully develop management, legal, behavioral and communication skills for more effective job performance.

Students will receive a solid foundation in public sector practices and processes complemented by coursework in the social sciences. All General Public Administration students will receive a fundamental understanding of, and appreciation for, public sector management practices and administrative procedures. The General Public Administration program is offered through in-class and distance learning instruction.


Graduates in Public Administration will be prepared for careers in management and administration with the federal, state, county, and local levels of government, and in public service sectors such as healthcare and child welfare programs. Students may also choose to work in private non-profit organizations such as the Salvation Army, American Red Cross, Goodwill Industries, and the Institute for Human Services. Many have also gone on to pursue graduate degrees in public administration, government and political science, administrative law, justice administration, environmental administration, program planning, public policy, and human resources.

Management careers in the public sector are the fastest growing among all professional occupations and are expected to increase in the next two to five years. Salaries for trained mid-level professionals in public administration can range between $60,000 and $90,000.


PUBA 306 Principles of Public Administration
This course examines the development of governmental administration in the United States and particularly in Hawai‘i: theories of administrative organization; principles and methods of administrative management and executive leadership; interpersonal and intergroup relationships; levels of decision-making; ethics; and responsibility.

PUBA 340 Administrative Decision-Making
This course provides an analysis of the managerial role as a decision-maker. It investigates the logic of the decision-making process, including the effect of environmental factors and the role of quantitative techniques. Consideration is also given to the behavioral implications of decision-making activities.

PUBA 341 Statistics for Decision-Making in Public Administration
This course discusses the statistical application to public administration. Topics include: descriptive statistics, probability, and applying the concept of statistical inference to actual issues faced by public administrators. This course will focus on examples from public administration such as public finance, criminal justice, and evaluation and planning of government programs at the national, state and local levels.

PUBA 414 Public Communication Campaigns
This course covers the design and implementation of public communication campaigns in such areas as disaster preparedness, crime prevention, environmental protection, and social services. Students learn effective use of media and interactive skills for increasing knowledge and modifying behavior in targeted populations.

PUBA 475 Administrative Law
This course includes: the role and nature of administrative law; procedural requirements; judicial review of administrative actions; safeguards against arbitrary action; delegation of legislative power; legal principles; and trends in the development of public administration. Also included are the review and analysis of contemporary problems in administrative law, regulatory administration, informal actions, administrative discretion, and its abuses.


General Public Administration students have interned at a variety of city, state and federal agencies and gained valuable experience in the field prior to graduation. Internships at the various agencies offer wonderful opportunities for gaining real-world experience and an increased understanding of the practice of public administration. Students have completed internships at:

  • State of Hawai‘i, Office of the Governor
  • Honolulu City Council
  • State of Hawai‘i, Senate and House of Representatives
  • City & County of Honolulu, Office of the Mayor
  • Institute for Human Services
  • National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration


Dr. Gary Helfand, Professor
(808) 689-2363

Dr. Ross Prizzia, Professor
(808) 689-2365