Public Financial Administration
The School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) is a global leader in public finance education, research, and government service. Students concentrating in Public Financial Administration enjoy the advantages of this leadership position as they embark on their professional careers, whether in the United States or in other countries, in national, state or loval government, or in the public or private sectors.
The School offers undergraduate, professional master's, and doctoral specializations in public financial administration and its faculty participate in government finance training programs for in-career professionals working for both American and foreign governments. The education forms a strong base for development and acceleration of careers in government finance and budgeting, applied program and policy analysis, and management in public, private, and nonprofit organizations throughout the world. The professional distinction of our faculty, the great success of our alumni, and the hands-on nature of our professional degree programs ensure a high demand for our graduates.
SPEA's faculty are undertaking leading-edge research in a wide range of government finance areas and publishing that research in the best public finance journals. Indeed, the leading journal in the field, Public Budgeting and Finance, is currently edited at Indiana. Current faculty research projects include work with new performance budgeting, property and sales taxation in domestic and international settings, government finance in the states of the former Soviet Union, environmental finance, and the finance of economic development.
School faculty regularly accept government service assignments, foreign and domestic, sometimes on leave from their university assignments and sometimes along with their university activities. These practical experiences, sometimes done with the assistance of advanced public finance students, enrich their work with students and ensure the relevance of what they teach to the world of practice.
Careers in Public Financial Administration
SPEA prides itself in graduating students who can become productive finance and budgeting employees immediately, without a long learning period. That is the result of the applied and experiential nature of our advanced courses. Students learn how government finance is done, not just the theoretical concepts that might be implemented under certain conditions. Our graduates are beginning professionals, not students, by the end of the degree program. That is because our faculty, along with being serious and productive scholars, are in the field, applying their ideas to governmental practices throughout the world. SPEA’s public finance graduates are employed in a wide array of positions. These include the usual Federal suspects (GAO, OMB, CBO, Treasury, agency budget shops), state and local budget agencies (executive and legislative), city management, state revenue departments, international organizations (IMF, World Bank, UNDP, etc.), foreign governments, investment banks, rating agencies, and Big Five accounting firms. Recent placements include:
- Fiscal Analyst, Arizona Legislative Budget Office
- Municipal Bond Analyst, State Farm
- Program Analyst, Government Accountability Office
- Program Examiner, U.S. Office of Management and Budget
- Budget/Tax Analyst, Indiana State Budget Agency
- Financial Analyst, H.J. Umbaugh & Associates
- Director of Policy Research, Indiana Department of Revenue
- Bank Examiner, Central Bank of Haiti
- Heritage Finance Coordinator, The Nature Conservancy
- Director of Tax Review, Indiana State Board of Tax Commissioners
- Government Affairs Specialist, Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce
- Financial and Administration Coordinator, City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs
Curriculum for the Public Financial Administration Concentration
Like all students in the Master of Public Affairs program, students concentrating in Public Financial Administration begin building their skills in the 18-hour MPA core. The core courses are:
- Public Management (V502)
- Statistical Analysis for Effective Decision Making (V506)
- Public Management Economics (V517)
- Law and Public Affairs (V540)
- Public Finance and Budgeting (V560)
- Capstone in Public and Environmental Affairs (V600)
The core courses address many of the fundamental tools of public financial administration. However, a public finance practitioner needs much more than this, and the advanced courses offered by SPEA build on that core foundation. Public Financial Administration students take one of two skills courses (either V541 Benefit-Cost Analysis of Public and Environmental Policies or V542 Governmental Financial Accounting and Reporting) and also select three of the following courses:
- Data Analysis and Modeling for Public Affairs (V507)
- Seminar in Revenue Theory and Administration (V609)
- Seminar in Government Budget and Program Analysis (V610)
- Seminar in Public Capital and Debt Theory (V667)
SPEA also offers a wide range of elective courses to meet individual objectives. This broad range of possibilities enables you to focus your concentration on those aspects that you wish to pursue and to develop career-enhancing capabilities. With the approval of a Public Financial Administration advisor, students may select from many elective options, including the following:
- Public Management Information Systems (V516)
- Public Program Evaluation (V562)
- Public Sector Labor Relations (V570)
For complete details of the Public Financial Administration curriculum, please see the Graduate Bulletin.
Our graduates have found that a double concentration with Public Financial Administration affords them improved entry into careers of their choice. Dual concentrations with other concentrations offered by SPEA, for example – Comparative and International Affairs, Policy Analysis, or Environmental Policy and Natural Resource Management – provide unique advantages for those wanting to make a difference in particular areas of public policy. Our faculty work to accommodate these specialized professional interests in the design of their student programs.
Special Fellowship Opportunities for the Public Finance Concentration
In addition to other financial aid opportunities provided by SPEA, public finance students are eligible to be considered for the Eads Fellowship. The Eads Fellowship provides financial assistance and support for graduate students in SPEA who are United States citizens and who are concentrating in public financial administration. Preference will be given to students expressing a high degree of interest in pursuing a career in the public sector. Prospective recipients will satisfy the following criteria:
- S/he should express an interest in concentrating in public financial administration in the Master of Public Affairs program in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Bloomington
- S/he should express a strong interest in a career in public service
- S/he should be a citizen of the United States
- S/he should possess a superior academic record
For further information about the availability of and the criteria for an Eads Fellowship, please contact the Assistant Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, Megan Siehl, at firstname.lastname@example.org.