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Public Financial Management

Most college students know how to balance a checkbook.  SPEA Public Financial Management majors know how to balance a budget--a big one.  Public Financial Management majors learn to tackle the billion-dollar budgets of cities, states, and the federal government.  They study accounting, auditing, taxes, and other building blocks to a solid budget.

What's the difference between SPEA Public Financial Management and a business finance program?Billion Dollar Budgets Start Here

Great question. Business finance programs tend to have a strict focus on the private sector--on corporate arenas. SPEA Public Financial Management focuses on the public sector--on government, from local to federal.  Many of the skills, like financial accounting and budeting, are the same, but the focus is different. Still--these skills prepare our students to work in the private sector if they choose, and to develop careers that weave through the public, nonprofit, and private sectors.

Budgets, accounting, tax code...that sounds hard.

We won't lie--this is a math-heavy major with lots of accounting and budgeting coursework required.  However, our four-year plan of coursework is designed to introduce concepts and skills at a level undergraduate students can digest! Still, students who are not confident in math should consider talking to a SPEA advisor about whether this major is best for them--or whether they'd be better suited with a different Public Affairs focus.

What coursework do I need with a Public Financial Management major?

Major Courses for Public Financial Management

Important to Note: In Summer 2011, IUB implemented new General Education requirements.  Students already admitted to IUB prior to summer 2011 (even if they were not yet admitted to SPEA) will continue to follow our existing degree requirements; requirements for students admitted to IUB summer 2011 and later will utilize the new requirements that take the new campus GenEd into account.

General Education Requirements for students matriculating to IUB prior to summer 2011

General Education Requirements for students matriculating to IUB summer 2011 and later

What kind of a career could I expect with a Public Financial Management major?

SPEA is fortunate to have a dedicated Office of Career Services to help you plan your career after SPEA.  Take a look at what real SPEA students have gone on to do with a major in Public Financial Management!