Education for Public Administration: Graduate Preparation in the Social Sciences at American Universities

By George A. Graham | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 2 THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

THE INSTITUTE OF Public and Social Administration1 at the University of Michigan represented a revival and reorganization in 1936-37 of the university's former training activities, some of which had been discontinued during the early thirties. The institute was chiefly concerned with the problem of training for the public service. The curriculum in public administration consisted of selected courses in established teaching departments. The degree of Master of Public Administration was conferred normally upon students completing the equivalent of three semesters of graduate study in approved courses, one semester of satisfactory work in public employment, and a thesis, but the number of courses required could be reduced in certain circumstances.


The General Philosophy of the Training Program

Purposes behind the program of the Institute of Public and Social Administration were double: to further "research, training, and service at the graduate level in those social and governmental fields which require technical knowledge and skill based upon the formal social sciences and related disciplines" and to "coordinate the curricular offerings of the various schools and colleges and supplement them where necessary" for more effective preparation for both public and "social administration" and for citizenship in general.2 The institute was intended to be not only a means of training for administration through specific professional curriculums but also to be a means of fostering more effective teaching in the social sciences generally.

The idea was not to introduce courses of an entirely new character but to make the greatest possible use of existing courses and to make the existing social science departments more fruitful for training purposes. The importance of a definite orientation toward administrative questions was recognized at the time the institute was created by offering both in the economics and in the political science departments several new courses concerned in a rather technical way with public

____________________
1
The curriculum in social work, which was part of the institute, is not considered in this report.
2
Language of the Board of Regents in creating the institute.

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