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Public Sector Financial Management

The PSFM specialization prepares future leaders and the individuals who will assume major management responsibilities at the local, state and/or federal level. Leadership and management are needed now more than ever. The public demand for excellence in the management of public resources has never been stronger. Virtually every level of government faces unprecedented pressure for improved accountability while striving to provide high levels of service at low cost. This growing challenge requires a keen understanding of complex financial mechanisms, management and leadership theories and practices, and the ability of government to work with the private and nonprofit sectors.  

Public Sector Financial Management Alumni Jobs 

  • Senior Consultant, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Senior Budget Analyst, City of Pittsburgh, Office of Management and Budget
  • Asst Director, National Policy Programs, Rural Policy Research Institute
  • Asst Director of Operations, State of Maryland, Dept of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • Policy Analyst, State of Maryland, Office of Legislative Services
  • Deputy Director, Communications, Office of the Comptroller, State of Maryland
  • State Representative, Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Analyst, U.S. Government Accountability Office
  • Budget and Management Analyst, U.S. Office of Management and Budget
  • Senior Associate, Under-Secretariat of Treasury, Turkey
  • Asset Manager, Urban Housing Solutions, Inc.


PSFM Specialization Curriculum

In addition to meeting the overall requirements of their degree program, students electing to specialize in public sector financial management take at least three of the following courses:

  • One course from the following:
    • State and Local Government Budgeting (PUAF 716) looks at how capital and operating budgets are developed, legislatively reviewed, adopted, administered and evaluated. Emphasizes how community dynamics, demography, fiscal conditions and politics shape budgets and state and local revenue forecasting; and the implications of governmental reinvention for budgeting. Relies on original source materials and budget documents from state and local governments.
    • Federal Budgeting: Policy and Process (PUAF 717) examines budgeting as a political and administrative instrument of the government. Considers the development of budgeting; the multiple uses of the budget, including the budget's role in fiscal policy and resource allocation; the roles and relationships of the major participants; and current issues such as the effects of resource scarcity on budgeting behavior. Emphasizes the federal level, but state and local practices are also considered.
    • “Contemporary and Comparative Budget Practices” 
  • Two courses from the following:
    • Financial Systems & Control (PUAF 699E) Discusses how to create financial systems that permit leaders to ensure that resources are being allocated as planned.
    • Analysis of Fiscal Conditions (PUAF 712) Introduces students to information and methods used to analyze the financial condition of state and local governments. Offers a framework for analysis of government revenues, expenditures, debt, pensions, and internal resources.
    • “Tax Policy”
    • A remaining budgeting course
  • One MFL acquisitions or public management and leadership course 

Centers Conducting Public Sector Financial Management Research

Center for Public Policy & Private Enterprise (CPPPE)

Public Sector Financial Management Specialization Director

For more information on the PSFM specialization, contact:

Dr. Philip Joyce