Founded on 1st July 1972, the Department of Public Administration is one of the leading Departments of the University of Dhaka with an explicit focus on remarkable academic research and excellence in teaching. Under the dynamic leadership of its founding Chairman Professor Nur Mohammad Miah the Department started its academic journey with a undergraduate programme (BSS Hons) from the academic Session 1971-72. Prior to that, beginning in 1969, Public Administration was taught only as a one-year Masters programme at the Department of Political Science of the University. Over the past decades, the Department has witnessed an impressive growth in terms of its faculties, curriculum and other academic facilities. Currently, the Department has around 25 faculties and most of them are well trained in different core areas of the discipline from the reputed institutions abroad. The Department now offers BSS, MSS, MPhil and PhD programmes and also an executive MPA programme meant for the professionals from the public, private and the third sector. The curriculum of the department has also seen a massive change in terms of being more adaptive to the ever-changing needs of the society. Every year, around 100 students graduate from the Department.
The four years BSS and one year MSS programs of the department have strong theoretical and quantitative orientation. All students are required to take the core courses like Introduction to Public Administration, Public Management, Personnel and Human Resources Management, Financial Administration, Comparative Public Administration, Sociology of Administration, Organizational Behaviour, Development Administration, etc. Beyond these, there are several applied courses such as Statistics and Research in Administration, Computer Application, Project Management, Administrative Systems Analysis and Public Policy Analysis. Since 2006-2007 session the department has been following the semester system in conducting the courses and taking the examinations.
The Department of Public Administration along with quality teaching and research at the University level, also plays important role both in policy making and running government administrative system at national level. A large number of former students of the department are now holding higher positions in Bangladesh civil service and other national and multinational organizations.
The department conducts collaborative research and training programs with other international universities and agencies. During 1994-1997 it conducted an extensive research on decentralization and local level democracy with the Bergen University, Norway. Recently, the Department and the UNICEF Regional Office in Kathmandu, Nepal signed a collaborative agreement to launch an Executive Level Short Course on Project Monitoring and Evaluation. The department has a strong professional linkage with the government and administration.