At the outset, a Degree in Public Administration has been offered by the Department of Economics in Vidyodaya University, since the academic year 1959/1960 and later it was by the Department of Public and Business Administration.

In 1968 that Department was reconstituted as the Department of Management Studies. And in 1980, the Department of Management studies was converted into two separate Departments, called Public Administration and Business Administration. With the establishment of the Department of Public Administration in 1980, it received an independent recognition at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura as it is currently known.

The Department then took over the responsibility for the study programme leading to the B.Sc. Public Administration (Special) Degree, which was later renamed as the B.Sc. in Management (Public) Special Degree in 1993.  Commencing of the academic year in 2001/2002, the B.Sc. Public Management (Special) Degree has been offered by the Department.