B.P.A in Public Affairs

The Bachelor of Public Affairs (B.P.A.) prepares qualified students for professional and technical careers in the public service or for advanced study in public affairs and administration, the social sciences and related disciplines. The program is a structured professional curriculum that builds on the foundation of a general liberal arts education. The curriculum incorporates fundamentals of social science theory and applications of that theory to public management and policy analysis. The B.P.A. provides students with skills needed for working in city, county, state and national government, in other public and non-profit agencies, and in positions in private enterprise that deal with governmental relations. Internships afford students an opportunity to apply what they have learned in public service settings.

Students interested in the B.P.A. program should consult the Undergraduate Advisor, Ryan Ferrante, as early as possible in their college careers. Ideally, students would begin B.P.A. course work and declare their major in their sophomore year.


Major Requirements:

A Bachelor of Public Affairs major must complete a minimum of 10, divided between a set of prescribed core courses and coursework in a concentration area. A Writing Intensive course in political science with a co-registration in P S 5993 is also required. Any political science elective or concentration course at the 3000-level or higher, except P S 4460, 5630 and 6640, may be used to fulfill this requirement. Students must demonstrate proficiency in writing on public affairs subject matter in a form and style consistent with B.P.A. standards. Election of a corequisite to P S 5993 must have approval from the instructor and students must follow the instructor’s guidelines to demonstrate required proficiency. Upon certification by the instructor that the writing requirement has been fulfilled, a grade of Satisfactory (‘S’) will be awarded for P S 5993, a ‘zero’ credit course. 


B.P.A. Core Curriculum:

Candidates for the B.P.A. degree must satisfy the following core course requirements:

  • ECO 2010 -- (SS) Principles of Microeconomics: Cr. 3-4
  • ECO 2020 -- (SS) Principles of Macroeconomics: Cr. 3-4
  • P S 1010 or P S 1030
    • (AI) American Government: Cr. 4
    • (AI) American Governmental System: Cr. 3
  • P S 2410 -- Introduction to Public Policy: Cr. 4
  • P S 2420 or P S 2460
    • Ethics and Politics of Public Policy: Cr. 4
    • Policy and Rationality: Dilemmas of Choice: Cr. 4
  • P S 3600 or P S 5630
    • Methods of Political Inquiry: Cr. 4
    • Statistics and Data Analysis I: Cr. 4  (Only recommended for students that have taken a previous statistics course or have completed MAT 1800).
  • P S 4460 -- Techniques of Policy Analysis: Cr. 4
  • P S 5993 -- (WI) Writing Intensive Course in P S: Cr. 0
    Any political science course at the 3000-level or higher, except P S 5630 and 6640, may, with the permission of the instructor, be used to fulfill this requirement. To satisfy the requirement, the student must demonstrate proficiency in writing on disciplinary subject matter in a form and style that conform to disciplinary standards. To use a course for this purpose, the student must obtain approval from the instructor and follow the guidelines established by the instructor to demonstrate the required proficiency. The student must also co-register in P S 5993, a zero-credit course for which the student will receive a grade of Satisfactory (‘S’) upon certification by the instructor that the writing requirement has been fulfilled. Note that completion of the Intermediate Composition (IC) is prerequisite to the WI course.

B.P.A. Elective Requirement:

In addition to completion of required core work, students must select a minimum of three additional courses within the B.P.A. elective curriculum, which is comprised of the totality of the courses set forth below. Ideally, these courses should fall within a coherent area of concentration, such as those areas suggested below. 

Governance: National, State, and Local — At least three courses selected from: P S 2240, 2310, 3040, 3050, 3060, 3070, 3100, 4710, 5110, 6020.

Governmental Relations, Lobbying, and Electoral Politics — At least three courses selected from: P S 3010, 3020, 3025, 3030, 3040, 3050, 3060, 3070, 3080, 5030, 5040, 5050, 6010, 6050, 6070.

Public Management — At least three courses selected from: P S 2310, 3430, 5830, 5890, 6020, 6120, 6340, 6700.

Public Policy and Analysis — At least three courses selected from: P S 2310, 3060, 3070, 3430, 3450, 3840, 4810, 6020, 6430, 6440, 6455.

Urban Policy and Management — At least three courses selected from: P S 2000 or 2240*; 2310, 3060, 3070, 3250, 3430, 5030, 6020, 6440, 6455, 6710.


*A student cannot count both PS 2000 and PS 2240 towards their B.P.A. major. 


Internship Option: Although an internship is not required to earn the B.P.A., it is strongly encouraged, and variable credit for a structured internship may be earned through P S 2992. Students should consult with the undergraduate adviser of the Department regarding internship requirements and placement opportunities.


For more information contact the department's Undergraduate Advisor, Ryan Ferrante(313-577-3170, ak8629@wayne.edu), or Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Brad Roth. 


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