Undergraduate Public Affairs Education

Undergraduate degree(s) in public affairs education provide students with a foundation for careers in the private, non-profit and public sectors.

Public Affairs majors are typically interdisciplinary degrees designed to bring students to a deeper understanding of their roles as public servants – which, broadly defined, includes employees of government and not-for-profit organizations, elected officials, members of boards and communities at the local level, volunteers, and philanthropists, etc. – in the context of civic engagement. The major provides students with the substantive knowledge, analytical skills, and perspectives needed to respond effectively and fairly to major contemporary social problems and issues that affect our communities globally.

 

Schools who offer an Undergraduate Program (respondents to 2018 NASPAA Undergraduate Survey)

The flexibility of a liberal arts degree and the skills of a professional degree.

Frequently Asked Questions

Schools with an Undergraduate Program

This list contains the names of, links to, and basic information about undergraduate programs who completed NASPAA's Undergraduate Education Survey (updated Feb 2019)

Accelerated/Hybrid programs allow students to complete a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in a shorter time frame than completing them separately (typically five calendar years instead of six or seven). Qualified students may accelerate their careers by beginning graduate level courses in their third or fourth year of undergraduate study. While programs may vary, in a typical accelerated program a set number of credits will be shared with the student’s bachelor’s and the master’s degree. Once the students complete the credits required for the baccalaureate degree, students continue their graduate coursework full time, in order to finish their undergraduate and graduate degrees in five calendar years. Students must meet the individual program’s admission requirements.  Many programs allow students to take the graduate courses at the undergraduate tuition rate.

 

Some benefits of these programs:

•Earn an MPA in half the time

•Save up to a year of tuition

•Maintain continuity with faculty and research facilities

Undergraduate degree(s) in public affairs education provide students with a foundation for careers in the private, non-profit and public sectors.

PPIA

PPIA’s mission and overall focus are to promote the inclusion and full participation of underrepresented groups in public service and to advance their leadership roles throughout our civic institutions serving domestic and international affairs.

Articles on Undergraduate Education

Breakthrough Practice Undergraduate Education

Undergraduate majors in public administration and competitor fields: How do student characteristics and career outcomes compare?

Gregory Lewis
Journal of Public Affairs Education
Breakthrough Practice Undergraduate Education

Do undergraduate public administration, policy, and affairs programs mimic graduate curricula?

D. Ryan Miller
Journal of Public Affairs Education
Breakthrough Practice Undergraduate Education

The identity of undergraduate public affairs education: Opportunities and challenges

Jerry Mitchell
Journal of Public Affairs Education