Bachelor of Arts in Public Affairs

The Bachelor of Arts in Public Affairs is an multidisciplinary degree that prepares students for careers in the public, non-profit and private sectors. The major provides students with the substantive knowledge, analytical skills and informed perspectives needed to tackle social problems with innovative public policy solutions that promote the public good. The degree is designed to develop skills in leadership, decision-making, collaboration and team-management; economic, political and statistical analysis; financial management and budgeting; and policy design, evaluation and implementation.

120 hours is required for the degree. The degree curriculum has five components:

  1. University basic education, including core curriculum and skills and experience flags
  2. Major coursework
  3. Prescribed electives within the major
  4. Completion of a transcript-recognized minor or certificate
  5. Free electives

Core Curriculum and Skills and Experience Flags

All undergraduate students must complete the university requirements, including core curriculum and skills and experience flags, according to the requirements published in the Undergraduate College, Academic Policies and Procedures section of this catalog.

Skills and Experience Flags

  1. Writing (Wr): three flagged courses beyond Rhetoric and Writing 306 or its equivalent
  2. Quantitative reasoning (Qr): one flagged course
  3. Global cultures (GC): one flagged course
  4. Cultural diversity in the United States (CD): one flagged course
  5. Ethics (E): one flagged course
  6. Independent inquiry (II): one flagged course

Courses that may be used to fulfill core curriculum and flag requirements are identified in the Course Schedule. They may be used simultaneously to fulfill other requirements, unless otherwise specified. Please note, students may not earn the cultural diversity and global cultures flags from the same course. Students are encouraged to discuss options with a departmental academic advisor.

  • Writing (Wr): two flagged courses beyond Rhetoric and Writing 306 or its equivalent, including one upper-division course.
  •  Specific coursework required for the degree also simultaneously satisfies various core curriculum and skills and flag requirements.


Majors for this degree are on the pages that follow this section.