Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs (BSPA)

The leading undergraduate public affairs program in the nation, the BSPA focuses on public policy advocacy and analysis. Students learn to formulate, implement, and evaluate creative solutions to challenging global, national, state, and local problems. The coursework examines how public and nonprofit organizations are involved in the policy process. Civic engagement skills are developed in economic and financial analysis, political negotiations, qualitative and quantitative methods, and rhetoric. Policy areas of interest include the arts, community development, education, the environment, health care, housing, immigration, and social welfare.

The degree prepares students for employment in government, political campaigns, and the growing social activism of the nonprofit sector. An excellent foundation is provided for graduate-level education in communications, higher education administration, law, management, public administration, public policy, and urban planning.

Link to Baruch College Admissions for information on college entrance requirements and an admissions application.

A total of 120 credits are required for BSPA. A cumulative GPA of 2.25 or greater is necessary to become a public affairs student and to graduate with a BSPA degree.  Students complete a minimum of 30 public affairs credits and another 90 credits from the CUNY Pathways general education curriculum.  ENG 2150 is a prerequisite for most public affairs courses. In the flexible core or as free electives, public affairs students should take PAF 1250, Citizenship and Public Affairs, as part of the College’s general education curriculum.  PAF 1250 examines the historical, institutional, political, and social context of civic life in the United States.

BSPA students are encouraged to achieve academic honors, receive a prestigious fellowship, or obtain an internship for academic credit. Internships are available in nonprofit organizations, the New York City Council, New York State Legislature, and the White House. Link to Undergraduate Fellowships and Internships for more information.

Every BSPA student must complete and sign the BSPA Declaration. It may be submitted as an email attachment to or delivered to an advisor on the 4th floor of 135 E. 22nd Street.

Core Curriculum (18 credits; each course is 3 credits)

  • PAF 3010 Policy and Politics (prerequisite: ENG 2150)
  • PAF 3015 Qualitative Studies of Communities (prerequisite: ENG 2150)
  • PAF 3102 Economic Analysis of Public Policy (prerequisite: ENG 2150 and ECO 1001)
  • PAF 3108 Public Campaigns and Advocacy (prerequisite: ENG 2150)
  • PAF 3401 Quantitative Methods for Policy and Practice (prerequisite: ENG 2150 and STA 2100)
  • PAF 4401 Capstone (prerequisite: 18 PAF credits)

Elective Courses (12 credits; all are 3 credits unless otherwise specified)

  • PAF 3005 Public Service in New York City (prerequisite: ENG 2150)
  • PAF 3020 Ethics and Civic Engagement (prerequisite: ENG 2150)
  • PAF 3040 Information and Society (cross-listed with LIB 3040 and COM 3040)
  • PAF 3100 Nonprofit Administration (prerequisite: ENG 2150)
  • PAF 3103 Economics of the Public Sector (prerequisite: PAF 3102)
  • PAF 3105 Principles of Survey Research
  • PAF 3106 Public Opinion Polling
  • PAF 3201 Public Communication and Organizations (prerequisite: ENG 2150)
  • PAF 3301 Models of Service Delivery (prerequisite: ENG 2150)
  • PAF 3343 Building Cities: Markets and Government (prerequisite: ENG 2150)
  • PAF 3375 Housing and Community Development Policy (prerequisite: ENG 2150)
  • PAF 3402 Policy Analysis (prerequisite: ENG 2150)
  • PAF 3403 Advanced Quantitative Analysis (prerequisite: PAF 3401)
  • PAF 3442 Cities and Sustainability (prerequisite: ENG 2150)
  • PAF 3710 Reforming Education (prerequisite: ENG 2150)
  • PAF 3810 Arts and Public Life (prerequisite: ENG 2150)
  • PAF 4199 Selected Topics (prerequisite: ENG 2150)
  • PAF 5000 Independent Study (permission required)
  • PAF 5001 New York State Legislature Internship (15 credits; prerequisite: ENG 2150)
  • PAF 5452 Public Affairs Internship
  • PAF 6001H Honors Thesis I (permission required)
  • PAF 6002H Honors Thesis II (permission required)

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