Offered by Baruch College’s Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs (MSPIA), the FDNY-Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs (BSPA) cohort program is an interdisciplinary degree customized for members of the Department committed to leadership and public service. This partnership was initiated for employees looking to complete their Bachelor’s Degrees with a focus on leadership and civic engagement.

The FDNY-BSPA program is a tailored version of the traditional curriculum designed to develop strong leaders and community advocates within the Department.  Students learn skills to effectively lead, understand policy, and communicate while implementing practical solutions to challenging issues.

The FDNY-BSPA program is a program open to all members of the Department. The curriculum is grounded in a number of areas, including public policy, communications, public administration, non-profit management, data analysis, and urban planning. The BSPA teaches social science methods–teaching students to analyze populations, programs and social structures— and quantitative methods in the context of service delivery in New York. The Program also covers how to communicate effectively regarding public sector issues.

Earning this degree gives recipients a path to grow within the FDNY and to build the next generation of leaders. The Program is being offered to both Uniformed and Civilian members of the FDNY. As a cohort program, each class is comprised of FDNY members. The program is flexible, allowing students to take some classes online as they work toward their degree. Each student will be required to complete a group-based Capstone project to complete their degree.

The program offers hands-on customer service, helping members register for classes and providing ongoing advisement sessions. Baruch is also committed to meeting with each student to review transcripts in order to issue college credit for academic work or life experiences. Students may receive up to 12 elective credits for work experience counted in place of classroom time.

The FDNY-BSPA Program Highlights

The program consists of the following:

  • In-person, online, and hybrid courses providing flexible offerings that work with most schedules. In-person courses are conveniently located at Baruch College’s campus in the Flatiron section of Manhattan.
  • A cohort (group) model where FDNY students attend most program courses together.
  • Hands-on, dedicated guidance throughout the program with registration, advisement, tutoring and additional services.
  • Specialized full-time faculty, along with several practitioners from the Department who co-teach several electives.
  • Core classes infused with relevant readings and materials and new electives added to appeal to the interests and needs of the FDNY employees. Specialized topics such as an emergency services, housing and sustainability policy, and public management will be addressed.
  • Twelve (12) professional development credits are earned for FDNY employment as part of the program in the form of four courses in the place of traditional electives.


Prospective students are admitted to Baruch College through an online application to the City University of New York (CUNY). There are separate applications for transfer students and those entering as freshman.

The CUNY Application can be found here: http://www2.cuny.edu/admissions/undergraduate/apply/

There are two main steps when going through the admissions process:

  • Completing and submitting the application
  • Submitting transcriptions from all colleges/universities you attended (note: this is not necessary if they were CUNY schools within the past five years).

Admission Dates:




Fall: February 1

Fall: rolling basis beginning mid-February to July 1


Spring: September 15

Spring: rolling basis beginning mid-October to December 15

There is rolling admission for applicants. Students meet initially with the Deputy Director of Academic Programs to begin the process. Students then complete their application through CUNY. It is then critical to connect with the Baruch College Office of Admissions and submit any Non-CUNY applications. Robert Hernandez, Senior Transfer Advisor and his team, will work with potential students to facilitate the admissions steps (ie, reviewing applications, evaluating transcripts, etc).

For more information about the FDNY-BSPA program, contact Melissa Sultana, Deputy Director of Academic Programs: Melissa.Sultana@baruch.cuny.edu