beyond BSPAPage title

Graduate School
BSPA students with excellent academic records are encouraged to pursue post-baccalaureate studies in a master’s program or law school. According to a 2009-2010 survey report from the U.S. Census Bureau, recipients of master’s degrees make approximately $19,000 more than those with bachelor’s degrees. The BSPA degree provides students with the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in obtaining an advanced degree. A dedicated Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs staff member helps students to understand graduate school applications, standardized admissions tests, and financial aid opportunities. 

For the best in graduate school preparation, BSPA students may apply for the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Junior Summer Institute. This program helps undergraduates to prepare for graduate education in public policy and public administration. Students attend a summer session at Princeton University, Carnegie-Mellon University, the University of Michigan, or the University of California at Berkeley. The focus is on economics, statistics, leadership principles, communications, and public policy. Applicants must have completed their junior year by the start of the program with at least one full semester of coursework remaining before graduation. Students receive full tuition at the participating university, travel expenses, a $1,500 stipend, and university housing with a meal plan. The application deadline is in November every year with notifications of acceptance made in February.

Public Service Careers

  • Public service offers many career opportunities for those who graduate with the BSPA degree. Graduates works for governments at all levels, in nonprofit organizations, for public schools and colleges, and in private sector companies that work under contract to governments.
  • Public and nonprofit salaries are comparable to the starting level salaries in business. We also encourage students to continue on to graduate and law school.
  • Public servants address real-world policy issues and seek to make democracy effective. Democracy requires an educated population who enjoy discussing shared concerns in the public sphere, speaking confidently to those in authority, and taking responsibility for problems within their reach.
  • The BSPA philosophy is that civic engagement must be informed by knowledge, rooted in ethical values, connected to democratic aspirations, and embodied through practice.