Public Affairs (B.P.A.)

The Bachelor of Public Affairs (B.P.A.) prepares qualified students for professional and technical careers in the public service or for advanced study in public affairs and administration, the social sciences and related disciplines. The program is a structured professional curriculum that builds on the foundation of a general liberal arts education. The curriculum incorporates fundamentals of social science theory and applications of that theory to public management and policy analysis. The B.P.A. provides students with skills needed for working in city, county, state and national government, in other public and non-profit agencies, and in positions in private enterprise that deal with governmental relations. Internships afford students an opportunity to apply what they have learned in public service settings. Students interested in this program should consult the political science undergraduate advisor as early as possible in their college careers.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for this program are satisfied by the general requirements for undergraduate admission to the University. To declare the B.P.A. as a major, a student must follow the procedures set forth by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for declaring a major.

Candidates for the B.P.A. degree must:

  1. Complete a total of 120 credits in course work.
  2. Satisfy all of the Liberal Arts Group Requirements, excepting that the College’s foreign language requirement need not be satisfied.
  3. Satisfy the University General Education Requirements.
  4. Satisfy the major requirements listed below.

All course work must be completed in accordance with the regulations of the University and the College governing undergraduate scholarship and degrees. Students wishing to apply transfer credits toward the B.P.A. major should consult the political science undergraduate advisor regarding departmental policies and restrictions on the use of these credits.

Major Requirements 

A Bachelor of Public Affairs major must complete a minimum of ten courses, including seven prescribed core courses and three courses within the B.P.A. elective curriculum (see concentration areas below). A Writing Intensive course in political science with a co-registration in PS 5993 is also required. Any political science elective or concentration course at the 3000-level or higher, except PS 5630 and PS 6640, may be used to fulfill this requirement. Students must demonstrate proficiency in writing on public affairs subject matter in a form and style consistent with B.P.A. standards. Election of a corequisite to PS 5993 must have approval from the instructor and students must follow the instructor's guidelines to demonstrate required proficiency. Upon certification by the instructor that the writing requirement has been fulfilled, a grade of Satisfactory ('S') will be awarded for PS 5993, a 'zero' credit course.

Core Curriculum 

Candidates for the B.P.A. degree must satisfy the following core course requirements:

ECO 2010(SS) Principles of Microeconomics3-4
ECO 2020(SS) Principles of Macroeconomics3-4
PS 1010(AI) American Government3-4
or PS 1030 (AI) The American Governmental System
PS 2410Introduction to Public Policy4
PS 2420Ethics and Politics of Public Policy4
or PS 2460 Policy and Rationality: Dilemmas of Choice
PS 3600Methods of Political Inquiry (for students with adequate background)4
or PS 5630 Statistics and Data Analysis in Political Science I
PS 4460Techniques of Policy Analysis4
PS 5993(WI) Writing Intensive Course in Political Science 10
Total Credits25-28
1

Taken in conjunction with either a 3000-level or higher concentration course or with PS 4460.

Required Concentrations

In addition to completion of required core work, students must select a minimum of three additional courses within the B.P.A. elective curriculum, which is comprised of the totality of the courses set forth below. Ideally, these courses should fall within a coherent area of concentration, such as those areas suggested below.

Governance: National, State, and Local
Select at least three of the following:11-12
(SS) Introduction to Urban Politics and Policy
Introduction to Public Administration
The Legislative Process
Politics of the American Presidency
State Government and Politics
Michigan Politics
American Legal Systems and Processes
Democracy
Constitutional Law
Intergovernmental Relations and American Federalism
Govermental Relations, Lobbying, and Electoral Politics
Select at least three of the following:9-12
Public Opinion and Political Behavior
Political Parties and Elections
Political Campaigns in America
Political Interest Groups
The Legislative Process
Politics of the American Presidency
State Government and Politics
Michigan Politics
Gender and Politics
African American Politics
Religion and Politics
Mass Media and Politics
Political Psychology
Class, Race, and Politics in America
Labor and American Politics
Public Management
Select at least three of the following:9-12
Introduction to Public Administration
Bureaucracy and Public Policy
International Conflict and Management
Dispute Resolution
Intergovernmental Relations and American Federalism
Administrative Law and Regulatory Politics
Financial Management for Nonprofit Organizations
Public Policy and Analysis
Select at least three of the following:9-12
Introduction to Public Administration
State Government and Politics
Michigan Politics
Bureaucracy and Public Policy
Environmental Policy and Politics
American Foreign Policy and Administration
Foreign Policies of Major Powers
Intergovernmental Relations and American Federalism
Discrimination and Fair Housing
Statistics and Data Analysis in Political Science II
Urban Policy and Management
Select at least three of the following:9-12
(SS) Introduction to Urban Studies
(SS) Introduction to Urban Politics and Policy
Introduction to Public Administration
State Government and Politics
Michigan Politics
Detroit Politics: Continuity and Change in City and Suburbs
Bureaucracy and Public Policy
African American Politics
Intergovernmental Relations and American Federalism
Discrimination and Fair Housing
Introduction to Nonprofit Organizations

Other Concentrations

With the assistance of the undergraduate advisor, an area of concentration may be specifically designed consisting of political science courses related to a student's particular career objectives. Such a concentration must consist of a minimum of three separate courses. Any proposal for substitutions of other political science courses for those within the above-designated B.P.A. elective curriculum must be submitted in writing to, and be approved by, the undergraduate advisor of the Department.

Political Science Honors Programs

Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Public Affairs majors with strong academic records are encouraged to pursue departmental honors. To be eligible to enter the honors program, a major must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.3. To graduate with honors, students must:

  1. Maintain a 3.3 grade point average.
  2. Under the direction of one or more members of the department, complete a senior honors paper (PS 4995).
  3. Complete all requirements for the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Public Affairs degree.
  4. Complete one 4200-level Honors seminar offered through the Honors College, see Honors Courses (HON).
  5. Accumulate an additional eight credits in honors-designated course work beyond PS 4995, and the Honors Program seminar. These honors credits can be obtained from any department, including Political Science. For information about honors-designated coursework available each semester.

Students interested in participating in the program should contact the department’s undergraduate advisor to determine their eligibility.

‘AGRADE’ Program (Accelerated Graduate Enrollment)

Accelerated Graduate Enrollment: Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Public Affairs majors with superior academic records (top twentieth percentile overall, with at least a 3.6 g.p.a. in the major) are eligible in their senior year (a minimum of 90 credit hours earned) to participate in accelerated graduate enrollment (‘AGRADE’) programs leading to either a Master of Arts degree with a major in political science or a Master of Public Administration degree. The ‘AGRADE’ programs enable students to pursue graduate and undergraduate degrees simultaneously and to apply twelve to fifteen credits of approved course work to both degrees. To participate, students must apply and be accepted into the ‘AGRADE’ program by the Departmental Graduate Committee and secure the approval of the Graduate Officer of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in accordance with rules and procedures established by the College. Students should contact the Department’s undergraduate advisor for further details.

Internships

Internships in government, political campaigns, political advocacy groups, civic organizations, or public agencies provide valuable work-educational experience that enables students to relate knowledge acquired in the classroom to the world-at-large. They also provide practical training that enhances future job prospects. Academic credit may be earned for an internship through enrollment in PS 2992, Political Science Internship, a course that helps to assure the educational relevance of the internship by requiring interns to prepare papers and reports based on their experiences. Interested students should consult the department’s undergraduate advisor.

Study Abroad Exchange Program with the University of Salford

Students may study for one or two semesters at the University of Salford in Salford, England, and earn Wayne State credits through an exchange agreement between the two universities. Applications may be obtained from the Office of Study Abroad and Global Programs. Interested majors or prospective majors should also consult with the Department's undergraduate advisor.