Bachelor of Public Affairs (B.P.A.)

The Bachelor of Public Affairs (B.P.A.) at Wayne State University prepares you for a career in the nonprofit sector of government or related public agencies through an interdisciplinary, hands-on learning format. Combining a general liberal arts education with the fundamentals of social science theory, you'll learn to apply your knowledge through political science coursework, research and internships.

Why Wayne State's public affairs major?

  • Learn from nationally renowned, published faculty members.
  • Study abroad in England while earning Wayne State University credits through the University of Salford Exchange Program.
  • Gain valuable work experience by joining an internship advocating for civic organizations or political campaigns to make a difference in your community.

What is public affairs?

Public affairs is the means of controlling what information is available to the public from an entity-typically government agencies. In a highly diverse field, public affairs professionals work to develop a strong connection between the public and the government to influence opinions. Thus, it is their responsibility to bridge the gap between these relationships.

Multifaceted professionals, public affairs experts take on a variety of responsibilities, such as:

  • Advising or assisting policymakers on legislation
  • Advocacy
  • Consulting
  • Lobbying
  • Preparing presentations
  • Relaying vital information to stakeholders

Learning objectives

  • Develop leadership and communication skills to specialize in an area of governance
  • Respectfully formulate arguments and effectively communicate information with appropriate citations
  • Prepare for immediate employment across the city, county, state and national government or related agencies

B.P.A. degree program requirements and curriculum

The Bachelor of Public Affairs degree requires a minimum of 120 credits and is satisfied through:


As a public affairs major, you enroll in a minimum of nine core courses and two elective courses to meet your major requirements.

Your core major requirements cover the following spectrum of topics:

  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics
  • American government
  • Public policy
  • Environmental policy
  • Data analysis in political science
  • Ethics in public policy
  • Policy analysis
  • Political inquiry

Fast-track to your Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.)

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers a pathway to earning your Master of Public Administration alongside your undergraduate degree through the Accelerated Graduate Enrollment (AGRADE) program. Wayne State's M.P.A. program is continuously ranked among the best in the nation.

To enroll:

  • Must complete a minimum of 90 credits toward the public affairs degree
  • Hold a GPA of at least 3.30 in the public administration major
  • Hold a cumulative GPA of 3.30

Discover how you can graduate with a Bachelor of Public Affairs and a Master of Public Administration through Wayne State University.

Minor in political science

Public affairs majors in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences predominantly enroll in the political science minor to broaden their interests. Enrich your undergraduate experience by learning about the political science minor.

Join a public affairs internship or study abroad

As an undergraduate student in the Department of Political Sscience, you have the unique opportunity to learn by traveling across the Detroit, MI, region or overseas to England. Participating in an internship or study abroad program allows you to not only earn academic credit but also provides valuable experiences for you to carry throughout your career.

Learn more about internships or the University of Salford's Study Abroad Exchange Program.

Bachelor of Public Affairs career outlook

Whether your interests lie in climate change advocacy, political journalism or public affairs, a B.P.A. degree ensures you develop transferable skills across any profession.

Our previous public affairs graduates launched their careers in political campaign management and government agencies. Some of them also continued their graduate studies in law and public administration.

Take a glimpse at the range of potential career settings:

  • Advocacy
  • Campaign management
  • Consulting
  • Finance
  • Journalism/media communications
  • Law
  • Nonprofits
  • Research
  • State, local, and federal government
  • Teaching

Tuition and financial aid

To help cover the cost of undergraduate tuition, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers several scholarships for students who demonstrate a financial need. Utilize our net price calculator to determine the cost of your college education.

Learn more about Wayne State University's Bachelor of Public Affairs

Lead, uplift and give back to your community by earning your Bachelor of Public Affairs degree at Wayne State University.

Career insights

This tool provides a broad overview of how major selection can lead to careers and is provided without any implied promise of employment. Some careers will require further education, skills, or competencies. Actual salaries may vary significantly between similar employers and could change by graduation, as could employment opportunities and job titles.