The Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs (BSPA)
The BSPA prepares students to analyze problems and effectively solve issues with the principle goal of enhancing all aspects of public life.
Baruch College emphasizes the importance of civic engagement, community leadership, and the professional development of current and future public service leaders. The college follows the tradition of its namesake, Bernard M. Baruch, a public servant who advised seven U.S. presidents.
Public Affairs is a unique degree within the city that cultivates passion and prepares individuals to tackle social justice issues and uplift our communities both domestically and internationally. The College and School acknowledge its significance. As a result, there has been a commitment to serve more individuals focused on public service.
The program is interdisciplinary, which means that many diverse fields are studied. With this degree students develop a strong, marketable foundation that is flexible across the various sectors – public, nonprofit, and even private.
Hear From Some of Our Students
“I am majoring in public affairs to learn how to make positive, effective changes in people’s lives through the public sector’s various forms of service delivery as well as countless nonprofit organizations.” – T. Duclosel, BSPA ’18
“For me, public affairs is the epitome of working for public good…it’s the canal through which future generations will be able to make positive changes and thus help our societies move forward. I think about Public Affairs as something more meaningful than a major or even a career path; it’s a passion.” – O. Kante, BSPA ’19
BSPA Undergraduate Admissions Information
To become a student at Baruch College requires an application to the City University of New York (CUNY). There are separate applications for freshman and transfers from community colleges. The deadline for entry in the fall semester is February 1 and for the spring semester it is September 15. Connect to Apply to CUNY for the online application.
There is a wide array of financial aid options and programs; including scholarships, grants, and loans to help Baruch College students pay for college.
Students should select public affairs as intended major when applying to Baruch and officially declare after arriving on campus by submitting a BSPA Major Declaration Form [PDF] to MSPIA.BSPA@baruch.cuny.edu or in-person at 135 E. 22nd Street, 4th Floor.
To gain more information about the BSPA program, email MSPIA.BSPA@baruch.cuny.edu, make an appointment to speak with a team member.
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
The BSPA philosophy is that civic engagement must be informed by knowledge, rooted in ethical values, connected to democratic aspirations, and embodied through practice. 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. Public service offers many career opportunities for those who graduate with the BSPA degree. Graduates work 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.
Program learning goals are the broad statements that address higher order learning, encompassing the degree’s mission, values, and overall expectations. These goals are addressed at various points throughout the curriculum.
Student completing the BSPA program will:
- Articulate how public policy is formulated, implemented, and evaluated.
- Write documents that articulate purpose, utilize evidence, logic, and apply pertinent values to provide analysis and arguments relevant to the question or issue and appropriate for a chosen audience.
- Produce oral presentations that articulate purpose, utilize evidence, logic, and apply pertinent values to provide analysis and arguments relevant to the question or issue and appropriate for a chosen audience.
- Analyze data and draw valid conclusions.
- Apply research findings to public policy questions or decision making situations.
- Demonstrate an understanding of pertinent values, such as diversity, integrity, ethical conduct, and professionalism; and articulate how they can impact public policy and decision making situations.