Program Summary

Addressing public and social problems requires an integrated approach.  As a Seattle University Public Affairs student, you will build a solid base in the theory of leadership, economics, public policy, management and finance from which you can take action for social change.

Degrees Offered:

Bachelor of Arts in Public Affairs

The major in Public Affairs welcomes students interested in public policy, community planning, civic engagement and advocacy for employment in local, state and federal government or the nonprofit sector. 

  • Coursework in Public Affairs encourages you to explore diverse perspectives, apply problem-solving skills and engage in practical internship experiences where you will analyze and address real-world social problems.
  • You will choose a concentration in 
    • Urban Studies
    • Nonprofit Management
    • International Development (study abroad options are available)
    • Politics and Policy OR
    • Design your own concentration

Upon completion of the Seattle University Bachelor of Public Affairs program (BPA), you may apply for the SU Master of Public Administration (MPA) program. If you are admitted into the MPA program, you may use up to 15 credits (from your BA) towards the normal 57 credit requirement for completion of the MPA program.

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Nonprofit and Public Administration Minor

For students interested in working in nonprofits, local, state or federal government, the minor will provide you with a foundation in public policy, nonprofit management, urban studies, and community engagement.

The Nonprofit and Public Administration minor is complementary to many majors. Students interested in the Nonprofit and Public Administration Minor are encouraged to meet with the program director to discuss their interests and career goals and to plan their courses of study.

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Public Affairs and University Honors 

Earning a Public Affairs degree for University Honors students is easily achievable. Both the Society, Policy, and Citizenship track and a Public Affairs degree focus on students interested in a public policy-oriented career. Students can complete this as a major, double major, or minor in a normal four-year course of study. Please meet with your honors advisor to discuss your academic course plan and the requirements for the completion of both programs. 

Double Major Pathways  

Public Affairs Majors are in a unique position to complete a double major in Public Affairs and International Studies or Environmental Studies with a specialization in Urban Sustainability or Politics, Policy, and Justice. Students can complete these double majors (and others) in a normal four-year course of study. Please meet with your academic advisor to discuss your academic course plan and the requirements for completing a double major.

Contact Us

Kevin Ward, PhD

Associate Professor and Director Casey 210-18


Rachel House '22 

EVST and PUBA Double Major

"Environmental studies was something I knew I wanted to study for a long time, and the program here at SU was one of the most well-established programs I looked into. I then found out there was a possibility to double major with Public Affairs in addition to EVST and it really piqued my interest. Taking the classes and talking with the people in both programs really solidified in my mind that this was the path I wanted to take and how well the majors fit together."