Public Policy & Service

Public Policy & Service

Do you want to make a difference in your community? Do you see yourself having a career in public service, health care, education or a nonprofit organization focused on social change? Our major in public policy & service may be the right fit for you!


The interdisciplinary public policy and service major combines coursework from public policy, public administration, and nonprofit studies. Public policy is an academic discipline that studies the development, implementation, analysis and evaluation of policies that are relevant to the public, including policies related to government practices, business, law, and healthcare. Public administration is an academic discipline that studies the implementation of government policy and prepares civil servants for working in the public service. Nonprofit studies examine the management and effectiveness of the nonprofit sector.

A public policy major acquires the knowledge and skills from political science, business, theology, and other areas of the curriculum needed to successfully analyze and propose solutions to some of the most complex problems confronting our region, country, and world today.

Michael Allison, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science

Why Public Policy & Service is in Demand:

  • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of political scientists is projected to grow 6 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. Increased demand for public policy analysis in both government and non-government organizations will support employment growth for these workers.
  • The world is fast-changing, and with that change comes the need for new ideas and policies.

Is it for me?

  • Do you like to analyze problems and offer creative solutions?
  • Would you enjoy being an advocate for others as a career?
  • Do you possess strong critical thinking, writing and oral communication skills?
  • Do you like to persuade or influence others?

Five Reasons to Choose Scranton for Public Policy & Service

Strong community.    Discover a close-knit group of people from diverse backgrounds with one important commonality: a passion to help and serve others.
Dedicated faculty.    Departmental faculty are strong researchers, caring teachers and field experts. Professors take a student-centered, hands-on approach to teaching through a combination of lecture, discussion and experiential learning.
Small class sizes.   You're more than a face or number at The University of Scranton. We keep our class sizes small for a personalized learning experience.
Jesuit education.    The program is consistent with the Jesuit mission to prepare people to live and work for and with others. The program specially trains its graduates to pursue careers in public service and nonprofits.
Real-world experience.   All students are required to complete an internship. In addition, our new Center for Ethics and Excellence in Public Service provides opportunities for experiential learning.
  • Preparing You For Personal & Professional Successplus or minus

    This program is designed to prepare students for direct entry into public service fields or for specialized graduate training in public administration, nonprofit studies and nonprofit management, and public policy.

    You’ll be able to:

    • demonstrate the knowledge, skills and ethics needed to be a responsible and successful administrator, manager and/or leader in public sector and nonprofit organizations.
    • analyze the problems facing public sector and nonprofit organizations and personnel and evaluate potential solutions to those challenges.
    • communicate clearly, accurately and persuasively about political and administrative issues and ideas. ​
  • What You'll Learnplus or minus


    In the public policy and service program, students learn the fundamentals of administration and policymaking in the United States by completing six foundational political science courses so as to gain a better understanding of policymaking and administration needed for these careers (U.S. Politics: Principles & Citizenship; U.S. Politics: Institutions & Policy or State and Local Government; Public Administration; Political Science Research; Policy Analysis; and Organizational Theory and Behavior). Students also acquire skills in budgeting, personnel management, accounting, and economics, and expertise in a specific policy area. The goal is to prepare students for careers in public, nonprofit, and private sectors.

    Hands-on experience

    Students will complete an internship (PS 480/PS 481), community-based learning course or independent study that gets them out into the community to apply firsthand what they learned in the classroom. A number of internship opportunities relevant to the program already exist in the local area in government agencies, nonprofits and the Institute for Public Policy & Economic Development. Students will also be able to complete coursework in Washington, D.C., through the Washington Internship Institute and the Washington Center with whom the University has articulation agreements. The Center for Ethics and Excellence in Public Service will also provide several opportunities for students to engage with professionals in the same fields.

    Click here to view the curriculum.

  • Pursue Your Passion and Make a Differenceplus or minus

    The Center for Ethics and Excellence in Public Service (CEEPS) at The University of Scranton provides opportunities for students to grow alongside and network with professionals already working in the field. CEEPS advocates for just and effective state and local government by promoting and supporting the development of ethical action and good governance by public officials and employees, by fostering civically knowledgeable and responsible community members and by spurring learning and collaboration between University students and the public sector.


Where will Public Policy & Service Take Me?

A public policy and service degree is a multi-disciplinary, multi-dimensional degree, and as such, career and job options are varied. This program is designed to deliver both content and skills so that graduates will succeed in the workforce, law school or graduate school.

Graduate and Law Schools:

Students from the Department of Political Science go on to pursue graduate degrees and advanced study of topics, including: public administration, public policy, nonprofit management, nonprofit administration, business administration and law.

You’ll find our recent graduates continuing their education at:

  • American University
  • Baruch College
  • Boston University
  • Brandeis University
  • Brooklyn Law School
  • Delaware Law School
  • Duquesne University School of Law
  • Georgetown University
  • George Washington University
  • Hofstra University School of Law
  • Pace University School of Law
  • Penn State University
  • Seton Hall University
  • St. Louis University
  • Temple University
  • The University of Scranton
  • University of Maryland School of Law
  • University of Miami School of Law
  • Villanova University

Employment Opportunities:

Employment opportunities include both political and non-political options, as well as in public, private and nonprofit sectors. This program takes special care to prepare students for careers in public policy, public administration and nonprofits.

How Scranton Gives You a Competitive Edge

Competitive Edge

Students come to Scranton from a spectrum of diverse viewpoints. As a result, we make sure the classroom is a comfortable place to express and defend your views. You’ll learn how to make sound arguments and support your positions while appreciating the perspectives of others.

Take the Next Step

Get the Facts

View PDF with Program Overview
& Curriculum

For More Information

Office of Admissions
The Estate
Scranton, PA 18510
1-888-SCRANTON or (570) 941-7540

Political Science Department
Michael Allison, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Political Science
(570) 941-4392