The undergraduate major in public service is offered by the Pitt Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. It is designed to prepare students for a broad range of careers that are focused on the resolution of public problems or the delivery of public services. These careers range from those in the local government and community arena to the metropolitan region and state arena to national and international settings. Potential employers include local, state, and federal governments; nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations at the local, regional, national, and international level; private firms engaged in working with governments; and private corporations with an active public service culture.
The major serves students who are interested in public issues as concerned and interested citizens and prepares them for a wide range of graduate programs related to public policy and management.
Students must complete a minimum of 120 credits for the Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in public service. Of this total, students must take 33 credits (11 courses) in public service; one course in statistics(STAT 0200 - BASIC APPLIED STATISTICS or an equivalent course); and six credits (two courses) in a related field such as political science, economics, psychology, sociology, or another field approved by an academic advisor. The remaining credits required for the degree are outlined in the General Education Requirements section on this page.
Core Courses (15 credits)
Concentration Areas (18 credits)
Choose one of the three concentration areas below:
Public Administration Concentration
Nonprofit Management Concentration
Courses that meet the special program needs of the student may be selected from any course offered in public service or in another area or department. The self-designed concentration must be approved by a College of General Studies academic advisor.
Public Service Electives
Public administration concentration students may use the 1200-numbered courses as electives; nonprofit management concentration students may use 1100-numbered courses. Courses designated (UHC) are offered in conjunction with the University Honors College.
Five-year accelerated program for Pitt undergraduates
High-achieving University of Pittsburgh juniors (and in some cases, first-term seniors) in the College of General Studies may apply early to the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA). If admitted, they may enroll at GSPIA in what normally would have been their senior year, allowing them to complete both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in a total of five years. Special eligibility requirements apply. Pitt undergraduates interested in this program should contact GSPIA at 412-648-7640.
This major requires that you complete an internship at a facility external to the University, and this facility may or will require a criminal background check, an Act 33/34 clearance, and perhaps a drug screen to determine whether you are qualified to participate in the internship. Additionally, in order to become licensed or employed, many states will inquire as to whether the applicant has been convicted of a misdemeanor, a felony, or a felonious or illegal act associated with alcohol and/or substance abuse.
Students interested in a minor, rather than a major, in public service should check with their academic advisor.
Requirements subject to change. Check with an academic advisor before registering.
General Education Requirements
To earn a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree in the College of General Studies, you must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 120 credits (approximately 40 courses), at least 30 credits of which must be in upper-division (1000-level) courses. These 1000-level courses may come from any of the requirements for the degree listed below. Requirements are subject to change; students should check with an academic advisor before registering. Approved courses are listed each term at www.cgs.pitt.edu
Skills (15 credits minimum)
Certain tools of knowledge are required of all students in the baccalaureate degree program: ability to use the English language orally and in writing and ability to understand and use basic mathematical symbols. The courses required to satisfy each of the skills requirements are listed below:
Oral Communication-3 credits
Writing-9 credits minimum
ENGCMP 0200 - ENGCMP 0208 and two other courses from English composition (ENGCMP) or English writing (ENGWRT), or those designated W (writing).
Note: At least 3 credits of composition/writing must be from the University of Pittsburgh.
Mathematics-3 credits minimum
Students admitted to CGS for the fall term 2008 (2091) and thereafter are required to complete the public speaking, math, and first University writing course (ENGCMP 0200 or above) with a C- or better grade.
Quantitative and Formal Reasoning (3 credits minimum)
In addition to the acquisition of certain tools of knowledge through the skills requirements, students also need to acquire the ability to apply logic and formal reasoning to reading, writing, and thinking. Choose one course from the following list:
Understandings (27 credits)
A liberal education provides broad exposure to the three major bodies of knowledge-humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Students are exposed to social, scientific, aesthetic, moral, and religious information, the purpose of which is to furnish insight into how the concerns of people are interrelated, how knowledge has been accumulated, and how unsolved problems still challenge humanity. The courses needed to fulfill the understandings requirements are listed below.
Humanities (9 credits)
Three courses (one at the 1000 level) distributed over three of the disciplines listed below:
|History of Art and Architecture
*literature and culture courses
Social Sciences (9 credits)
Three courses (one at the 1000 level) distributed over three of the disciplines listed below:
|Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies
Natural Sciences (9 credits)
Three courses distributed over two or three of the disciplines listed below:
||History and philosophy of science
|Geology and environmental science
As these tables show, some departments have courses used in different categories. For the list of approved courses, view Academics at www.cgs.pitt.edu.
Literature (3 credits)
This requirement introduces students to works of literature that have abiding value and, in the process, to the techniques of literary interpretation. This one-course requirement may also be fulfilled from disciplines other than English.
History (3 credits)
The study of history provides an understanding of contemporary society from the viewpoint of long-term change. This one-course requirement may also be fulfilled with courses other than those offered by the Department of History.
A course can be used to fulfill only one requirement in the categories of understandings, literature, and history.
International Perspective (9 credits minimum)
The world of today is economically, politically, and culturally interdependent. In the 21st century, knowledge of countries has become essential. This three-course requirement may be fulfilled by taking internationally focused courses offered by a variety of departments. At least one of the courses must be a non-Western course. All international courses may overlap with another requirement.
Specialized Study (the Major) (30-36 credits)
The baccalaureate degree, in addition to providing certain skills and broad exposure to the major bodies of knowledge, also allows the opportunity to specialize in a particular field, providing depth of experience essential for vocational competence or further graduate study. An outline of each major may be obtained at the CGS information display in 1400 Wesley W. Posvar Hall or on the CGS Web site, www.cgs.pitt.edu.
Students admitted to CGS can choose from the following majors. The majors indicated by asterisks are also available by combining Saturday and CGS Online courses.
- Administration of justice*
- Dental hygiene (for licensed dental hygienists)
- Health services (BA and BS)
- Legal studies
- Media and professional communications
- Natural sciences
- Public service
- Social sciences*
Students who want a major in an arts and sciences field can begin in CGS and transfer to Arts and Sciences after completing 12 credits including the mathematics and seminar in composition requirements. Admission is determined by Arts and Sciences.
Any credits not used specifically to satisfy the previous requirements are considered electives. Electives can be taken in a wide variety of subjects to complement, reinforce, or add further breadth to the chosen program of study or to help meet the requirements of aminor or certificate program. Students may have no more than 18 credits in professional courses, such as administration of justice, business, education, engineering, information science, public service, and social work, as electives.
Preparation for Professional Programs
Prerequisite courses for the following programs may be taken through CGS prior to applying to another Pitt school.
• Business • Education • Engineering • Health and Rehabilitation Sciences • Information Science • Nursing • Pharmacy • Social Work
Requirements are subject to change. Check with an academic advisor before registering.
An internship program is available through the College of General Studies. Please see your advisor for additional information.
For more information, contact the University of Pittsburgh College of General Studies.