Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs

A bachelor's degree in public affairs provides students with the skills and knowledge to serve society through a variety of careers in public service. The program is designed to develop skills in leadership and decision-making, create a foundation for understanding American governmental and public institutions, acquire knowledge of the structure and operations associated with the nonprofit sector, and become familiar with the broad and complex economic, financial and legal environments within which public institutions function.

Careers in Public Affairs

The BS in Public Affairs is structured to prepare students for careers in government (federal, state and local), nonprofit organizations, Foreign Service, educational institutions, consulting firms and businesses significantly affected by public policies.

Careers in public administration include emergency management, economic development, criminal justice, public health, national security, labor management relations, mediation, education administration and environmental policy.

The skills acquired in the program will assist in understanding how governments and nonprofits function, managing people and resources, evaluating programs, creating and balancing budgets, overseeing expenditures, analyzing policy, as well as building knowledge of the laws and policies that govern these sectors. The training provided is applicable to any level of government or nonprofits.

Public Affairs at UT Dallas

Public affairs is an interdisciplinary program that integratesthe traditions of public and nonprofit management with the challenges of maintaining and building institutions of governance in a complex society.

Students in public affairs have the opportunity to engage in intellectual discussions of ethical questions related to public service and examine the values that motivate the development of public policy. Through a curriculum of coreand topic-specific courses, students will refine skills in writing, research and critical thinking.

The UT Dallas program offers students the opportunity to learn from and interact with some of the nation's leading academic and public sector experts.

The general BS degree requires 120 hours to graduate: 42 hours from the University's core curriculum, 49 hours from the major and 29 hours of electives.


UT Dallas undergraduates who meet the requirements for admission to graduate school and have at least a 3.5 UT Dallas cumulative GPA should consider the Fast-Track option. Fast-Track allows students to take up to 15 credit hours of graduate courses their senior year that can be applied toward both their bachelor's degree and a master's degree. Students who successfully complete the Fast-Track requirements are not required to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) before entering the master's program.

Pre-Law Program

The Pre-Law Advising and Resource Center at UT Dallas, which is directed by a political science faculty member, works with students interested in pursuing a legal career. Their guidance begins in the students' early years at the University and continues through preparation for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Many pre-law students at UT Dallas are admitted to the nation's top 10 law schools, and the majority earns admission to law school on their first attempt.

Political science faculty and graduate students coach the moot court and mock trial teams, which students can take as classes. Undergraduates also may enroll in classes included in the school's new master's program in constitutional law studies.

The University of Texas at Dallas

The School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences (EPPS)

Every new generation inherits a world more complex than that of its predecessors, which prompts a need for new thinking about public policies that impact people's daily lives. While our colleagues in the Naveen Jindal School of Management or the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science are creating new managerial or technological systems, we in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences (EPPS) examine the implications of innovation and change for individuals and communities.

As an undergraduate in EPPS, you will have the opportunity to work with professors who are probing issues that will affect your future. You will develop the vital skills you need to thrive in a rapidly evolving, highly competitive job market. EPPS will prepare you for careers in government, non-profits and the private sector that enable you to make a real difference in the world of today and tomorrow.

Consider the following example of exciting work under way in EPPS. One of the most complex issues of our time is the question of how to improve public education. Researchers from a variety of disciplines within EPPS are going beyond policy-makers' opinions and collaborating to examine hard data and measure efficiency. Their research could help improve educational practice and enhance our children's ability to compete in a dynamic society.

EPPS is at the forefront of leadership, ethics and innovation in the public and nonprofit sectors. Our students and faculty look forward to new opportunities to study and address the complex and evolving issues of the future.

Research informs much of the instruction. The school has seven centers of excellence:

  • Center for Crime and Justice Studies
  • Center for Global Collective Action
  • Center for the Study of Texas Politics
  • Institute of Public Affairs
  • Institute for Urban Policy Research
  • Texas Schools Project
  • The Negotiations Center

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts: Criminology, economics, geospatial information sciences, international political economy, political science, public affairs, sociology

Master of Science: Applied sociology, criminology, economics, geospatial information sciences, international political economy, justice administration and leadership

Master of Arts: Political science, political science-constitutional law studies, political science-legislative studies

Master of Public Affairs: Public affairs

Master of Public Policy: Public policy

Doctor of Philosophy: Criminology, economics, geospatial information sciences, political science, public affairs, public policy and political economy

Graduate Certificates

EPPS offers the following graduate certificates, which generally can be completed in one year of part-time evening classes:

Geographic Information Systems (GISc): a 15-hour graduate-level certificate focusing on the application of GIS in government, private sector and scientific areas, which can be completed in one year of part-time evening classes.

Remote Sensing: a 15-hour for-credit graduate certificate focusing on remote sensing and digital image processing, which can be completed in one year of part-time evening study.

Geospatial Intelligence: a 15-hour graduate certificate focusing on the application of geospatial ideas and techniques to national security and other intelligence activity.

Local Government Management: a 15-hour graduate certificate focusing on the application of geospatial ideas and techniques to national security and other intelligence activity.

Nonprofit Management: a 15-hour graduate certificate designed to provide an overview of the nature and context of nonprofit organizations and develop competencies needed by nonprofit managers.

Contact Information

EPPS Advising
School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences
The University of Texas at Dallas
800 West Campbell Road GR 31
Richardson, TX 75080-3021

Office of Admission and Enrollment Services
800 West Campbell Road
Richardson, TX 75080-3021
Phone: 972-883-2270 or 1-800-889-2443