IUPUI Bulletins » Schools » O'Neill School Of Public and Environmental Affairs » Undergraduate » Degree Programs » Public Policy (BSPA)


Public Policy (BSPA)

The Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs requires 120 credit hours. The program includes five main areas: I. IUPUI Common Core, II. O'Neill Core General Education/baccalaureate requirements, III. Public Affairs Core, IV. Program/Major requirements, and V. Open electives.

Public Affairs focuses on how we provide for our citizens, making our communities better places to live, work and raise a family. Public Affairs students study and analyze government policies, and learn how to manage government and nonprofit organizations.

A Public Policy major prepares students to analyze and assess the usefulness of existing and proposed laws. This major emphasizes critical thinking skills. Graduates often go on to law school or directly into positions in government or government relations.

I. IUPUI Common Core (30 Credits)

Students at IUPUI will complete 30 hours of general education coursework prior to graduation with a baccalaureate degree. The coursework is aligned with the Indiana Common Core (formerly known as INSTGEC). For more information, please visit http://go.iupui.edu/gened.

  1. Core Communication (2 courses; 6 credits) From approved list, students must take at least one writing course (ENG-W 131 - Reading, Writing and Inquiry I or ENG-W 140 - Reading, Writing and Inquiry I Honors version) and one speaking and listening course (COMM-R 110 - Fundamentals of Speech Communication) for a total of two courses and six credits.
  2. Analytical Reasoning (2 courses, 6 credits) From approved list, at least one college level math course (Math-M 118 - Finite Mathematics or higher) and SPEA-K 300 (Statistical Techniques). SPEA-K 301 (Statistical Techniques) is optional but recommended to help with SPEA-K 300.
  3. Life and Physical Sciences (2 courses, 6 credits) From approved list, at least two courses and six credits toward the life and physical sciences.
  4. Cultural Understanding (1 course; 3 credits) From approved list, at least one course and 3 credits. O'Neill students are encouraged to complete first year competency in a foreign language.
  5. Arts & Humanities and Social Sciences (3 courses; 9 credits) From approved list, students must take at least three credits from the Social Sciences list (SPEA-V 170 - Introduction to Public Affairs), at least 3 credits from the Arts & Humanities list, and at least another three credits from either list for a total of nine credits.
II. Baccalaureate Requirements: O'Neill Core General Education Requirements (15 credits)

Classes in this area must be a minimum of 3 credits each.

Choose one course: 

  • BUS-X 204 Business Communications (3 cr.)
  • ENG-W 231 Professional Writing (3 cr.)
  • ENG-W 270 Argumentative Writing (3 cr.)

Choose one course:

  • SPEA-V 379 Performance Measurement and Program Evaluation (3 cr.)
  • ECON-E 201 Introduction to Microeconomics (3 cr.)

Choose one course:

  • POLS-Y 103 Introduction to American Politics (3 cr.)
  • POLS-Y 217 Comparative Politics (3 cr.)

Choose one course:

  • BUS-F 260 (or BUS-F 151 or BUS-F 152 or BUS-F 251) Personal Finance (3 cr.)
  • PSY-B 110 Intro to Psychology (3 cr.)
  • ECON-E 202 Intro to Macroeconomics (3 cr.)
  • SOC-R 100 Intro to Sociology (3 cr.)
  • SOC-R 121 Social Problems (3 cr.)
  • OLS 25200 Human Behavior in Organizations (3 cr.)
  • OLS 26300 Ethical Decisions in Leadership (3 cr.)
  • OLS 27400 Applied Leadership (3 cr.)
  • PHST-P 210 Philanthropy and the Social Sciences (3 cr.) 
  • PHST-P 212 Philanthropy and Civic Engagement (3 cr.)

O'Neill Core Requirement (3 cr.)

  • Select from any IUPUI Common Core (from cultural understanding or social sciences domain) (3 cr.)

If ECON-E 201 and or ECON-E 202 and/or POLS-Y 103 and/r POLYS-Y 217 are used to meet a core requirement, the student must take additional credits from any of the core curriculum general areas (Core Communication, Mathematics/Analytical Reasoning, Life and Physical Sciences, Cultural Understanding, Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences) to achieve the additional O'Neill general education requirement credits. Though, students are not limited to only the core course listings and are encouraged to take higher level courses in those areas, depending on interests, minors, or certificates. Course selection and approval should be done in consultation with a O'Neill Academic Advisor.

All O'Neill students are encouraged to complete First Year Competency in a foreign language.

Students cannot double count courses in this area with their major requirements.

 III. Public Affairs Core (8 courses; 20-26 credits)

  • SPEA-V 170 Intro to Public Affairs (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-V 252 Career Development and Planning (2 cr.) 
  • SPEA-V 261 Using IT in Public Affairs (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-V 264 Community Structures and Policy (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-V 370 Research Methods (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-V 376 Law and Public Affairs (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-V 380 Internship in Public and Environmental Affairs (0-6 cr.)
  • SPEA-V 473 Management, Leadership, and Policy Capstone (3 cr.) 

IV. Public Policy Major (33 cr.)

Required Courses (21 cr.): 

  • SPEA-V 222 Sustainable Communities (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-V 265 Challenges in Social Policy (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-V 280 Understanding Policy Making (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-V 367 Project Planning and Management (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-V 382 Political Action and Civic Engagement (3 cr.) 
  • SPEA-V 408 Individual Rights, Common Goods and Public Policies (3 cr.) 

Choose one course:

  • SPEA-V 263 Public Management (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-V 362 Nonprofit Management and Leadership (3 cr.)

Choose One Track (12 cr.)

For this area, student may: a) select a specific track and take 4 courses from the approved list, b) select any three courses from any of the approved courses on any of the listed tracks, c) can build your own track (work with an O'Neill Advisor)

Criminal Justice Track

  • SPEA-J 101 American Criminal Justice System (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-J 150 Public Safety in America (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-J 201 Theoretical Foundations of CJ Policies (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-J 206 The Criminal Courts (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-J 272 Terrorism and Public Policy (or SPEA-V 272) (3 cr.) 
  • SPEA-J 275 Diversity Issues in Criminal Justice (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-J 305 Juvenile Justice (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-J 311 Criminal Law and Procedure (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-J 321 American Policing (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-J 331 Corrections (3 cr.)
Environmental Policy Track
  • SPEA-V 310 Environmental Community Development (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-V 311 Natural Resources and Environmental Policy (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-V 322 Sustainable Management (3 cr.) spring only
  • SPEA-V 419 Sustainable Community Development (3 cr.)
  • GEOG-G 208 Environment and Society (3 cr.)
  • GEOG-G 310 Human Impact on the Environment (3 cr.) (not offered)
  • GEOL-G 132 Environmental Issues and Solutions (3 cr.)
  • OLS 20000 Introduction to Sustainable Principles and Practices (3 cr.)
  • TECH 30100 Renewable Energy Systems (3 cr.) 
Public Health Track
  • PBHL-A 140 Preparing for Disasters (3 cr.)
  • PBHL-A 316 Environmental Science Health (3 cr.)
  • PBHL-A 435 Energy, Climate Change, Resilience, and Health (3 cr.)
  • PBHL-H 120 Health Care Delivery in U.S. (3 cr.)
  • PBHL-S 120 Introduction to Community Health (3 cr.)
  • PBHL-S 250 Social & Behavioral Dimensions of Public Health (3 cr.)
  • PBHL-S 315 Community Organizing for Health Promotion (3 cr.)
  • PBHL-S 325 Urban Angst, Suburban Blues: Public Mental Health
  • PBHL-S 337 Health Equity & Social Determinants of Health (3 cr.)
  • SOC-R 382 Social Organization of Health Care (3 cr.)
Social Equity Track
  • SPEA-J 275 Diversity Issues in Criminal Justice (3 cr.) Work with O'Neill Advisor for permission if SPEA-J 101 is not complete.
  • SPEA-V 265 Challenges in Social Policy (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-V 438 Mass Media and Public Affairs (3 cr.)
  • AFRO-A 150 Survey of the Culture of Black Americans (3 cr.)
  • ENG-W 377 Writing for Social Change (3 cr.)
  • SOC-R 121 Social Problems (3 cr.)
  • SOC-R 312 Sociology of Religion (3 cr.)
  • SWK-S 102 Understanding Diversity in a Pluralistic Society (3 cr.)
  • SWK-S 302 Law, Inequality, and Poverty (3 cr.)

If course(s) are selected that are also on the IUPUI Common Core, only 3 courses can double for the IUPUI Common Core and for the major. 

V. Open Electives (approx. 16 cr.)

Additional courses beyond the IUPUI Common Core, O'Neill General Education requirements, and Major requirements to total 120 credit hours (these are not required to be, but can be, O'Neill courses).

Only college level course work will count toward open electives. Remedial courses in areas such as math and English do not count.

Important notes:

Students may transfer to the O'Neill School of Public & Environmental Affairs once they acquire 12 credit hours, an overall cumulative GPA of 2.0, and a previous semester GPA of 2.0.

O'Neill Good Standing requires: a previous semester 2.0 GPA, a cumulative 2.0 GPA.

Please see your O'Neill Academic Advisor with any questions. To make an appointment with your advisor, call O'Neill Student Services at 317-274-4656.