Learning Outcomes

Students who earn a degree through the public affairs area of study are well-equipped to serve society through public service, civic engagement, political and government careers, public communications or non-profit service. Interdisciplinary study prepares students to operate in the public interest, addressing social issues and societal concerns.

The learning objectives for students designing concentrations within the public affairs area of study include:

    • Students are able to articulate and discuss the complex theoretical and philosophical underpinnings of subjects related to the student’s concentration, including the philosophy of American government.
    • Students are able to articulate the historical origins of American government and the public institutions that are central to the student’s concentration. The student can discuss how these institutions compare to those of other countries, of other times or of varying jurisdictions within the United States.
    • Students are able to analyze and evaluate evidence and arguments about social issues related to their concentration and are able to apply problem-solving skills in discussing how the issues should be addressed.
    • Public institutions operate within a legal environment and are affected by – if not part of the process of creating – public policy. Students are able to articulate and discuss how these factors affect their areas of concentration.
    • Students in public affairs are able to articulate and discuss the economic and financial environments as they relate to the concentration.
    • Students are able to examine and discuss the perspectives of the diverse constituencies addressed by their concentration.
    • Students are able to communicate their perspectives effectively to multiple audiences, both orally and in writing.
    • Students are able to gather and analyze relevant information, evaluate evidence and reach well-reasoned conclusions and/or make sound judgments.
    • Students have acquired an understanding of a complex body of knowledge in relation to the concentration, including specific technical or scientific knowledge as appropriate to the concentration.
    • Students are able to analyze ethical concerns related to the area of concentration and the values that society places on the development of public policy.