Public Service and Administration

faculty teaching

The Public Service and Administration (PSA) major prepares students for career advancement in government and in nonprofit organizations. This major is offered in partnership with the Department of Public Administration and is available fully online.  Students gain first-hand knowledge of effective practices in the government and nonprofit sectors as well as experience in networking and professional development.

Courses in the major cover topics such as public budgeting, strategic planning, leadership, public policy, ethics, and organizational development. They are taught by an accomplished faculty of scholars and practitioners - including, for example, managers at the federal, state, and local levels, and executives of non-profit organizations.  The online format is designed to accommodate professionals with competing priorities for their time, which may make travelling to campus more challenging.   

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupations related to public administration will have about a 13% increase in employment opportunities between 2012 and 2022. 


Public Administration is the organization and management of people and materials to achieve public purposes.   In the PSA major, students are introduced to ethical, philosophic, theological, historical, social, and political perspectives that influence the leadership and management of government and nonprofit organizations.

The goals of this major are to help prepare students to:

  • Understand and pursue the common good
  • Assist in the creation, implementation, and analysis of public programs
  • Strengthen communities through innovative leadership and engaged citizenship
  • Reflect on how the citizen as public servant discovers meaning and purpose in his or her life by forging and developing the bonds of community.

The BA with a major in Public Service and Administration is offered fully online and in an accelerated format that enables degree completion at a faster pace. Course credits from prior institutions can be transferred in and will be evaluated by the College of Professional Studies Admissions Team.


Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) Core = 45 Credits, 15 Courses

Students must complete 15 courses (for a total of 45 credits) in the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) Core Curriculum


Bachelor of Arts Core =  50 Credits, 18 Courses

Complete 18 courses (for a total of 50 credits) in the Bachelor of Arts (BA) Core Curriculum


Public Service and Administration Major Core = 30 Credits, 10 Courses

PA 1050 Public Administration: Administrative politics, law, and ethics, organizational theory and technical fields, such as budgeting, planning, and personnel.

PA 2000 Public Policy: Theories of public policy making, national public policies, and contemporary issues.

PA 2100 City and Suburb: Politics and problems in metropolitan areas of the United States.

PA 3000 Overview of Non-Profit Sector: Exploration and analysis of organizational opportunities and challenges facing the sector in the U.S. and abroad, as well as in-depth discussion of a range of ways to work in the nonprofit sector.

PA 4100 Public Budgeting: How government and nonprofits raise revenue, engage in the budgeting process, and use budgets to manage in the public sector.

PA 4200 Organizational Development: Evaluation of human capital initiatives, marketing and communications strategies, and service delivery in government and nonprofit organizations.

PA 6000 The Vocation of Public Service: The exploration of the concept of public service as a “vocation,” envisioning public service as a means of self-expression through which citizen-servants discover meaning and purpose in their lives by promoting the common good as well as forging and developing the bonds of community among a body of diverse people. This concept is contextualized in the “real-life” choices made by and the experiences of public servants.

LDR 2010 Strategic Planning for Leaders: The strategic planning process in organizations. Mission, values, goals, alignment and accountability in the development and execution of a strategic plan.

LDR 2020 Leadership & Community: Leadership in the public sector. A study of leaders in politics, civil rights, academics/research and corporations. Evaluation of effective/ineffective leadership styles.

LDR 2040 Ethics & Leadership: The nature of ethical leadership. How the leader's values and beliefs affect decision making. The concepts of organizational and social responsibility.


Free Electives

Students must complete 15 elective courses (for a total of 45 credits) if they are in the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies program,


Complete 14 elective courses (for a total of 42 credits) if they are in the Bachelor of Arts program.


Visit the Admissions webpage to view all admissions requirements. Once you have reviewed the process and requirements, you may apply to your program of interest.




Led by Enrollment Coach, Trish Ertwine, MEd, and featuring Christine Palus, PhD, Dean of the College of Professional Studies and associate professor in the Department of Public Administration, this virtual information session will focus entirely on the online PSA degree, including curriculum information, the admissions process, expert faculty, and potential career paths.

open house

Contact Information

Villanova University
College of Professional Studies
800 E. Lancaster Avenue
Vasey Hall, Room 104
Villanova, PA 19085
Phone: 610-519-4300
Fax:     610-519-7910

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