The John Glenn College of Public Affairs gives students the opportunity to craft the program to fit their needs through different specialization options that allow them to focus on a particular policy area of interest or hone a specific skill. Students may fulfill the specialization requirement either through the completion of an interdisciplinary public affairs specialization track or an approved minor.

Designed for individuals who wish to pursue leadership positions in nonprofit organizations, the Nonprofit Management track serves as an excellent option if you aspire to serve in the nonprofit sector, a government agency that deals extensively with nonprofits, or the organized philanthropy field. Nonprofits are engaged in a wide range of policy sectors, including social welfare, public health, education, and arts and culture. As mission-driven organizations, nonprofits provide participants in the organization an opportunity to use their expertise to serve others. In the nonprofit track, you will gain the skills and knowledge relevant for a career in the nonprofit sector. The specialization track addresses the distinctive features and practices of nonprofit organizations and emphasizes management techniques helpful to nonprofit leaders.


Students in the nonprofit management track are required to take two foundational courses and then select at least 9 credit hours of elective courses from a list of courses that draws from various departments across the Ohio State University. Students are encouraged, but not required, to undertake an internship with a nonprofit organization during their degree program.Students who enroll in an internship experience for credit (e.g. PUB AFRS 4191.01/4191.02) can count the credit towards the 9 credit hours of elective track credit. Honors students should consult their advisor.


Foundational Courses (Take these courses)
  • PUB AFRS 2150 Introduction to Nonprofit Organizations (3 hours)
  • PUB AFRS 3140 Introduction to Nonprofit Management (3 hours)
Elective Courses (at least 9 hours):
  • PUB AFRS 3110 Education Policy in a Changing World (3 hours)
  • PUB AFRS 3500 Public Management (3 hours)
  • PUB AFRS 4060 Senior Leadership Seminar (3 hours)
  • PUB AFRS 4510 Law and Public Affairs (3 hours)
  • PUB AFRS 5750H The Business-Government Relationship (3 hours)
  • PUB AFRS 5591 Lobbying and Government Relations (3 hours)
  • PUB AFRS 5592 Marketing for Public and Nonprofit Organizations
  • PUB AFRS 5590 Fundraising and Philanthropy for Nonprofit Organizations
  • English 4567S Rhetoric and Community Service (3 hours)
  • Art Education 3681 Managing Arts Organizations (3 hours)
  • Art Education 3680 Exploring the Creative Sector: Art Issues in the 21st Century (3 hours)
  • COMM 3325 Introduction to Organizational Communication (3 hours)
  • COMM 4556 Information Technology and Organizational Communication (3 hours)
  • BUS MHR 2500 Entrepreneurship (3 hours)
  • BUS MHR 3520 Leading High Performance Ventures (3 hours)
  • BUS MHR 3200 Managing Individuals in Organizations: Organizational Behavior and Human Resources (3 hours)
  • BUS MHR 3100 Foundations of Management and Human Resources (3 credit hours)
  • BUS FIN 3120 Foundations of Finance (3 credit hours)
  • ACCTMIS 2000 Foundations of Accounting (3 credit hours)


** Specialization tracks must have 12 unique hours. Students are permitted to overlap 1 course (3-credit hours) with the major core, or a minor.

The Urban Policy specialization track offers undergraduate students a unique opportunity to study the important public policy issues facing our cities and urban areas today. Drawing upon courses from a variety of academic disciplines, including economics, city and regional planning, political science, geography, sociology, and others, students will gain an understanding of the difficult problems local and regional governments must face on a daily basis. Graduates of this program will be well-suited for a variety of positions in government, nonprofit organizations, and the private sectors. Whether our students are serving in programmatic or analytical positions within local, county and regional government or coordinating services to people in need within the nonprofit world, cities and communities will look to our graduates as leaders in public service.


Students in the urban policy and management track are required to take two foundational courses and then select at least 9 credit hours of elective courses from a list of courses that draws from various departments across the Ohio State University. Students are encouraged, but not required, to undertake an internship with a local government agency or nonprofit during their degree program. Students who enroll in an internship experience for credit (e.g. PUB AFRS 4191) can count the credit towards the fifteen credit hours of elective track credit. Honors students should consult their advisor.


Foundational Courses (Take these courses)
  • PUB AFRS 5030 Local Government (3 hours)
  • POLITSC 4127 City Politics (3 hours)
Other Courses (at least 9 hours):
  • PUB AFRS 3110 Education Policy in a Changing World (3 hours)
  • PUB AFRS 3500 Public Management (3 hours)
  • PUB AFRS 4060 Senior Leadership Seminar (3 hours)
  • PUB AFRS 4510 Law and Public Affairs (3 hours)
  • PUB AFRS 5420 Race and Public Policy in the United States (3 hours)
  • PUB AFRS 5750H The Business-Government Relationship (3 hours)
  • PUB AFRS 5591 Lobbying and Government Relations (3 hours)
  • AFAMAST 2218 Black Urban Experience (3 hours)
  • BUSFIN 3400 Intorduction to Real Estate (3 hours)
  • COMPSTD 3661 The City and Culture (3 hours)
  • CRPLAN 3500 The Socially Just City (3 hours)
  • CRPLAN 2100 Reading the City through History and Law (3 hours)
  • ECON 4320 Public Expenditure and Cost-Benefit Analysis (3 hours)
  • ECON 4500 Economic Development (3 hours)
  • ECON 4920 Housing Economics (3 hours)
  • EDUTL 4005 Urban Teaching and Learning (3 hours)
  • GEOG 3597.01 World Urbanization (3 hours)
  • GEOG 5502 Social Cities (3 hours)
  • GEOG 5602 Urban Political Geography (3 hours)
  • POLITSC 5140 Ethnic Politics in American Cities (3 hours)
  • POLITSC 5124 Urban Politics (3 hours)


** Specialization tracks must have 12 unique hours. Students are permitted to overlap 1 course (3-credit hours) with the major core, or a minor.

The civic engagement specialization track explores the role of the citizen in our communities and examines a variety of ways that people can work together to influence the public policy decisions our governments make. By analyzing ideas and concepts like community, leadership, service, organization, capacity building, and social change, students in the civic engagement track will be prepared to empower members of a community and lead them in making a difference. Drawing upon courses from a variety of academic disciplines, students will learn about how social change occurs, how members of a community can work together, and how individuals can have an effect in public policy issues. This track will help students realize their potential to impact their communities and will help answer the long-standing question, “Can one person really make a difference?”


Students in the civic engagement track are required to take two foundational courses and then select at least 9 credit hours of elective courses from a list of courses that draws from various departments across the Ohio State University. Students are encouraged, but not required, to undertake an internship with a nonprofit organization during their degree program; students who enroll in an internship experience for credit (e.g. PUB AFRS 4191) can count the credit towards the nine credit hours of elective track credit. Honors students should consult their advisor.


Foundational Courses (Take these courses)
  • ESHESA Leadership in Community Service (3 hours)
  • POLITSC 4160 Public Opinion (3 hours)
Other Courses (at least 9 hours):
  • PUB AFRS 3110 Education Policy in a Changing World (3 hours)
  • PUB AFRS 3500 Public Management (3 hours)
  • PUB AFRS 4060 Senior Leadership Seminar (3 hours)
  • PUB AFRS 4510 Law and Public Affairs (3 hours)
  • PUB AFRS 5750H The Business-Government Relationship (3 hours)
  • PUB AFRS 5591 Lobbying and Government Relations (3 hours)
  • PUB AFRS 5592 Marketing for Public and Nonprofit Organizations
  • PUB AFRS 5420 Race and Public Policy in the United States (3 hours)
  • AFAMAST 5189S Community Development: Field Research and Seminar (3 hours)
  • AFAMAST/POLITSC 4504 Black Politics (3 hours)
  • COMM 4814 Political Communication (3 hours)
  • COMLDR 3530: Foundations of Personal and Professional Leadership (3 hours)
  • ECON 3048 Ethics and Social Responsibility (3 hours)
  • POLITSC 2150/2150H: Voters and Elections (3 hours)
  • POLITSC 4150: American Political Parties (3 hours)
  • POLITSC 4152: Campaign Politics (3 hours)
  • POLITSC 4136: Civil Liberties (3 hours)
  • POLITSC 4164 Political Participation and Voting Behavior (3 hours)
  • POLITSC 4165: The Mass Media and American Politics (3 hours)
  • POLITSC 4170: Gender and Politics (3 hours)
  • SOCIOL 2391 Social Organization of Communities (3 hours)
  • SOCIOL 3407 Social Change (3 hours)
  • SOCIOL 3463/3463H Social Stratification: Race, Class, and Gender (3 hours)
  • WGSST 3385 Women and Political Leadership Internship (3 hours)
  • WGSST 4513 Women, Government and Public Policy (3 hours)


** Specialization tracks must have 12 unique hours. Students are permitted to overlap 1 course (3-credit hours) with the major core, or a minor.

Designed for individuals that want to obtain positions in education or community organizations with an emphasis on education, the Education Policy track is a great option for work in the government, nonprofit, and development sectors. Education organizations, manage schools, provide consulting services to government, and work internationally to advance education in developing nations. Many of the agencies working in education require skilled professionals with expertise in Public Affairs, such as evaluation, data mining and modeling, and budget or finance.


Students in the education policy track are required to take two foundational courses and then select at least 9 credit hours of elective courses from a list of courses that draws from various departments across the Ohio State University. Students are encouraged, but not required, to undertake an internship with a local government agency or nonprofit during their degree program; students who enroll in an internship experience for credit (e.g. PUB AFRS 4191.01/4191.02) can count the credit towards the fifteen credit hours of elective track credit. Honors students should consult their advisor.


Foundational Courses (Take these courses)
  • PUB AFRS 3110 Education Policy in a Changing World (3 hours)
  • ESCFE 4280 History of Modern Education (3 hours)
Other Courses (at least 9 hours):
  • ESWDE 5624 Foundations of Workforce Development and Education (3 hours)
  • ESCFS 5260 Children, Families, and Communities in Conflict (3 hours)
  • ESCFE 3206 School and Society (3 hours)
  • ESCFE 4214 Gender and Education (3 hours)
  • ESCFE 4245 Education and Spirituality: Holistic Perspectives (3 hours)
  • SOCIOL 2320 Sociology of Education (3 hours)
  • SOCIOL 3306 Sociology of Poverty (3 hours)
  • SOCIOL 3464 Work, Employment and Society (3 hours)


** Specialization tracks must have 12 unique hours. Students are permitted to overlap 1 course (3-credit hours) with the major core, or a minor.

The Public Management track prepares students to serve in managerial roles in public organizations at the local, state or national levels. The track requires two foundational courses – one in public decision-making and one in law and public affairs. The Public Affairs Decision Making core course provides students with an understanding of how managers in the public sector can make decisions and pursue strategies to achieve important public and managerial goals. The Law and Public Affairs course provides students an understanding of the legal environment in which public organizations operate. Beyond the two required courses, students must select three additional courses to complete the track.


Students in the public management track are required to take two foundational courses and then select at least 9 credit hours of elective courses from a list of courses that draws from various departments across the Ohio State University. Students are encouraged, but not required, to undertake an internship with a local government agency or nonprofit during their degree program; students who enroll in an internship experience for credit (e.g. PUB AFRS 4191.01/4191.02) can count the credit towards the fifteen credit hours of elective track credit. Honors students should consult their advisor.


Foundational Courses (Take these courses)
  • PUBAFRS 4510 Law and Public Affairs (3 hours)
  • PUBAFRS 4010 Public Affairs Decision Making
Other Courses (at least 9 hours):
  • PUBAFRS 3140 Nonprofit Management and Governance (3 hours)
  • PUBAFRS 4000 Program Evaluation
  • PUBAFRS 4020 Public Affairs Decision Making - WAIP
  • PUBAFRS 4310 State and Local Government Finance
  • PUBAFRS 5030 Local Government
  • PUBAFRS 5592 Marketing for Public and Nonprofit Organizations (3 hours)
  • PUBAFRS 5750 Public Policy: The Business-Government Relationship (3 hours)
  • ACCTMIS 2000 Foundations of Accounting (3 hours)
  • BUSMHR 3665 Personal Creativity and Innovation (3 hours)
  • BUSMGT 2320 Decision Sciences: Statistical techniques (3 hours)
  • CSE 2111 Modeling and Problem Solving (3 hours)
  • COMM 3325 Introduction to Organizational Communication (3 hours)
  • COMM 4556 Information Technology and Organizational Communication (3 hours)
  • POLITSCI 4115 Bureaucracy and Public Policy (3 hours)
  • POLITSCI 4125 American State Politics (3 hours)
  • POLITSCI 4127 City Politics (3 hours)
  • PSYCH 4522 Organizational Psychology (3 hours)


** Specialization tracks must have 12 unique hours. Students are permitted to overlap 1 course (3-credit hours) with the major core, or a minor.

Public sector employers increasingly demand that employees possess the technical skills necessary to evaluate the impact of public policies and programs. The purpose of the Policy Analysis & Evaluation track is to provide students with these skills. After completing this track, students will be equipped with the conceptual knowledge and applied techniques necessary to collect and analyze data for the purpose of identifying the impact of public policies. Students in the policy analysis and evaluation track are required to take two foundational courses and then select at least 9 credit hours of elective courses from a list of courses that draws from various departments across the Ohio State University. Students are encouraged, but not required, to undertake an internship with a local government agency or nonprofit during their degree program; students who enroll in an internship experience for credit (e.g. PUB AFRS 4191.01/4191.02) can count the credit towards the fifteen credit hours of elective track credit. Honors students should consult their advisor.


Foundational Courses (Take these courses):
  • PUBAFRS 4000 Policy Evaluation (3 hours)
  • ECON 4400/5410 Elementary Econometrics/Econometrics I (3 hours)
Other Classes (Take at least 9 hours):
  • AEDEC 4003 Economics of Public Policy Analysis (3 hours)
  • AEDEC 5330 Benefit-Cost Analysis (3 hours)
  • BUSMG 2320 Decision sciences: Statistical techniques (3 hours)
  • COMM 2171 Qualitative Research (3 hours)
  • COMM 3149 Foundations of Survey Research (3 hours)
  • COMM 3160 Communication Research Methods (3 hours)
  • CSE 2111 Modeling and problem solving with spreadsheets and databases (3 hours)
  • ECON 4001.01/.02/. 03 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory (3 hours)
  • ECON 5420 Econometrics II (3 hours)
  • GEOG 5100 Quantitative Geographical Methods (3 hours)
  • GEOG 5220 Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems (3 hours)
  • GEOG 5221 Spatial Simulation and Modeling in GIS (3 hours)
  • GEOG 5222 GIS Applications in Social Science and Business (3 hours)
  • GEOG 5223 Design and Implementation of GIS (3 hours)
  • POLITSCI 3780 Data Literacy and Data Visualization (3 hours)
  • POLITSCI 4781 Techniques of Political Analysis (3 hours)
  • POLITSCI 4782 Research Methods in Political Science (3 hours)
  • SOCIO 3487 Research Methods in Sociology (3 hours)


** Specialization tracks must have 12 unique hours. Students are permitted to overlap 1 course (3-credit hours) with the major core, or a minor.

Students also have the opportunity to work with an advisor to design a personalized track focusing on a policy area of particular interest. Personalized tracks must be interdisciplinary in nature, consist of a minimum of 15 credit hours, may not duplicate existing tracks or minors and must be approved by the Glenn College’s undergraduate curriculum committee. Please see your advisor for more information.

In addition to the public affairs specialization tracks, students have the opportunity to fulfill the specialization requirement through the completion of an approved minor offered by another academic unit on campus. Students may choose minors that reflect their unique policy interests, as minors are an opportunity to delve more deeply into specialized topics. Popular minors include political science, public health, and communication. Some programs, such as Russian, have even designed specialized minors for Glenn College students. Please see an advisor for more information

Note: In order to fulfill the specialization requirement for the Public Affairs major, students must complete one specialization track OR one approved minor. Students are encouraged to pursue additional minors beyond the minimum requirement if their schedule allows. For a complete list of minors at Ohio State, please click here, artsandsciences.osu.edu/academics/programs#minors-academic.






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614-292-8696



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