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Bachelor of Arts in Public Management, Leadership and Policy

Turn your passion into policy.

Our Bachelor of Arts in Public Management, Leadership and Policy degree will train you to be a changemaker, solve pressing societal problems, be a leader and help build a more just world.

Potential Careers

97% of BA Graduates are in a career or pursuing additional education within six months of graduation.

Director of intergovernmental affairs, Federal Emergency Management Agency
Staff assistant, The White House
Senior legislative assistant, U.S. House of Representatives
Senior program specialist, National League of Cities
Senior executive specialist, Youth Opportunities Unlimited

Apply Today

Incoming first-year and transfer students may apply directly to the BA program as part of their application to The Ohio State University. Current Ohio State students may declare the major at any time by meeting with an advisor.


Leading communities toward positive change requires knowledge and skill in the areas of public management, policy, economics and public finance.

Core Coursework

  • PUBLIC AFFAIRS 2110 Introduction to Public Affairs
  • PUBLIC AFFAIRS 2120 Public Service and Civic Engagement
  • PUBLIC AFFAIRS 2130 Leadership in the Public and Nonprofit Sectors
  • PUBLIC AFFAIRS 2367 Writing and Communication in Public Affairs (Prerequisite: PUBAFRS 2110; Only required for Autumn 2022 or later students)
  • PUBLIC AFFAIRS 3000 Public Policy Analysis (Prerequisite: ECON 2001 & GE Data Analysis)
  • PUBLIC AFFAIRS 3500 Public Management
  • PUBLIC AFFAIRS 4030 Public Budgeting (Prerequisite: ECON 2001)
  • PUBLIC AFFAIRS 4011 or 4021 Public Affairs Capstone*^ (Prerequisite: PUBAFRS 2110, 2120, 3000, & 3500)
  • POLTICAL SCIENCE 3000+ Choose any additional political science course at the 3000-level

*These courses can either be taken in Columbus or in Washington, D.C., as part of the Washington Academic Internship Program.

Government Finance Course

Government Finance Course
  • Public Affairs 4310: State and Local Government Finance (Prerequisite: ECON 2001)
  • Economics 4300: Government Finance in the American Economy (Prerequisite: ECON 2001)
  • Economics 4320: Public Expenditure and Cost-Benefit Analysis (Prerequisite: ECON 2001)

Public Affairs 4000+ Course

Choose any public affairs (PUBAFRS) course at the 4000-level or above:
  • Public Affairs 4510: Law and Public Affairs
  • Public Affairs 4535: International Economic Development
  • Public Affairs 5030: Local Government
  • Public Affairs 5250: Poverty, Inequality, and Public Policy
  • Public Affairs 5620: Rapid Innovation for Public Impact
  • Public Affairs 5890: U.S. Food Policy

General Education

Undergraduate students must complete up to 69 hours of university-approved General Education courses. Coursework options for satisfying GE requirements come from a variety of academic areas of study, allowing students to tailor the GE toward their unique academic, policy and career interests. 

Capstone Information

All public affairs majors write a capstone research paper during their senior year as part of a capstone class:

  • The capstone paper may be completed as part of Public Affairs 4011, during participation in the Washington Academic Internship Program (Public Affairs 4021), or through the completion of an independent research thesis. In all options, students have the opportunity to delve deeply into a policy or management issue that is of special interest to them and produce a substantial piece of original research. 

Recent capstone papers topics have included:

  • State and federal response strategies for combatting Covid-19
  • Police reform
  • Mentoring programs for disadvantaged youth
  • Defense department challenges in competing with Chin


The John Glenn College of Public Affairs gives students the opportunity to specialize by choosing a minor, which allows them to focus on a particular area of interest or develop a specific skill. 

View Public Affairs Minors

Specializations have been converted to minors. Glenn College students should contact their advisor for details. 

Nonprofit Management
Public Management
Education Policy
Civic Engagement
Local Government
Science and Engineering in the Public Interest
Social Justice Advocacy and Public Policy