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Public Service (Minor)

Degree Level: Undergraduate
College: Strome College of Business
Major : n/a
Department: Urban Studies & Public Administration
Degree Earned: Minor
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The Undergraduate Minor in Public Service provides students with a solid theoretical foundation in the study and practice of public service, preparing students for citizenship, leadership, and careers in governmental and non-profit agencies. Students will achieve this goal by completing a series of courses designed to provide a solid foundation in public administration and non-profit management, including an appreciation of both internal processes and the external environment of public and nonprofit organizations. This minor will help prepare students for careers in public service and for graduate education in public administration and public affairs.

The specific goals of this minor are to help prepare students to:

  • deliver and manage public programs,
  • address critical issues in social programs,
  • provide public safety,
  • preserve natural resources,
  • improve the quality of life,
  • build and bridge communities,
  • strengthen democratic governance,
  • address public service ethics,
  • enter graduate level study in public affairs,
  • lead change in public policy, and
  • embrace civic responsibility.

Related Experiences

Public Service Week

Students taking courses in the undergraduate minor in public service have the unique opportunity to spend a semester serving and learning. Every fall semester, PAS 395, Public Service Practice, is offered as a PAS elective course. This course is designed to provide an overview of the essential elements of learning and serving. The course will focus on how to provide meaningful service to a community agency or organization while simultaneously participating in a service learning project. Students have conducted service learning projects with the YWCA, ForKids, Food Bank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore, Seton Youth Shelters, Norfolk Botanical Gardens, Virginia Zoological Park, Norfolk SPCA, Serve the City, Habitat for Humanity, and many other organizations.


Increasingly fluid in its boundaries, the public sector of the 21st century includes non-profit entities; federal, state, and local governments; and even quasi-public organizations. The common thread is the idea of a special relationship between public servants and the citizens of their community.

From careers dealing with high profile problems like managing climate change, providing health care to children living in poverty, and securing nations against terrorism to careers devoted to providing vital daily services to the public in communities around the world - the need is there and you can make a difference. Environmental science, criminal justice, nursing, engineering, and many more, there is a public service career that fits your degree.

Classes & Requirements

The Undergraduate Minor in Public Service consists of 12 credit hours of coursework. Students take 6 hours of core classes and 6 hours of elective courses. At least three hours of elective courses must be chosen from PAS 395, PAS 408, PAS 409, PAS 410, or PAS 411. The other three elective hours may be selected from an approved list of elective classes.


Next Steps & Admission

Declare the Undergraduate Minor in Public Service by completing the minor declaration form online.

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