Dedicated to Building a Just and Humane World

Seattle University Public Affairs students learn how to explore diverse perspectives to become effective agents of change in the wider community while working to achieve social justice.  As a Public Affairs major, you will:

  • Engage with active, dedicated and experienced faculty both in the field and in the classroom to effectively identify problems and form practical and just solutions
  • Develop skills and expertise in public policy, program evaluation, organizational leadership, financial management, economics and research design and methods
  • Focus your studies by choosing a concentration in an area of particular interest including:
    • Urban Planning and Sustainability
    • Nonprofit Management
    • International Development (study abroad options are available)
    • Politics and Policy or
    • Design your own concentration
  • Complete a practical internship in the field to complement your area of concentration

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Program Summary

Addressing public and social problems requires an integrated approach.  As a Seattle University Public Affairs student,  you will build a solid base in the theory of leadership, economics, public policy, management and finance from which you can take action for social change.

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Choose a Customizable Concentration

As part of the Public Affairs curriculum, you will choose to concentrate in a specific area of interest.  The concentrastions build upon the CORE Public Affairs curriculum and prepare you with the knowledge and skills needed to develop your specific field of interest.

Concentrations include:

  • Urban Planning and Sustainability
  • Nonprofit Management
  • International Development (education abroad options are available)
  • Policy and Politics OR
  • Create your own concentration 

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Professional Development

Through internships, research, experiential learning and study abroad opportunities, you will enrich your classroom experience while preparing for a career that promotes a just and humane world. 

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Faculty, Students, and Alumni Making an Impact

Our faculty, students and alumni work across the state, country and globe to help achieve positive change and social justice in community, government, nonprofit and for profit organizations.

Dr. Marie Rose Wong speaks about her latest book,  Building Tradition - Pan-Asian Seattle and Life in the Residential Hotels



Saturday, October 27, 2018, 10:00AM
Wing Luke Museum (International District)

Historic Seattle and the Wing Lake Museum join with Town Hall Seattle to present Dr. Marie Rose Wong, associate professor at Seattle University with focuses in Asian American studies and Urban Studies. Wong peers through the lens of single-room occupancy hotels to capture the 157-year origin story of Seattle’s pan-Asian International District. Join Dr. Wong to learn about her work that layers together interviews, maps, photographs, and insights from over a decade of primary research to provide an urgent history for Asian American activists and urban planners.


Public Policy and International Affairs Program Undergraduate Fellowship

The goal of the PPIA Fellowship Program is to help students achieve a Master’s or joint degree, typically in public policy, public administration, international affairs or a related field. The organization does this through the intensive study provided by participation in a Junior Summer Institute (JSI), through partnerships with universities across the country, and through an alumni network that provides opportunities to connect with nearly 4000 individuals who share the same interest in public service.

Each year, PPIA seeks out high-potential undergraduate students from universities across the country to participate in an intensive seven-week Junior Summer Institute (JSI) before their senior year. During their program, fellows are equipped with the knowledge and skills they will need to succeed in graduate school and ultimately, in influential roles serving the public good.

Once a student has successfully completed their JSI, they join an alumni network of nearly 4,000 leaders. In addition to the opportunities that this network provides for mentoring and career development, our alumni network has the opportunity to receive financial support for their graduate school education if they attend one of the programs in our Graduate School Consortium.

The deadline to apply for summer 2019 is November 1, 2018.  For More Information visit the PPIA website.

Contact Us

Kevin Ward, PhD

Associate Professor and Director Casey 210-18



Kimberly Gawlik, JD

Senior Administrative Assistant Casey 210



Our Students in the Field

Anab Nur - class of '19

I am a Public Affairs Major and Sociology Minor. I work on campus as a Student Campus Minister and as an Academic Mentor at Washington Middle School. I received the St. Peter Faber Integrity award for the 2017-2018 school year and I am an Ignation Leader for the 2018-19 school year. I am also the President of the Gender Justice Center. 

Through my internship in the office of Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, I learned how a congressional district office functions and about how staff approaches casework and community outreach. I experienced how federal decisions and laws effect individuals here in Seattle and the role that congressional offices have in those connections. 

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