Chris Matthews at USF
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G Public Affairs


The Program

Apply Now for Fall Admission!

The Master's Program in Public Affairs is a two-year, 36-unit program that is completed in four semesters, including the Public Affairs internship. There are no classes held in the summer.

The Program prepares students for the following career paths:

  • Professional work in campaign strategy and management
  • Governmental relations and advocacy
  • Grassroots and community organizing
  • Strategic communications
  • Journalism

Program of Study

The 36-unit program of study includes the following four requirements:

  • Public Affairs Internship - A unique and key feature of the program is the Public Affairs Internship. Students work with program staff to secure a full-time, graduate-level internship in their interest area.  The internship may be completed either during the summer between a student's first and second year in the program (for no credit), or during their second year in the program (for 3 units). Internships take place at a variety of public affairs organizations including: political campaigns, advocacy agencies, community organizations, neighborhood associations, public/government offices, and other similar entities.
  • Core Graduate Courses (see Courses  for details) - Students complete six core graduate courses (3 units each). Total of 18 units.
  • Elective Courses (see Courses for details) - Students complete five elective courses (3 units each) from a range of elective courses. Total of 15 units.
  • Master's Capstone Project (see Courses for details). 3 units.

Sample Timeline - Two-Year Master's Program

Year One

Fall Semester
  • Proseminar in Applied American Politics (Core)
  • Strategic Communications (Elective)
  • Writing for Public Affairs Professionals (Core)
Spring Semester
  • Public Affairs and Applied Democratic Theory (Core)
  • Non-profits and Public Policy (Elective)
  • Quantitative Methods in Public Affairs (Core)


  • Complete internship for no credit (Optional)

Year Two

Fall Semester
  • Leadership for the Common Good (Core)
  • Campaign Organization and Management (Elective)
  • Urban Public Policy (Elective)
Spring Semester
  • Master’s Capstone Project (Core)
  • Grassroots Advocacy and Mobilization (Elective)
  • Race, Organizing and Political Power (Elective)