New Major Introduced: Public Service and Administration


Courtesy of Villanova University

Staff and students of Public Administration walk around campus.

Caitlyn Foley, Staff Writer

The Public Service and Administration major is newly available to students of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for those who want to major in making a difference. 

This 30-credit major focuses on making change in the world and embracing the call to serve and lead. The values that motivate those in public service are being mission driven, socially conscious, civic-minded, engaged in community and entrepreneurial. 

The goal of this major is to “help you get the tools to serve and lead,” according to Catherine Wilson.

This major combines the theory and practice of public service within the United States and abroad. Courses focus on the critical engagement of scholarly literature within the field. Students will also examine examples of contemporary and historical public service. 

Students who choose this major will learn how to examine paths to strengthening communities through innovative leadership and engaged citizenship. They will also learn how to solve public policy problems for policy change and to create public value. The major creates public service leaders who aim to create equitable and inclusive policies, organizations, programs and systems. The creation of these ethical and collaborative decision makers can be credited to the dedicated professors that teach them. 

Wesley Proctor, a professor in the department of Public Administration, has assisted in the foundation of more than 1,100 nonprofit organizations. His passion for and experience in the field of service is apparent in the courses he teaches. He works to incorporate presenters who majored and pursued careers in this field. 

“Students actually connected with the presenters,” Proctor said. “The theme of the course really speaks to why someone would pursue this major. These students get to see the real, live work.” 

Another professor in this department, Adam Kuczynski, discussed his vast job experience before joining this field. He started in journalism, worked in the White House and on Wall Street. Kuczynski enjoyed being a change maker in the world, but decided he wanted to make a bigger impact by influencing future change makers. 

“A lot of folks already have that public service motivation and don’t know it yet,” Kuczynski said. “The goal is to get that spark going and help students make that change.”

The diverse job placements that this major feeds students into represents the versatility of this major. Public Service and Administration majors and minors find themselves working as project consultants at Allstate or government and public sector consultants at EY. 

The department chairs emphasize that although the theory is taught within the major, there is a heavy practice element as well. The curriculum requires a public service internship, which incorporates the element of practice. This internship helps students understand how they can apply their education and degrees in the real world. 

“My hands-on experience as a PSA minor is a large reason why I landed the job offers right out of school,” Brett Schratz CLAS ‘20 said. “I had real experience working on a team, conducting research and analysis, consulting clients and stakeholders and problem-solving pressing social issues.” 

Villanova CLAS alumni have been grateful for their Public Service and Administration minors, and now students can major in this field. If a CLAS student chooses this major, they will learn how to lead and serve as ethical, intelligent, inclusive and creative leaders. 

The department aims at “building a lifelong community of mentors and friends,” Wilson said. 

With course registration coming up, the Department of Public Administration hopes that students keep in mind the four courses they are offering this fall. These courses include Public Administration, Public Policy, Overview of the Nonprofit Sector and Organizational Development.