Public and Community Service Studies at Providence College

Why Study Public and Community Service at Providence College? 
Are you an idealist who wants to change the world? Want to be part of a dynamic, engaging learning community that connects your classes with real-world problem-solving? Hope to have a career that serves society? Then the public & community service studies (PSP) major is right for you.

PSP offers an interdisciplinary curriculum focused on solving real-world problems. PSP students work closely with faculty and community partners to research and address complex issues and then reflect on this shared work to develop the leadership skills necessary for making positive social change. The department’s innovative curriculum, the first of its kind in the country, continues to make it a pioneer and leader in community-engaged, experiential learning. 

What you'll study

Bachelor of Arts in Public and Community Service Studies  
The public and community service studies major is composed of six core classes that examine service in democratic communities, foundations of organizational service, community organizing, cultural diversity, ethics and moral leadership, and Catholic social thought. In addition, a two-semester practicum in public and community service and a two-semester capstone seminar are required.

Public and Community Service Studies Minor 
A minor in public and community service studies is a useful complement to many other major programs of study.

Community Health Track Minor 
A minor program of study developed specifically for students interested in community health or in public health professions or policy is also offered.

Selected Courses

  • Introduction to Service in Democratic Communities  
  • Foundations of Organizational Service  
  • Diversity, Community, and Service  
  • Community Organizing  
  • Ethics, Moral Leadership, and the Common Good  
  • Catholic Social Thought  
  • Practicum in Public and Community Service  
  • Capstone Seminar 

Faculty

From school reform and the role of education in a democratic society to youth political engagement, service learning, and community development, faculty members in the Department of Public and Community Service Studies bring theory to practice — preparing future leaders to create positive change.

Together with our community partners, they offer students a dynamic opportunity for personal and professional growth — both inside and outside the classroom.  

ENGAGED LEARNING

 

PSP offers introductory courses that are open to all students, as well as major and minor courses that cover central themes such as rebuilding democratic communities, re-thinking effective service, and organizing for social justice. The academic program is built on a collaborative teaching model with all of the courses integrating community-engaged learning in an intentional way.

With a dynamic group of faculty and community partners, students are asked to be co-creators of their learning. Students engage in a diverse range of community work including direct service, community organizing, community development, and public policy.

Our alumni have gone on to do all sorts of amazing things, from working at nonprofits, to going to law school, being social justice advocates, pursuing community organizing, doing corporate philanthropy, and more.  

94%

of 2015-2019 public and community service graduates are employed and/or attending graduate school

*Due to rounding, some totals may not correspond with the sum of the separate figures.


  • 69% are employed only
  • 12% are attending school only
  • 14% are employed and attending school

Selected Places of Employment/Service

  • Amica
  • Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE)  
  • City Year
  • Equal Exchange  
  • Jewish Family Service of Bergen and North Hudson  
  • Success Academy Charter Schools  
  • The Philanthropic Initiative
  • Upserve

Selected Graduate Schools

  • Boston College Lynch School
  • Columbia University
  • New York University