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About the Program

Public and Community Service 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. In the process, students develop 21st century skills like public speaking, community building, working across cultural boundaries, organizational development, policy analysis, and collaborative research.

Major Requirements:

Students majoring in Public and Community Service Studies will complete the following courses:

The Core (6 courses, 18 credits)

1. PSP 101- Introduction to Service in Democratic Communities

2. PSP 202- Foundations of Organizational Service

3. PSP 303- Community Organizing

4. Cultural Diversity/Cultural Boundaries in Community Service. Options for fulfilling this requirement include:

  • PSP 302 – Diversity, Community, and Service or Approved Substitute

5. PHL 301- Ethics, Moral Leadership, and the Common Good

6. THL 376- Catholic Social Thought

Leadership Skills and Fieldwork Experience (3 courses, 9 credits)

1. PSP 320/321- Practicum in Public and Community Service (2 semesters, 6 credits)

2. PSP 450- Internship in Community Service

The Capstone Experience

1. PSP 480/481- Capstone Seminar (2 semesters, 6 credits)


An intensive public or community service internship experience in an applied setting that combines attention to community service issues with specific academic themes designated by the instructor.

PSP Majors have interned at a variety of organizations including:

-The Buried Life
-Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island
-Girls on the Run
-The Office of Governor Lincoln Chafee
-Providence College’s Office of Institutional Advancement
-Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless
-Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights
-United Hospice of Rockland


Understanding the varied academic and professional interests, concerns, and specialization that the major represents, students majoring in public and community service studies will choose a track consisting of three courses  from the College’s course listings outside the Feinstein Institute for Public Service. It will be the student’s responsibility, in conjunction with faculty advisors, to demonstrate the relationship of the track to the major.

Some examples include tracks in public administration, politics, the environment, women’s studies, public policy, community health, etc.

Bachelor of Arts

For a full listing of course descriptions and degree requirements, please see the course catalog.

Public and Community Service Studies