So you’re thinking about SPIA

by Cecilia Vu

So you’re thinking about switching or adding a SPIA major. What do you do? Well, first thing is to actually know what SPIA is! SPIA stands for the School of Public and International Affairs and it houses some of the most popular majors on campus. It’s not uncommon for you to run into an International Affairs or Political Science major at UGA; in fact, these two majors are the fifth and sixth most popular majors at UGA! Other SPIA programs include a Criminal Justice A.B., Public Policy and Management minor, and a Public Affairs Professional Certificate. You’ll definitely find a program you’re interested here in SPIA.

Next thing on the list is to narrow your interests. Are you focused on domestic matters or do you want a broader world view? Are you thinking about becoming a criminal justice lawyer at UGA Law? SPIA has just the right major for you. Within the field of Political Science, there are two programs of study you can follow: Political Science B.S and Political Science A.B.. Although you may not know it, but the differences between the two is distinct: PoliSci B.S. focuses on the methods and theory of research of Political Science while PoliSci A.B. gives you a deeper understanding of American politics. For those looking for a wider understanding of the world, like me, International Affairs A.B. is based around government interactions with one another and the similarities and differences in their political systems. And of course, Criminal Justice A.B.. For all you crime show lovers, the Criminal Justice A.B. is SPIA’s joint degree program with the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences recommended for anyone pursuing a career in criminal justice or any related field.

If you don’t have extra credit hours but are still interested in SPIA, there are minors and certificates that you can take! The Political Science minor is a 15 hour program of study including courses in both Theory and Method or American studies.In contrast, the Public Policy and Management minor prepares students for professional positions within the public service sector. For current SPIA or Grady majors who want to get a step ahead, there’s the Public Affairs Professional Certificate The Applied Politics Certificate Track (AP). Don’t fret if you aren’t a current SPIA major! You can still get the Certificate in Global Studies which is designed to offer students a comprehensive global perspective.

Now you’re all caught up on all the SPIA Undergraduate programs! Still undecided on whether or not you wanna join SPIA? Come to a walk-in appointment at Candler Hall every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m and talk to a SPIA advisor! Don’t know which program of study you want to study? Maybe this flowchart will help you out.