Public Affairs and Community Service

General Information

The College of Public Affairs and Community Service (CPACS) offers undergraduate course work leading to the Bachelor of Science degree in aviation, criminology and criminal justice, social work, and emergency management. The Division of Continuing Studies administers the Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) degree.

In addition to its undergraduate degree programs, CPACS offers courses in the field of aviation, gerontology, urban studies, and public administration; the Goodrich program, a specialized scholarship program for students with marked financial need; and credit for specialized areas of independent study which may be developed in conjunction with other UNO Colleges or governmental units.

The College also offers graduate degrees in criminology and criminal justice.

The goal of CPACS is to make available to the student an interdisciplinary program based on classroom learning, research, and community service. Students will be expected to participate in each of these activities.

Admission to the College

Students who have been admitted to the University may apply for entrance to the College of Public Affairs and Community Service during initial registration by indicating their preference in the appropriate place on the University Application for Admission form. The Division of Continuing Studies has different admissions requirements. Refer to the section “Division of Continuing Studies” for admission requirements.

Students who wish to transfer into the College from one of the Schools or Colleges within the University must request permission from the Dean’s Office and the department offering the student’s intended major. A minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 is required to transfer into the College.

The College does not accept undeclared students. Exceptions to this rule are made where the student can demonstrate by written request substantial reasons for undeclared status. Permission must be granted by the Dean of the College.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science Degree

  • Total hours: each candidate must present a total of at least 120 credit hours of college credit to meet graduation requirements.
  • Quality of work: each candidate for the degree must attain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 (“C”) in all college work, including work transferred from other institutions. A grade of at least “C-” must be earned in all required courses within the major, unless a higher grade is designated by the department/unit. All grades reported by the faculty to the Registrar become a part of the student’s permanent record and are included in the computation of the grade point average, even though some of these grades may be for work done in excess of the 125 hours required for graduation.
  • Residence: thirty of the last 36 hours required for the degree must be registered for and carried within the University of Nebraska System.
  • Area requirements: each department is responsible for determining the required number of credit hours in the areas of English, humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, mathematics and oral communications.
  • English Placement Exam: Students transferring English composition courses equivalent to the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s English 1150 or 1160 to the College of Public Affairs and Community Service from other accredited institutions of higher education with a grade of “C” or better will be given credit for their transfer hours and will not be required to take the English Placement Examination. Students entering College for the first time, transfer students with no English composition transfer hours, and transfer students who earned grades of “D” or lower in English composition courses will be required to take the English Placement Examination. Students who transfer six hours of English course work (equivalent to English 1150 and 1160) with a grade of “C” or better will be considered to have fulfilled the UNO freshman English requirements. This policy does not replace, but is supplemental to specific English requirements of the individual units of the College of Public Affairs and Community Service. NOTE: Because the above described English policy is a unique offering through the UNO English department, academic programs of the College based on a campus other than Omaha are currently excepted from this policy.
  • Major Field: each student must present a major including at least 15 credit hours of upper division work designated as appropriate by the faculty of the department in which enrolled. A candidate meeting the requirements of each of two fields may present a double major in these fields. Individual departments should be consulted for the number of upper division hours required.
  • Acceptability of Credits: the student should refer all questions concerning the acceptability of credits earned in programs such as Cooperative Education and Credit by Examination to the department in which enrolled. Credit earned in courses below the 1000 level may not be applied toward the degree offered by the College of Public Affairs and Community Service.
  • All students in a degree program in the college must meet the university general education requirements. Additional information on these requirements can be found on page 69 of this catalog and on the University General Education website ( Please contact an academic advisor for recommended choices for the major.
  • Certain majors/programs in the College of Public Affairs and Community Service require specific foundational coursework that may also count for General Education requirements. For informational and details: see the requirements for particular majors/programs, visit the college website (, or contact and academic advisor.
  • Prerequisite Courses: completion of a course within the major with a grade below a “C-” will not be considered as having fulfilled prerequisite requirements for additional courses taken in the major field of study. A higher grade may be designated by the department/unit.

Requirements for the Bachelor of General Studies Degree

Refer to the section “Division of Continuing Studies” on page 205 for BGS requirements.

Goodrich Scholarship Program

The Goodrich Scholarship Program began in 1972 through Senator Glenn Goodrich’s enabling budget amendment. The program offers a merit-and-need-based scholarship to students who will attend only the University of Nebraska at Omaha. (Note that the scholarship does not transfer to UNL or UNMC). The Goodrich Scholarship Program now boasts over 1,400 alumni who since 1976 have continued to connect with the community and contribute to the community as lawyers, educators, doctors, social workers, engineers, artists, business professionals, elected officials, directors of non-profit organizations, technologists, writers, law enforcement officers, among many others.

­The goals of  the award winning program are

  • To provide scholars opportunities for sound and innovative educational experiences
  • To enable scholars to connect with each other, with faculty, with the university, and with the community at large
  • To empower scholars to build strong positive self-concepts, and
  • To equip scholars with skills that will enable them to assume leadership roles

For students selected, Goodrich will pay tuition and general fees for a maximum of 140 credit hours or until graduation, whichever comes first.  Goodrich also provides a $200 book voucher per semester.  Goodrich’s specialized freshman/sophomore curriculum is part of UNO’s general education requirements.  This Goodrich curriculum consists of HUMN 1200 (Autobiographical Reading and Writing), ENGL 1150 (English Composition I), ENGL 1160 (English Composition II) and HUMN 1110 (Perspectives on USAmerican Culture).  In the sophomore year, scholars take GDRH 2110 (Lifespan Development) and GDRH 2120 (Social Issues).  This curriculum is a specialized writing-intensive humanities and social-science curriculum that emphasizes cultural and intellectual diversity in our local/national communities and global society.  The experience of shared courses is an integral part of the Goodrich Scholarship Program and a key factor in our Goodrich scholars’ academic success.   Goodrich also includes a comprehensive program of other academic and non-academic support services.

For further application information, please visit our website at

If you have additional questions, you can contact our office at (402) 554. 2274    

Center for Public Affairs Research

The Center for Public Affairs Research (CPAR) is the major research component of the College of Public Affairs and Community Service. The Center has a full-time professional staff conducting research on a broad range of current community problems and issues of local, regional, state and national concern.

CPAR also administers a program of student research internship in conjunction with the departments of the College. CPACS students are invited to serve research internships at the Center in order to gain applied research experience.

Students find CPAR a valuable resource for class projects and papers on urban and public affairs topics.

Labor Studies

The William Brennan Institute for Labor Studies provides continuing education for a specialized audience. The Institute serves the labor movement state-wide by helping to develop citizenship and leadership. Through educational programs, individual workers gain the knowledge and skills that will equip them to be effective leaders in a democratic labor movement in a democratic society. For more information, call 402-595-2343 or email

Other Information

Academic Advisement

The aim and purpose of academic advising is to assist students in meeting the requirements of the degree program and in interpreting College policy regarding academic requirements. In CPACS, academic advising is conducted at the departmental level.

Students should see an academic adviser whenever questions arise concerning their programs. Students are encouraged to seek advisement with their assigned academic adviser prior to registering each semester. At a minimum, students should seek advisement with their academic adviser at least one time each year; in particular when registering for the senior year.

Academic Amnesty Policy

Students after one full year of successful work at UNO (at least two consecutive semesters of 12 hours each with a 2.5 GPA) or four consecutive semesters (may include summer semester) with a total of 24 or more hours and with at least a GPA of 2.5 or better may petition the CPACS Committee on Academic Standards and Curriculum for removal of all work taken during either or both of the first two semesters. This petition is subject to the following stipulations:

  • The student shall be at least three years removed from the semester or year to be deleted.
  • The student is responsible for initiation of the petition.
  • This petition is to come through the student’s counselor or academic adviser, to the Committee on Academic Standards and Curriculum and then to the Dean for final action.
  • Individuals who apply under this rule may not be considered for degrees with honor at graduation.
  • There shall be no physical obliteration of any part of the student’s record.

Choice of Catalog Policy

A student registering in the College of Public Affairs and Community Service for the first time may, except for the limitations described below, complete work for the degree according to the requirements of:

  • the catalog in effect the year the student enters the College; or
  • the catalog current at the time the student applies for the degree.

Students entering the College for the first time in the summer will be subject to the catalog for the academic year immediately following.

Failure to complete the requirements for the degree within seven years after the date the student first enters the College will subject the student to graduation under the requirements of a later catalog to be approved by the Dean.

The College reserves the right to institute and make effective, after due notice, during the course of a student’s work toward a degree, any new ruling which may be necessary for the general good of the College and to substitute courses currently offered for those no longer offered. The Division of Continuing Studies has its own catalog policy. Refer to the section “Division of Continuing Studies” on page 205 for catalog requirements.

Grade Appeals Procedure

Students who wish to appeal a grade which they feel was capriciously or prejudicially given shall first discuss the matter with the instructor within 30 days of the final course grade being posted. If the matter is not resolved, the student must meet with the department/school Chair/Director. If a satisfactory agreement cannot be reached the students must appeal, in writing, to the department/school curriculum committee. If a satisfactory agreement cannot be reached, the student may submit a written appeal to the Office of the Dean within 20 working days of the exhaustion of the departmental procedures.

The Committee on Academic Standards and Curriculum for the College of Public Affairs and Community Service is the official body for handling the appeal.

In the event the instructor is unavailable for handling a grade complaint, the student will meet with the department Chair and the Dean to determine the most appropriate course of action agreeable to all parties.

Copies of the CPACS Procedures for Student Grades and Suspension Appeals are available from the Chair of the Committee on Academic Standards and Curriculum for the College and the Office of the Dean.

Honors Program

The CPACS Honors Program provides expanded educational opportunities for highly motivated students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement. All students entering or enrolled in any undergraduate program within CPACS may apply for membership to the CPACS Honors Program. Honors credits are earned by contracting courses with instructors, by enrolling in honors courses, or by transferring honors work from other accredited institutions or UNO departments. All existing CPACS courses may carry honors credit by means of contract. If interested please contact the CPACS Honors Coordinator or see and academic adviser.

Dean’s List

Students enrolled in the College of Public Affairs and Community Service who maintain a GPA of 3.5 or better while carrying 12 hours or more of graded course work will earn the distinction of being placed on the Dean’s Honor List at the end of each semester. Part-time students must earn a GPA of 3.5 or better for courses taken at UNO on a continuous part-time basis. These students may be placed on the Dean’s List when they complete course work in 12 semester hour blocks at UNO (i.e., 12, 24, 35, 48, etc.). Continuous part-time basis is defined as taking one or more courses totaling 1-11 semester hours during each fall and spring semester each academic year.