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About the Program

PSSP is a one-year, 12-credit program for Hunter college juniors and seniors interested in exploring public service as a career. The core of PSSP is a placement in a public or non-profit agency or elected official's office, paired with academic seminars and educational instruction on career and policy issues of concern to New York City. Students enroll for a full academic year, from September to May, and receive a stipend, depending on funding.


PSSP offers placements in a wide range of non-profit organizations, government agencies, and elected official's offices. Scholars work at their placements 20 hours per week from September through May of the program year.

Placements are substantive and policy related, giving scholars the opportunity to work alongside and learn from public service professionals who develop strategies to manage pressing urban problems.

Placements vary each year, depending on the interests of students and the needs of agencies. Click here for a list of current placements.

Academic Seminars

PSSP (2)

Participating students enroll in two year-long seminars, open only to Public Service Scholars. The courses use classroom learning to complement the placement experience, engaging the scholars in active, experiential learning about urban policy issues.

The In-Service (Placement) Seminar identifies and examines the types of learning that occur in the placement, including development of skills in management, problem solving, policy analysis, networking, time management, fundraising and performance evaluation. This is a 3-credit per semester course.

The In-Service Seminar is taught by Professor Susan Nayowith.

Seminar on the City provides an historical, political and economic context for the region's major policy issues. It introduces scholars to the complexities of New York City's governance and its public service sectors.

Scholars develop a framework and tools for addressing relevant questions about the functions of the city, drawing on lectures, speakers, readings, field visits, interviews and internship experiences. This is a 3-credit per semester course.

The Seminar on the City is taught by adjunct professors chosen for their depth of experience in New York City, regional and national policy making. Current adjunct professors include the Honorable Ruth Messinger (Spring), Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (Spring), and Dr. Susan Nayowith (Fall).

Land Use & Zoning 101 Workshop Photo 1

Several of the 2016-17 Public Service Scholars alongside Deputy Manhattan Borough President Aldrin R. Bonilla and Urban Planners Erica Baptiste & Jefferson Mao at the 2016 Land Use & Zoning 101 Workshop

Career Exploration and Networking

Career advancement events and activities arm graduates with the skills, knowledge and connections to enter the public service workforce and advance in their careers.

PSS have access to high-achieving and respected public service professionals--experts in their fields, who are the scholars' supervisors, co-workers, mentors and classroom instructors.

PSSP also hosts career and graduate education workshops and networking events; pairs students with public service mentors; and offers access to an extensive alumni network.

Public Service Scholars on NY1

2018-2019 Public Service Scholars participating in HOPE 2019. Each January, thousands of volunteers across the five boroughs participate in the annual Homeless Outreach Population Estimate (HOPE). That night, the volunteers canvass streets, parks, and other public spaces to identify individuals living unsheltered. Public Service Scholars participate every year. 

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Public Service Scholar Program at Hunter College 695 Park Avenue Room 1037, East Building New York, NY 10065 Mailing Address: Public Service Scholar Program 695 Park Avenue Room 1611, West Building New York, NY 10065
(212) 772-5599 | email us
695 Park Ave
NY, NY 10065