College of Public Affairs and Community Service

The College of Public Affairs and Community Service (CPACS) was established in 1973 to ensure university responsiveness to the critical social needs of the community and state. The college was charged with the mission of providing educational programs of the highest caliber to prepare students for leadership in public service and reaching out to the community to help solve public problems.

The mission of the College of Public Affairs and Community Service is to:

  1. Foster a learning environment in which undergraduate students, graduate students, adult learners and both traditional and nontraditional students can gain a comprehensive and quality education helpful in preparing for careers in their respective fields;
  2. Conduct research, especially as it relates to concerns of local and statewide constituencies; and,
  3. Offer professional services to the community, including continuing education opportunities designed to further personal, professional, organizational, and community improvement goals.

Contact Information

CPACS Deans Office |109 CPACS
University of Nebraska at Omaha
6001 Dodge Street
Omaha, Nebraska 68182
Phone – 402.554.2276
Fax – 402.554.4871

College Website

General Information

The College of Public Affairs and Community Service (CPACS) offers undergraduate coursework leading to the Bachelor of Science Degree in aviation, criminology and criminal justice, gerontology, social work, and emergency management. The Division of Continuing Studies administers the Bachelor of Multidisciplinary Studies (BMS) Degree.  In addition to its undergraduate degree programs, CPACS offers courses in urban studies, and public administration; the Goodrich Scholarship Program, a specialized program for students with marked financial need; and particular areas of independent study developed in conjunction with other UNO colleges or governmental units.

The College of Public Affairs and Community Service strives to make available to students an interdisciplinary education based on classroom learning, research, and community service. Students are expected to participate in each of these activities.

Admission to the College of Public Affairs and Community Service

Students who have been admitted to the University of Nebraska at Omaha may apply for admission into the College of Public Affairs and Community Service by indicating their preference in the appropriate place on the university application for admission. Refer to the section “Division of Continuing Studies” for DCS and Bachelor of Multidisciplinary Studies Degree admission requirements.

Students who wish to transfer into CPACS from another college or school within UNO must request permission from the CPACS 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 CPACS.

The College of Public Affairs and Community Service does not accept undeclared students. Exceptions to this rule are made when the student can demonstrate (by written request) substantial reasons for the undeclared status. Permission is granted by the CPACS Dean.

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 120 hours required for graduation.


Thirty of the last 36 hours required for the degree must be registered for and carried within the University of Nebraska System.

General Education Requirements

All students in a CPACS degree program must meet the university general education requirements. Certain majors/programs in the College of Public Affairs and Community Service require specific foundational coursework that may also count for general education requirements. Review general education requirements for particular majors/programs at the CPACS website or contact an academic advisor.

English Placement Exam

See the UNO general education requirements.

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/Transferability of Credits

All questions concerning the acceptability or transferability of credits earned at other institutions or via programs such as cooperative education and credit by examination should be directed 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.

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 Multidisciplinary Studies Degree

Refer to the section “Division of Continuing Studies” for Bachelor of Multidisciplinary Studies (BMS) Degree requirements.

Goodrich Scholarship Program

The Goodrich Scholarship Program is designed to provide scholarship funds and supportive services for students with financial need. The overall intent of the program is to provide a college education for persons who might otherwise find college difficult to afford, while offering them a broad and meaningful experience in general education. The program has a three-pronged approach. It provides 1) financial aid in the form of tuition and fees toward a bachelor’s degree; 2) a specialized curriculum emphasizing the humanities and the social sciences via a multicultural perspective; and, 3) a comprehensive program of academic support, counseling, and related student services.

Admission to the Goodrich Scholarship Program

A composite of selection criteria is used to evaluate both merit and financial need. Criteria include the individual’s application data, financial analysis, academic record, in-person interview, English Placement/Proficiency Exam (EPPE), personal life-experience essay, and references. For more information, contact the Goodrich Scholarship Program:

Goodrich Scholarship Program
123 College of Public Affairs and Community Service
University of Nebraska at Omaha
6001 Dodge Street
Omaha, NE 68182
Phone – 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 conducts research on a broad range of community problems and issues of local, regional, state, and national concern. In conjunction with CPACS departments, CPAR administers a research internship program designed to give students applied research experience. Students find CPAR a valuable resource for class projects and papers focused on urban and public affairs topics.

The William Brennan Institute for 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 develop citizenship and leadership. Through educational programs, workers gain knowledge and skills to be effective leaders in a democratic labor movement in a democratic society. 

Academic Advising

The purpose of academic advising within the College of Public Affairs and Community Service is to provide guidance and support to students striving to meet degree requirements. CPACS academic advising is provided at the departmental level. Students are encouraged to communicate with an academic advisor prior to registration each semester and should contact an advisor with any academic program questions. It is especially important for students nearing graduation to consult with an academic advisor to ensure all program requirements are met.

Academic Amnesty Policy

A student who didn’t perform well during one or two consecutive semesters at UNO, UNL, or UNK, may petition for academic amnesty.  Removal of grades will be done for the entire semester or students may choose to keep courses taken during those semesters in which a minimum grade of “C-“ or better was earned.  If a student chooses to keep courses, they will count toward degree requirements and contribute to the cumulative GPA.  The petition is subject to the following stipulations:

  • The student shall be at least three years removed from the semester(s) to be removed.
  • The student must complete 24 consecutive semester hours with a GPA of 2.5 or above. 
  • The student is responsible for initiation of the petition.
  • Individuals who apply under this rule may not be considered for degrees with Honors 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. CPACS 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. Contact a DCS academic advisor for Bachelor of Multidisciplinary Studies Degree catalog information.

Grade Appeals Procedure

Students who wish to appeal a grade they believe 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 then meet with the department/school chair or director. If a satisfactory agreement cannot be reached, the student must then 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 CPACS Dean’s Office within 20 working days of the exhaustion of 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.

University Honors Program

The University Honors Program provides expanded educational opportunities for highly motivated students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement. Students entering or enrolled in any CPACS undergraduate program may apply for membership in UNO’s Honors Program. For more information, contact the CPACS Honors Coordinator in the CPACS Dean’s Office or a CPACS academic advisor.

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, 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.