This program is designed to offer students a thorough introduction to the creation, implementation, and analysis of public policy. It is especially designed for use by students who are considering a career in the public sector, whether at the local, state, or national level; or are planning to enter a profession (e.g. law, business, public health, engineering) which has frequent interaction with government policy-makers. This program is also open to all students who desire a better understanding of how their government works, and how the policies which affect their lives are created and implemented. (N.B. This program is designed to concentrate only on domestic public policy, not foreign policy or international affairs.)

A proper grounding in the basics of public policy requires students to read broadly across the social sciences, and to acquire familiarity with several kinds of methodologies. Accordingly, this program is interdisciplinary, requiring students to take courses in several different fields of study.

Minor requirements include:

  1. Students from any major may register for the Public Policy Studies interdisciplinary minor. A student must register by the beginning of the junior year, and no later than the beginning of the senior year.
  2. To enroll, a student must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (C) at the time of registration.
  3. Per College regulations, Candidates must have an average G.P.A. of 2.00 in the required courses for successful completion of the minor.
  4. Students must take courses in all five categories in the Public Policy Studies interdisciplinary minor.
  5. Students may apply no more than two courses from his / her major for the purposes of the interdisciplinary minor.
  6. Students must pass a comprehensive examination based on the materials from courses completed in the Public Policy Studies interdisciplinary minor.

Students must take courses in the following five categories to complete the interdisciplinary minor:

    Public Policy Analysis:

    This component will offer students an introduction to the theory and practice of public policy. Participants will consider subjects such as: defining public policy; the structure of policy-making; agenda setting and policy formulation; legitimating policy choices; implementation; cost-benefit analysis; and ethical analysis of public policy.

    • PO 248 - Public Policy Process

    Microeconomics:

    A course in microeconomics-the study of individual units within a national economy, such as business firms-is indispensable for students of public policy.

    • EC 141 - Principles of Economics: Micro

    Statistical Analysis:

    Students are required to take one course from the following:

    • SO 212 - Social Statistics
    • CJ 200 - Statistical Techniques for Criminal Justice
    • BU 121 - Business Statistics
    • BI 345 - Biostatistics
    • PY 301 - Behavioral Statistics

    Organizational Studies:

    An introduction to public policy would not be complete without an introduction to the study of organizations. The study of the behavior of organizations--whether they be government agencies, interest groups, or business firms--provides a key to the understanding of policy formulation and implementation. Students are required to take one course from the following:

    • CJ 326 - Criminal Justice Organization and Administration
    • EC 244 - Economics of Industrial Organization
    • EC 245 - Labor Economics
    • EC 246 - Public Finance
    • ED 311 - Getting Schooled: The Politics & Promise of American Education
    • HI 357 - United States Labor History
    • PH 335 - Philosophy of Law
    • PO 345 - Public Administration
    • PY 201 - Organizational Psychology
    • SO 344 - Political Sociology
    • SO 255 - Social Welfare: Poverty and Public Policy

    Capstone:

    Selected yearly at the discretion of the committee. This course, a capstone for students seeking to acquire the interdisciplinary minor in Public Policy, will only be taken after all other requirements have been satisfied. (A student may take the capstone course simultaneously with another course or courses required to finish the interdisciplinary minor, if the student's course schedule necessitates this.) This will enable students from different majors to take a course together, as a culmination of their studies.

    This course will be open to students not in the program, but students in the interdisciplinary minor will be given first priority in registration.

    This course will be run as a seminar, with a focus on one particular issue-area in public policy (for example, health care, Social Security, education, taxation, transportation, technology, or business regulation).