Curriculum Overview 

The Public Policy program is designed to provide analytic skills and substantive knowledge to help students ask questions, determine the dimensions of societal problems and evaluate alternative solutions to resolve multifaceted policy issues. The study of Public Policy is available to students as a Joint Major, where the Public Policy Core forms one component and at least eight additional courses, determined by an existing academic department that offers its own major, form the balance of the program. Pre-approved Joint Major programs are currently available with Business, Organizations, and Society; Economics; Sociology; Government; and Earth and Environment. Students wishing to combine Public Policy in a Joint Major with another existing major should first contact the department of Public Policy chairperson to determine the feasibility of the proposed Joint Major program. The usual rules for Joint Majors apply in the case of all Public Policy majors.

Students with a Joint Major in Public Policy may study abroad in a direct exchange program with the University of Glasgow. Public Policy students have studied abroad or off-campus in the following programs in recent years: School for Field Studies, Cairns, Australia; Edinburgh, Scotland; Washington Semester Program, American University, Washington, D.C. The participating departments will work with Joint Major candidates to identify internships in the public and private sectors that will enhance their educational experiences through on-site learning opportunities. During the last few years, Public Policy students have successfully interned at departments of health in Philadelphia and Connecticut and at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, Pa.

PUBLIC POLICY CORE (PPC): EIGHT COURSES

  • ECO 100. Introduction to Economic Principles. (S)
  • ECO 103. Introduction to Economic Perspectives. (S)
  • GOV 100. American Government. (S)
  • PHI 122. Introduction to Moral Philosophy (H); PHI 223. Biomedical Ethics (H); PHI 227. Contemporary Political Philosophy (H) (V); or other approved PHI course.
  • ECO 200. Microeconomics I. (S)
  • ECO 201. Macroeconomics I. (S)
  • GOV 200. Understanding Public Policy. (S)
  • Statistics/Methods Course in department of Joint Major


A Joint Major in Public Policy and Economics (ECO) consists of:

PPC (eight courses) plus ECO 203 Value and Distribution and seven (7) electives from among those on the PUB elective master list, of which two (2), but no more than four (4), must be ECO courses. At least one of these electives must be a course that involves a substantial research project. Students should consult with the chair of the Public Policy Committee to verify that they will have completed electives that satisfy these requirements.

A Joint Major in Public Policy and Sociology (SOC) consists of:
PPC (eight courses) plus SOC 100 Introductory Sociology; SOC 301 History of Sociological Theory; SOC 302 Sociological Research Methods (already in PPC as Methods course); SOC 490 Seminar or Independent Study and five (5) elective courses from among those on the PUB electives master list, of which four (4) must be SOC courses. At least one of these electives must be a course that involves a substantial research project. Students should consult with the chair of the Public Policy Committee to verify that they will have completed electives that satisfy these requirements.

A Joint Major in Public Policy and Business, Organizations, and Society (BOS) consists of:
PPC (eight courses) plus BOS 200 Organizing in the 21st Century: Theories of Organization; BOS 215 Organizational Behavior; BOS 250 Quantitative Methods (already in PPC as Methods course); BOS 224 Accounting for Decision Making; BOS 332 Law, Ethics and Society; BOS 341 Marketing; BOS 360 Financing and two (2) electives from among those on the PUB electives master list, of which at least one must be a BOS course. At least one of these electives must be a course that involves a substantial research project. Students should consult with the chair of the Public Policy Committee to verify that they will have completed electives that satisfy these requirements.

A Joint Major in Public Policy and Environmental Studies (ENV) consists of:
PPC (eight courses) plus ENV 117 Environment and Human Values; ENV 216 Environmental Policy; ENV/GEO 114 Earth, Environment and Humanity; BIO 110 Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Heredity; ENV 454 Environmental Problems; and three (3) electives from the ENV Human Environment Upper Level Core and Environmental Studies electives list. At least one of these electives must be a course that involves a substantial research project. Students should consult with the chair of the Public Policy Committee to verify that they will have completed electives that satisfy these requirements.

A Joint Major in Public Policy and Government (GOV) consists of:
PPC (eight courses) plus GOV 130 International Politics; GOV 222 Comparative Politics of Developed Nations or GOV 223 Comparative Politics of Developing Nations; GOV 241 Classical Political Theory or GOV 242 Modern Political Theory; 300 or 400-level GOV elective; GOV 4XX Seminar in GOV and three (3) electives from among those on the PUB electives master list, of which no more than two (2) may be GOV and at least one must be at the 300 level or above. Students should consult with the chair of the Public Policy Committee to verify that they will have completed electives that satisfy these requirements.

Courses Offered 

A list of regularly offered courses follows. Please note the key for the following abbreviations: (A) Arts; (H) Humanities; (S) Social Sciences; (N) Natural Sciences with Laboratory; (LS) Language Studies requirement; (NSP) Natural Science in Perspective; (NW) Non-Western Cultures requirement.