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; Public Health; and Environmental Studies. Joint majors with Public Policy have also been approved with American Studies, Anthropology, History and Philosophy. Students wishing to combine Public Policy in a Joint Major with another existing major should first contact the Public Policy chairperson to determine the feasibility of the proposed Joint Major program and the appropriate course requirements. The usual rules for Joint Majors apply in the case of all Public Policy majors.

Students with a Joint Major in Public Policy have studied abroad or off-campus in the following programs in recent years: Institute for the International Education of Students (European Union), Freiburg, Germany and Barcelona, Spain; School for International Training (SIT) Study Abroad in Argentina, Brazil, India, Jordan, Spain, South Africa and Viet Nam; Syracuse University, Strasbourg, France and Madrid, Spain; the National University of Ireland Galway; Danish Institute for Study Abroad, Copenhagen, Denmark; School for Field Studies, Bhutan;  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 in local government, at departments of health in Philadelphia and Connecticut and at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, Pa.


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.

GOV 200. Understanding Public Policy. (S)

Statistics/Methods Course in department of Joint Major or other department

Two additional electives to be chosen in consultation with the Director of the Public Policy Program.

Courses Offered 
The following courses are offered in support of the Public Policy curriculum:

200. Understanding Public Policy. (S)
Focus on government activity in a variety of public policy areas, the structural and political contexts of debates over alternative policy strategies and approaches to understanding public policy. Policy areas examined include the national budget and entitlements, science and technology and education. Prerequisite: GOV 100 or GOV 120 or PBH 251. Same as GOV 200.  

227. Contemporary Political Philosophy. (H) (V)
This course surveys contemporary debates in political philosophy. Topics may include the foundations of liberalism and democracy, feminist and antiracist critiques of liberalism, the case for various kinds of equality, the challenge of global justice, and multiculturalism and minority group rights. Same as PHI 227.    

240. Environmental and Natural Resource Economics. (S)
A survey of environmental and natural resource issues in economic theory and policy. History of the environmental movement and environmental debates; theory of natural resource allocation, natural resource issues; theory of environmental management—for example, externalities, public goods and common property. Topics covered will include pollution, resource depletion and global climate change. Prerequisite: ECO 100 and 103, or permission of the instructor. Same as ECO/ENE 240.    

255. Political Economy of Health Care. (S)
A seminar format approach to issues in health and health care reform from an economics-based perspective but also including multi-disciplinary considerations. Topics include the following: the unique qualities of the market for health care; controlling costs/improving outcomes in health care delivery; the economic status of health care providers; economic and ethical issues of pharmaceutical development and distribution; health—and health care—disparities by income, race, ethnicity, and gender; the looming fiscal crisis of Medicare and Medicaid; the political economy of systemic health care reform; comparative health care systems. Prerequisites: ECO 100 or ECO 103. Same as ECO 255.    

303. Problem-Solving Courts/Drug Court.
This interdisciplinary course, taught by a local Drug Court Judge will introduce students to the world of Problem Solving Courts, including Drug Courts and Mental Health Courts. This will include a hands-on/experiential examination of traditional courts, Drug Court models, and addiction issues. A major component of this course will involve community-based learning (CBL). Students will be required to interact directly with Drug Court participants and members of the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas Adult Drug Court Team. Permission required. Same as PBH 303.     

305. Public Policy Implementation. (S)
Focus on national government bureaucracy in the implementation of public policy, including exploration of the role of bureaucracies in contemporary political debate, organizational theory in the problems of governing and administrative politics and administrative due process. Prerequisite: GOV 100. Same as GOV 305.

313. Nuclear Power, Weapons and Waste Disposal. (NSP) (S)
Development of nuclear technology, beginning with the atomic bomb efforts of WW II. The course deals first with the technology itself, as well as with the ways in which it was embedded in and drove American and international politics, including the arms race and the Cold War. Includes postwar development of civilian nuclear power reactors, creation of the Atomic Energy Commission and the national debate over nuclear power and waste disposal methods. Same as ENE/STS 313.    

314. Global Environmental Politics.
The course provides an overview of current U.S. environmental laws, beginning with the National Environmental Policy Act (1969). Students will be introduced to the origin and implementation of major environmental laws that safeguard public health and protect the environment, including the Clean Air and Water Acts, Safe Drinking Water Act, and the 1980s legislative agenda developed to address hazardous waste, including the Superfund, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Toxic Substance Control Act, and the Community Right-to-Know Act. Students study original legislation and explore landmark court cases by way of which political and economic pressures have influenced subsequent amendments to the original intent of these laws. Same as ENE 314 and GOV 374.
Cann, De Santo

335. Business and the Natural Environment. (S)
Widespread concern for a cleaner environment and sustainable practices has put new demands on business. Exploration of philosophical, theoretical, strategic and policy issues facing organizations in relation to the natural environment. Same as BOS/ENE 335.    

384. Urban Education. (S)
A community-based learning course analyzing issues facing urban schools from a sociological perspective, with particular attention to the role of race, class and gender at both the macro and micro levels. Other topics include teachers, schools as organizations, the social psychological perspective on learning, the politics of curricula and instruction, accountability and other contemporary reform movements. Students are expected to integrate and apply their knowledge through work in a local school. Prerequisite: SOC 100. Same as SOC 384.    

410.  Health Policy.
This seminar is an introduction to health policy in the United States. Health has emerged as a crucial and enduring issue on the nation’s policy agenda. How political culture, political structures, and policy processes in the American political system shape health policy is the object of our attention. Two questions infuse our deliberations: what can government do to shape the health of individuals and what should it do? Pondering health as a public policy issue and the political system’s responses to public expectations for health care should tell us much about government and about ourselves in the twenty-first century. Same as PBH 410.    

415. Public Health Research: You Are What You Eat?
In this interdisciplinary seminar, students explore the complex relationships between food, nutrition, and health. Students will navigate scientific literature as well as information available via popular media, evaluate both for veracity and practicality, then share their own conclusions (and new questions arising from this evaluation!) during class discussions and course assignments. Students will also discuss issues related to conducting research, then explore known and/or hypothesized relationships between economic, behavioral, biological, sociopolitical, cultural, and environmental variables and food-related behaviors. Students will design and conduct research centered on food, nutrition, and health. Prerequisites: PBH 354 or PBH 351 and one course from BIO 210, MAT 216, BOS 250, or PSY 230 and permission. Same as PBH/STS 415.     

420. Public Health Research:  Pregnancy Outcomes in American Women. (S)
In this interdisciplinary seminar, students explore women’s health and reproductive outcomes while learning how to conduct meaningful research on public health topics. Students will consider complex issues related to conducting research, then explore known and/or hypothesized relationships between behavioral, biological, sociopolitical, psychological, and environmental variables and pregnancy outcomes. Students will ultimately design research centered on pregnancy outcomes in American women. Prerequisites: PBH 354 or PBH 351 and one course from BIO 210, MAT 216, BOS 250, or PSY 230 and permission. Same as PBH/STS/WGS 420.