The Public Policy major draws its theoretical foundations from a variety of disciplines including political science, economics, and sociology. Majors are trained in the ethics of public policymaking as well as research and analytical approaches used in the field. Our students have the freedom to develop a concentration that enables them to develop expertise in an area of public policy analysis, and they can focus on the environment, health care, gender, economics, or law, for example. Because public policy is an applied field, majors complete an internship in their area of concentration and develop a capstone project, both of which help build practical knowledge and skills that will pave the way to a fulfilling career.
Because it is not a traditional "department" with faculty hired to serve only one subfield, the interdisciplinary Public Policy program relies on professors across the college to offer courses concentrating on policy, to advise Public Policy majors and minors, and to guide the program. The Advisory Board consists 12 faculty who represent the Political Science, Business Administration, Environmental Studies, Economics, Math, and Race & Ethnic Studies Departments, and the Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies program.
Our graduates build careers in public service and the private sector. Many have earned law (JD), masters (MA, MPPA, MPA), or PhD degrees, and can be found working in local government, California government or other state agencies, national institutions such as Congress or the EPA, education, research foundations, and in non-profit and advocacy firms that pursue changes to policies and regulations affecting critical aspects of our lives.
Interested in learning more about the Public Policy major and minor requirements? Check out our Public Policy Listing from the 2022-2023 university catalog.
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Explore sustainability issues and food policy at the SURF garden
Learn about California politics and policy from policymakers
Chicano Park, San Diego, CA