The Public Policy major draws its theoretical foundations from a variety of disciplines including political science, economics, and sociology. Majors are trained both in the ethics of public policy making as well as in the diverse methodologies used in the field. Because public policy is an applied field, majors take a variety of applied courses in such diverse areas as environmental studies, race and ethnic studies, women, gender, and sexuality studies, political science, economics, and sociology. Students develop a concentration that allows them to develop substantial expertise in an area of public policy analysis. A minimum of 37 credits is required for completion of the major.
(Minimum: 3 courses, 12 units minimum)
Majors shall develop a public policy concentration in consultation with the advisor. The concentration shall reflect substantial depth in a single area of public policy analysis. Concentrations must consist of a minimum of three courses with all courses being at the 200 level or higher.
The courses in a concentration should be drawn across multiple departments and no more than 2 courses can be drawn from any single alpha (i.e., at least two programs of study or departments must be represented, and this includes transferred courses or study away courses). There are no limits on Study Away, transferred, or May Term courses that may count towards the major requirements, but a minimum of 12 credits must be earned in the concentration.
A program contract must be completed detailing the specific courses required for the completion of the public policy concentration. The program contract shall be signed by both the student and the Program Director. Contracts will be kept on file in the Program Office and in the Registrar's Office. All public policy concentrations must be approved by the Director.
Samples of previously approved concentrations can be found in the Program Office. Approved concentrations have been developed in the following areas:
Health, Education and Welfare Policy
Law and Public Policy
National Security Policy
Women, Gender and Sexuality Policy
Methods in Public Policy
Students are encouraged to develop and propose other concentrations as well.
Elective: Directed Study (2‐4)
PLCY 170, PLCY 270, PLCY 370, PLCY 470
Elective: Internship (0‐4)
PLCY 180, PLCY 280, PLCY 380, PLCY 480
Single majors: Public Policy majors who do not major in any other field (i.e. single majors) may either:
a) complete PLCY 495 – Public Policy Capstone, POLI 456 – Education Policy, or POLI 457 – Health Care Policy
b) complete a capstone in their primary substantive field of study (e.g. POLI 495, ECON 465, EVST 475, REST 402, WGS 459, or other capstone approved by the Director)
Public Policy majors who also major in another field (i.e. double majors) may either:
a) complete two separate capstone experiences; one in Public Policy (PLCY 495, POLI 456, or POLI 457),
and one in the second major (e.g. POLI 495, ECON 465, EVST 475, REST 402, WGS 459, or other capstone experience approved by the Director)
b) write a share capstone that integrates the student’s learning outcomes in both majors.
Regardless of which option is selected, the capstone must focus on a public policy issue and address all of the Public Policy major learning outcomes described in this chapter.
Completion of the minor in Public Policy requires a minimum of 24 credits in the following policy related courses:
Double Majors: If a student is double-majoring, the student must earn 28 credits that are "stand-alone" credits in each major (i.e., do not overlap).