Housed in the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, the concentration in public policy is organized around the interdisciplinary and comparative study of human societies, but with a particular focus on the rules and norms by which we govern ourselves. The concentration is grounded in the analysis of pressing social problems and the design, implementation, and evaluation of better policies and practices. This commitment to using knowledge to improve the life chances of people who occupy different positions of wealth and power, and who have competing and contentious ideas of about the common good, makes public policy a value-laden and political enterprise that is as much an art as it is a science. It is also a team sport that requires players with different skills and talents to work together across a wide variety of settings.
Students will learn how social, economic, and political issues become the object of public policy, how policy decisions are crafted, made and implemented, as well as different strategies for evaluating their impact. The concentration draws its instructors from a wide variety of disciplines and offers students opportunities for engaged scholarship at the local, national, and global levels. With the support of the advisory team, students develop their own curriculum of study, integrating core courses with electives, internships, independent research, and a capstone experience. The Public Policy concentration will only accept new declarations through the class of 2023. Students in any class year can learn more about the new concentration in International and Public Affairs: Policy and Governance Track.
Required Courses: 10 courses + capstone
The Public Policy concentration will be available to students graduating through the class of 2023.
|Introduction to Public Policy
|Ethics and Public Policy
|Ethics and Public Policy
|Economics for Public Policy
|Statistics for Public Policy
|Political Research Methods
|Introduction to Econometrics
|Mathematical Econometrics I
|Introductory Statistics for Social Research
|Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation
|Elective Courses: 1, 2
|Three Broad Elective Courses: May be taken in any policy area
|Two more electives in one of the areas you have already studied
Sample electives may include the following:
|Comparative Health Care Systems
|Health Policy Challenges
|Cybersecurity and International Relations
|Technology and International Politics
|Science and Technology Policy in the Global South
|Environmental Economics and Policy
|Environmental Law and Policy
|From Locke to Deep Ecology: Property Rights and Environmental Policy
|Local Food Systems and Urban Agriculture
|Current Topics in Environmental Health
Governance, Law, and Ethics
|Topics in American Constitutional Law
|Welfare Economics and Social Choice Theory
|Human Needs and Social Services
|Housing and Homelessness
Modes of Social Change
|Investigating Modes of Social Change
|Investing in Social Change
|Senior Capstone: The capstone may take the form of an Honors Thesis, Independent Study, a Public Policy internship, research Assistantship, UTRA Assistantship, or designated Senior Seminar
Two of the five elective courses must have a primary listing in Public Policy. One of the five must be designated as a writing course.
One elective must be focused on global issues
Candidates for honors should apply in the Spring term of their third year. Successful candidates will enroll in the Public Policy Colloquium and prepare a senior honors paper.