Through rigorous coursework, the Public Policy major provides students with the analytical and decision- making skills necessary to understand complex policy problems. As a PolicyTerp with a sophisticated, in-depth understanding of domestic and international problems, you will possess the values and perspectives necessary to shape sustainable solutions. The Public Policy major gives you the tools you need to translate your passion into real change.

Public policy focuses especially on analysis, to integrate the approaches of different disciplines in an effort to produce the best policy decisions and the most effective policy implementation. Rather than focusing on theories or institutions, Public Policy focuses on the problem and generating policies in response to that problem. PolicyTerps provide bold, innovative solutions required to foster the change we need to see.

Major Requirements

The Public Policy major requires that students take 58 credits which equates to ninteen courses: four Focus Area Electives and fifteen Required Courses. During the first two years of the major, there are two benchmarks which must be satisfied by completing four introductory required courses including one history course and one statistics course. There is an additional eleven required courses including an internship or study abroad for credit and one Senior Capstone course. Under special circumstances such as transfer from another program, a waiver may be requested and approved by the director of undergraduate studies. Certain major requirements will satisfy at least 15 of the General Education requirements leaving a minimum of 33 credits available for electives.

The degree allows students to either select or build their own policy Focus Areas or select four general elective courses (12 credits). The options include: Sustainability, Public Leadership, Nonprofit Leadership and Social Innovation, General Studies, and Individual Focus. Students who choose an Individual focus work with an advisor to take four approved policy related courses either within or outside of the School of Public Policy. These electives will help students hone in on a particular policy interest.  These students have the ability to customize the major to their own interests and goals.

Download the Four Year Plan and Checklist for all major requirements.