NYU Major in Public Policy

Our society’s public problems are more complex than ever before, and addressing them effectively now requires in-depth knowledge, analytical skills, and a sophisticated understanding of how governments and markets work. 

The NYU Major in Public Policy—offered jointly by the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and the College of Arts and Science—will prepare you to play roles in the creation, implementation, and evaluation of policies that address the challenges faced by domestic and global publics in the twenty-first century. 

Taught by top faculty from multiple disciplines, the major offers a diverse and rigorous curriculum designed to give you the tools and expertise you need to translate your passion into real change. These tools are drawn from diverse disciplines such as economics, political science, law and statistics. Public policy majors gain the capacity to:

  • think analytically and critically;
  • understand policy contexts and processes;
  • conduct and use research;
  • apply statistical, economic, and other quantitative and qualitative tools of analysis;
  • develop written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills; and
  • understand their civic responsibilities and make ethical judgments.

This is an 11 course major with 6 core courses (quantitative analysis, economics, politics, and ethics and justice), 4 electives, and a senior seminar requirement.

The idea underlying the major is that there is a core set of skills and tools that comprise the foundation of the study of public policy. The required courses in the major (coupled with additional electives) are designed to provide you with those skills and tools.


Tuesday, November 1, 2016, 5:00 -6:00pm

Location: Mulberry Conference room at NYU Wagner in the Puck Building at 295 Lafayette Street

5:00 - 5:30pm:  General information about the major for prospective students

5:30 - 6:00pm: Spring 2017 group advising for both declared and prospective students

What to Do Now

General Advisement Recommendations

First-year students: complete at least the two prerequisite courses in your first year
Second-year students: complete at least UPADM-GP 101, UPADM-GP 111, and UPADM-GP 140 in your second year (if you have completed the two prerequisite courses)

If you are a second-year student and have not completed the two prerequisite courses and started the core already, you should meet with the faculty director for advisement before registration begins.  All students are welcome to meet with the faculty director to discuss choosing the major or to seek advisement about specific course selection, especially regarding decisions on Analytical and Methods courses and electives.

Other Questions

If you have general questions, you may find some basic answers in the FAQs.

Declaring the Major

To declare the major or to ask general administrative questions, please email wagner.undergraduate@nyu.edu.

Looking Ahead

After graduating, Public Policy majors will be prepared for a wide range of jobs in the nonprofit, private and public sectors. Before coming to NYU Wagner for a graduate degree, undergraduate Public Policy majors from around the country worked at foundations, political advocacy organizations, consulting firms, government agencies and international policy institutes.

Some Public Policy majors also consider attending graduate programs in Public administration, international affairs, public health, urban planning or law.