New 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 new 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.

What to Do Now

Please note that the major is open only to current first- and second-year students.

General Advisement Recommendations

First-year students: complete at least the two prerequisite courses in Spring 2015
Second-year students: complete UPADM-GP 101 and UPADM-GP 140 in Spring 2015 (if you have completed the two prerequisite courses)

If you are a second-year student and have not completed the two prerequisite courses already, you should meet with one of the two faculty directors for advisement before Spring 2015 registration begins.  All students are welcome to meet with the faculty directors for advisement.

Also, if you have questions, you may find some basic answers in the FAQs.

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.