Previous Major Requirements Before Fall 2019

Students who have declared the Public Policy major earlier Fall 2019 can  follow the previous major requirements below or choose to follow the new major requirements


This is an 11-course major with four core courses (covering quantitative analysis, economics, politics, and ethics and justice), six electives, and a senior seminar requirement. The required courses, coupled with additional electives, are designed to provide you with a foundational set of public policy skills and tools.


Before declaring, students must complete two prerequisites that provide the strong analytic framework necessary to begin studies in the major:

Economics Prerequisite:

ECON‐UA 2, Introduction to Microeconomics [Advanced standing credit (AP, IB, etc.) in microeconomics is accepted.]

Politics Prerequisite (choose one):

POL‐UA 300, Power and Politics in America
POL‐UA 500, Comparative Politics
POL‐UA 700, International Politics

Students are recommended to complete the prerequisites in their first year. If you have not completed the two prerequisites and have not started the core by the end of your second year, you should request an advising appointment before registration begins by emailing

Core Courses

UPADM‐GP 101, The Politics of Public Policy
UPADM‐GP 140, The Economics of Public Policy
UPADM‐GP 111, Quantitative Analysis for Public Policy [This course satisfies the College Core Curriculum Quantitative Reasoning requirement for public policy majors only.]

Ethics and Justice course (choose one):

ECON-UA 207, Ethics and Economics (Economics)
PHIL-UA 3, Ethics and Society (Philosophy)
PHIL-UA 40, Ethics (Philosophy)
PHIL-UA 50, Medical Ethics (Philosophy)
PHIL‐UA 53, Ethics and the Environment (Philosophy)
PHIL‐UA 102, Topics in Ethics and Political Philosophy (Philosophy)
POL-UA 130, Ethics, Politics, and Public Policy (Politics)
UPADM-GP 120, Normative Issues in Public Policy (Wagner)

[The Ethics and Justice course is waived for students who completed Social Foundations I and III in the Liberal Studies Core Program.]

Students are expected to begin working on the core in their second year and to finish by the end of their third year.


Public Policy majors select six elective courses to deepen their understanding of, and expertise in, key policy areas. At least one elective must be in the Policy Analysis field. View a list of pre-approved courses in the fields of Economics, Health, Law, Environment, and others.

Senior Seminar

The Senior Seminar (PUBPL-UA 800) serves as a capstone experience for the Public Policy major. Over the course of one semester, you will apply the analytical methods and substantive knowledge of the policy process you have gained to a critical and relevant policy issue. Under the guidance of a faculty member, you will conduct an in‐depth analysis, engage with key stakeholders, and recommend a policy solution in a formal presentation.

Spring 2017 - Senior Seminar Projects

Spring 2018 - Senior Seminar Projects

NOTE: Honors Senior Seminar (PUBPL-UA 801) requires an additional course. Students who wish to pursue Honors in the major should begin planning with the faculty directors by the middle of junior year.

Approved Study Abroad Courses