Public Policy Major Portal

Public Policy Major Requirements

Semester Course Schedules


Grade Requirement

Credit toward the major is not given for courses completed with a grade of less than C, or for courses taken on a pass/fail basis. Students are also expected to complete the major prerequisite courses with a grade of C or better.

Spring 2020 Exception

In light of the dislocations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the new CAS policy on pass/fail grading, Wagner Undergraduate Studies will accept up to two courses taken pass/fail in Spring 2020 to count for major credit. It is up to students to decide if they wish to avail themselves of this option. Instructors will continue to compute grades for all students in all courses but a student’s transcript will show only Pass or Fail for classes where that student has chosen the Pass/Fail option.

As a result of the pandemic and the dislocations it has caused to students and instructors, a grade of D, which is sufficient for a pass, will also be sufficient for successful completion of a required course this semester for the major or any of our minors..

In line with CAS policy, students wishing to choose the Pass/Fail option can do so until May 12. They can withdraw from any course until the same date. You can request pass/fail or withdrawal following the policies of your home school.

CAS Residency

CAS students are allowed to take 16 credits in non-liberal arts courses in the other schools of the University; the three required Wagner courses for this major count as 12 of those 16 credits, and any additional Wagner courses will also count against the 16 points. Students with a good academic reason for going over the 16-point limit must petition the Office of Academic Standards (Silver 909, 212.998.8140) for permission to take additional credits outside of the College.

In addition, no Wagner courses can count toward the 64 credits that internal or external transfer students to the College are required to complete in CAS (-UA) courses.

Double Counting Courses

Students can count up to two Public Policy major courses towards the requirements of another major or minor. Students intending to double count any courses would also need to contact the other major or minor’s department to ask if, and to what extent, that department permits overlapping courses.

Internship Credit

Students are encouraged to pursue internships in the field and should use Wasserman to prepare for the job search and look for opportunities.

Students can count an internship course as a general policy elective for the major if they meet the following conditions:

CAS College Core Curriculum

CAS students are required to fulfill the CAS College Core Curriculum as well as their major requirements. Quantitative Analysis for Public Policy (UPADM-GP 111) satisfies the Quantitative Reasoning requirement for undergraduate majors in Public Policy.


To graduate with honors in the major, a student must maintain at least a 3.65 average in the 11 courses required for the major, earn at least a 3.65 overall GPA in the College of Arts and Science, and write a senior honors thesis in their final year. Eligible students can apply at the end of their junior year using the Honors Application Form (will post in Spring 2019). Following approval, a student will enroll in the Honors section [PUBPL-UA 801] (this course does not count toward the 11 courses required for the major) in the fall semester and then the Senior Seminar [PUBPL-UA 800] the spring semester. To be awarded honors, a student must complete this two-course sequence and produce a quality senior project.

Course Petitions

Students can petition for a course to count as a requirement for the major using the Course Petition Form. Students are expected to provide a syllabus for the course as well as a short memo explaining the course’s relevancy to the major.

Transfer students can petition transfer courses to count using the same process as long as the credits have been accepted by the university to count toward the student’s undergraduate degree.



Student Organizations

The Public Policy major is supported by the Public Policy Student Board which is comprised of current students chosen via an annual application.

Public Policy Student Board 2020-2021:

Chair - Sonia Wong

Vice Chair  - Christine Kim

Communications Chair - Isa Black

Events Chair - Niall McDonald.


Public Policy students are also encouraged to participate in Wagner Student Organizations overseen by the Wagner Student Association for graduate students.

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