The Public Policy Program

The Public Policy program is designed to develop an understanding of the economic and political institutions, principles and processes involved in public policy decision-making. Students are led to examine issues critically while developing a substantive knowledge of market economics and democratic-constitutional government as the context for American public policy. Economic analysis and knowledge of political organization and politics comprise much of the intellectual framework for public policy decision-making. The curriculum combines courses in economics and politics to help foster the development of such skills and knowledge. 

What Can I Do With a Degree in Public Policy?

Public Policy majors primarily pursue law degrees and/or advanced degrees in public policy. Graduates with a public policy degree have gone directly into the fields of environmental services, management, news reporter, think tank and government.

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Results

The public policy degree prepares graduates with an exposure to the theoretical and analytical background necessary to participate in public policy endeavors. Graduates may seek immediate employment in public policy-related positions in the non-profit sector or business, or in government service or politics. They may also pursue graduate study in public policy, public administration or public affairs. 

Curriculumpublic-policy-curriculum
Public Policy Major Requirements

College Core(48 credits)
TH 119 First Theology (freshman year) - 3 credits
Theology (200 Level) - 3 credits
Theology (300 Level) - 3 credits
History (100 Level) - 3 credits
History (200 Level) - 3 credits
PL 101 1st Philosophy - 3 credits
Philosophy Elective - 3 credits
Natural Science 100 Level with lab - 4 credits
Natural Science 200 Level with lab - 4 credits
EL 102 Language and Rhetoric (freshman year) - 3 credits
English (Literature Course) - 3 credits
English Elective - 3 credits
Fine Arts (100 Level) - 3 credits
Foreign Language Intermediate Level - 3 credits
Foreign Language Intermediate Level - 3 credits
First-Year Seminar (additional hour) - 1 credit
Electives (33 credits)  

Public Policy Major Requirements (43 credits)
BA 100* Financial Accounting I - 3 credits
BA 150 Managerial Accounting - 3 credits
BA 350 Statistics I - 3 credits
BA 351 Statistics II
     or EC 360 Econometrics - 3 credits
EC 101* Principles of Microeconomics - 3 credits
EC 102 * Principles of Macroeconomics - 3 credits
EC 201 Microeconomic Theory - 3 credits
EC 202 Macroeconomic Theory - 3 credits
MA 109/111* Calculus I - 4 credits
PS 100 Principles of American Politics - 3 credits
PS 242 International Politics
     or PS 375 International Law - 3 credits
PS 336 American Political Thought - 3 credits
PS 345 Domestic Public Policy - 3 credits
PS 480 Senior Thesis (on a public policy topic) - 3 credits

* Courses for major satisfy the social science and mathematics college core requirements.

Note: Public policy majors may not double major or minor in politics, economics or public administration.

Minor in Public Administration
Note: If you plan to pursue a graduate degree in public administration, the completing of EC 102 Principles of Macroeconomics is strongly advised. Business majors may not minor in Public Administration. 

For those majoring in Politics, in addition to the major requirements, the following courses will be required:
EC 101 Principles of Microeconomics - 3 credits
BA 102 Survey of Accounting
     or BA 100 Financial Accounting I and BA 150 Managerial Accounting - 6 credits
BA 170 Organizational Behavior - 3 credits
BA 350 Statistics I - 3 credits

For those not majoring in Politics, the following courses will be required:
BA 102 Survey of Accounting
     or BA 100 Financial Accounting I and BA 150 Managerial Accounting - 6 credits
BA 170 Organizational Behavior - 3 credits
BA 350 Statistics I - 3 credits
PS 100 Principles of American Politics - 3 credits
PS 345 Domestic Public Policy - 3 credits
EC 101 Principles of Microeconomics - 3 credits

Student Work and Researchpublic-policy-student-work
Student Work and Research in Public Policy

Recent examples of student theses and George Washington Fellows’ topics include:

  • An Analysis of the Capital Cases in Southwestern Pennsylvania
  • Democracy and Human Greatness
  • Freedom is Not Enough: Affirmative Action and the Colorblind Constitution
  • Good Behavior: Restoring Accountability to an Independent Judiciary
  • How High is the Wall? James Madison and the Wall of Separation Between Church and State
  • “Indispensable Supports”: Religion in the Public Square from the Late Colonial Period to the Civil War
  • Liberty of Conscience: The Search for True Religious Liberty
  • Resurrection Outside of Calvary: Whittaker Chambers’ Influence on American Political Thought
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Accreditations and Affiliations
  • Public Policy majors may join Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honors Society and Omicron Delta Epsilon, the National Economics Honors Society.
Internships and Careers in Public Policy
  • Graduate school placements:
    Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz School
    Duquesne Law School
    University of Pittsburgh’s GSPIA and School of Law
    Georgetown Law School
    Dickinson Law School
    Cal State Bakersfield
    Virginia Tech University
  • Job placements:
    Atlas Energy
    U.S. Forest Service
    Westmoreland Agricultural Land Preservations
    Duquesne University
  • Internships:
    Maryland Department of Environment
    Elg Metal, Inc.
    Social Security Administration
    KDKA (TV)
    National Journalism Center in Washington DC
  • Learning Objectives

    • To prepare students for studies in Law;
    • To prepare students for a masters in public policy in areas such as public administration, public policy formulation, international affairs and related fields and to enter the workforce.