What is Policy Studies?

Disclaimer: The outcomes described in these materials illustrate past student achievements and are not guaranteed for current and future students.

Nobody seems to know what the Policy Studies Major is in the academic or the real world. This confusion is a good thing. It gives you several advantages:

Advantage #1: “What is a Policy Studies Major?” is a great conversation starter. Students say that their job interviewers frequently ask about the major as do their parents, aunts, uncles, and strangers. POLICY STUDIES MAJORS WILL STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD!

Advantage #2: Most employers already have assumptions about other majors. Since Policy Studies is not well-known, you have a bigger opportunity to market yourself as the best candidate for the job.

Advantage #3: Answering the question gives you a chance to demonstrate to employers and graduate schools that you have the various skills that come from a Policy Studies degree.


How Can Policy Studies Help You?

The Policy Studies Major helps you build professional skills through community service and research. The interdisciplinary program leads to a BA in the College of Arts and Sciences and The Maxwell School. The Policy Studies major at Syracuse is unique because the centerpiece of your education is to develop skills through internships and other field work.

The program started in 1976. Today, despite its strict entrance requirements, it is one of the largest interdisciplinary majors in the College of Arts and Sciences. The primary goals of the major are to develop skills to do well professionally and to do good as a active citizen.

Policy Studies majors are high academic achievers:
• 13 out of 15 Syracuse winners of the prestigious Truman Scholarship Competition (which awards $30,000 for graduate school) have been Policy Studies majors.
• Teach for America accepts between three and seven majors every year. More than 30% of all TFA SU students are Policy Studies majors.
• On average every year, six out of the 35 Remembrance Scholars are Policy Studies majors.

Policy Studies majors get good jobs right out of college

Employers of Policy Studies alumni include: consulting companies such as, Deloitte, Booz Allen Hamilton, Bearing-Point and ICF; legislative aides in national and state legislatures; administrators for non-profit organizations like the United Way and the Children’s Defense Fund; case workers for the Department of Social Services; researchers for environmental organizations; writers for trade publications; sales representatives; analysts for corporations like IBM and lobby groups like the National Health Coalition; managers in large multinationals like GE, United Technologies and the Walt Disney Company; JP Morgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs. About 15% of graduates join Teach for America, the Peace Corps, or Americorp.

Policy Studies majors get into top rated law and graduate programs

Graduates with a degree in Policy Studies have been admitted to several prestigious graduate programs including: Columbia University, the University of California at Berkeley and Georgetown University law schools and Maxwell School’s MPA program, New York University, John Hopkins School of Public Health, Princeton University, Harvard, the Wharton School of UPenn and the University of Southern California.