• Policy Studies Major

  • Our Policy Studies program examines how decisions are made and how they affect government policies—at the international, federal, state, and local levels, as well as in private business and nonprofit organizations.

    We also look at the policymaking process, the resulting impact, and how, in general, policies affect people's lives.

    The major introduces students to historical, social, economic, and political factors shaping contemporary policy issues. Students develop an expertise in a policy area of their choice that provides a broad range of scholarly perspectives.


    Requirements for Major and Minor - 

    FOR STUDENTS WHO HAVE MATRICULATED FALL 2021 AND AFTER

    Students are required to take a 21-credit course core and a 9-credits of electives numbered 300 or above.

    • MAX 123: Critical Issues for the United States
    • PAI 305:   Policy Implementation
    • PST 101:  An Introduction to the Analysis of Public Policy
    • MAX 201: Quantitative Methods for Social Sciences
    • PST 315:  Methods of Public Policy Analysis & Presentation
    • PST 410:  Practicum in Public Policy
    • ECN 101:  Introductory Microeconomics

    Electives

    • All PST and PAI courses numbered 300 or above.
    • PHP 318:  Alcohol, Other Drugs, Sex and Gambling: Dynamics of Addiction
    • PHP 402:  Implementing and Evaluating Health Programs
    • IST 343:    Data in Society
    • IST 387:    Introduction to Applied Data Science
    • PSC 302:  Environmental Politics and Policy
    • PSC 308:  The Politics of U.S. Public Policy
    • SWK 314: Social Welfare Policy and Services I
    • SWK 315: Social Welfare Policy and Services II
    • WRT 307: Advanced Writing Studio: Professional Writing

    Minor Requirements

    The Policy Studies Minor provides an interdisciplinary approach to understanding problems confronting our society. The minor in policy studies consists of 18 credits, of which at least 12 credits must be in courses 300 and above. We strongly recommend that you try to fit the major into your academic plans rather than the minor.

    Core Requirements

    The following courses are required:

    1.   PST 101: An Introduction to the Analysis of Public Policy

    2.   ECN 101: Introductory Microeconomics

    3.   PST 410: Practicum in Public Policy

    Additional Information

    The remaining 9 credits are taken from courses numbered 300 or above. The eligible courses are available each semester on the Policy Studies Course Selection Guide which can be found in Maxwell 102 or on the Policy Studies website (https://www.maxwell.syr.edu/policy-studies)

    A minor in policy studies is granted after all coursework has been completed. A Petition to the Faculty form should be written listing completed courses that count towards the minor. If you are undecided between the minor and the major, contact Professor Coplin at wdcoplin@syr.edu or Michelle Walker at mawalker@syr.edu or come to Maxwell 102 to make an appointment. Once you have decided on the minor, Michelle Walker will be your advisor.


    >> Read descriptions for these and other courses offered to policy studies students.  

    Requirements for Major and Minor -

    FOR STUDENTS WHO HAVE MATRICULATED PRIOR TO FALL 2021

    Policy Studies is an interdisciplinary major that requires 10 courses with six core courses and four courses completed in your chosen topical specialization.

    Core Courses

    • PST 101: An Introduction to the Analysis of Public Policy
    • MAX 201: Quantitative Methods for the Social Sciences
    • PST 315: Methods of Public Policy Analysis and Presentation
    • PST 410: Practicum in Public Policy
    • ECN 101 or ECN 102: Introductory Microeconomics or Introductory Macroeconomics
    • MAX 123: Critical Issues for the United States

    Topical Specializations

    1. Environment;
    2. Government and Business;
    3. Health, Education, and Human Services;
    4. Society and the Legal System.
       

    Minor Requirements

    The Policy Studies Minor provides an interdisciplinary approach to understanding problems confronting our society. The minor in policy studies consists of 18 credits, of which at least 12 credits must be in courses above 299. We strongly recommend that you try to fit the major into your academic plans rather than the minor.

    Core Requirements

    The following courses are required:

    1.   PST 101: An Introduction to the Analysis of Public Policy

    2.   ECN 101: Introductory Microeconomics

    3.   PST 410: Practicum in Public Policy

    Topical Specializations

    The remaining 9 credits are taken from courses numbered 300 or above within one of the following specializations:

    • Environment

    -      Government and Business

    -      Health, Education, and Human Services

    -      Society and the Legal System

    The eligible courses within each specialization are available each semester on the Policy Studies Course Selection Guide which can be found in Maxwell 102 on the Policy Studies website (https://www.maxwell.syr.edu/policy-studies)

    A minor in policy studies is granted after all coursework has been completed. A Petition to the Faculty form should be written listing completed courses that count towards the minor. If you are undecided between the minor and the major, contact Professor Coplin at wdcoplin@syr.edu or Michelle Walker at mawalker@syr.edu or come to Maxwell 102 to make an appointment. Once you have decided on the minor, Michelle Walker will be your advisor.


    >> Visit the Course Catalog for more information on the requirements for a major in Policy Studies or minor in Policy Studies.

  • I am so grateful for the policy studies program, it really shaped my college experience. Between the skills I acquired and the opportunities it provided, it definitely helped get me to where I am. 

    lauren rowell medium

    ~ Lauren Rowell, '17 PSt

    Geospatial Intelligence Intern

    National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START)

  • What Do We Know about Our Policy Studies Students?

    They Get Good Jobs Right Out of College

    Employers of Policy Studies alumni include:

    • Consulting companies such as Deloitte, Booz Allen Hamilton, Ernst and Young (EY), and ICF;
    • Local, state, and national governments;
    • Non-profit organizations like Planned Parenthood, AARP, The United Way, and The Children’s Defense Fund;
    • Financial companies such as IBM, JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, and Goldman Sachs;
    • Lobby groups like The National Health Coalition;
    • Large multinationals like Google, United Technologies, and the Walt Disney Company; and
    • About 15% of graduates join Teach for America, the Peace Corps, or AmeriCorps.

    They Get into Top-rated Law and Graduate Programs

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

    Many of our alumni go to graduate school after working for a few years after completing their undergraduate studies, then they attend prestigious graduate and law schools, frequently receiving financial help from their employer.

    They Win Important Awards

    • Of the 18 Syracuse students to win a prestigious Truman Scholarship, which awards $30,000 for graduate school, 14 have been Policy Studies majors.
    • Teach for America (TFA) accepts between three and seven majors every year. More than 30% of all TFA Syracuse students are Policy Studies majors.
    • On average, five out of the 35 Remembrance Scholars per year are Policy Studies majors.