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2016-2017 Catalog

Policy Studies


Professor Crain (Economics), Chair

The Policy Studies major gives students the skills and institutional knowledge necessary for understanding policy processes, and provides a multidisciplinary course of study in the design, management, and evaluation of policies and institutions. Faculty affiliates represent all divisions of the college, and the program encourages students to combine coursework in engineering, the natural sciences, humanities, and the social sciences.

An integral part of the major is faculty-student collaboration on applied, real-world problems to address the political, technical, and economic factors relevant to a solution. Students work with an adviser to structure elective courses that relate to a theme of concentration and to develop research opportunities, internships, and, for qualified students, an honors thesis. Themes of concentration include:

Arts and Media Policy: including not-for-profit organizations, ethics, government’s role in promoting and protecting culture, censorship, the licensing and regulation of the information sector, and privacy;

Economic Policy and Homeland Security: including fiscal, monetary and regulatory policy, workplace safety, product liability, national defense, homeland security, natural disasters, emergency management, and privacy;

Science Policy: including intellectual and physical property rights, ethics, technology transfer, space, biomedical, and environmental;

Social Policy: including health care, education, poverty, family and children, consumer protection and safety, public retirement and welfare programs, criminal justice, housing and urban planning, human reproductive rights, civil rights, and human rights.

The major is useful as preparation for employment in business, government agencies, or NGOs; as a foundation for postgraduate professional schools in public policy, law, and business; and as preparation for graduate study in the social sciences.

Policy Studies Courses