The public policy major at Gettysburg College offers a flexible, rigorous, multidisciplinary curriculum that provides training for students interested in problem-solving in domestic or international public arenas. Core courses focus on the nature of public policy, including the process of problem recognition and articulation, policy development, ethical and legal deliberation and methods of policy impact assessment.
The major in public policy emphasizes quantitative and economic analysis, the study of political institutions that make policy, and the examination of specific policy areas chosen by the student. Courses include analytic methods, economic concepts, ethical analysis of political institutions, grounding in history, and field experience gained from a required internship. Students choose advanced courses focusing on particular policy areas according to their interests, with the guidance of a faculty coordinator. A formal analysis of a substantial public policy problem is undertaken in a capstone policy seminar.
The major encourages students to achieve many of the goals that shape the Gettysburg College vision of a liberal arts education. Students are expected to draw upon skills from multiple disciplines, to learn to write well, to read critically, to assess significant ethical issues that affect policy debate, and to think analytically about global and domestic problems.
Public Policy graduates regularly pursue graduate studies in business administration, economics, environmental studies, health policy and administration, law, political science, psychology, public administration, public policy analysis, social work, sociology and urban affairs.
The public policy major is intended to accommodate students from a wide range of interests that include a public policy dimension and serves as a second major for students whose study of public policy builds on the substantive knowledge of the first major. Students interested in science policy might choose the public policy major after their declaration of physics as a first major. Students interested in health policy might choose the public policy major after a declaration of health sciences or biology as their major. Students interested in family policy might choose the public policy major in conjunction with a sociology major.