The Public Policy Major

The Public Policy major at Gettysburg College offers a flexible, rigorous, multidisciplinary curriculum for students interested in problem solving in domestic and international public arenas. Core courses focus on the nature of public policy, including the process of problem recognition and articulation, policy development and implementation, ethical and legal deliberations, and policy assessment. Upper level courses explore policy theory, evaluation, and reform.

The Public Policy major appeals to students from a wide range of disciplines. Public Policy students must have another major, which allows them to ground their policy studies in a substantive arena. Additionally, all Public Policy students identify a concentration for their policy studies and build their course schedule around that concentration. For example, a Public Policy and Economics double major might concentrate on Housing Policy; a Public Policy and Business double major might concentrate on nonprofit organizations; a Public Policy and Political Science double major might concentrate on social justice policy; and a Public Policy and English double major might concentrate on policy communication.

All Public Policy majors must take at least one foundational political science course; microeconomics; macroeconomics; a methods course; and an introduction to public policy course. They must take at least one course in Ethics and Values, one course in Policymaking, and one course in Theory. Finally, they must complete a Policy Internship, a related Policy Concept Paper, and complete a capstone project in their senior year.

The Public Policy major embodies Gettysburg College’s vision of an interdisciplinary liberal arts education. Students draw upon skills from multiple disciplines to think critically and creatively, lead teams large and small, and communicate effectively and efficiently.

In recent years, Public Policy graduates have pursue graduate studies and careers to advance social change.

Requirements

All public policy majors are required to take the following core courses:

  • Pol Sci 101 (American Government) or Poli Sci 103 (Intro to International Relations) or Poli Sci 104 (Intro to Comparative Politics)
  • PP 221 (Introduction to Public Policy)
  • Econ 103 (Principles of Microeconomics)
  • Econ 104 (Principles of Macroeconomics)
  • Research Methods (choose from these courses)
  • PP 470 Internship with Policy Concept Paper
  • PP 401 (Capstone seminar, Advanced Topics in Public Policy)

Additionally, students must take a course in Ethics and Values, a course in Theory, a course in Policymaking, and at least one Elective in their concentration as described below.

  • Ethics and Values courses examine how ethics, value systems, religions, and cultures influence policy processes.
  • Theory courses explore theoretical perspectives on how societies define problems, how they choose to respond to those problems, whether policy initiatives are appropriate and responsive to those problems, and how societies approach policy reform. Policymaking courses focus on the institutions of public policy making.
  • Policymaking courses examine institutions of policymaking.
  • Elective(s) in students’ area of concentration reflect students’ area of policy focus.

Students may satisfy any of the above requirements through off-campus study programs with the approval of the Chair of Public Policy.

No more than two courses used to fulfill the requirements of a student’s other major may count toward the public policy major. (Exceptions: Economics, Business, and International and Globalization Studies can use three courses for both majors because they have three of the same required courses).

Courses for the Methods Requirement

  • ANTH 323 Field Methods in Cultural Anthropology
  • BIO 260 Biostatistics
  • ECON/BUS 241 Introductory Economics and Business Statistics
  • HS 232 Statistics for Health Sciences
  • HS 326 Epidemiology
  • MATH 107 Applied Statistics
  • OMS/MGT 301 Research Methods
  • OMS/MGT 235 Statistical Methods
  • POL 215 Methods in Political Science
  • POL 305 Data Analysis Using R
  • PSYCH 205 Introduction to Statistics
  • SOC 298 Field Methods in Social Research
  • SOC 299 Data Analysis and Statistics
  • WGS 340 Methods

Courses that satisfy the values, theory, and policymaking electives requirements of the Public Policy major

* PP 305 Advanced Public Policy Analysis can be used to satisfy the Theory and Public Policy, Policy and Policymaking, or Elective requirements

* The elective requirement can be fulfilled by all courses that satisfies the other Public Policy requirements

Social and Economic Policy

Values and public policy

  • PHIL 105 Contemporary Moral Issues
  • PHIL 230 Ethics
  • PHIL 222 Philosophical Perspectives of Justice
  • PHIL 252 Social and Political Philosophy
  • PHIL 318 Ethics, Choices and Economic Life
  • PHIL 364 Philosophy of Law
  • PHIL 328 Deliberative Democracy

Theory and public policy

  • ECON 243 Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory
  • ECON 245 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory
  • EDUC 260 Globalization, Citizenship, and Education
  • SOC 203 Population
  • SOC 207 Criminology

Policy and policymaking

  • AFS 264 Education for Social Change
  • ECON 262/362 Monetary Policy
  • EDUC 220 Urban Education
  • EDUC 264 Education for Social Change
  • EDUC 377 Education, Policy and Politics
  • HIST 236 Urbanism in American History
  • HIST 248 Poverty and Welfare in American History
  • POL 324 Executive Policy Making
  • POL 327 State Politics and Policy
  • POL 223 U.S. Congress
  • POL 224 The American Presidency
  • POL 225 American Constitutional Law
  • PP 265 Financial Regulation Policy

Health Policy

Values and public policy

  • PHIL 105 Contemporary Moral Issues
  • PHIL 230 Ethics

Theory and public policy

  • ECON 245 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory
  • SOC 203 Population

Policy and policymaking

  • HS 120 Public Health
  • HS 322 Global Health
  • POL 223 U.S. Congress
  • POL 224 The American Presidency
  • POL 225 American Constitutional Law
  • SOC 203 Population

Environmental Policy

Values and public policy

  • PHIL 105 Contemporary Moral Issues
  • PHIL 230 Ethics
  • ES 225 Introduction to Environmental Humanities
  • PHIL 107 Environmental Ethics

Theory and public policy

  • ECON 245 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory
  • ECON 341 Environmental Economics
  • PP 305 Advanced Public Policy Analysis
  • ES 333 Environmental Policy

Policy and policymaking

  • ES 334 Global Environment and Development
  • ES 317 Chesapeake Bay: Science, Policy and Environmental Issues
  • ES/POL 333 Environmental Policy
  • POL 223 U.S. Congress
  • POL 224 The American Presidency 
  • POL 225 American Constitutional Law

National Security and Foreign Policy

Values and public policy

  • PHIL 105 Contemporary Moral Issues
  • PHIL 230 Ethics

Theory and public policy

  • ECON-250 Economic Development
  • ECON-251 International Economics
  • POL 346 International Relations Theory
  • POL 351 The Political Economy of Armed Conflict

Policy and policymaking

  • AFS 256 /ECON 256 African Economic History and Development
  • ECON 213 East Asian Economic History & Development
  • ECON 214/LAS 214 Latin American Economic History & Development
  • ES 334 Global Environment and Development
  • LAS 262 Social Development in Latin America
  • LAS 267 Society and Politics in Latin America
  • LAS 276 Social and Political Problems: The Case of Mexico
  • LAS 331 Political Sociology of Latin America
  • POL 242 United States Foreign Policy
  • POL 251 Political Economy Advanced Industrialized Societies
  • POL 252 North-South Dialogue
  • POL 324 Executive Policy Making
  • POL 344 U.S. National Security Policy
  • POL 211 Intro East Central European Politics
  • POL 224 The American Presidency
  • POL 225 American Constitutional Law
  • POL 260 West European Politics
  • POL 261 Intro East Central European Politics
  • POL 265 African Politics
  • POL 270 Government & Politics in China
  • POL 271 Government and Politics in Japan
  • POL 275 Latin American Politics
  • POL 312 Transitions to Democracy
  • POL 362 Peasants, Politics & Rebellion

Social Justice, Civil Rights, and Human Rights Policy

Values and public policy

  • PHIL 105 Contemporary Moral Issues
  • PHIL 230 Ethics
  • PHIL 222 Philosophical Perspectives of Justice
  • PHIL 218 Gender and Identity
  • PHIL 219 Philosophy of Peace and Nonviolence
  • PHIL 224 Philosophy and Human Rights
  • PHIL 247 Philosophy of Race

Theory and public policy

  • AFS 267 Race, Gender and the Law
  • AFS 370 The Post-Colonial Condition: Race, Gender and Identity in the Caribbean
  • ANTH 231/LAS 231/WGS 231 Gender and Change in Africa and Afro-Latin America
  • ANTH 227 Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Gender and Sex Roles
  • ANTH 302 Human Rights through an Anthropological Lens
  • AFS 370 The Post-Colonial Condition: Race, Gender and Identity in the Caribbean
  • LAS 231 Gender and Change in Africa and Afro-Latin America
  • ECON 252 Economics and Gender

Policy and policymaking

  • AFS 246/346 Human Rights Policy and Practice in the Caribbean
  • ENG 366 Human Rights and Literature
  • POL 225 American Constitutional Law
  • POL 321 Gender in American Politics
  • POL 322 Civil Rights & Liberties
  • POL 323 Religion and Politics in the United States
  • REL 225 Religion in the Civil Rights Movement

Science Policy

Values and public policy

  • PHIL 105 Contemporary Moral Issues
  • PHIL 230 Ethics
  • PHIL 131 Bioethics
  • REL 331 Religion and Technology

Theory and public policy

  • ECON 243 Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory
  • ECON 245 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory

Policy and policymaking

  • CHEM 222 Chemistry: Contemporary Issues and Practices
  • CHEM 231 Challenges and Opportunities in Medical Science in the 21st Century
  • ES 317 Chesapeake Bay: Science, Policy and Environmental Issues

Policy of Art and Culture

Values and public policy

  • PHIL 105 Contemporary Moral Issues

Theory and public policy

  • PP 322 Art and Public Policy

Policy and policymaking

  • CIMS 218 Global Media Cultures
  • CIMS 219 Global Media Industries
  • MUS-CLAS 149 Social Foundations of Music Education
  • IDS 285 Interpreting and Preserving Museum Artifacts

Some illustrative examples:

A student interested in environmental policy:

  • Values: PHIL 107 Environmental Ethics
  • Theory: ECON 341 Environmental Economics
  • Policymaking: ES 334 Global Environment and Development
  • Elective: PP 305 Advanced Public Policy Analysis

A student interested in poverty and inequality:

  • Values: PHIL 252 Social and Political Philosophy
  • Theory: ECON 243 Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory
  • Policymaking: HIST 248 Poverty and Welfare in American History
  • Elective: POL 223 U.S. Congress

A student interested in education policy:

  • Values: PHIL 105 Contemporary Moral Issues
  • Theory: EDUC 260 Globalization, Citizenship, and Education
  • Policymaking: EDUC 377 Education, Policy and Politics
  • Elective: PP 305 Advanced Public Policy Analysis

A student interested in criminal justice policy:

  • Values: PHIL 364 Philosophy of Law
  • Theory: SOC 207 Criminology
  • Policymaking: EDUC 377 Education, Policy and Politics
  • Elective: PSYCH 214 Social Psychology

A student interested in national security policy:

  • Values: PHIL 105 Contemporary Moral Issues
  • Theory: POL 346 International Relations Theory
  • Policymaking: POL 344 U.S. National Security
  • Elective: LAS 267 Society and Politics in Latin America

A student interested in global health policy:

  • Values: PHIL 230 Ethics
  • Theory: SOC 203 Population
  • Policymaking: HS 322 Global Health
  • Elective: HS 326 Epidemiology

A student interested in global human rights policy:

  • Values: PHIL 224 Philosophy and Human Rights
  • Theory: ANTH 302 Human Rights through an Anthropological Lens
  • Policymaking: AFS 246/346 Human Rights Policy and Practice in the Caribbean
  • Elective: ENG 366 Human Rights and Literature

A student interested in U.S. civil rights policy:

  • Values: PHIL 247 Philosophy of Race
  • Theory: AFS 267 Race, Gender and the Law
  • Policymaking: POL 322 Civil Rights & Liberties
  • Elective: CWES 337 Reconstruction and the Legacy of the American Civil War

A student interested in biomedicine policy:

  • Values: PHIL 131 Bioethics
  • Theory: PP 305 Advanced Public Policy Analysis
  • Policymaking: CHEM 231 Challenges and Opportunities in Medical Science in the 21st Century
  • Elective: ENG 201 Writing the Public Essay

A student interested in arts policy:

  • Values: PHIL 105 Contemporary Moral Issues
  • Theory: PP 322 Art and Public
  • Policymaking: CIMS 219 Global Media Industries
  • Elective: PP 305 Advanced Public Policy Analysis

General Electives

Courses that Fulfill the Public Policy Elective Requirement

Any course listed under Theory, Values, or Policymaking may be used to satisfy the fourth elective requirement. Additionally, these classes also may be used as electives. Or you can select an elective that is not on this list after consultation with and approval from your Public Policy adviser.

  • AFS 367 Black Men, White Law
  • ANTH 301 Social Life of Things
  • CWES 337 Reconstruction and the Legacy of the American Civil War
  • CWES 320 Aftermath: The Experience of War and Modern Memory
  • ENG 201 Writing the Public Essay
  • ENG 215 Literature and Politics in Early Modern England
  • ES 241 Environmental Journalism
  • ES 319 Environmental Film
  • ES 312 Environmental Applications of Geographic Information Systems
  • ES 292 Topics in Environmental Social Sciences
  • ES 196 Environmental Science and Society
  • FREN 310: French Revolutions: Political, Social, and Cultural Upheaval Since 1789
  • HS 326 Epidemiology
  • IDS 221 Introduction to Peace and Justice Studies
  • IDS 352 Down by Law
  • IDS 2443 Protest Music & Social Change in the American Experience
  • PHIL 211 Logic
  • PSYCH 214 Social Psychology
  • PSYCH 222 Abnormal Psychology
  • REL 232 Modern Prophets of Social Change: Martin Luther King, Jr.. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Malcolm X