The Public Policy Major

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 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.

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. 

Requirements

All Public Policy majors are required to have another major in addition to Public Policy.

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) and Econ 104 (Principles of Macroeconomics)
  • Statistics/Methods (choose from these statistics/methods courses)
  • PP 470 Internship (requires approval from public policy adviser and Chair of public policy)
  • PP 401 (Capstone seminar, Advanced Topics in Public Policy)

Students must take an additional four elective courses in an area of their interest. These courses must be approved by their public policy adviser and the Chair of public policy. The four elective courses must include one course in each of the following categories:

  • Values and public policy: courses that treat the ethical dimensions of public policy
  • Theory and public policy: courses that provide a theoretical or conceptual framework for understanding public policy issues
  • Policy and policy making: courses that focus on the institutions through which public policy is made
  • Elective: any course in the student’s area of policy interest

Students generally enter the Public Policy major with interests in a particular subject area. Below we provide a sample set of courses satisfying the requirements for the Public Policy major, organized by subject areas that students have identified as areas of interest in the past. These sample curricula are intended to inspire students to construct a set of courses appropriate to their own interests, not to limit their options. Students are encouraged to identify their area of interest and select appropriate courses in consultation with their advisor. A large number of courses offered at Gettysburg College and off-campus study programs can be used to satisfy the requirements for the major.

Courses taken in off-campus study programs may be used to satisfy any of the above requirements 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. (Exception: Economics and Mathematical Economics majors may use Econ 103, 104, and 241 to satisfy the requirements for both Economics/Mathematical Economics and Public Policy.)

Courses that fulfill the Statistics/Methods Requirement

Normally students take the statistics/methods course required by their other major.

  • 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
  • PSYCH 205 Introduction to Statistics
  • SOC 298 Field Methods in Social Research
  • SOC 299 Data Analysis and Statistics

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

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