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Learn More About:

BA in Public Policy & Management

The Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy & Management is a joint major/minor program designed to introduce students to practices, policies, and issues in government and society. The program focuses on how public problems are defined, and how responses to the problems are designed, implemented, and evaluated. It guides students through an interdisciplinary approach to develop their analytic abilities, research skills, and knowledge in various policy areas, while allowing students the flexibility to study topics of special personal interest.

Requirements for the Major in Public Policy & Management

For more detailed information see the BA in Public Policy and Management Manual.

The BA in Public Policy and Management is focused on the development of the analytic skills needed in today's complex policy environment. The interdisciplinary nature of the Public Policy and Management program is reflected in the six required core courses that expose students to statistics, economics, the policy-making process and public management.  The student then extends and deepens this interdisciplinary perspective through the choice of two courses in each of two areas and through the choice of one or two concentrations.

The BA Program requires that students complete an internship, typically with an agency of New York State government.  According to University policy, enrollment in an internship requires a minimum 2.0 GPA. Students with a GPA below 2.0 will not be allowed to complete this requirement for the major.

The BA Program expects that students will have taken mathematics at the level of AMAT 100 or AMAT 101.

Students in the BA program must take a total of 36 credits in the required core courses and in the elective Areas. In the rare instance that a student waives out of a core requirement, the student must take an additional course in public administration and policy (RPAD).  Students may NOT double-count courses.  Any given course may fulfill only one requirement for the major/minor.

Students must major/minor; there is no option for a stand-alone major.  In addition to completing the standard 36 credits, students must also choose either one or two policy concentrations.  The purpose of this requirement is to match the breadth of your interdisciplinary policy analysis skills with depth in a particular area. 

Students who choose this course of study are also eligible to apply for the highly competitive dual BA/MPA program

Introductory Core Courses (18 credits)

The core courses are specifically designed to introduce the student to the analytic skills associated with the field of Public Policy and Management. All of the following courses are required. Students should aim to take these courses early in their academic careers as they are prerequisite to most of the elective track courses.

  • RPAD 140: Introduction to Public Policy
  • RPAD 316: Statistics for Policy
  • AECO 110: Microeconomics
  • AECO 111: Macroeconomics
  • RPOS 101: American Politics
  • RPAD 302: Understanding Public Organizations

Advanced Core Courses (6 credits)

These core courses build on the skills developed in the introductory core courses.  Students must complete all of the Introductory Core Courses before they may take these courses.

  • RPAD 498 is built around the department's internship program.
  • RPAD 498: Applied Public Affairs Capstone
  • RPAD 499: Policy Capstone

Elective Areas (12 credits)

The areas are designed to deepen the student's familiarity with analytic skills used in this field. Courses in Management and Politics explore the design and implementation of policy.  Quantitative Methods and Policy Analysis courses study the methods policy experts use to analyze empirical data and to model policy systems.

The student must take two courses in each area.  At least one course in each Area must be at the 300-level or above.  The student may petition the department to substitute appropriate courses not listed here.

Many of these courses are offered irregularly; see the public policy undergraduate advising office for guidance. 

1) Management and Politics

  • RPAD 202: Woman and Leadership
  • RPAD 236: Institutions and Policy in Business Regulation
  • RPAD 303: Public Administration and Management
  • RPAD 321: State and Local Government
  • RPAD 322: Government and Politics of New York City
  • RPAD 325: Government and Politics of New York State
  • RPAD 328: Law and Policy
  • RPAD 329: Bureaucratic Politics
  • RPAD 350: Comparative Public Policy
  • RPAD 366: International Environmental Policy
  • RPAD 435: Fundamentals of Securities Law
  • RPAD 436: Securities Market Regulation
  • RPOS 303: Public Policy in Theory and Practice
  • RPOS 320: American Federalism

2) Quantitative Methods and Policy Analysis

       Students must take AT LEAST ONE course from the Primary List.  They may take either 1) two courses from the Primary List or 2) one course from the Primary List and one course from the Secondary List.

Primary List

  • RPAD 204: Computer Modeling for Decision Support
  • RPAD 324: Policy Analysis in Complex Systems
  • RPAD 345: Psychological Economics and Policy
  • AECO 300: Intermediate Economics
  • AECO 320: Economic Statistics
  • AECO 355: Public Finance

Secondary List

  • AMAT 214: Calculus of Several Variables
  • AMAT 308: Statistical Inference
  • AMAT 362: Probability for Statistics
  • AGOG 496: Geographic Information Systems
  • AECO 405: Game Theory
  • AECO 410: Mathematics for Economists
  • ICSI 105: Computing and Information
  • ICSI 203: Data Processing Principles

Concentrations (18 credits)

The concentrations allow students to focus in-depth on specific policy applications.  Students may do either 18 credits in one concentration or 9 credits in two concentrations.  Students are expected to work with the advising office to develop a coherent plan of study across the concentrations.

At least 9 credits must be at the 300-level or above.  Students MUST declare their concentrations when they register for the major/minor, but they may change them.

Students may petition for additional courses to be considered under any given concentration, but may NOT petition to create their own concentration.

Courses used to fulfill the Area requirements may NOT also be used to fulfill the Concentrations requirement.

Internship Opportunities

Students in the Public Policy program complete the Internship in Public Affairs (PUB 498). The internship is an integral part of the Public Policy degree. The University's location in the New York State Capital affords students extensive opportunities for internships directly related to their fields of interest. These internships can be in the Legislature, State agencies, private firms, and nonprofit organizations. Internships give students practical experience, professional contacts, and advantages in graduate admissions and job placement. Students may also choose to complete their internship in Washington, DC, other cities, or while doing a semester abroad.

Career Opportunities

The Public Policy curriculum combines a strong academic program with opportunities to develop expertise in a particular policy area and hone communications and analytical skills. Graduates of the Public Policy program are employed in all areas of government, industry, and the nonprofit sector, with many going on to graduate study and careers in public and private management and law. Majors in Public Policy with strong academic records also may enroll in a combined undergraduate/graduate program allowing them to complete both the undergraduate major and a Master's degree in Public Policy or Public Administration in one less semester than would normally be required for both degrees.

For more information about these see Careers & Internships.

Additional details on the Public Policy and Management Program may be found in the Program Manual for the BA in Public Policy.