Skip to this page's content

Home » Undergraduate College » Admission » Economics » Majors & Minors » Minor in Public Policy Studies

Minor in Public Policy Studies

Minor in Public Policy Studies

Public policy concerns the actions of governments and the objectives that guide those actions. The 80,000 governments that make up the American system have a profound effect on the daily life of their citizens.

Students are drawn to study public policy for various reasons. Many students may hope to work for local, state, or national governments at some point in their careers. Students who plan to work in the private sector increasingly find that government affects their professional and personal activities. In addition, all students who desire to become more informed citizens find their lives enriched by an appreciation of how, and to what effect, government acts.

The interdisciplinary field of public policy is organized around four related sets of questions:

  • Who or what influences the direction of government action?
  • What "tools" are available to address societal problems?
  • What are the effects of government actions?
  • What are the appropriate normative questions about how policy is made and what government actually does?

The study of public policy requires a basic grounding in economics and political science. Students are therefore required to take introductory courses in each of those fields. Since the upper-level public policy courses in economics are all microeconomics-based, ECON 100 Principles of Microeconomics is required.

The minor consists of five courses:

  • ECON 100 Principles of Microeconomics
  • POLS 101 Introductions to American Politics
  • POLS 217 American Public Policy

Plus two of the following:

  • ECON 236 Public Economics
  • ECON 239 Government Regulation of Industry
  • ECON 241 Business Competition and Antitrust Policy
  • ECON 247 Environmental Economics
  • POLS 212 Politics Unplugged: How Things Work in Massachusetts