BA in Political Science, Public Policy Focus

student answers a question in class

In addition to requiring many of the same core requirements as Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, the public policy-focused degree includes four upper-level electives, three of which are related to public policy. All students majoring in political science with a public policy focus also complete a required proseminar as juniors or seniors, in which they examine a policy issue and produce scholarly writing on the topic.

Many students in this program supplement their classwork with study abroad and internships for credit.

Per Columbian College of Arts and Science policy, students must complete the major requirements at the time of declaration. Students who declared a major before Fall 2020 are beholden to prior major requirements.

Jeremy Marsh

"During my freshman year, I remember listening to The Washington Post’s Jason Rezaian, who was held hostage in Iran for 544 days. His experience will always remind me that there are real-world, human impacts to public policy."

Jeremy Marsh
BA ’19

Course Requirements

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences (CCAS), Undergraduate Programs. CCAS stipulates that a student must complete the major requirements published in the Bulletin for the academic year in which the student declares their major.*

Program-specific curriculum:

Prerequisite courses
PSC 1001Introduction to Comparative Politics
or PSC 1001W Introduction to Comparative Politics
PSC 1002Introduction to American Politics and Government
or PSC 1002W Introduction to American Politics and Government
PSC 1003Introduction to International Politics
or PSC 1003W Introduction to International Politics
or IAFF 1005 Introduction to International Affairs
Students in the Politics and Values program are required to take PSC 1011 and PSC 1012W. For such students, these two courses fulfill the prerequisite requirement and count as a Group E (political thought) course.
Required for the major
Six 2000-level political science courses (18 credits) distributed as follows: **
Three courses (9 credits) selected from the following:
PSC 2211State and Urban Politics
PSC 2212State and Urban Policy Problems
PSC 2213Judicial Politics
PSC 2216The American Presidency
PSC 2217Executive Branch Politics
PSC 2218Legislative Politics
or PSC 2218W Legislative Politics
PSC 2219Political Parties and Interest Groups
PSC 2222Science, Technology, and Politics
PSC 2224Issues in Domestic Public Policy
PSC 2240Poverty, Welfare, and Work
PSC 2241The Politics of Education Policy
PSC 2446U.S. Foreign Policy
PSC 2468Post-Soviet Foreign Policy
Three courses (9 credits) from the following groups. One course must from group D.
Group A (comparative politics)
PSC 2330Comparative Politics of Western Europe
PSC 2331Comparative Politics of Central and Eastern Europe
PSC 2332European Integration
PSC 2333Reunification, Reconciliation, and Resentment
PSC 2334Global Perspectives on Democracy
PSC 2336State–Society Relations in the Developing World
PSC 2337Development Politics
PSC 2338Nationalism
PSC 2339Comparative Political Economy
PSC 2366Russian Politics
PSC 2367Human Rights
or PSC 2367W Human Rights
PSC 2368Politics in the Two Koreas
PSC 2369Comparative Politics of South Asia
PSC 2370Comparative Politics of China and Northeast Asia
PSC 2371Politics and Foreign Policy of China
PSC 2373Comparative Politics of Southeast Asia
PSC 2374Politics and Foreign Policy of Japan
PSC 2377Comparative Politics of the Middle East
or PSC 2377W Comparative Politics of the Middle East
PSC 2379Politics and Foreign Policy of Israel
PSC 2381Comparative Politics of Sub-Saharan Africa
PSC 2383Comparative Politics of Latin America
PSC 2993Special Topics in Comparative Politics
Group B (American government and politics)
PSC 2213Judicial Politics
PSC 2214U.S. Constitutional Law and Politics I
PSC 2215U.S. Constitutional Law and Politics II
PSC 2216The American Presidency
PSC 2218Legislative Politics
or PSC 2218W Legislative Politics
PSC 2219Political Parties and Interest Groups
PSC 2220Public Opinion
PSC 2221African American Politics
PSC 2223Campaigns and Elections
PSC 2225Women and Politics
PSC 2226The Politics of Race and Ethnicity in the United States
PSC 2228Media, Politics, and Government
PSC 2229Media and Politics
PSC 2230Law and Justice: The View from Hollywood
PSC 2241The Politics of Education Policy
PSC 2992Special Topics in American Politics and Government
Group C (international politics, law, and organizations)
PSC 2439International Political Economy
PSC 2440Theories of International Politics
PSC 2442International Organizations
or PSC 2442W International Organizations
PSC 2444Public International Law
PSC 2446U.S. Foreign Policy
PSC 2447American Presidents at War
PSC 2449International Security Politics
or PSC 2449W International Security Politics
PSC 2451Theory of War
or PSC 2451W Theory of War
PSC 2453U.S. Foreign Policy Perspectives
PSC 2454Humanitarianism
PSC 2455Global Governance
PSC 2461European-Atlantic Relations
PSC 2468Post-Soviet Foreign Policy
PSC 2475International Relations of East Asia
PSC 2476The Arab-Israeli Conflict
or PSC 2476W The Arab-Israeli Conflict
PSC 2478International Relations of the Middle East
PSC 2482African International Politics
PSC 2484International Relations of Latin America
PSC 2994Special Topics in International Relations
Group D (research methods)
PSC 2101Scope and Methods of Political Science
or COMM 3110 Research Methods in Communication
or IAFF 2101 Qualitative Methods in International Affairs
or PSYC 2101 Research Methods in Psychology
or SMPA 2151 Research Methods
or SOC 2101 Social Research Methods
PSC 2102Visualizing and Modeling Politics
Group E (political thought)
PSC 2105Major Issues of Western Political Thought I
PSC 2106Major Issues of Western Political Thought II
or PSC 2106W Major Issues of Western Political Thought II
PSC 2107Twentieth-Century Political Thought
PSC 2109Global Justice
PSC 2110American Political Thought
PSC 2120WFreedom in American Thought and Popular Culture
PSC 2991Special Topics in Political Thought
One proseminar (3 credits) and one advanced topics course (3 credits)
PSC 3192WProseminar: Political Science (Taken in the junior or senior year. Topic must be policy oriented.)
PSC 3500Advanced Topics in Political Science
Six courses (18 credits) in other social sciences and statistics, including:
Four required courses:
ECON 1011Principles of Economics I
ECON 1012Principles of Economics II
ECON 2101Intermediate Microeconomic Theory
STAT 1051Introduction to Business and Economic Statistics
or STAT 1053 Introduction to Statistics in Social Science
or STAT 1111 Business and Economic Statistics I
and two courses selected from the following:
ECON 2122Monetary Theory and Policy
ECON 2136Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
ECON 2151WEconomic Development
ECON 2151Economic Development
ECON 2157Urban and Regional Economics
ECON 2158Industrial Organization
ECON 2159Government Regulation of the Economy
ECON 2167Economics of Crime
ECON 2181International Trade Theory and Policy
ECON 3142Labor Economics
ECON 3148Health Economics
ECON 3161Public Finance: Expenditure Programs
ECON 3162Public Finance: Taxation
ECON 3190Law and Economics
ECON 3191Game Theory
SOC 2105Social Problems in American Society
SOC 2112Evaluation Research
SOC 2135Youth and Delinquency
SOC 2136Criminology
SOC 2137Transnational Crime
SOC 2139Alternatives to Imprisonment
SOC 2143Criminal Justice System Arrest Through Appeal
SOC 2145Criminal Law
SOC 2146The Bill of Rights and Criminal Justice
SOC 2161Sociology of Complex Organizations
SOC 2162Sociology of the Family
SOC 2163Sociology of Education
SOC 2169Urban Sociology
SOC 2170Class and Inequality in American Society
SOC 2174Sociology of Immigration
SOC 2179Race and Minority Relations
STAT 1129Introduction to Computing
STAT 2118Regression Analysis
STAT 2123Introduction to Econometrics
STAT 2183Intermediate Statistics Lab/Packages

*Bulletins covering prior academic years are archived.

**In addition to the courses listed, a maximum of 3 credits in PSC 2987  may count toward the 2000-level course requirement. However, these credits do not count toward any group.