Public Policy Major
School of Public Policy
1118 Taliaferro Hall
Program Director: Jennifer Littlefield, Ph.D.
With no shortage of complex challenges, the world needs leaders who are able to understand and communicate the issues, who can design and implement bold solutions and who can ethically and compassionately lead the movements and organizations that create real change. As a PolicyTerp, students will:
- Learn how to analyze the issues to create and critically evaluate responses that promote better outcomes for communities.
- Cross disciplinary boundaries to better understand the complexities of the challenges the world faces and immerse yourself in multiple perspectives.
- Develop decision-making and leadership skills to translate theory and analysis into on-the-ground action.
The interdisciplinary Public Policy major focuses on using analytical decision-making to study an array of subjects ranging from the processes of making, implementing and evaluating government policies to the ethical evaluation of contemporary social problems, both domestic and international. The major has two distinctive components:
- core foundational skills critical for the understanding and analysis of problems and proposed solutions; and
- the application of these skills and competencies to address challenges in the real world by engaging with the policy process at local, state and national levels through real-time projects.
The major in Public Policy at the University of Maryland equips students with competence in leadership and analytical skills, supported by theory and data, to prepare them for careers in public service, policymaking, and the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.
Courses offered by this department may be found under the following acronym: PLCY.
Program Learning Outcomes
Students completing a Public Policy major will:
- Understand public policy problems, concepts, processes, institutions and actors through a multidisciplinary lens, with perspectives from the local to the global.
- Analyze public issues from a range of ideological, demographic, and socioeconomic perspectives, including those that are underrepresented in the public policy process.
- Apply quantitative and qualitative tools to real-world policy issues.
- Communicate complex ideas and findings in written and oral forms.
- Demonstrate teamwork, ethical decision-making, management and leadership skills. \
C- or better is required in all major courses and the cumulative average of these courses must be a 2.0.
|Benchmark Requirement One 1|
|PLCY100||Foundations of Public Policy||3|
|HIST201||Interpreting American History: From 1865 to the Present||3|
|Benchmark Requirement Two 2|
|PLCY101||Great Thinkers on Public Policy||3|
|STAT100||Elementary Statistics and Probability||3|
(STAT100 equivalent accepted)
|Required Major Courses|
|ECON200||Principles of Microeconomics||3|
|PLCY201||Public Leaders and Active Citizens||3|
|PLCY203||Liberty and Justice for All: Ethics and Moral Issues in Public Policy||3|
|PLCY300||Governance: Collective Action in the Public Interest||3|
|PLCY302||Examining Pluralism in Public Policy (UP Pending)||3|
|PLCY303||Public Economics Raising and Spending the People's Money||3|
|PLCY304||Evaluating Evidence: Finding Truth in Numbers||4|
|PLCY306||Public Policy Analysis in Action 3||3|
|PLCY309||Internship in Political Institutions: State and Local||3-6|
|PLCY400||Senior Capstone 4||3|
|PLCY401||Contemporary Issues in Public Policy 4||3|
|Introduction to Public Policy Focus or General Policy elective||3|
Students may choose an area of focus or choose general policy related electives
|Focus/PLCY Elective Course 2||3|
|Focus/PLCY Elective Course 3||3|
|Focus/PLCY Elective Course 4||3|
Must be completed by the end of two semesters into the major
Must be completed by the end of four semesters into the major
Taken after 60 credits
Taken after 90 credits