Public Policy Major
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.
The major aims of the program are to produce:
- Individuals who better understand themselves and the world they live in through a focused, coordinated study of the major policy-related disciplines.
- Citizens who are adept at promoting better public outcomes both by understanding public policy problems from an inter-disciplinary, multi-sector, multi-constituency perspective and by leading institutional and policy change.
- Graduates who can easily find meaningful employment, and are well-prepared to enter numerous graduate and professional programs, due to their strong multi-sector, interdisciplinary, analytical, problem-solving, and leadership abilities.
Program Learning Outcomes
Students completing a Public Policy major will:
- Possess a foundational understanding of the fields of public policy and leadership, including its key processes, methodologies, and actors, both present and historic.
- Possess a foundational understanding of the key policy related precepts and methodologies of many disciplines, including history, economics, political science, international relations, sociology, data analysis, information science, ethics and justice.
- Be adept at acquiring and maintaining a critical understanding of key policy related developments in the world.
- Be adept at finding, understanding, organizing, and synthesizing data and the findings of other analysts/leaders, to produce an enhanced, multi-faceted, multi-perspective, objective understanding of public issues.
- Be adept at seeing public issues from the perspectives of various constituencies and those with different backgrounds, especially those whose perspectives are under-represented in public forums and processes.
- Be creative and systematic problem-solvers, able to relate and apply intellectual skills and theoretical knowledge to real world problems.
- Be able to communicate – orally, on paper, and through media – analysis and findings, especially to people who do not share their analytical, professional, or cultural background.
- Be able to intelligently work with and lead others who are working on, or are affected by, public issues, including those from different analytical, professional, or cultural backgrounds.
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|
|PLCY202||(Public Leaders and Active Citizens)||3|
|or PLCY201||Leadership for the Common Good|
|PLCY203||(Liberty and Justice for All: Ethics and Moral Issues in Public Policy)||3|
|PLCY300||(Governance: Collective Action in the Public Interest)||3|
|PLCY302||Leadership: Philosophy, Policy and Praxis (UP Pending)||3|
|PLCY303||(Public Economics: Raising and Spending the People's Money)||3|
|PLCY304||(Evaluating Evidence: Finding Truth in Numbers)||4|
|PLCY305||(Policy Internship OR Approved Internship from another department OR Approved Study Abroad)||3|
|PLCY306||(Public Policy Analysis in Action) 3||3|
|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 1||3|
|Focus/PLCY Elective Course 2||3|
|Focus/PLCY Elective Course 3||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