Degree Requirements for the Major

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To earn a bachelor of arts degree with a major in public policy studies, a student must satisfy the following minimum requirements:

  1. General College Requirements (see "Curriculum" section), including the following requirements to satisfy the major:
  1. Eight (8) credit hours of introductory courses in the social sciences. Students must earn a grade of C- or better in each required major course and maintain an overall GPA of 2.0 or better in these required courses.
    1. POSC 100: Introduction to Political Science
    2. ECON 101: Introduction to Economics
  1. Twenty Eight (28) credit hours in the student's selected disciplinary track. If only one course is listed next to a letter, then that specific course is required. Where a choice of courses is provided, students must select one course from the options provided. Students should note that some core courses are prerequisites for certain elective courses available under this major. Students should consider their elective options when selecting their core courses.

American Public Policy:

  1. POSC 201: American Politics
  2. POSC 315: Policy Evaluation
  3. POSC 311: Public Policy
  4. ECON 251: Intermediate Macroeconomics, or
    ECON 252: Intermediate Microeconomics
  5. POSC 367: Public Administration, or
    SOCI 330: Sociology of Organizations
  6. ECON 253: Economic Statistics, or
    SOCI 201: Social Statistics, or
    POSC 300: Political Analysis I
  7. Four (4) semesters hours of approved American Public Policy electives (see list)

International Public Policy:

  1. POSC 252: Comparative Politics, or
    POSC 269: International Politics
  2. POSC 315: Policy Evaluation
  3. POSC 311: Public Policy
  4. ECON 251: Intermediate Macroeconomics, or
    ECON 252: Intermediate Microeconomics
  5. POSC 320: International Political Economy, or
    ECON 356: International Economics
  6. ECON 253: Economic Statistics, or
    SOCI 201: Social Statistics, or
    POSC 300: Political Analysis I
  7. Four (4) semesters hours of approved International Public Policy electives (see list)

  1. Senior Experience in Public Policy (8 semester hours)
    1. Eight (8) semester hours of St. Mary's Project, or
    2. Four (4) semester hours of PPOL 408 (cross-listed as POSC 408) with a senior experience paper and four (4) semester hours of electives in the student's selected concentration (see list). (See Senior Experience below for more details).

  1. The 44 semester hours of major requirements may include field experience and independent study approved by the coordinator of the Public Policy major.

List of Public Policy Major Elective Courses by Student's Selected Concentration

American Public Policy

ECON 325: Urban Economics and Urban Issues
ECON 350: Environmental Economics
ECON 351: Industrial Organization and Regulation
ECON 355: Labor Economics
ECON 357: Money and Banking
ECON 359: Public Sector Economics
ENST 450: Studies in Environmental Policy and Law
POSC 352: Constitutional Law I
POSC 451: The Supreme Court and Public Policy
POSC 461: Studies in American Politics*
PSCYH 337: Social Gerontology
PSYCH 352: Human Behavior on Institutions
SOCI 347: Sociology of Race and Ethnicity
SOCI 365: Social Stratification

International Public Policy

ECON 318: International Finance
ECON 360: Comparative Economic Systems
ECON 372: Economics of Developing Countries
ECON 373: East Asian Economies
POSC 364: US Foreign Policy
POSC 333: Asian Politics
POSC 405: Democratization
POSC 462: Studies in Comparative Politics*
POSC 468: Studies in International Relations*

Courses Approved for Either Concentration

ANTH 341: Economic and Ecological Anthropology
ECON 354: Natural Resources Economics
ECON 363: Political Economy
ECON 459: Senior Seminar in Economics*
SOCY 355: Demography
SOCI 385: Research Methods
SOCI 302: Medical Sociology
SOCI 312: Economic Sociology
SOCI 490: Senior Seminar*

* Where the topic of the seminar is appropriate. (Appropriateness of the topic will be determined by the Public Policy coordinator.)

Senior Experience.

Each student must complete an 8-credit St. Mary's Project in public policy or write a senior experience paper for the course PPOL 408, "Studies in Public Policy" (cross-listed POSC 408). (Please see the course descriptions for PPOL 494 for St. Mary's Projects and PPOL 408. "Studies in Public Policy.") The student who chooses to write a senior experience paper instead of a St. Mary's Project will file a declaration of intent with the course instructor and the public policy coordinator by the end of the sixth week during the semester the student enrolls in "Studies in Public Policy." Guidelines for the senior experience paper will be given to the student by the instructor. Successful completion of the course shall constitute completion of the senior experience requirement. (This course also meets the senior experience requirement for political science.) Double majors should consult with their adviser for additional information.

PPOL 408. Studies in Public Policy (4F)

This 400-level seminar represents a capstone experience for students majoring or taking courses in public policy. Its focus may change depending upon the instructor or students' interests. Topics may include federal, state, or local public policy, comparative public policy, or international policy, as well as specific areas such as the environment, health, social welfare, or taxation policy. Students majoring in public policy may fulfill the senior experience requirement with this course. This course is cross-listed as POSC 408. "Studies in Public Policy" and may be used to meet the senior experience requirement in political science as well.

PPOL 493/494. St. Mary's Project in Public Policy (1-8E)

The St. Mary's Project in public policy is a two-semester experience. The project, which may take many forms, draws on and extends knowledge, skills of analysis, and creative achievement developed through previous academic work. During the first semester a student initiates his or her project, identifies an area to be explored, and proposes a method of inquiry appropriate to the topic. A faculty mentor supervises the project research. Students will complete the project in the second semester under the direction of the faculty mentor. The project should demonstrate the student's ability to undertake research in an area of public policy, to analyze the patterns of interaction among the political actors as appropriate, and to present the results of the research to the College community in a cogent and meaningful manner. Eight semester-hours of this course satisfy the requirement for a St. Mary's Project. With the approval of the public policy coordinator, this requirement may be satisfied by completing eight semester-hours of the St. Mary's Project in any discipline or cross-disciplinary study area.