Minor in Public Policy

Some of the most far-reaching decisions about science, technology, and enterprise are made in the public policy arena. The interdisciplinary Public Policy Minor enables students from across MIT to develop their understanding of public problems and how governments attempt to address them, with emphasis on the process and outcomes of policymaking.

Because the Bachelor of Science in Planning has a strong public policy element and several subjects in the Minor in Public Policy are redundant for Course 11 majors, those students are not eligible for this minor.

The six-subject minor is a three-tiered program. The first tier is a foundation built on the study of the institutions in which public policy decisions are made and implemented. All students take two subjects that introduce them to justifications for government action—justifications that form the fundamental basis for making public policy. The second tier is the study of the methods for assessing the impacts of policy change on policy outcomes. The purpose is to provide students with a basic understanding of the range of approaches professionals use to evaluate public policies. The third tier is an in-depth study of policymaking in one substantive field. All minors specialize in an area of public policy, such as science and technology policy, and take three subjects within that specialty. Students may also do an internship to fulfill one part of the three-subject requirement.

Tier I: Introduction to Markets, Politics, and Public Policy
11.002[J]Making Public Policy12
14.01Principles of Microeconomics12
Tier II: Policy Analysis
11.003[J]Methods of Policy Analysis12
Tier III: Policy Concentration
Select three subjects in one of the following tracks: 136
Social and Educational Policy
Environmental Policy
Infrastructure Policy
Science and Technology Policy
Labor and Industrial Policy
International Development Policy
Security and Defense Policy
Urban and Regional Policy
Total Units72

Students may propose their own track for approval by their minor advisor; students may substitute a semester-long internship in their chosen field for one subject, with the approval of their minor advisor.

Students can obtain additional information from the public policy website; Sandra Wellford, undergraduate administrator in Urban Studies and Planning, Room 7-346A, 617-253-9403; or Tobie Weiner, undergraduate administrator in Political Science, Room E53-483, 617-253-3649.