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 minor in Public Policy enables students from across the Institute to develop their understanding of public problems and how governments attempt to address them, with emphasis on the process and outcomes of policymaking.

Students benefit from increased engagement with and understanding of emerging real-world issues that affect society's greatest challenges, including energy, globalization, health care, conflict resolution, science and technology policy, and public-private collaboration.

The six-subject minor is a three-tiered program. The first tier provides foundational knowledge of public and private institutions where public policy decisions are made and implemented, as well as an introduction to the rationales for government action and the policymaking process. The second tier explores qualitative and quantitative methods of analyzing and assessing the impacts of policy change. In the third tier, students choose an in-depth, three-subject program of study in a substantive field of policymaking. 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 (17.901) to fulfill one part of the three-subject requirement.

Students majoring in Planning (Course 11) are not permitted to minor in Public Policy. Political Science (Course 17) majors can minor in Public Policy, but subjects being used to fulfill their major cannot be used toward the minor.

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
or 14.03 Microeconomic Theory and Public Policy
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
1

Students may propose their own track for approval by their minor advisor; students may also register for the subject 17.901 Political Science Internship and Research and do an internship in their chosen field for one subject, with the approval of their minor advisor. See the minor's website for a list of approved public policy subjects by track.

Students can obtain additional information from the minor's 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.