For an example of a four-year degree plan for the BSPP, check out the sample plan in the Academic Catalog. Because each student has their own academic timeline and goals, all majors should consult with the BSPP advisor to develop a personalized degree plan for timely graduation.


All BSPP majors must take five courses within a policy specialization area:


S/U grading (satisfactory/unsatisfactory) in major courses is NOT permitted.

Major Requirements:

I. Public Policy Core (26 credits)
  1. PPOL 201: Introduction to Public Policy
  2. Political Science 331: State and Local Politics
  3. Public Policy 371: Public Policy Problems
  4. Public Policy 372: Public Administration
  5. Public Policy 415: Professional Development Seminar
  6. Public Policy 413: Ethics in Public Policy
  7. Economics 435: Public Economics
    Or Political Science 458: International Political Economy
    Or Sociology 360: Population Trends and Policy
II. Methods and Writing Intensive Course (8 credits)
  1. Public Policy 421: Introduction to Policy Research
  2. Public Policy 422: Policy Analysis (WIC)
III. Public Policy Specialization Electives (18-20 credits)

Select a focus in one of three established specializations: Environmental Policy, Rural Policy, and Social Policy. All specializations require 18-20 credits, 14 of which must be completed within the School of Public Policy. 

IV. Learning Beyond the Major

Opportunities to put learning into practice are built into the BSPP curriculum. However, in seeking to maximize your educational experience, there are other opportunities you might consider. Internships, jobs, and volunteer work can broaden your understanding of how public policy is developed, applied, and/or experienced in the field. A minor or second major can allow you to develop deeper content knowledge in the policy areas that most interest you. Study abroad programs deepen cross-cultural understanding and expose you to different systems and policymaking approaches. Consult with the BSPP advisors about complementing your major with the options that best fit your interests and goals.

double degree or dual major option

For students who are interested in gaining much deeper content knowledge in a specific area of policy, a double degree or dual major can be a great fit. Gaining a strong technical understanding of a policy area can aid future policymakers and advocates in developing effective, informed solutions that benefit the public.

See also:

BSPP Specializations: