Below is an example of a four-year degree plan for the BSPP. Because each student has a 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:

double degree or dual major option

For students who are interested in gaining deep 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.


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

Major Requirements:

I. Foundations (15 credits)
  1. Economics 201: Introduction to Microeconomics (or equivalent)
  2. Political Science 201: Introduction to U.S. Government and Politics (or equivalent)
  3. Sociology 204: Introduction to Sociology (or equivalent)
  4. Math 245: Math for Management, Life, and Social Sciences
    Or Statistics 201: Principles of Statistics*
    Or Statistics 351: Introduction to Statistical Methods (or equivalent)

* ST 201 does not count for Core or B.S. Mathematics requirement

II. Public Policy Core (22 credits)
  1. Political Science 331: State and Local Politics
  2. Political Science 371: Public Policy Problems
  3. Political Science 372: Public Administration
  4. Public Policy 407: Public Policy Professional Seminar (2 credits)
  5. Public Policy 413: Ethics in Public Policy
  6. Economics 435: Public Economics
    Or Political Science 458: International Political Economy
    Or Sociology 360: Population Trends and Policy
III. Methods and Writing Intensive Course (8 credits)
  1. Public Policy 421: Introduction to Policy Research
  2. Public Policy 422: Policy Analysis (WIC)
IV. BSPP Practice and Capstone (10 credits)
  1. Public Policy 410: Internship/Work Experience
  2. Public Policy 406: Special Projects
V. Public Policy Specialization Electives (18-20 credits)

Students select a focus in one of three established specializations or self-design a specialization with the BSPP academic advisor. All specializations require 18-20 credits, 14 of which must be completed within the School of Public Policy. The three established specializations are Environmental Policy, Rural Policy, and Social Policy.

VII. 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 advisor about complementing your major with the options that best fit your interests and goals.

See also:

BSPP Specializations: