Public Policy Minor
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Citizens interested in addressing societal problems and even experts with deep, technical knowledge of particular issues often find that politics and governance interfere with and complicate proposals for change. The process through which policy problems are defined, whether issues find a place on the political agenda, and the particular alternatives that gain prominence may owe less to their efforts and preferences than to political developments and the institutional context. Once policies are enacted, the political process starts anew as implementation unfolds. Policies may develop very differently “on the ground” than intended, as policy design and delivery can alter their meaning or actual outcomes and produce unintended consequences. Political factors also influence the sustainability of policies and how, once in place, they themselves influence the political process.
The public policy minor enables students to comprehend such paradoxes by developing their understanding of the political dimensions of public policy and how they shape its conception, formulation, implementation, chances of success, intended and unintended consequences, and evaluation. Students will have the opportunity to take courses that deal with public policy in the United States, Africa, China, Europe, India, Latin America, and Southeast Asia, and with attention to domestic policy (including health, education, energy, criminal justice, natural resources, immigration, social welfare policy, and urban policy) and foreign policy (including foreign aid and national security). The minor is housed in the Government Department but policy courses offered by other departments, if their content pertains to the purposes of the minor, will also be approved for elective credit.
The requirements to earn the Minor are:
1. Submit an online enrollment application to the Undergraduate Field Coordinator, Danielle O’Connor in the Government Department.
2. A minimum of 15 credits and five qualifying courses.
3. Among the five qualifying courses, students must successfully complete a gateway course (which will be offered at least twice in every three years):
• GOVT 3032 The Politics of Public Policy in the US.
4. Students must also take one methods course. The following courses fulfill this requirement:
• GOVT 3990 Puzzle Solving with Data
• GOVT 3999 How Do You Know That? Causal Inference in the Social Sciences
5. An additional three electives, from a list of eligible courses.
Note: We recommend that students consult with an advisor about charting their pathway through the minor. Some may opt to choose their electives exclusively from one of the following groupings: US domestic policy, foreign policy, comparative policy. Others may seek a diversity of courses or courses with a common theme.
6. Students must earn a minimum grade of C+ on all classes to be used toward the minor.
7. Government majors who wish to qualify for the minor may count a maximum of one course toward both the major and the minor.
Students are encouraged to sign up for the minor early, rather than waiting until they have completed the requirements. This will permit them to benefit from faculty advising and other opportunities. Students may tailor the minor for their particular academic and career goals.
This is only a partial list of courses that will count toward the policy minor. If a course is listed below, it will count toward the public policy minor. If you have questions about whether another course counts toward the public policy minor, please refer questions to Colin Cepuran (see below), and include a syllabus with your inquiry.
GOVT Courses and Cross-Lists
GOVT 1817 Making Sense of World Politics
GOVT 2152 (Im)migration and (Im)migrants: Then and Now
GOVT 2225 Controversies About Inequality
GOVT 2283 Political Institutions Under Autocrats
GOVT 2817 America Confronts the Wolrd
GOVT 3032 Politics of Public Policy in the U.S.
GOVT 3071 Enduring Global and American Issues
GOVT 3353 African Politics
GOVT 3494 Special Topics in Regional Development and Globalization
GOVT 3683 Comparative Corruption
GOVT 3687 The US and the Middle East
GOVT 3805 Israeli Politics
GOVT 3967 What is China?
GOVT 4012 Labor, Class, and Race in American Politics
GOVT 4827 China, Tibet and Xinjiang
Please note that when these courses are offered as cross-lists in other departments, taking this same course in any of those listed departments counts toward the policy minor electives.
- DSOC 3040 Immigration and Public Policy
- DSOC 4443 Global Climate Change Science an dPolicy
- ILRIC 4360 Global Comparative Disability Policy
- NS 4998 Gobal and Public Health Policy and Politics
- NS 4998 Inquiry in Politics and Policy
- PAM 2101 Statistics for Policy Analysis and Management Majors
- PAM 2300 Introduction to Policy Analysis
- PAM 3130 Behavioral Economics and Public Poliyc
- PAM 3190 Nonprofits and Public Policy
- PAM 3250 Neighborhoods, Housing, and Urban Policy
- PAM 4640 Regulation and Infrastructure Policy
Cornell in Washington: Courses in this program will also count toward the minor.
Colin Cepuran, Minor Coordinator
Danielle O’Connor, Undergraduate Coordinator
210 White Hall, (607) 255-4180