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 Adrienne Scott (see below), and include a syllabus with your inquiry.
GOVT Courses and Cross-Lists
- GOVT 2225 Controversies About Inequality
- GOVT 2264 Political Violence
- GOVT 2553 Inside Europe
- GOVT 3032 Politics of Public Policy in the U.S.
- GOVT 3071 Enduring Global and American Issues
- GOVT 3112 Congress and the Legislative Process
- GOVT 3121 Crime and Punishment
- GOVT 3251 Health Equity, Politics and Policy
- GOVT 3281 Constitutional Politics
- GOVT 3294 Post-Truth Politics
- GOVT 3303 Politics of the Global North
- GOVT 3313 Middle East Politics
- GOVT 3437 Politics of the European Union
- GOVT 3494 Special Topics in Regional Development and Globalization
- GOVT 3683 Comparative Corruption
- GOVT 3737 Human Conflict: from Existential Clash to Coexistence in Israel-Palestine
- GOVT 3805 Israeli Politics
- GOVT 3967 What is China?
- GOVT 4283 Latino Politics as Racial 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.
- AEM/NS 4450 Toward a Sustainable Global Food System: Food Policy for Developing Countries
- AMST 4318/ENGL 4918 American Dream?: Journalism, Politics and Identity in U.S. Immigration Policy
- ASTRO 2202 A Spacecraft Tour of the Solar System: Science, Policy and Exploration
- CAPS/NS 4998 Inquiry in Politics and Policy
- CRP 3900 City and Regional Future: Planning Practice, Policy and Design
- CRP 4443 Global Climate Change Science and Policy
- DSOC/EAS 4443 Global Climate Change Science and Policy
- EAS 4441 Controversies in Global Climate Change Science and Policy
- ECON 3610/PAM 3400 The Economics of Consumer Policy
- ECON 3805/LAW 4021 Competition Law and Policy
- ECON 4510 International Trade Theory and Policy
- PAM 3190 Nonprofits and Public Policy
- PAM/SOC 3250 Neighborhoods, Housing, and Urban Policy
- PAM/SOC 3360 Evolving Families: Challenges to Public Policy
- PAM 4640 Regulation and Infrastructure Policy
Cornell in Washington: Courses in this program will also count toward the minor.
Adrienne Scott, Minor Coordinator
Danielle O’Connor, Undergraduate Coordinator
210 White Hall, (607) 255-4180