The concentration is grounded in the analysis of pressing social problems and the design, implementation, and evaluation of better policies and practices. This commitment to using knowledge to improve the life chances of people who occupy different positions of wealth and power, and who have competing and contentious ideas of about the common good, makes public policy a value-laden and political enterprise that is as much an art as it is a science. It is also a team sport that requires players with different skills and talents to work together across a wide variety of settings.
Students will learn how social, economic, and political issues become the object of public policy, how policy decisions are crafted, made and implemented, as well as different strategies for evaluating their impact. The concentration draws its instructors from a wide variety of disciplines and offers students opportunities for engaged scholarship at the local, national, and global levels. With the support of the advisory team, students develop their own curriculum of study, integrating core courses with electives, internships, independent research, and a capstone experience.