Public Policy Overview

A major in Public Policy allows you go behind the political scene to learn exactly how and why public policy decisions are made. You will learn how to analyze and form public policy decisions - giving you front row access to shape today's most important economic and social issues. The curriculum focuses on theory and history as well as a wide study of current social issues.

Between a broad array of analytical techniques and practical experience, a graduate with a Public Policy degree will be prepared to influence and change policy decisions. Be ready for a heavy course load in mathematics, as this major has a strong background in economics and statistics. Concentrations include: Education Policy Analysis, Health Policy Analysis, and International Policy Analysis.

Required Skills

This is a major for those that are intellectual and curious and never take anything at face-value. A public policy analyst is interested in getting to the root of how all things work, questioning the given information, and analyzing the data. Being able to accurately interpret data is essential to this field, and strong mathematical skills are needed.

Students should also be interested in politics and have good quality people skills. You will be required to work in teams, give presentations, resolve conflicts, write for multiple audiences and engage in political networking.


A career in public policy analysis can go in two different directions. Graduates can work producing policy analysis for formal research projects, collecting, analyzing, and summarizing their findings from primary data. A second group of jobs involves those who use analysis and research to apply the information into their policy process.

Within these two categories is an array of job titles: political scientists, economists, sociologists, lawyers, urban planners, or natural scientists, among other things. Graduates find work in many large public and private bodies, government agencies, national governance organizations, corporations, think tanks, and consultancy firms. No matter the job title, these people shape society through analyzing research.

Graduates with a degree in Public Policy average $43,451 as a starting salary with a mid-career salary of $73,728.

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Related Majors

Explore all the majors withing the field of Public Administration & Social Service

Example Careers

Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in Public Policy might open up.

Education Teachers, Postsecondary
Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary
Medical and Health Services Managers
Political Science Teachers, Postsecondary
Political Scientists
Social Scientists and Related Workers, All Other
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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