Public Policy - BA, BS

The Public Policy major gives students the applied tools, theoretical knowledge, and professional writing skills to implement the highest quality policy analysis. This major prepares students for careers in social justice organizations, government agencies, elected office, non-profits, and non-governmental organizations.  The program emphasizes issues of justice and equality, applied research skills, a combination of both quantitative and writing skills, and the importance of women’s leadership in government.

With an emphasis on applied policy research, this major helps students use economic and political tools to identify policy problems and evaluate the impact of policies and programs. Students will learn the political context of public policy as well as the underlying economic models in order to understand how to build a just and sustainable society.

St. Catherine’s education prepares women to lead and influence. Increasingly, being an advocate for a more just world requires the combination of quantitative skills, concise and professional writing, and understanding of the political process. By intentionally developing a combination of skills in statistics, economics, political science, and professional writing, the Public Policy major will help students prepare for the multi-skilled careers in today's social justice fields.

The Public Policy major exemplifies St. Catherine’s mission to integrate the liberal arts with professional education. In the Public Policy major, students will be take courses across a range of disciplines and also learn professional skills in analysis and writing. The backbone of the Public Policy major includes courses drawn from economics and political science that address the theoretical underpinnings of the economy and political process. Students are also encouraged to take electives in sociology that examine structural inequality. This broad theoretical work is paired with applied skills needed in today’s policy analyst roles - including cost benefit analysis, policy evaluation, data visualization, and how to craft an effective policy memo. This combination provides students with the applied professional skills needed to succeed in their careers, in-depth knowledge of economic and political processes, and a deep appreciation for  fundamental questions of fairness, equality, and justice.

Outside of the classroom, our department works to provide all students with opportunities to enhance their St. Kate’s experience and increase the value they bring to organizations following graduation. Students can attend events hosted by the Minnesota Center for Diversity in Economics, such as “Socialism vs. Capitalism” or “The Economics of Immigration.” Public Policy majors can gain practical experience through a capstone research project or an internship. In recent years, our department has had many student-faculty research collaborations on issues ranging from development in the Middle East and North Africa to local education policy and bias in police stops. Students have presented their work at national conferences such as the Population Association of America (PAA) conference and the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR). Internship opportunities in the Twin Cities area provide students with applied experiences at large and small organizations, including American Red Cross, Ramsey County, National Housing Resource Center, and the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

 This major is offered in the College for Women only.

Major Courses:
ECON 1120Economics of Social Issues4
ECON 2610Principles of Microeconomics4
ECON 3050Quantitative Impact Evaluation: Applied Research Skills4
ECON 3650Cost-Benefit Analysis4
ECON 4850Theory to Action4
POSC 1710WIntroduction to American Government and Policy4
POSC 3070Public Policy4
Select three of the following (at least two must be at the 3000 level)12
Any POSC course
Any ECON course
Intro to the Nonprofit Sector
Financial Management for Nonprofit Organizations
Challenging Oppressions, Civic Engagement and Change
Social Movements-Social Change
Migration, Citizenship, Community
Family, Identity and Inequality
Criminal Justice: From Policing to Punishment
Neighborhoods, Cities and Inequality
Introduction to Social Work
Social Policy for Social Change
Total Credits40

Students must complete 8 additional upper division credits (3XXX or 4XXX level) determined by the student and her advisor. Many students complete these 8 credits (usually 2 four-credit classes) by adding a minor or double major. 

Required Supporting Course:
ECON 1090Statistical Analysis for Decision Making4
Total Credits4

Public policy majors satisfy the Writing Requirement for Majors by completing POSC 1710W Introduction to American Government and Policy. They complete the liberal arts core Writing Requirement with three other writing-intensive courses (CORE 1000W The Reflective Woman or CORE 2000W The Reflective Woman, CORE 3990W Global Search for Justice, and any other writing-intensive course in this or another department).