Policy Studies

Chair: Associate Professor Giovanello

Interim Chair (fall semester):  Associate Professor Husser

The Policy Studies major provides students at Elon with the opportunity to explore the connection between major issues facing society (e.g., the economy, health care, crime, education) and the public policies used to address them.

All policy studies majors take courses covering the basic political, institutional and economic principles underlying the creation of public policies, as well as the processes through which these decisions take place. Elective courses allow majors to examine public policy and the policy process from a variety of disciplinary perspectives including economics, political science, sociology, and communications. Students gain substantive knowledge to aid their understanding of a particular policy area or political actor, while at the same time building skills in leading policy change and analyzing public policy issues.

Field experiences, including internships and course-linked service learning, are emphasized within the major to help students apply what they learn in the classroom to real world policy issues. Students are also encouraged to pair their major with a second major or a minor that can provide more detailed knowledge and training from the perspective of a more traditional discipline.

This course of study provides a foundation of knowledge and skills that students could use for graduate study (in fields such as public policy, public administration, or law) or for careers in institutions such as federal agencies, Congressional offices, think-tanks or policy organizations, state and local government agencies, government affairs offices in the private sector and nonprofit organizations. Completion of the major requires that students choose one of three concentrations: Understanding Public Policy, Leading and Communicating Policy Change or Analyzing Public Policy.

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