Undergraduate Education in Public Policy at GSPP
The Goldman School regularly offers a variety of courses for undergraduates, and to which undergraduates and graduates are admitted. We welcome students from the entire Berkeley community. With five of these courses (including Public Policy 101) undergraduates qualify for a minor that is noted on their transcript.
Why Public Policy?
Public Policy Analysis and Management, to give the field its complete name, is a professional training of about 40 years’ standing in US—and, increasingly in overseas—universities originally directed at developing a professional cadre of policy analysts in government agencies and legislatures. More recently public policy education has broadened to train government executives and administrators, and high-level personnel in the non-profit organizations that perform social functions commonly undertaken by government outside the US. The core program in public policy is a two-year master’s degree offered by dozens of schools in the US and elsewhere alone and jointly with engineering, law, public health, and other graduate degrees.
The underlying model of public policy professional education is integration of disciplinary insights from economics, political science, law, statistics, operations research, psychology, and more with an intellectual spirit best characterized as “compared to what?” For example, the faculty at GSPP have terminal degrees in economics, political science, psychology, engineering, law, physics…and public policy. Policy analysis is directed to identifying the best thing governments can do about important problems and opportunities, including known options and newly invented initiatives, and is distinguished by its expectation that a good policy analysis will demonstrate critical thinking of more than one kind at once. In the early 1980’s the field experienced its most recent major adaptation, when it was recognized that to be effective, alumni needed not only to ‘win the argument on the merits’ but also to practice executive and leadership skills in real organizations. This recognition led to the integration of public management in the core curriculum.
Over the years, we have realized that the underlying model of policy analysis enriches and complements a variety of undergraduate specializations, and that public policy training can be valuable not only as a “pre-MPP” experience, but also to students whose graduate training won’t include the MPP degree. Lawyers, doctors, engineers, entrepreneurs, and others need to understand government choices as citizens, as participants in government, and on behalf of their organizations, many of which are profoundly affected by public policy.
Why undertake the minor?
Employers and graduate schools recognize a completed minor as indicative of broader preparation than a single degree, not to mention curiosity and willingness to do extra work. The Public Policy minor also certifies interest and background in public affairs.
Furthermore, registration for the minor (which does not obligate one to complete it) makes you eligible for various GSPP undergraduate programs and activities and gets you on a mailing list for GSPP events of interest to anyone concerned with public affairs.
What’s available this year?
View current and upcoming course offerings at GSPP.
How do I find out more?
For administrative help and advice, ask Jalilah LaBrie. For substantive and program policy issues, ask Michael O’Hare. To get the real scoop on GSPP undergraduate offerings, ask some of the current students and minor alums who have volunteered to give advice and share experience.
All UCB undergraduate students are eligible for enrollment in the Public Policy minor. Please pick up a Minor Enrollment Form at the front desk of our offices at 2607 Hearst Avenue or download a copy (pdf format) and return it to the School as early in your academic career as possible, or, at the latest, shortly before your final semester begins.
Please note: Early declaration of the minor does not obligate you to the program should it become unfeasible later in your academic pursuits.
Outlined below are the requirements for the minor and a listing of courses, with their current numbers, that may be taken as part of this program.
The minor requires five courses in public policy
- including PP101 (required for the minor, but is not a prerequisite for other PP courses)
- with a grade of C- or higher in each
- for three or more units each,
- not including PP1, 6, or 24.
- No more than two non-public policy department courses from course list below may count for the minor. Minor credit for courses not listed may be granted in exceptional circumstances to graduating seniors through petition (available from Jalilah LaBrie) to the Chair of the Minor.
- All courses must be taken for a letter grade except PP199 (Independent Study), and PP 98/198 (DeCal), both which are offered on a P/NP basis. Upon approval from the Chair of the Minor, students should consult with the GSPP Student Affairs Officer, Jalilah LaBrie, 642-1940, firstname.lastname@example.org before making arrangements to take this course.
- Students may count graduate level Public Policy electives to complete their minor requirements. Generally, undergraduates require an instructor consent form to enroll in graduate electives.
- Students may count an unlimited number of PP 190 courses (Special Topics in Public Policy) towards the minor provided that the topic is not repeated. Each PP 190 course must be a minimum of 3 units.
- Two, 2-unit PP 98/198 (DeCal) courses or other 2-unit public policy courses may count asone course towards the minor; only one of these can be PP 98.
- Students may notify the Student Affairs Officer, Jalilah LaBrie, at the Goldman School of Public Policy, of their intent to minor in Public Policy by turning in the Declaration of Intent to Pursue the Minor in Public Policy form. When the student completes the requirements, the Office of Admissions and Records will be notified and the Minor will be included on the student's transcript.
- The Chair of the Minor is currently Professor Michael O’Hare, email@example.com, whose office hours are scheduled at http://www.wejoinin.com/sheets/fgyww.
Courses that may be used to fulfill Minor Program Requirements
- 101. Introduction to Public Policy Analysis
- 103. Wealth and Poverty or C103. Wealth and Poverty (also listed as Letters & Science C180U)
- 117AC. Race, Ethnicity, and Public Policy
- C142. Applied Econometrics and Public Policy (also listed as Economics C142 and Poli Sci C131A)
- 156. Program and Policy Design
- 157. Arts and Cultural Policy (also listed as Letters and Science C180X)
- C164. Impact of Government Policies on Poor Children and Families (also listed as Demography C164)
- 179. Public Budgeting
- 182. Environment and Technology from the Policy and Business Perspective
- 184. The Economics of Public Problem-Solving
- C184. Energy and Society (also listed as Energy & Resources Group C100)
- 190. Special Topics in Public Policy (topics vary each semester)
- 199. Supervised Independent Study and Research
Non-Public Policy Courses that count towards the Public Policy Minor
- Mediast 104A The First Amendment & the Press
- Env. Econ & Policy 153 Population, Environment, and Development
- Poli Sci. 109 Special Topics in American Politics
- (topics vary, see the department website and OSOC for latest listings)
- PH 126: Health Economics and Public Policy
- Poli Sci 181 Public Organizations and Administration
- Env Sci Pol & Mgt 150 Special Topics in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management
- Public Health 150D (F) Introduction to Health Policy and Management
- Public Health 181 Population and Poverty
Completing the Minor
All public policy minor students must complete a Completion of Public Policy Minor form the semester they are scheduled to graduate in order to receive credit for the Minor. The Minor will not be listed on your diploma. Students who complete the requirements for the Public Policy Minor will receive a certificate of completion in the U.S. mail. Within six weeks after receiving the certificate, a notation will appear at the bottom of your transcript that will state "MINOR PROGRAM IN PUBLIC POLICY COMPLETED" with the semester and year.