Public Policy Minor

Public policy, as defined by Kraft and Furlong (2007), is “what public officials within government, and by extension the citizens they represent, choose to do or not to do about public problems. Public problems refer to conditions the public widely perceives to be unacceptable and therefore requiring intervention.” The minor in Public Policy is designed to give Bucknell students from a variety of academic majors the additional analytical and theoretical skills to supplement their academic majors and to participate knowledgeably and effectively in the public arena once they leave Bucknell, whether as policy makers or as engaged citizens.

The gateway course is an interdisciplinary Public Policy course that incorporates public policy theories and topics from two or more social sciences. The methods requirement ensures that students have exposure to at least one social science research discipline. Elective courses offered in various disciplines give students the opportunity to apply the basic theoretical and analytical tools to specific areas of public policy. These courses will prepare students completing the minor for graduate programs in public policy and other social science disciplines, as well as for fruitful careers in government and industry.

The minor consists of an introductory course, a social science research methods course, and three electives from the list below. If the student has fulfilled the methods requirement in their major, the minor consists of the introductory course and four of the elective courses. Sociology majors wishing to fulfill the Public Policy minor may count SOCI 208 Methods of Social Research or SOCI 209 Analyzing the Social World as their methods requirement, but these courses are not open to non-majors. Students must distribute their electives in the following way:

  • For depth, they must take exactly two electives from a single department; and,
  • For breadth, the third (and fourth if applicable) elective must be taken from a different department.
  • None of the electives may be in the same discipline as the student's major.
Core Course
UNIV 200Integrated Perspectives Course (Introduction to Public Policy)1
Methods Course in Social Sciences
Select one of the following:1
Field Research in Local Communities
Quantitative Research Methods
Qualitative Research Methods
Community-Based Research Design
Research Methods in Health Psychology
Research Methods in Abnormal Psychology
Research Methods in Emotion
Research Methods in Developmental Psychology
Research Methods in Personality
Research Methods in Social Psychology
Field Research in Local Communities
Electives in Different Disciplines 1
Select three of the following:3
Modern Africa
Women and Development
Environmental Anthropology
Anthropology of Tourism
Ritual, Resistance, and Rebellion in South America
Sustainable Transportation Planning
Economic Principles and Problems
Cultivating Change
Resources and the Environment
Unemployment and Poverty
Health Politics and Health Policy
Urban Economics
Labor Economics
Money and Financial Institutions
Health Economics
Public Finance
Industrial Organization Economics
Social Foundation of Education
Immigrant Youth in U.S. Society
Remaking Public Education
Higher Education in the United States
Introduction to Environmental Studies
Environmental Planning
Water Politics and Policies
Environmental Policy and Politics
Environmental Injustice
Advanced Topics in Environmental Policy
Human Ecology
Global Environmental Change
Food and the Environment
The Stakeholder Organization
Managing for Sustainability I
American Politics
American Public Policy
State and Local Internship Program
The American Congress
Political Behavior
Ethics and Public Policy
Race and Ethnicity in American Legal Thought
American Foreign Policy
U.S. National Security Policy
Social Policies in Rich Democracies
Justice and Public Policy
Health Psychology
Law and Society
Medicine and Society
Nongovernmental Organizations
Remaking America: Latin American Immigration
Sociology of Medicine
Integrated Perspectives Course (Climate Change, Science and Policy)
Women and the Penal System

 Other courses may count as a Public Policy elective with the approval of the coordinator.


Coordinator: Amy M. Wolaver

Steering Committee: John A. Doces, Elizabeth Durden, Christopher Ellis, Abra N. Feuerstein, R. Douglas Hecock, Michael R. James, Janet T. Knoedler, Gregory A. Krohn, Carl Shu-Ming Lin, Christopher S. P. Magee, Vanessa A. Massaro, Scott R. Meinke, Emma Gaalaas Mullaney