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 after they leave Bucknell, whether as policymakers or as engaged citizens.

The gateway course UNIV 225 Introduction to Public Policy is an introductory 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 1
UNIV 225Introduction to Public Policy1
Methods Course in Social Sciences
Select one of the following:1
Field Research in Local Communities
Quantitative Research Methods
Qualitative Research Methods
Quantitative Methods
Qualitative Methods
Advanced Methods in Critical Community Psychology
Advanced Methods in Critical Multicultural Psychology
Advanced Methods in Abnormal Psychology
Advanced Methods in Developmental Psychology
Advanced Methods in Personality
Advanced Methods in Social Psychology
Field Research in Local Communities
Introduction to Social Science Research Methods
Electives in Different Disciplines 2
Select three of the following:3
Rainforests and Eco-Politics in Latin America
Latin America: Challenges for the 21st Century
Gender, Power and Global Development
Environmental Anthropology
Anthropology of Tourism
Sustainable Transportation Planning
Economic Principles/Problems
Introduction to Behavioral Economics
Economics of Climate Change
Gender, Race and Poverty
Health Politics and Health Policy
The French Economy: Structures and Policies
Political Economy of Media and Advertising
Labor Economics
Public Economics
Money and Financial Institutions
Comparative Economic Systems
Health Economics
Industrial Organization Economics
Diversity, Equity and the Foundations of American Education
Immigrant Youth in U.S. Society
Remaking Public Education
Higher Education in the United States
Rainforests and Eco-Politics in Latin America
Environmental Planning
Water & Power
Environmental Politics, Policy, & Justice
Environmental Injustice and Activism
Advanced Topics in Environmental Policy
Borders and Politics of Mobility
Human Ecology
Climate Change
Food and the Environment
Africa and International Relations in Historical Perspective
Human Trafficking: Ancient to Present Day
Middle East Conflict and Revolution
Human Security
Political Economy of Global Resources
Global Governance
Foreign Policy Analysis
Rainforests and Eco-Politics in Latin America
Latin America: Challenges for the 21st Century
American Politics
American Public Policy
The American Congress
Political Psychology
Ethics and Public Policy
Race and Ethnicity in American Legal Thought
American Foreign Policy
U.S. National Security Policy
Justice and Public Policy
Critical Community Psychology
Critical Multicultural Psychology
Remaking America: Latin American Immigration
Class and Politics in the US
Women and the Penal System
Integrated Perspectives Course (Climate Change, Science and Policy)
Gender, Power and Global Development
Women and the Penal System

Students may substitute the main anchor course, Introduction to Public Policy (UNIV 225), with American Public Policy (POLS 231).


Other courses may count as a public policy elective with the approval of the coordinator.


Co-coordinators: John A. Doces, Christopher Ellis

Steering Committee: Soundarya Chidambaram, John A. Doces, Elizabeth Durden, Christopher Ellis, Abra N. Feuerstein, R. Douglas Hecock, Michael R. James, Joseph Jozwiak, Janet T. Knoedler, Carl Shu-Ming Lin, Christopher S. P. Magee, Vanessa A. Massaro, Scott R. Meinke, Amy M. Wolaver, Amanda Wooden