Politics and Public Policy, Minor

Program Code: PPBPL_UMNR

Program Description

The minor in Politics and Public Policy enables students in any major to develop a robust understanding of the political and governmental processes through which public policies are formulated and implemented. Students learn various frameworks for designing and evaluating governmental policies, along with tools to analyze the impact and effectiveness of those policies. The knowledge and skills cultivated by the minor are important to any citizen interested in how government can and does respond to collective problems, as well as to future leaders who strive to influence the policymaking process. The minor is particularly useful to students who are interested in applying the expertise they are developing in their major field of study to public debate, decisions, and administration, and to those aspiring to careers at the intersection of industry and government regulation.

To complete the minor, students take 9 credits of required courses that provide a foundational understanding of the public policy process; the political context of policy advocacy, debate, and decisions; and the predominant methods of policy analysis and evaluation. They build upon this core knowledge with a choice of 9 credits of introductory and upper level courses from Political Science and partner disciplines that focus on the policy process itself, the actors and institutions that are central to the policy process, and the development of specific policy areas.

Program Requirements

Requirement Credits
Requirements for the Minor 18-19

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the minor, as specified by Senate Policy 59-10. In addition, at least six credits of the minor must be unique from the prescribed courses required by a student's major(s).

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
PLSC 1American Politics: Principles, Processes and Powers Keystone/General Education Course3
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
PLSC 202American Public Policy Keystone/General Education Course3
or PUBPL 304 Public Policy Analysis
Select 3-4 credits from the following:3-4
Quantitative Political Analysis
Quantitative Political Analysis
Elementary Statistics Keystone/General Education Course
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Select 9 credits from the following (at least 6 credits must be at the 400-level or above):9
Race, Gender and Science
Black Liberation and American Foreign Policy
Black Ecologies Keystone/General Education Course
Politics of Affirmative Action
The Post-World War II Civil Rights Movement
Identities, Power and Perceptual Pedagogies in Teaching and Learning
Introduction to Global Health Issues
Language Rights, Policy, and Planning
Globalization and Its Implications
History of Imperialism and Nationalism in Africa
U.S. Food and Agricultural Policy
Language and Social Justice Keystone/General Education Course
Language Rights, Policy, and Planning
Architectural and Planning Theories
Analysis of Human Settlements: Cities Keystone/General Education Course
Integrative Energy and Environmental Design
Biology of Human Infectious Diseases
Ecological and Environmental Problem Solving
Introduction to Life Cycle Assessment
Foundations of Sustainable Business
Energy Analysis in Agricultural and Biorenewable Systems
Safety and Health in Agriculture and Biorenewable Industries
Rhetoric and Public Controversy Keystone/General Education Course
Introductory Environmental and Resource Economics
Land Economics and Policy
Community, Local Knowledge, and Democracy
Land Use Planning and Procedure
Power, Conflict, and Community Decision Making
Principles of Community Economic Development
Economic Analysis of Environmental and Resource Policies
Policy, Politics and Perspectives on Social & Environmental Responsibility
Drug Control Policy in Comparative Perspective
The Death Penalty
Hate Crime, Extremism, and Terrorism
Border Security
The Juvenile Justice System
Drugs and Drug Policy in the United States
Cyber-Defense Studio
Cyber Incident Handling and Response
Energy Law and Contracts
Risk Management in Energy Industries
Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy Keystone/General Education Course
Introductory Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy Keystone/General Education Course
Education in American Society Keystone/General Education Course
Competing Rights: Issues in American Education Keystone/General Education Course
Educational Reform and Public Policy Keystone/General Education Course
Education and Public Policy
Economic Foundations of Education Policy Keystone/General Education Course
Intelligence and Educational Policy
History of Education in the United States
Ethnic Minorities and Schools in the United States
Solid Waste Management
Hazardous Waste Management
Sustainable Engineering
Environmental Law
Air Quality
Special Topics in Environmental Science
Case Studies in Environmental Analysis and Problem-Solving
Environmental Health and Safety
Foundations of Sustainable Business
Legal Aspects of Resource Management
The Chesapeake Bay Watershed: Issues and Careers in Complex Environmental Problem Solving
Air Pollution Impacts to Terrestrial Ecosystems
Sustainable Water Management: Economics and Policy
Special Topics
From Agriculture to Culture: Perspectives on your food from seed to plate
Human Dimensions of Natural Resources
Policy and Administration
Comparative Health Systems
Principles of Epidemiology
Aging Policy in the United States
Financing Health Care
Legal and Regulatory Environment of Information Science and Technology
Globalization Trends and World Issues
Legal and Regulatory Environment of Privacy and Security
Legal, Regulatory, Policy Environment of Cyber Forensics
Politics of Affirmative Action
Comparative Employment Relations Systems
The Law of Labor-Management Relations
Employment Strategies for People with Disabilities
Advanced Collective Bargaining and Contract Administration
Labor Relations in the Public Sector
History of Work in America
Labor Union Structure, Administration and Governance
American Labor Unions
Labor in the Global Economy
Radiological Safety
Nuclear Security System Design
Reliability and Risk Concepts in Design
State, Society, and Public Policy Keystone/General Education Course
Politics and Government in Washington DC Keystone/General Education Course
Ethnic and Racial Politics Keystone/General Education Course
Special Topics
The Legislative Process
Analyzing Public Policy in the American States
The American Presidency
The Bureaucratic State
Government and Politics of the American States
Political Parties and Interest Groups
National Security Policies
American Foreign Policy
Government and the Economy
Science, Technology, and Public Policy
American Judicial Behavior
Empirical Legal Studies
Sex, Race, & Justice: The U.S. Supreme Court and Equality
American State and Urban Politics
Comparative Public Policy
Public Administration
Policy Making and Evaluation
Leadership Studies
Introduction to Crisis and Emergency Management
Race and Public Policy
Critical Infrastructure Protection
Homeland Security Intelligence
Seminar in Environmental Policy
Seminar in Health Policy
Seminar in National Security Policy
Seminar in Public Policy
Independent Studies
Special Topics
Presumed Innocent? Social Science of Wrongful Conviction Keystone/General Education Course
Social Determinants of Health
Intercultural Dialogue Concepts and Practice Keystone/General Education Course
Racial and Ethnic Inequality in America
Homelessness in America
Family Policy
U.S. Immigration
Ethnic Minorities and Schools in the United States
Justice and the Environment
Health, Disease & Society Keystone/General Education Course
Spatial Inequality
The City in Postindustrial Society
Communities and Crime
Natural Resources Conservation and Community Sustainability
Ethics and the Design of Technology
Race, Gender and Science
Energy and Modern Society
Science, Technology, and Public Policy
The Science of Sustainable Development Keystone/General Education Course
Health and Environmental Sustainability Keystone/General Education Course
Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation Keystone/General Education Course
Conservation Biology
Wetland Science and Sustainability
Racism and Sexism Keystone/General Education Course
Family and Gender Roles in Modern History Keystone/General Education Course
Sex, Gender, and the Body Keystone/General Education Course
Race, Gender, and Employment Keystone/General Education Course
Gender and International Development
Sexual and Domestic Violence
Women and Sport
Gender and Politics
Women and the Criminal Justice System
Gender, Occupations, and Professions
Critical Feminist Issues in Reproduction Keystone/General Education Course
Work-Life Practices and Policies

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university's academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.


University Park

Liberal Arts Academic Advising
Use the Liberal Arts Meet the Academic Advisers web page to see the contact information for the specific adviser(s) of this program


Robert Speel, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Political Science
159 Kochel Center
Erie, PA 16563


Juliette Tolay, Ph.D.
Program Coordinator
Olmsted W160
Middletown, PA 17057


University Park

202 Pond Lab
University Park, PA 16802



170 Irvin Kochel Center
Erie, PA 16563



Olmsted Building, W160
Middletown, PA 17057