Public Policy (2018 - 2020)
The major in public policy requires two prerequisites and eleven courses (thirteen courses/52 points total) as listed below. The two CAS prerequisites must be completed with a grade of C or better before a student can declare the major.
Two prerequisite courses (8 points) that provide students with the strong analytic framework necessary to enter the major:
- Introduction to Microeconomics (ECON-UA 2); advanced standing credit (AP, IB, etc.) in microeconomics is accepted.
- One course in politics chosen from:
- Power and Politics in America (POL-UA 300)
- Comparative Politics (POL-UA 500)
- International Politics (POL-UA 700)
Three required core courses (12 points) in economics, policymaking, and quantitative and qualitative analysis that introduce students to the key questions and tools involved in the study of public policy (note that UPADM-GP 101, 111, and 140 count as 12 of the 16 credits CAS students are allowed to take outside the College, and any additional Wagner courses will also count against the 16 points. In addition, note that no Wagner courses can count toward the 64 credits that internal or external transfer students to the College are required to complete in CAS -UA courses):
- The Politics of Public Policy (Wagner, UPADM-GP 101)
- Quantitative Analysis for Public Policy (Wagner, UPADM-GP 111); there are no substitutions for or exemptions from this statistics requirement. This course satisfies the College Core Curriculum Quantitative Reasoning requirement for public policy majors only. Other students cannot use the course to satisfy this Core requirement (no exceptions).
- The Economics of Public Policy (Wagner, UPADM-GP 140)
One course in ethics and justice (4 points), drawn from the following list (students must check the economics, philosophy, and politics sections of this Bulletin for prerequisites of CAS options):
- Ethics and Economics (ECON-UA 207)
- Ethics and Society (PHIL-UA 3)
- Ethics (PHIL-UA 40)
- Medical Ethics (PHIL-UA 50)
- Ethics and the Environment (PHIL-UA 53)
- Topics in Ethics and Political Philosophy: Equality (PHIL-UA 102)
- Ethics, Politics, and Public Policy (POL-UA 130)
- Normative Issues in Public Policy (Wagner, UPADM-GP 120)
Six electives (24 points). Public policy majors select six elective courses to deepen their understanding of, and expertise in, key policy areas. At least one of the six courses must be in the policy analysis field. The current list of approved electives in the fields of economics, environmental studies, politics, sociology, etc. is available at www.wagner.nyu.edu/undergrad. Although students are not required to focus on any particular field, examples of the kinds of fields into which many elective offerings fall include environmental policy; ethics and policy; finance and economic policy; health policy; international development; law and policy; management and policy; politics and policy; social policy; and urban policy.
A senior seminar (PUBPL-UA 800, 4 points) in which students conduct in-depth analysis of a critical and relevant policy issue in a small classroom setting under the guidance of a faculty member from CAS or Wagner. Students apply the analytical methods and substantive knowledge of the policy process they have gained to a current policy problem of their choosing. Each student writes a senior seminar paper that consists of both policy analysis and recommendations for action.
Policies Applying to the Major
Credit toward the major is not given for courses completed with a grade of less than C, or for courses taken on a pass/fail basis.
Students in this major may double-count up to two courses towards this major and another major. However, the department of the second major may allow more limited (or no) double-counting; therefore, students must always check with advisers in their second major.
CAS students are allowed to take 16 credits in non-liberal arts courses in the other schools of the University; the three required Wagner courses for this major count as 12 of those 16 credits, and any additional Wagner courses will also count against the 16 points. Students with a good academic reason for going over the 16-point limit must petition the Office of Academic Standards, Silver 909, 212-998-8140, for permission to take additional credits outside of the College.
In addition, no Wagner courses can count toward the 64 credits that internal or external transfer students to the College are required to complete in CAS (-UA) courses.
Advisement and Declaration
To declare the major, students should contact NYU Wagner (295 Lafayette Street, second floor; 212-998-7400; firstname.lastname@example.org) to obtain and fill out the major declaration form. Students cannot declare the major until they have completed the two prerequisite courses with a grade of C or better. Once declared as public policy majors, students will be assigned to a faculty adviser for guidance on completion of public policy requirements and clearance for registration.
Recommended Sequencing of Courses
- Introduction to Microeconomics (ECON-UA 2), if no advanced standing credit
- Politics prerequisite, chosen from Power and Politics in America (POL-UA 300), Comparative Politics (POL-UA 500), or International Politics (POL-UA 700)
- Politics of Public Policy (UPADM-GP 101), offered every semester
- Quantitative Analysis for Public Policy (UPADM-GP 111), offered in the fall
- The Economics of Public Policy (UPADM-GP 140), offered in the spring
There are three cross-school minors for students interested in public policy. One, called public policy analysis, closely mirrors the core of the public policy major and is offered jointly by Wagner and CAS. The two others are the minors in social and public policy (offered by Wagner and CAS) and in public policy and management (offered by Wagner and Stern). For information on these three minors, please see the cross-school minors section of this Bulletin.
To graduate with honors in the public policy major, a student must maintain at least a 3.65 average in the 11 courses required for the major (the two prerequisite courses are not calculated in this GPA), earn at least a 3.65 overall GPA, and write an honors thesis in the spring of senior year.
At the end of the junior year, each honors student meets with a faculty director for initial advisement and approval. A student writes the honors thesis by enrolling in the Senior Seminar (PUBPL-UA 800, described above) and then enrolling in an additional thesis-writing independent study (PUBPL-UA 801, 4 points). This independent study is an additional twelfth course that does not count toward the eleven required for the major proper, and is supervised by a faculty member whose area of academic expertise coincides with the focus of the honors thesis. To be awarded honors, a student must complete this two-course sequence (PUBPL-UA 800, 801) and produce a quality senior thesis.
Students should discuss with an adviser for the major as early as possible. NYU Washington, D.C. is an excellent choice for many public policy majors.