The major in Public Policy provides students with an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the mechanisms by which government interacts with stakeholders for the common good. It draws on the principles, practices, and research methods of the social sciences and philosophy to provide students with the theoretical and analytic skills relevant to today’s most pressing global issues. While discussions of public policy issues are often controversial and polarized, the underlying principle of the major is one of sound analysis first and logical advocacy second. These skills are further developed through internship and/or practical research experiences.
Students who major in Public Policy often enter careers in the government or within the government relations sections of the private sector. The major also provides a strong background for students planning to attend law school or to continue on with graduate studies in public policy, public administration, public health, or social policy.
The Public Policy major has 10 units:
Five units: Economics and Management 101 and 230, Philosophy 304, and Political Science 216 and 338.
One unit in statistics chosen from among Economics and Management 235, Mathematics 209.
One unit in research methods chosen from among Anthropology and Sociology 224, Economics and Management 379, and Political Science 201.
Two units, which must be taken in two different departments, chosen from the following restricted electives related to public policy:
Anthropology and Sociology 345, 370
Economics and Management 232, 273, 323, 331, 322, 353, 354, 375
Philosophy 206, 301, 302, 303, 308, 335
Political Science 214, 220, 319, 322, 323, 324
Substitutions as approved by the Ford Institute Director.
One unit from among an internship, Honors Thesis, or directed study in Public Policy approved by the Ford Institute Internal Advisory Committee.
A substantial paper and an oral presentation on a topic related to public policy. This paper and presentation will be completed as one of the requirements listed above.
Students who double major in Public Policy and another field may count up to one unit towards the requirements of both majors. If there is more than one unit of overlap between the majors, then the student must take additional electives in one of the majors to substitute for every unit of overlap beyond one in consultation with the Department Chair or Program Director.
Students who enroll in the Washington Semester program at the American University can receive up to two units of credit toward the requirements of the Public Policy major, subject to the approval of the Ford Institute Director and the Ford Internal Advisory Committee.
Meet Our Alumni
From the moment they receive their degree, Albion economics and management graduates are prized employees and attractive candidates for further study in graduate and professional school. Get to know a few of our recent alumni below.
Alex Archer, ’13
Market Analyst, Stage 2 Innovations
Aaron Croad, ’12
Data Analytics Consultant, Ernst & Young
Sumedha Makker, ’11
Auditor, Ernst & Young
Emily McLaughlin, ’11
Associate Analyst, Stifel Equity Research
Amber Myers, ’13
Pursuing corporate law
John Pearce, ’11
Quantitative Analyst, Northpointe Capital
Donza Worden, ’12
Analyst, Robert W. Baird & Co.
Meet Our Students
Albion economics and management students gain business knowledge, skills, and experiences to succeed in college, a career, and in life. Small class sizes enable students to really get to know their professors, and they emerge as graduates well prepared for careers in business, law, or government. Many graduates attend M.B.A. programs (often after some post-B.A. work experience), law schools, other professional schools, or graduate schools.
Meet a few our current senior-year students below.
Allan Adair, ’14
Two accounting internships, VITA volunteer
Sarah Erdman, ’14
Pfizer intern, faculty research assistant
Victoria Slater, ’14
Year abroad at London School of Economics
Heather Waldron, ’14
Goldman Sachs intern, Fed Challenge team member
Alex Archer, '13
Major: Economics and Management (emphasis in Finance)
Residence: Grand Ledge, Mich.
Career: Market Analyst at Stage 2 Innovations
In a nutshell, what do you do?
My role as a market analyst in the venture capital industry consists of due diligence on industries and competitors in a specific market where our company is investing or thinking about investing. Since the organization is quite a bit smaller than other investment funds, I have a more dynamic role, which makes the job very exciting.
Why do you love what you do?
Since my father is a financial advisor, I have grown up learning about stocks, bonds and how to invest. I gained a better appreciation for investing after my internship in Chicago last summer where I worked at a $9 billion value-strategy investment fund. Both of these experiences, accompanied by my new position at Stage 2, have really helped me gain an appreciation of the investment industry.
How did Albion help you get there?
Albion College is what helped me get in the door at my current position at Stage 2. I currently work under three very successful Albion alumni, and they are the ones who made this opportunity available to me. Albion has helped me by preparing me in core subjects such as economics, math and English; the College also gave me the opportunity and flexibility to spend an entire year at the London School of Economics.
For me, Albion ...
... is about learning both inside and outside of the classroom. The liberal arts curriculum is about being comfortable in uncomfortable situations, where your intellect is driven not only through coursework and textbooks, but also through leading organizations, competing in athletics, performing in theatre, and being heavily involved in numerous clubs and societies on campus.