Public Policy Major

Policy decisions will impact you personally or professionally. Through an interdisciplinary approach in courses ranging from political science and sociology to philosophy and economics, gain an understanding of how government works and why government decisions matter in our everyday lives.

Albion students gathered around a table and working together.

Why Study Public Policy at Albion?

Public policy students typically are deeply involved in their communities, are leaders in on- and off-campus organizations, and follow issues of interest at home and in our global society. Albion students who pursue public policy as a major are also members of the College’s Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service. Created by the 38th U.S. president in 1977, the Institute has a long history of its graduates becoming successful advocates for the greater good.

What Will You Learn as a Public Policy Major?

Majors in public policy learn the ins and outs of the mechanisms by which governments interact with the people for the common good.

You will draw on the principles, practices and research methods of the social sciences and philosophy and build theoretical and analytical skills that are relevant to today’s most pressing global issues.

Highlights

Experience Opportunities

Faculty member conversing with a group of students in a classroom setting.

The Ford Institute and Albion academic departments regularly provide networking opportunities with special guests (often alumni) who can provide deep insights as to what students can expect as they begin to forge their careers in the vast world of public policy. By junior year students are ready to step into a wide variety of credit-earning internships: at the Michigan statehouse, as part of a congressional staff in Washington, D.C., on a campaign team with a political marketing or strategy firm—just to begin to scratch the surface of possibilities.

Off-Campus Study

Student listening in a classroom setting.

From our nation’s capital to historical Philadelphia and many other locations, opportunities abound that combine an internship with classroom course work. Programs such as the Washington Center, Washington Semester, Chicago Center of Urban Studies, The Philadelphia Center (managed by Albion College), Educational Programs Abroad (EPA) and international experiences through Boston University allow students to explore their academic and career interests in a different city or nation.

Scholarships and Awards

Students in a classroom setting.

Through the generosity of Albion College alumni and other sponsors, several scholarships are available to public policy students that support co-curricular efforts, participation in internships, and many other forms of experiential learning.

Honors Thesis

Students working on laptop computers in a classroom setting.

Public policy majors who are also members of the College’s Prentiss M. Brown Honors Program can construct an original research project as a capstone to their undergraduate studies at Albion. Eighty percent of Honors students go on to graduate or professional school after graduation.

Careers & Outcomes

The public policy major prepares students for careers in government, for private-sector careers related to government policy, or for careers with a range of nonprofits and international organizations. It also provides strong preparation for students planning on attending law school or earning a master’s degree or Ph.D. in public policy, public administration, public health or social policy.

Briefcase

Job Titles

  • Policy analyst
  • City manager
  • Lobbyist
  • Human resources administrator
  • Social worker

Employers