Why Study Public Policy at New College?
At New College, our Public Policy AOC is designed to give you the research, analysis and communication skills you will need to succeed in graduate school and beyond. Working one-on-one with a faculty mentor you will design a plan of study that matches our courses to your specific academic interests and goals. And through classes, independent study projects and field work with our faculty experts, you'll receive personalized, hands-on experience in understanding, responding to and even developing a broad range of policy ideas and initiatives.
Typically, you will begin the program with introductory work in American government and in both macroeconomics and microeconomics. From there, you will most likely pursue political theory, bureaucracy, executive or legislative decision-making and public finance. In addition, coursework in the sociology of formal organizations, social ethics, statistics, mass media, modern history and social psychology is suggested to support the emphasis on politics and economics.
Even before the introductory classes are complete, you will work with your faculty advisor to select issue areas on which to focus your future research. In the past, issues selected by students have included local energy policy, coastal zone management, neighborhood governance, racial discrimination, arts policy, condominium development, bicycle pathways, utility pricing, the governance of small towns, legislative reform, legislative staffing, educational policy-making and bureaucratic leadership. You will also have an opportunity to pursue internships designed to give you real-world experience in the way policy issues are decided at the local, state, national and organizational levels.
The culmination of the Public Policy AOC at New College is a senior thesis that brings to bear all of your analytic skills on the policy issue of your choice. Often such reports are shared with policy makers, and they have proven to be useful in gaining admission to top graduate and professional schools.
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