Majors in Public Policy are expected to achieve both depth and breadth of knowledge in several fields, with Politics acting as an anchor for additional work in Economics, Statistics and Theory. Public policy students gain competence at:
These are critical skills for not only gaining meaningful employment post-Earlham, but also to have the largest possible impact on changing the world for the better once you have landed a job. Incoming students have the opportunity both to build a foundation by completing several core requirements and the flexibility to find their own path as they choose the electives that will help define their undergraduate experience. Students and faculty work closely both in and out of the classroom – these collaborative learning opportunities are invaluable in helping students find and meet their potential. Finally, each new major has a dedicated adviser who is committed to providing the guidance needed to not only succeed as an undergraduate, but to prepare for life beyond Earlham.
Public policy is the study of what government does, why, and what difference it makes. Stated another way, it refers to all of the laws, regulations and programs developed by governments to solve problems. Thus, majoring in public policy provides students with the critical knowledge and skills needed to make problem solving their specialty. Policy majors will learn to grapple with society’s most urgent issues, ranging from economic policy to environmental protection to national security. Addressing these problems requires in-depth knowledge, analytical skills and a sophisticated understanding of how governments and markets work. Earlham’s major in public policy meets those objectives with a collection of multidisciplinary courses, primarily from the Politics and Economics departments – but also including elective courses in History, Management, Psychology, Philosophy and Sociology.
Many Politics courses include detailed simulations that help students develop collaborative and communications skills. Every year, Earlham students organize and run a large and successful Model UN conference for regional high school students – which requires an understanding of foreign policy. The Politics capstone experience calls on students to reflect on their Earlham experience and consider the connections between various aspects of the College experience, including courses, internships and off-campus studies. Recent student-faculty research projects include a study of the issues surrounding orbital Earth science research and creating a policy brief recommending the development of a college garden on campus.
An Earlham education is already terrific training for either a career in public affairs or graduate policy studies, but the major adds more rigor to this preparation. Given that the field has several well-defined career paths, our majors having the credentials to pursue jobs with government agencies (local, state, national, and international), consulting firms, think tanks, and non-profit organizations. In addition, our graduates regularly pursue graduate studies in public policy analysis, public administration, urban affairs, and law. In recent years Earlham students have successfully gained admission to top ten schools in each of these fields – most recently this includes Syracuse, Carnegie Mellon, Oxford, the University of North Carolina, Bard, the University of Michigan and Indiana University. Earlham has a growing relationship with Indiana University, which has the second-ranked public affairs program in the nation.
Growing up in four different countries taught Alejandra Traslosheros Reyes ’18 that you can never learn enough.
Dennis Vera ’19 places a priority on people, loves to socialize and has a deep love for family. She also refuses to give up.
Becky Ioppolo’s ’13 Earlham experience pointed her toward different fields and ways of thinking. And it gave her courage, all of which has proven helpful.
Students choosing to major in Public Policy must complete the following course requirements:
Both of the following Politics courses:
The following Economics courses:
Both of the following Statistics courses:
One of the following Theory courses:
The following Capstone experience:
Completion of a significant (100 hours) public service internship or similar experience, including an on-campus Presentation of Learning
Completion of the Politics Department A.R.T.S. Skill Themes:
Four of the following approved elective courses (no more than three from one department):
Students choosing to minor in Public Policy must complete the following course requirements (no more than two courses can overlap with a major in Politics):