Public Policy Minor

The public policy minor provides a grounding in public service values that underscore the ethical pursuit of the public interest with accountability, competence, efficiency, objectivity, respect, equity, and fairness. The minor seeks to serve students who wish to complement their training as liberal arts scholars with these public service values and competencies.

The public policy minor may be paired with any existing major at Carleton. No political science-economics double majors may add the public policy minor. Other double majors ought to discuss their plans with the director.

No more than four courses may be taken in the same department or program. Any course taken for the core cannot be applied towards the electives requirement.

Public Policy Minor Requirements

Minor Requirements:  48 credits (8 courses)

Required Courses (36 credits, 6 courses):

  • Economics Core (18 credits)

In cases in which students have AP Statistics credit, they are required to take one of the following additional methods or statistics courses with an applied focus: ECON 329, STAT 230 (formerly MATH 245) POSC 230, SOAN 240 or PSYC 200. Students with more advanced statistics training may substitute another course with the director's approval.

  • Gateway Course (6 credits)
    • POSC 265 Public Policy and Global Capitalism
  • Ethics (6 credits)


  • ENTS 215 Environmental Ethics
  • PHIL 213 Ethics
  • PHIL 214 Ecology, Ethics, and Economics (not offered in 2020-21)
  • PHIL 221 Philosophy of Law (not offered in 2020-21)
  • PHIL 222 Topics in Medical Ethics
  • RELG 270 Philosophy of Religion (not offered in 2020-21)
  • RELG 274 Religion and Bioethics

Electives (12 credits, 2 courses):

At least one of the electives courses must be designated as including "advanced work." All 300-level courses represent advanced work. Some 200-level courses may be designated as representing advanced work or the director and the relevant department or professor may define a course for a particular student as advanced work. Normally, advanced work includes independent research or project-based learning beyond the classroom, including community-engaged work.

The electives are listed under the following "clusters." Both courses may be taken in the same cluster or they may be divided between clusters.

  • Economic Policy-Making and Development

    • ECON 240 Microeconomics of Development
    • ECON 241 Growth and Development (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ECON 258 Ethical Questions and Economic Models (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ECON 268 Economics of Cost Benefit Analysis (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ECON 274 Labor Economics
    • ECON 275 Law and Economics
    • PHIL 214 Ecology, Ethics, and Economics (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 209 Money and Politics
    • POSC 266 Urban Political Economy
    • POSC 325 Corruption, Clientelism, and Political Machines* (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 337 Political Economy of Happiness* (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 361 Approaches to Development*
    • POSC 366 Urban Political Economy*
    • RELG 227 Liberation Theologies (not offered in 2020-21)

  • Public Health

    • BIOL 234 Microbiology with Laboratory
    • BIOL 240 Genetics
    • BIOL 310 Immunology
    • BIOL 338 Genomics and Bioinformatics
    • BIOL 370 Seminar: Selected Topics in Virology (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ECON 264 Health Care Economics (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 262 Public Health: History, Policy, and Practice (not offered in 2020-21)
    • IDSC 235 Perspectives in Public Health
    • PHIL 222 Topics in Medical Ethics
    • POSC 334 Global Public Health* (not offered in 2020-21)
    • PSYC 260 Health Psychology
    • RELG 233 Gender and Power in the Catholic Church (not offered in 2020-21)
    • RELG 238 The Sacred Body (not offered in 2020-21)
    • SOAN 262 Anthropology of Health and Illness

  • Environmental Policy and Sustainability

    • BIOL 210 Global Change Biology
    • BIOL 338 Genomics and Bioinformatics
    • ECON 269 Economics of Climate Change (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ECON 271 Economics of Natural Resources and the Environment
    • ECON 273 Water and Western Economic Development (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ENTS 212 Global Food Systems
    • ENTS 215 Environmental Ethics
    • ENTS 244 Biodiversity Conservation and Development
    • ENTS 248 Sustainable Development (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ENTS 265 The Science of the Earth System (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ENTS 288 Abrupt Climate Change (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ENTS 289 Climate Change and Human Health
    • ENTS 310 Topics in Environmental Law and Policy
    • HIST 205 American Environmental History
    • HIST 306 American Wilderness (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 307 Advanced Wilderness Studies (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 308 American Cities and Nature
    • POSC 212 Environmental Justice
    • POSC 224 Measuring and Evaluating Social and Ecological Systems (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 268 Global Environmental Politics and Policy
    • POSC 333 Global Social Changes and Sustainability*
    • RELG 243 Native American Religious Freedom (not offered in 2020-21)
    • SOAN 203 Anthropology of Good Intentions
    • SOAN 323 Mother Earth: Women, Development and the Environment (not offered in 2020-21)
    • SOAN 333 Environmental Anthropology

  • Social Policy and Welfare

    • ECON 246 Economics of Welfare (not offered in 2020-21)
    • ECON 257 Economics of Gender
    • HIST 239 Hunger, Public Policy and Food Provision in History (not offered in 2020-21)
    • PHIL 232 Social and Political Philosophy (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 273 Race and Politics in the U.S. (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 338 Politics of Inequality and Poverty* (not offered in 2020-21)
    • RELG 289 Global Religions in Minnesota
    • SOAN 272 Sociological Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity in the United States (not offered in 2020-21)
    • SOAN 288 Diversity, Democracy, Inequality in America
    • SOAN 314 Contemporary Issues in Critical Criminology
    • SOAN 325 Sociology of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction
    • SOAN 350 Diversity, Democracy, and Inequality in America (not offered in 2020-21)

  • Education Policy

    • ECON 259 Economics of Higher Education (not offered in 2020-21)
    • EDUC 225 Issues in Urban Education
    • EDUC 245 The History of American School Reform (not offered in 2020-21)
    • EDUC 250 Fixing Schools: Politics and Policy in American Education (not offered in 2020-21)
    • EDUC 353 Schooling and Opportunity in American Society (not offered in 2020-21)
    • HIST 203 American Indian Education (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 218 Schools, Scholarship and Policy in the United States (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 313 Legal Issues in Higher Education (not offered in 2020-21)

  • Foreign Policy and Security

    • POSC 231 American Foreign Policy
    • POSC 236 Global, National and Human Security
    • POSC 267 Comparative Foreign Policy (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 282 Terrorism and Counterterrorism (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 285 The U.S. Intelligence Community (not offered in 2020-21)
    • POSC 328 Foreign Policy Analysis*
    • RELG 228 Martyrdom (not offered in 2020-21)
    • RELG 262 Islamic Africa (not offered in 2020-21)
    • RELG 264 Islamic Politics (not offered in 2020-21)
    • RELG 329 Modernity and Tradition (not offered in 2020-21)
    • SOAN 248 Genocide: An Anthropological Perspective (not offered in 2020-21)

  • Other Comparative Public Policy Courses

    • POSC 203 Political Communication: Political Advertising in Elections and Public Policy
    • POSC 303 Political Communication: Political Advertising in Elections and Public Policy*
    • RELG 249 Religion and American Public Life (not offered in 2020-21)

  • Off-Campus Programs at Carleton
    • ECON Microeconomic Development in Bangladesh (winter-break program
    • ENTS Ethiopia and Tanzania Program
    • HIST Wilderness Studies at the Grand Canyon (spring-break program)
    • POSC Washington D.C. Program
    • POSC Political Economy and Ecology of Southeast Asia
    • IDSC Public Health in Practice: Washington, D.C. and the Twin Cities (winter-break program)

The OCS office and the Director of the minor can recommend other public policy-relevant off-campus programs. Application of courses from these programs to the minor must be approved by the director.

Recommended Additional Work

Students wishing to build further on their public policy training may pursue, with the support of the director or designated adviser, additional recommended work. Many of these opportunities will be listed on the webpage for the minor, but these and others will be available through civic engagement projects (ACE), the Center for Community and Civic Engagement office, and the Career Center. The webpage of the minor and the director of the minor will maintain current information on recommended public policy internships.