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.

Requirements for the Public Policy Minor

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, 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 221 Philosophy of Law
    • PHIL 222 Topics in Medical Ethics
    • RELG 213 Religion, Medicine, and Healing (not offered in 2023-24)
    • RELG 219 Religious Law, Il/Legal Religions (not offered in 2023-24)
    • RELG 220 Justice and Responsibility (not offered in 2023-24)
    • RELG 269 Food, Justice and Nonviolence: Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain Perspectives (not offered in 2023-24)
    • RELG 270 Philosophy of Religion
    • RELG 274 Religion and Biomedical Ethics (not offered in 2023-24)

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
    • ECON 268 Economics of Cost Benefit Analysis (not offered in 2023-24)
    • ECON 274 Labor Economics
    • ECON 275 Law and Economics (not offered in 2023-24)
    • ECON 280 International Trade (not offered in 2023-24)
    • ECON 281 International Finance (not offered in 2023-24)
    • POSC 209 Money and Politics (not offered in 2023-24)
    • POSC 266 Urban Political Economy (not offered in 2023-24)
    • POSC 361 Approaches to Development
    • POSC 366 Urban Political Economy (not offered in 2023-24)
    • RELG 227 Liberation Theologies (not offered in 2023-24)
  • Public Health
    • BIOL 234 Microbiology
    • BIOL 240 Genetics
    • BIOL 310 Immunology
    • BIOL 338 Genomics and Bioinformatics
    • BIOL 370 Seminar: Selected Topics in Virology (not offered in 2023-24)
    • ECON 264 Health Care Economics (not offered in 2023-24)
    • IDSC 235 Perspectives in Public Health (not offered in 2023-24)
    • PHIL 222 Topics in Medical Ethics
    • PSYC 260 Health Psychology
    • RELG 233 Gender and Power in the Catholic Church
    • SOAN 262 Anthropology of Health and Illness (not offered in 2023-24)
  • Environmental Policy and Sustainability
    • BIOL 210 Global Change Biology
    • BIOL 338 Genomics and Bioinformatics
    • ECON 269 Economics of Climate Change
    • ECON 271 Economics of Natural Resources and the Environment
    • ECON 273 Water and Western Economic Development
    • ENTS 210 Environmental Justice
    • ENTS 212 Global Food Systems
    • ENTS 215 Environmental Ethics
    • ENTS 244 Biodiversity Conservation and Development (not offered in 2023-24)
    • ENTS 288 Abrupt Climate Change
    • ENTS 289 Climate Change and Human Health (not offered in 2023-24)
    • ENTS 307 Wilderness Field Studies: Grand Canyon
    • ENTS 310 Topics in Environmental Law and Policy (not offered in 2023-24)
    • HIST 205 American Environmental History
    • HIST 306 American Wilderness
    • HIST 308 American Cities and Nature (not offered in 2023-24)
    • POSC 268 Global Environmental Politics and Policy
    • POSC 333 Global Social Changes and Sustainability (not offered in 2023-24)
    • POSC 335 Navigating Environmental Complexity—Challenges to Democratic Governance and Political Communication (not offered in 2023-24)
    • RELG 243 Native American Religious Freedom (not offered in 2023-24)
    • SOAN 203 Anthropology of Good Intentions
    • SOAN 323 Mother Earth: Women, Development and the Environment (not offered in 2023-24)
    • SOAN 333 Environmental Anthropology (not offered in 2023-24)
  • Social Policy and Welfare
    • ECON 246 Welfare Economics and Mechanism Design
    • ECON 257 Economics of Gender
    • PHIL 232 Social and Political Philosophy
    • POSC 253 Welfare Capitalisms in Post-War Europe (not offered in 2023-24)
    • POSC 257 Marx for the 21st Century: Ecology, Technology, Dispossession
    • POSC 273 Race and Politics in the U.S.
    • POSC 274 Covid-19 and Globalization
    • RELG 289 Global Religions in Minnesota
    • SOAN 206 Critical Perspectives on Work in the Twenty-first Century (not offered in 2023-24)
    • SOAN 252 Growing up in an Aging Society (not offered in 2023-24)
    • SOAN 288 Diversity, Democracy, Inequality in America (not offered in 2023-24)
    • SOAN 310 Sociology of Mass Incarceration (not offered in 2023-24)
    • SOAN 314 Contemporary Issues in Critical Criminology (not offered in 2023-24)
    • SOAN 325 Sociology of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction (not offered in 2023-24)
  • Education Policy
    • EDUC 225 Issues in Urban Education (not offered in 2023-24)
    • EDUC 245 School Reform: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
    • EDUC 250 Fixing Schools: Politics and Policy in American Education
    • HIST 203 American Indian Education
    • POSC 218 Schools, Scholarship and Policy in the United States (not offered in 2023-24)
    • POSC 313 Legal Issues in Higher Education
  • Foreign Policy and Security
    • POSC 231 American Foreign Policy (not offered in 2023-24)
    • POSC 236 Global, National and Human Security (not offered in 2023-24)
    • POSC 241 Ethnic Conflict
    • POSC 247 Comparative Nationalism (not offered in 2023-24)
    • POSC 267 Comparative Foreign Policy (not offered in 2023-24)
    • POSC 282 Terrorism and Counterterrorism (not offered in 2023-24)
    • POSC 285 The U.S. Intelligence Community (not offered in 2023-24)
    • POSC 328 Foreign Policy Analysis (not offered in 2023-24)
    • RELG 329 Modernity and Tradition (not offered in 2023-24)
  • Other Comparative Public Policy Courses
    • POSC 203 Political Communication: Political Advertising in Elections and Public Policy (not offered in 2023-24)
    • POSC 261 The Global Crisis of Democracy (not offered in 2023-24)
    • POSC 271 Constitutional Law I
    • POSC 272 Constitutional Law II
    • POSC 288 Politics and Public Policy in Washington, D.C., Program: Global Politics & Pub Policy in Washington DC
    • POSC 303 Political Communication: Political Advertising in Elections and Public Policy (not offered in 2023-24)
    • POSC 330 The Complexity of Politics (not offered in 2023-24)
    • RELG 266 Modern Islamic Thought
  • Off-Campus Programs at Carleton
    • ECON Microeconomic Development in Bangladesh (winter-break program)
    • ENTS Ecology and Anthropology in Tanzania
    • HIST Wilderness Studies at the Grand Canyon (spring-break program)
    • POSC Washington D.C. Program
    • POSC Political Economy and Ecology in 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.