The Undergraduate Public Policy Analysis Certificate (U-PPAC) is an interdisciplinary program that provides students with knowledge of the policy process and the methodological skills for analyzing policy problems and programs. Students interested in policy issues, acquiring set of analytical and methodological tools for evaluating policies, or seeking a policy-related job in the public or private sector will benefit from the U-PPAC. All UNL undergraduates are eligible.

Students are required to complete fifteen (15) credit hours of course work plus a three (3) credit hour internship for a total of eighteen (18) credit hours. Students who have completed the program will receive a certificate in Public Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation upon graduation.

Principles and Requirements for the Undergraduate Policy Curriculum
(18 hours)

Four principles train students to analyze systematically and coherently public policies, negotiate multiple and competing interests, and develop in-depth knowledge and application in substantive policy issue(s).

  1. First Level courses cover the theories, processes, models, and methods of policy analysis. (6 hours; both courses required)

    • POLS 235 Public Policy Concepts and Processes

    • POLS 236 Public Policy Analysis: Methods and Models

  2. The Second Level course examines the interpersonal, interagency and inter-group negotiation processes within which policymaking occurs. Choose one of the following.  (3 hours).

    • COMM 211  Intercultural Communication

    • COMM 371  Communication in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution

    • COMM 375  Theories of Persuasion

  3. Third Level courses apply models, methods, and the understanding of the policy process in substantive policy arenas. Students consult with the policy certificate coordinator to create a specialized plan of study for this level. (6 hours)

  4. Fourth Level: Internship; fieldwork (3 hours; capstone experience). Students will be placed in a governmental or non-profit agency relating to their issue area of expertise. The internship occurs after completing or during the last semester of course work for the U-PPAC. The political science undergraduate advisor as well as the policy certificate coordinator will help students find an appropriate policy-relevant internship. Academic requirements for the internship will be set by the U-PPAC coordinator; however, the student can register for internship credit through political science or their major department.

Students must meet with the policy analysis coordinator to set up a plan of study. For more information or to enroll in the certificate program, contact :

Dr. John Comer
511 Oldfather Hall
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lincoln, NE 68588-0328
Office: 402-472-2343
Fax: 402-472-8192
Email: jcomer1@unl.edu