Public Policy Analysis Certificate

Learn how to analyze and evaluate public policies, develop communication skills to assist in the policymaking process, and gain practical hands-on experience. Regardless of your major or desired career path, employers will appreciate the analytical and evaluative skills that students develop through the Public Policy Analysis Certificate (PPAC).

Your Major + Public Policy Analysis = A Marketable Combination

Overview and Requirements

The Public Policy Analysis Certificate (PPAC) is an interdisciplinary program that allows students from all majors to gain skills related to the policy process and the methodology for analyzing policy problems and programs. The certificate is awarded by the Department of Political Science and the College of Arts and Sciences, and serves as formal recognition that the student has satisfactorily completed the certificate requirements. Students can complete the PPAC by completing a total of 18 credit hours. These 18 credits are broken out across four levels of coursework.

  • Level I: Two public policy courses to gain knowledge on the theories, processes, models, and methods of policy analysis.
  • Level II: One course dealing with the interpersonal, interagency, and inter-group communication process that occurs in policymaking.
  • Level III: Two courses in a substantive policy area of students' choosing to gain specialized knowledge of the topic.
  • Level IV: Internship experience taken for academic credit where the student can get hands on experience with policy in the real world working for a non-profit or government agency.

Areas of Policy Specialization

Students work with the Public Policy Analysis Coordinator to create a specialized plan of study based on their interest. Choose from 14 policy areas for level three coursework or work with the Public Policy Analysis Coordinator to identify coursework related to another area of policy.

  • Community (Urban and Rural) Policy
  • Environmental Policy
  • Comparative/International Policy
  • Family Policy
  • Criminal Justice Policy
  • Gender Policy
  • Culture/Ethnic Policy
  • Gerontology Policy
  • Drug Policy
  • Health Policy
  • Economic Policy
  • Immigration Policy
  • Education Policy
  • Social Policy

Printable summary Undergraduate catalog


For more information or to enroll in the certificate program, please contact the Public Policy Analysis Coordinator.

Carmen Kelle Portrait

Carmen Kelle
Public Policy Analysis Coordinator
Senior Academic Advisor

Kevin Smith Portrait

Dr. Kevin Smith
Public Policy Analysis Director
Department Chair