What is History of Public Policy?
The B.A. in the history of public policy, the first to be offered in American higher education, combines comparative studies in history with studies in related academic disciplines. Students are expected to acquire competence in a foreign language, in statistics and computer operations, and in research and writing skills, culminating in the preparation of a senior thesis. An internship in governmental and public affairs is strongly recommended.
The major concentrates on the social process that is central and common to the making of public policy. They emphasize the history of public policy in various nations and time periods, from the ancient Greeks to our present day world. Focusing on time, economic, and social factors they begin to understand how governments in their own times reached critical policy decisions and the difficulties they encountered when implementing those policies.
How Can I Tell If I Would Like History of Public Policy?
Individuals who wish to pursue a career in either a government office or a public office, which services and coordinate the public, are found in this major. These people need to possess analytical, quantitative, organizational, communicative, and computer skills in order to be of the best value to their employers and their positions. This is a major, which focuses upon services to the general public, and individuals working here receive a sense of accomplishment for what they do for the community.
What Are Potential Topics Within This Major?
Although the following list can provide students with topics that may be covered in this major, look at the UCSB catalog and consult with the undergraduate advisor for more detailed information about requirements and course offerings.
To learn more about whether you might enjoy this major, check with a peer in the Career Resource Room for details on:
- Focus 2 to explore college majors and careers.
- The Strong Interest Inventory®, an assessment that compares your interests against six broad categories of work. This assessment helps match your interests and suggests potential careers to explore.
What Can I Do To Make My Major More Marketable?
- Pursue relevant work, internship, volunteer, and/or research experience.
- Choose a complementary minor.
- Specialize in an area; take courses in related fields.
- Develop your computer skills.
- Learn a foreign language.
- Study abroad.
- Join professional associations.
- Get involved in student clubs.
- Participate in community organizations.
- Seek out leadership positions.
- Research specific prerequisites for different positions.
- Network with others in fields that interest you.
What Are Some Possible Career Options?
Note: On its own, your major does not dictate what your job will be. The following list provides only a handful of possibilities. History of Public Policy majors with strong liberal arts background may pursue career options in many fields. Depending on experience, specialized coursework, and possible graduate study options include:
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Public Service Careers
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Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management
APPAM is dedicated to improving public policy and management by fostering excellence in research, analysis, and education.
American Society for Public Administration
The American Society for Public Administration is the largest and most prominent professional association for public administration. It is dedicated to advancing the art, science, teaching and practice of public and non-profit administration.
Major Public Policy Organizations
An extensive Public Policy Organization list.