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The 11th president of the United States, James K. Polk, graduated from UNC in 1818. Think you could be the next Tar Heel president? You might want to consider a major in public policy, which provides students with theoretical perspective, analytical skill, and substantive knowledge needed to respond to major domestic and global policy problems. Of course, you don’t have to have Oval Office ambitions for a public policy major to be useful. UNC Public Policy has research focuses in educational, environmental, health, social, economic and global issues, so wherever your passions lie, you’ll be able to find relevant coursework.

As a public policy major, you will take classes in economics, statistics, government and research. In these classes, you will learn to think critically, analyze data, solve problems, and write clearly and concisely – all important skills that will benefit you in any field. Public policy coursework also aligns with many other major and minor paths, making it a great option for a second major. Consider pairing an environmental policy focus with an Environmental Sciences major, global policy with the Global Studies major, or economic/entrepreneurship policy with a Business major or minor. Many students choose to double major in Public Policy and Political Science, to learn both the theory and practical skills behind solving world problems.

Interested in exploring public policy? Consider taking PLCY101 – Making Public Policy during your first year. “101 is a great introduction to the major. It provides an overview of public policy and the processes that go into creating new policy,” said Katrina Hauprich, a senior public policy major. “It was my first time writing a full policy brief and I loved being able to research a topic of my choosing and apply my findings to make a recommendation for improving the situation.” Learn more about the department, courses and research opportunities here.