Brown University
Public Policy


What can you do with a concentration in Public Policy?

"Public policy" is a broad theme, and our graduates pursue many paths. Some may choose to work immediately after earning their bachelor’s degree from Brown, while many others will choose to seek an advanced degree in law school, a master of public policy (MPP), or master of public affairs (MPA). Here are examples of jobs that policy concentrators pursue after earning their degrees:

  • Fulbright scholar
  • Policy, media, or research analyst
  • Environmental organizer
  • Americorps
  • Teacher through Teach for America
  • Associate consultant (for companies like Bain)
  • City or State Government Fellow
  • Paralegal

Are there any concentration courses that have to be taken at a particular time?

  • Introduction to Public Policy (PLCY 0100) should be taken as early as possible, preferably by the end of the sophomore year since it serves as prerequisite for all of the other core courses.
  • Statistics for Public Policy (PLCY 1300; (or POLS 1600 or EDUC 1110 or ECON 1620 / 1630 or SOC 1110) should be taken in the sophmore or junior year
  • Economics (PLCY 1600 (or ECON 1110 / 1130 or EDUC 1130) should be taken in the sophmore or junior year. There are no prerequisites. In some cases, students take this course in the fall of their senior year, but it is not recommended to wait that long.
  • Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation (PLCY 1200 or EDUC1160) should be taken after the other requirements have been fulfilled.

I am a freshman. What should I take now if I want to be a Public Policy concentrator?

Any of the required core courses, particularly Introduction to Public Policy (PLCY 0100).

I want to double concentrate in Public Policy and another concentration. Can I double count courses?

Up to three courses may count for credit in both concentrations.

I have taken a course not currently listed as an elective, but I think that it fits well within Public Policy. Can it count?

New courses are added to Brown all the time, we are open to having students suggest new electives. Please email the Student Affairs Coordinator with a copy of the syllabus. The course will be reviewed and you will be notified if it is appropriate for concentration credit.

Can I take Public Policy concentration courses S/NC?

Students are discouraged, although not prevented, from taking courses in their concentration for S/NC. Graduate schools do not look with favor on S/NC grades in your primary field of study; that includes core courses, methods, and electives. If you do well, be sure to obtain a Course Performance Report from the instructor.

I want to study abroad, and I need signatures on my forms so I can get credit, who does that?

The Director of Undergraduate Studies signs study abroad forms.

Can I count classes taken abroad toward the concentration?

Courses taken abroad that are pertinent to the concentration may be counted with approval. Students generally bring back ~2 courses per semester abroad for the concentration.

I am a transfer student. How many credits from another university can I apply toward Public Policy?

The university determines the number of transfer credits accepted when you are admitted as a transfer student. The Public Policy program decides how to apply your transfer credits toward the concentration. You must send a syllabus of each course you would like to use to fill your requirements to the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Note: We cannot apply credit taken at another institution until it appears on your Brown transcript.

If I complete two or more concentrations in my 4 years at Brown will I be awarded multiple degrees and receive multiple diplomas?

No. You will be awarded one degree, and receive one diploma noting your baccalaureate degree. Students who complete more than one concentration (“double concentrators”) will see all completed concentrations listed on their official Brown transcript.

How can I be certain that I've completed the Public Policy concentration requirements for graduation?

All students are required to revise (update) their Public Policy program of study through ASK and meet with the student affairs coordinator in the fall semester of senior year (or seventh semester). If you do not revise your program, we cannot approve your graduation, and the Registrar cannot issue you a diploma.