Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy

The Bachelor of Arts (AB) in Public Policy is a joint degree program offered by the College of Arts & Sciences and the McCourt School of Public Policy. The Joint Program in Public Policy (JPPP) combines training in the liberal arts and education of the whole person with specialized knowledge and professional skills in public policy. 

First-year students enrolling in Fall 2023 and beyond are eligible for this degree. 

JPPP majors will spend their first two years on the Hilltop where they will complete University and College of Arts & Sciences core requirements, as well as a public policy gateway course. JPPP students will move to the Capitol Campus for Junior and Senior years and complete course and experiential learning requirements in the McCourt School of Public Policy.

Students who intend to enroll in this degree will be advised to complete their University and College Core requirements in their first two years. 

JPPP Major Requirements

The JPPP degree program features a 3-credit gateway course, How Public Policy Works (PPOL 2000), that introduces students to a range of contemporary public policy problems and the analytical frameworks and methodological tools used to design and evaluate solutions. This course is open to all Georgetown undergraduates and will be offered on the Hilltop only.

In addition to the gateway course, JPPP majors are required to complete ten (10) additional courses, for a total of eleven (11) courses. Degree requirements to be completed on the Capitol Campus include: four core courses, two skills-based courses, three electives, and one experiential course. 

The core courses that introduce students to the interdisciplinary analytical tools used to define policy problems and design and evaluate solutions are:

PPOL 3000: Introduction to Statistics and Data Analysis

PPOL 3001: Economics for Public Policy

PPOL 3002: Political Analysis for Public Policy

PPOL 3003: Policy Implementation

To build more advanced skills for policy analysis and evaluation, students will be required to complete two (2) Methods & Skills electives (or a total of 6 credits) from a broad set of policy analysis skills-based courses offered at McCourt.  

To cultivate a richer understanding of a policy domain, students will complete 3 electives drawn from the following policy clusters: 

  • Environment, Energy and Climate Change
  • International Development  
  • Political Strategy and Governance 
  • Social Policy

Students must select a 3-credit signature course (PPOL: 3100/3200/3300/3400) from one of the  policy clusters and 2 additional electives from any of the policy clusters.

To connect learning in the classroom with real world policy, students will be required to enroll in either (i) a 4-credit internship seminar or (ii) a 3-credit policy lab.  These experiential courses expose students to local, federal, state, and/or international agencies as well as non-governmental organizations engaged in designing and/or implementing policy solutions.  

Integrated Writing Requirement

Across core, elective, experiential and skill-based courses, students will practice a variety of policy-oriented research methods and strategic communication skills. Assignments building these skills will include short pieces such as policy memos, blogs, reflections, and op-eds as well as longer pieces such as policy analyses and argumentative essays. Writing is integrated across the curricula, and policy cluster signature courses fulfill the Integrated Writing requirement. 

More Information

For more information about the undergraduate Public Policy major, please visit the Joint Program in Public Policy website.

The Joint Program in Public Policy has not yet obtained approval for VA education benefits at this time, and is pending submission of its VA application. Please contact our Assistant Registrar for Veteran/Military Benefits at for more information.