UIC to offer bachelor’s in public policy

Kelly LeRoux

“An understanding of public policy can be beneficial for all students,” says Kelly LeRoux, director of undergraduate programs in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs and associate professor of public administration.

 

Enrollment begins fall 2015 for a new bachelor’s degree in public policy offered by the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs.

Rapid demographic, economic and political changes in the U.S. have increased the demand for public policy education, college administrators say.

“Our public policy majors will gain not only an understanding of public policies on concerns like welfare, education, or housing, but also the toolkit — public opinion research, statistics, economic analysis — to analyze and improve those policies,” said CUPPA dean Michael Pagano.

“This combination of policy expertise and analytical skills is highly desired by government, nonprofit and private employers.”

The new degree will include coursework in a policy field of the student’s choice — education policy, international studies, health policy or criminal justice, among many others, said Kelly LeRoux, director of undergraduate programs in public administration.

“Research shows that college students’ concerns about the future of the country range from jobs, the economy, income inequality and rising student loan debt to climate change, health care, education and U.S. involvement in foreign affairs, “ she said.

“Business, government and the civic sector are becoming increasingly interconnected through partnerships to respond to society’s needs. An understanding of public policy can be beneficial for all students.”

LeRoux said the program will prepare students for careers in government agencies, legislative staffs, political campaigns, policy institutes or think tanks, the nonprofit sector or government relations in private industry.

The B.A. in public policy will be the college’s second undergraduate program. The degree in urban and public affairs was established in 2007.