As a liberal arts major, public policy studies teaches students to read critically, think analytically, and write concisely. Through rigorous coursework in multiple fields, including economics, statistics, political science, history and ethics; through electives in substantive areas; and through a policy oriented internship, PPS students learn how knowledge gained through research can be used to address domestic and international problems.
The broad intellectual goals of any major should relate in some way to the goals of a liberal arts education. The Report on Yale College Education (April 2003), produced by a committee chaired by Richard Brodhead, listed the skills a liberal arts education should deepen. The public policy major at Duke encourages students to work toward the goals outlined in visions of a liberal arts education, which are also reflected in the Philosophy of Trinity College.
The goals of the major in public policy studies are both pedagogical and policy specific. First, we aim to create a learning environment in which students 1) draw on skills from multiple disciplines, 2) learn to write concisely and clearly, and 3) consider the ethical implications of their actions.
Second, the topics explored in the major should lead students 1) to think in terms of global problems and international relations, 2) to analyze the policies surrounding new advances in science (i.e., genomics) and technology (i.e., intellectual property and the Internet), and 3) to engage in solving important social problems.
The learning objectives for the major are extensions of the goals: