The College of New Jersey Logo

Apply     Visit     Give     |     Alumni     Parents     Offices     TCNJ Today     Three Bar Menu

Public Policy Analysis and Management

Public Policy at TCNJ

The study of public policy seeks to explain and improve the efforts of the public sector to address a wide range of social problems. While many human interactions can be accomplished best through private interactions, some of the most important issues in society fall under the public sphere due to their direct or side effects on third parties or the mass public. Issue areas containing a significant public policy component include healthcare, the economy, foreign affairs, education, the environment, public infrastructure, privacy concerns, and a wide range of legal affairs.

Sadly, not all attempts to address such problems are successful. At times public actors seek to improve policies’ ability to meet social goals but at other times political actors may settle for suboptimal social outcomes, or even seek results that benefit the few at the expense of the many.

The discipline of Political Science stands as the primary means of understanding the public policy process, including group motives, institutional influences, and policy results. Analysts largely have studied policymaking in the United States yet Political Scientists increasingly use similar techniques to understand the public policy process in other countries or in international institutions. For practitioners who want a better understanding of how public action is crafted, and how to improve it, an understanding of political interests and institutions is crucial.

Public Policy Minor

Offered by TCNJ’s Political Science Department, the Public Policy minor provides students with critical, analytical, and managerial skills for careers in public affairs including citizen activism and advocacy, appointed and elected public office, community development, and public affairs journalism. Based on core contributions from political science, the minor is also interdisciplinary in nature, encouraging students to develop content specializations and field experience in a variety of departments. 

An internship related to the specialization course allows students to use and master such knowledge in an actual practice. Recent internships include positions with the Mid-Jersey Chamber of Commerce, The Brian Stack internship, and The Washington Center.


Public Policy Analysis and Management Minor

A total of five course units are required for the minor, three core courses and a specialty consisting of a course and an internship in a designated content area.

Course Units
POL 110/American Government 1 course unit
POL 300/Politics and Public Management 1 course unit
POL 305/American Public Policy 1 course unit
Political Science: POL 370 courses (check with coordinator if course is appropriate)
Communications Policy: COM 403/Health Communications Campaigns or COM 441/Organizations and Leadership
Law Policy: CRI 499/Senior Capstone in Policy Analysis*
Environmental Policy: ECO 350/Economics of Environmental Quality** or POL 307/Environmental Policy
Urban Policy: SOC 355/Introduction to Urban Planning or POL 318/Politics of Community Change
Gender Policy: WGS 330/Gender and Public Policy
1 course unit
POL 399/Internship in Public Affairs or
Internship in the same department as the specialty course:
COM 399, CRI 399, ECO 399, SOC 399, WGS 399
Minimum of 1 course unit
Total 5 course units

*Prerequisite CRI 306, **Prerequisite ECO 101



For more information, please contact Dr. Chartock (