Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Public Policy

120

Total Hours

37

Pre-major hours

with at least a 2.75 GPA to continue to the major

27

Guided elective hours

To specialize the degree

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Cory Curl, PhD

Director of Undergraduate Studies

Lecturer, Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Brooke Kuerzi, MPA

Student Affairs Officer

Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Program website

  • BA

Public policy is a social science  focused on understanding how public policy
decisions are made, how public policies affect members of a society, and how leadership is
exercised in the public and nonprofit sectors of a market economy. Courses examine the rationales
for government interventions in markets; the purposes and goals of public policy; the processes by
which problems are defined and priorities selected; the role of governmental, non-governmental,
and transnational institutions in collective action; and the circumstances under which leaders are
effective in mobilizing resources to advance a group’s values and goals. They also provide the
basic tools for understanding and quantitatively estimating the effects of existing and proposed
public policies. The Martin School undergraduate program gives students an opportunity to develop their critical thinking, communication, and leadership
skills.

Public Policy careers might include:

  • Policy Analyst
  • City Manager
  • Intelligence Analyst
  • Budget Manager
  • Government Relations
  • Development Specialist
  • Policy Advisor
  • Administrator in nonprofit or government agency
  • And more...
Martin School students in panel at KY LRC
Martin School students have opportunities to meet with experts in the fields of public policy and nonprofit management and apply their skills in internships and policy research.

Courses You Will Take

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Public Policy 121 hours
Freshman Year
Sophomore Year
Junior Year
Senior Year
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Total Freshman Year Credit Hours : 31

Fall Semester
16 Credit Hours
ECO 201
3
ECO 201 - PRINCIPLES OF ECONOMICS I

ECO 201

Satisfies UK Core Global Dynamics requirement.

3 credit hours

This course will introduce you to the economic way of thinking and provides basic tools of economic theory used to study markets, individual consumer behavior, and the behavior of firms. It employs concepts such as scarcity, opportunity costs, tradeoffs, marginal thinking, and gains from trade. This course will examine how markets work and how supply and demand interact to determine prices, explore market failure such as externalities, the tragedy of the commons and public goods and the role of the government in market activity. Students will also be introduced to theories of the firm and individual behavior, competition and monopoly, and welfare economics. Students successfully completing this course should leave with an understanding of these basic economic principles and their applicability to real world situations. Students should also be able to incorporate the tools of economic analysis into their own decision-making processes as they weigh costs and benefits to make choices.

UK Core - Comp. & Comm. I
3
PPL 201
3
PPL 201 - INTRODUCTION TO PUBLIC POLICY

PPL 201

Satisfies UK Core Social Science.

3 credit hours

A course designed to familiarize the student with the problem-solving activities of the public sector in such areas as immigration policy, education policy, environmental policy, and health care. This is an introductory course in American public policy. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to some of the most current and salient policy debates in the United States and give students basic tools and knowledge necessary to critically evaluate public policy issues.

MA 123
4
MA 123 - ELEMENTARY CALCULUS AND ITS APPLICATIONS

MA 123

Satisfies UK Core Quantitative Foundations requirement. (Take MA 109 if needed.)

4 credit hours

An introduction to differential and integral calculus, with applications to business and the biological and physical sciences. Not open to students who have credit in MA 113 or MA 137. Note: Math placement test recommended. Prereq: Math ACT score of 26 or above, or Math SAT of 600 or above, or MA 109, or appropriate math placement score, or consent of department.

Prereq: Math ACT score of 26 or above, or Math SAT of 600 or above, or Math SAT2016 of 620 or above, or a grade of C or better in MA 109, or appropriate math placement score, or consent of department. Note: Math placement test recommended.

UK Core - Natural, Physical and Math
3
Spring Semester
15 Credit Hours
ECO 202
3
ECO 202 - PRINCIPLES OF ECONOMICS II

ECO 202

3 credit hours

A study of how society's needs are satisfied with the limited resources available. Topics include contemporary issues such as inflation, unemployment, economic growth, international dependencies, and how public policy deals with them. A critical understanding of the U.S. and global economies will enhance your value as a manager or executive of a business (whether for-profit or non-profit), as a family member dealing with jobs and financial decisions, and as a voter in a democracy. The course will allow you to become knowledgeable of, and able to critically think about, the major macroeconomic issues of unemployment, jobs, recessions, economic growth, inflation, deflation, oil prices, monetary policy, the Federal Reserve, fiscal policy, budget deficits, the national debt, international trade, international finance, and the financial system.

Prereq: ECO 201.

UK Core - Comp. & Comm. II
3
PS 101
3
PS 101 - AMERICAN GOVERNMENT

PS 101

Satisfies UK Core Community, Culture, & Citizenship in the USA requirement.

3 credit hours

A survey of national government and the political process in the United States, with emphasis on the Constitution, the President, Congress, and the judicial system.

STA 296
3
STA 296 - STATISTICAL METHODS AND MOTIVATIONS

STA 296

Satisfies UK Core Statistical Inferential Reasoning requirement. (Take MA 123 if needed.)

3 credit hours

Introduction to principles of statistics with emphasis on conceptual understanding. Students will articulate results of statistical description of sample data (including bivariate), application of probability distributions, confidence interval estimation and hypothesis testing to demonstrate properly contextualized analysis of real-world data.

Prereq: MA 113, MA 123, MA 137, or equivalent.

UK Core - Humanities
3

Total Sophomore Year Credit Hours : 30

Fall Semester
15 Credit Hours
PPL 306
3
PPL 306 - ETHICS AND CIVIC LEADERSHIP

PPL 306

3 credit hours

In this course, we will examine the ethical dilemmas of leadership, the foundations and context of moral choice, the moral implication of decision making within public organizations and the impact upon staff, morale, personal integrity and citizens. In doing so, our purpose is to make visible the ethical challenges and decisions facing leaders, to explore the leadership role in sharing the organization's ethical culture, and to examine governmental alternatives. An emphasis will be made on critical thinking, normative decision making, and the role of values in public policy and management. Ethical theories and principles commonly used in public administration and policy will be explored, as will theories related to leadership in public, private, and non-profit organizations. This course will challenge students to craft their own ethical perspective strengthened through critical examination of ethics theory utilizing case studies, readings and local public leadership who will share their own ethical perspectives.

Prereq: PS 101, PPL 201.

Public Policy - Guided Electives
3
Public Policy - Guided Electives
3
Free Elective
3
UK Core - Global Dynamics
3
Spring Semester
15 Credit Hours
PPL 301
3
PPL 301 - ECONOMICS OF PUBLIC POLICY

PPL 301

3 credit hours

The course will focus on how to use basic economic tools to understand arguments for public policy solutions to problems in a society. It uses economics to analyze the expected impact of public policy on the allocation of resources and to evaluate the benefits and costs of alternative policy solutions.

Prereq: ECO 201, PPL 201.

PPL 302
3
PPL 302 - POLITICAL CONTEXT OF PUBLIC POLICY

PPL 302

3 credit hours

This course examines the important role of political context in the policy process. It equips students with the skills necessary to conduct effective public policy analysis from a political perspective and provides an understanding of the major actors and institutions involved in policymaking. We will begin with a broad discussion of the political institutions and policy actors in the policy process. Next, we will cover different stages of the policy process while focusing on the role of political institutions and actors in each one. In the end, we will apply the theories and perspectives to analyze the political context of various policy areas.

Prereq: PS 101, PPL 201.

PPL 303
3
PPL 303 - PUBLIC SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS

PPL 303

3 credit hours

This course focuses on the managers and leaders of public and nonprofit organizations. The objective is to understand the incentives confronting managers and workers of public/non-profit organizations and to illustrate how to successfully manage these organizations within an ever-changing environment. As such, it is critical for public managers to understand the interdependent nature of organizations, their environments, and the public policy process.

Prereq: PPL 201.

Public Policy - Guided Electives
3
Free Elective
3

Total Junior Year Credit Hours : 30

Fall Semester
15 Credit Hours
ECO 391
3
ECO 391 - ECONOMIC AND BUSINESS STATISTICS.

ECO 391

3 credit hours

Statistical ideas are part of the language of business. An understanding of statistics will enhance your value as a manager or executive. Many of the upper division courses in Accounting, Agriculture Economics, Economics, Finance, Management, Marketing, and Public Policy use and build upon the statistical techniques and analysis learned in ECO391. This course provides a survey of statistical techniques relevant to modern economics and business, with major emphasis on estimation, hypothesis testing, correlation, modeling, analysis of variance, regression, and forecasting.

Prereq: STA 296 or STA 381 or the equivalent.

Public Policy - Guided Electives
3
Public Policy - Guided Electives
3
Free Elective
3
UK Core - Arts and Creativity
3
Spring Semester
15 Credit Hours
Free Elective
3
PPL 304
3
PPL 304 - PUBLIC AND NONPROFIT FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

PPL 304

3 credit hours

This course integrates financial management into decision making and addresses the struggle to match mission with financial resources. Topics include: understanding the components of nonprofit financial statements, budgeting, accounting for contributions, and sustainability.

Prereq: ECO 201, PPL 201.

PPL 405
3
PPL 405 - PROGRAM EVALUATION FOR PUBLIC NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS

PPL 405

3 credit hours

This is a course in which students learn to evaluate the impact of a program or policy in the public or nonprofit worlds. Evaluation research is a social science activity aimed at collecting, analyzing, interpreting, and communicating information about the workings and effectiveness of social programs. The course introduces models and tools that will be used to formulate and evaluate policy options and finally make policy recommendations. Students will have opportunities to present their policy research ideas and methodology and receive feedback from their classmates and lecturers.

Prereq: PPL 201, ECO 391.

Public Policy - Guided Electives
3
Public Policy - Core Electives
3

Total Senior Year Credit Hours : 30

Fall Semester
15 Credit Hours
PPL 422
3
PPL 422 - BEHAVIORAL ASPECTS OF PUBLIC POLICY

PPL 422

3 credit hours

This course will examine the relationship between behavioral economics and public policy. The course examines systematically circumstances in which individuals make decisions that appear to depart from the assumptions of rational actor economic models. The course will survey the major themes of behavioral economics and address their implications for the design of public policies. The goal of the course is to illustrate how an understanding of behavioral economics can improve public policy design and implementation.

Prereq: PPL 201, PPL 301.

Public Policy - Core Electives
3
Public Policy - Guided Electives
3
Free Elective
3
Free Elective
3
Spring Semester
15 Credit Hours
PPL 434
3
PPL 434 - PUBLIC POLICY CAPSTONE

PPL 434

3 credit hours

The public is exposed to diverse, often conflicting views of public problems and policy solutions to those problems. The media, special interest groups, researchers, family, and friends espouse views on what the government or nonprofits ought to do to fix social problems or better societal outcomes. This course builds upon the entire public policy curriculum (content and research methods courses) to systematically examine a range of policy options that address these underlying problems. The overarching objective of this course is for each student to develop and write a capstone that will be orally presented in class. The capstone topic will be tailored to the policy interests of the students. Successful completion of this course is necessary to meet the University of Kentucky Graduation Composition and Communication Requirement (GCCR).

Prereq: This course will be open only to public policy majors who are in the last year of the program and have completed CIS/WRD 110/111 or equivalent course.

Public Policy - Core Electives
3
Public Policy - Guided Electives
3
Public Policy - Guided Electives
3
Free Elective
3

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Contact

Cory Curl, PhD

Director of Undergraduate Studies

Lecturer, Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Brooke Kuerzi, MPA

Student Affairs Officer

Martin School of Public Policy and Administration